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Note: This isn’t my first story, but so far it’s the only one I’m satisfied with to the point I feel comfortable posting it. I’ve procrastinated over it to the point I start to ponder why I’m procrastinating. Maybe I should make a list a select the best 3 that apply...

Just a silly little meandering tangent that went on longer than I expected. Comments and Criticism appreciated.

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Sunlight glinted off the gleaming metal worktops and tiled splashback. The white and silver gave the room a clinical look, softened by random pictures on the walls, displaying lush green scenics and mountain ranges. Not that the patrons could even comprehend the starkness of the room or the attempt to cheer it up slightly.

A gentle breeze buffeted the large, gnarled oak tree that grew just outside the window. Swaying branches caused light and shadow to dance and frolic across the back wall. A single bead of water hung from the tap spout, catching the sunlight at just the right angle to display the full spectrum of colours across its surface.

Mark admired his handiwork with a satisfied smile. Half an hour with some J-Cloths and Mr Muscle; urged on by the jaunty, upbeat rhythm of Reel Big Fish and a tendency to sing with more passion than skill; and the austere room had recovered from another day in the exciting world of dog grooming.

Thankfully the aroma of wet dog had been replaced by the brisk zesty lemon cleaner, the smell complimenting the beautiful summers day outside; mingling with the fresh fragrance of cut grass that drifted through the open window. Most of the owners commented on the beauty of the day, how great it was to finally get an attempt at summer and how it was a shame he was stuck indoors. A few even hinted how 'nice' it would be if Mark could arrange home visits, with the meaningful wink and subtlety of a serial rapist. Same shit different day as the old adage went.

Mark, however, didn't like Summer. It was far too hot, he sweated like a Sabbat on a school bus; creepy bastards; and everyone else seemed to want it hotter. Hotter!? Mark's personal thermometer had Hot and Fucking Hot. It made him bitchy, and he was already a bit of a bastard at the best of times.

Crossing the room to his laptop; agreeing that everyone was indeed 'an asshole' as he mangled the chorus; Mark turned off the music and glanced at the clock above the door. The numbers; 3, 6, 9 and 12 had been replaced with brass paw prints. Why his friends and relatives got the idea that because he worked with dogs, everything in his life had to be dog related, he didn't know. As thoughtful as they were, sometimes he'd settle for no thought at all, for them to just stop buying him tat he didn't need or want. Thankfully it was subtle and not as tasteless as some of the gaudy, brash pieces he had seen. Still, he didn't entirely trust the clock. It was a stupid notion, but he felt as if it was watching him.

4:50 pm Quick walk to the shops, grab a something for supper; as there was no chance he was cooking tonight; then the rest of the evening was free.

"Better see if Bisgrove wants anything. Probably something carnivorously meaty with hot sauce." Mark mumbled to himself; a characteristic he had developed while working with creatures that couldn't talk and probably didn't care in the first place; he fished out his phone from the depths of his pocket while pitying Bisgrove's digestive system.

"Actually, if Bisgrove could be persuaded to get off his fat ass and do something that didn't involve sitting in front of a computer all night yelling abuse at people, we could go to The Moorings." Mark tapped his phone against his bottom lip while he pondered, still humming the annoyingly catchy song that refused to depart.

"I'd need to offer to buy his meal to prise that gelatinous ass of his out of his heavily strained computer chair, but his lack of self-respect makes for an excellent wingman!"

Mark liked that idea. The Moorings had a decent menu for a pub, inclination to only play proper Rock/Metal and Dala, the stereotypical pirate-loving Shark that worked behind the bar. Hopefully, she was working tonight. Her lewd, toothy grin coupled by the immodestly tight and short blouses she wore that only just contained her heaving bosom. A wazzer pair of jugs, if ever he saw! Mark hadn't forgotten her unsubtle advances from last weekend, even through the dizzying cider haze that had profoundly influenced his judgement. Why did he start; and then continue to participate in; a three-man mosh pit? Well, it was more like rambunctious loitering with intent. This day may be glorious after all! Though he wasn't dressing as a pirate again, even if they did offer 10% off.

Mark started sounding out the message as he typed; delicately tapping his touch screen with a stylus, seeing as his fingers would often mash three letters at once; and proceeded to fall out with his predictive-text.

"I saved all these curse words to your dictionary, useless piece of crap!" Mark flung his head back in an over exaggerated show of frustration with a throaty growl.

"Why would I want to call someone a fat barstool?"

The front door to reception opened and closed quietly. It's strange how attempting to do something subtly seemed to make it more noticeable. Mark's dramatized rant stopped as he frowned, straining to listen. Mark found that frowning made your hearing better. Fact! He was sure he turned the sign from Open to Closed, a familiar ritual that seemed ingrained to anyone that owned an independent business.

Pad, pad, pad.

The sound of soft footsteps?  Mark jumped as a petite figure appeared in the doorway leading from the reception, too busy listening instead of looking. Luckily he managed to stifle a girlish cry of surprise and merely grunted. He hoped he didn't make too much of an arse of himself, but Humiliation was an old friend and often turned up out of the blue, crashing on the couch and lingering around for a couple of days, leaving a trail of social destruction in its wake.

With her left arm raised as if to knock, a jovial-looking Kobold smiled at Mark. She hesitated; biting her lip, then lowered her paw as her hazel eyes focussed on him. That was a dangerously disarming smile on such a cute creature. Mark took her in with a quick glance, taking a deep breath to settle his burst of adrenaline, his heart hammering in his chest, the pounding in his ears like his own personal drumbeat.

She wore a pair of tight, vibrant red sports shorts that cut off about mid-thigh; showing off her fluffy knees, a white strappy top that was snug across her modest chest and a loose, black leather collar with a small silver tag in the shape of a bone. Her coat was the colour of golden wheat, peppered with streaks of black and white, and was quite shaggy around the knees, elbows, hips and shoulders. The fur poked out haphazardly in places, giving her a somewhat bedraggled appearance. Her floppy ears drooped against her thick mane of hair; a deeper yellow than her fur; which cascaded down her back, halting just above her taught backside which swayed slightly as her furry tail swished back and forth. Mark got the distinct impression that she had just gotten out of bed.

"Uhh, hey!" Mark's voice sounded harsh in the awkward silence, but he felt it was weak and strained. Not one of his best or most confident greetings when faced by a cute girl. It really didn't help that her grin broadened like she was privy to some joke that he had missed. Probably the dumb look on his face, followed by the realisation Mr Humiliation was knocking on the door. Excitement sparkled in her eyes. Mark found her beguiling. He also found it bloody unnerving but refused to admit it to himself.

The kobold; displaying all the characteristics of a coiled spring, turned to face him properly. Her right arm was tucked under her breasts, cradled in a sling, the paw hanging limply. How Mark didn't notice was beyond him, though he grudgingly confessed her delicate curves were quite the distraction.

"Um, you do walk-ins?" Her voice was chirpy, her smile softened when confronted by his discomfort, but an eagerness still lurked in her posture.

I'd happily do them if they all looked like you! breached Mark's initial defences, bypassing all checks for social acceptability and barrelled towards his tongue at a frightening speed. The brain kicked in just in time, throwing out a desperate plea to intercept Mark's honesty and was reward with a sharp cough. Having cleared the tickle in his throat, Mark glanced at the clock again, tucking his phone away, the half composed abusive message was forgotten and gave a mental sigh.

"I do." His voice was hesitant, thoughts blundered about frantically as he brought himself to heel and under control.

"What would be the name of the customer?" Mark already had an idea where this was going but had decided to play ignorant. Partly because his potential plans for the evening were evaporating before him, partly because he was hungry and tired. This frequently made him grumpy. In fact, he should've just said no and sent her packing, but something stirred in his subconscious. A gut feeling as it were. Also, she was kind of cute. Even if she did make him feel like a naughty boy that had just been caught trying to look up girl’s skirts.

"Lilly. Nice ta meetcha!" The words gushed from her mouth, enthusiasm causing them to jostle for position as they tumbled towards his ears. In contrast, her own ears perked slightly as she gave a lazy salute with her left paw.

Mark smiled in what he hoped was a friendly and reassuring manner. Trying not to appear like a rabbit in headlights. She wielded cheerfulness like a sledgehammer.

"Well, I offer a range of... services. What do you need exactly?" Clearing his throat again, Mark walked towards Lilly, offering his right hand for a formal greeting; realised he was a dumbass, lowered his arm slowly and switched to his left hand.

"I'm Mark, by the way."

Lilly accepted his gesture, delicately grasping Mark's hand with her paw. The fur; in spite of its dishevelled appearance; was warm and soft to the touch, the black pads squishy and smooth. Friendliness twinkled in her gaze as tail and hips rolled enthusiastically. Mark's thoughts drifted to cold winter nights, sheltered from the bite of the icy air in the warm embrace of her silky soft fur while sharing one another's body heat...

Blinking, forcing himself to return from his impure, meandering thoughts; Mark ruefully released her paw, his face flushed as he waited for her response feeling slightly awkward. He could only imagine the sexual tension between them. In that, he felt tense, and she felt horny.

"I need help with this silly!" Lilly gestured to her limp arm before placing her paw on his chest. Mark's heart skipped then thundered into a higher gear at the unexpected contact.

"I really need a good bath and groom. I hear you just the man to sort out a dirty mutt!" Lilly's friendly smile slid into an eager, lewd grin.

Referring to herself in such a crass manner threw Mark off balance. An uncomfortable silence descended, stretching out as Mark's face basked in the glow of another uncontrolled blush, cheeks in full bloom at the thought of helping her bathe. He'd started to wonder if some prick was recording this to make an arse out of him.

Mind reeling, overheating and over stimulated like Windows 95 trying to load a simple word program, Mark tried to save what little he could of his professional pride with a quick Ctrl, Alt, Del.

"Maybe not the most flattering terminology. How about a..." Mark frantically tried to jumble together the limited knowledge of Spa terminology he knew.

"Monster Care and Pamper Package?". He knew he should feel embarrassed at his bastardization of the English language, but he was secretly pleased with himself.

Lilly grinned with a knowing glint in her eye. Mark believed she would've clapped her paws eagerly if able.

"Oh, like a Spa! I would love a facial!" Lilly chirped happily, her tail becoming more animated in her sudden burst of excitement.

Blue screen. An old, primal instinct from the analogue days crept out from the depths of his mind and seized its opportunity; waving a club like stick wildly and capering about, whooping in the sheer delight of freedom.

Oh, gods! Why, why, why? Surely she knew what she just implied? Or was he just being particularly lewd in the torrent of her naivety?

Aaargh! This was stupid! She's just a client. An attractive client no less, with a simplicity that may or may not be an act. He wasn't sure what he wanted to be true.

"That's a unique service that needs a prior arrangement. Over dinner is preferable." Mark no longer cared, he was playing for keeps or going down in a blaze of glory. Lilly paused before a coy smirk slowly crept across her face, tail twitching mid swing. Once again, she seized an opportunity to pour greater discomfort onto Mark's already fragile grip on the situation.

"Dinner!? You mean like meat? Like a tasty bone?"

That was it, Mark had officially checked out. If it had been an Anime, his nose would have burst like a torn jugular sending him into severe haemorrhagic shock. The sheer deluge of innocent innuendo had caused the small crack in his mental defences to shatter, the viscous remains of his brain slowly dribbled out. Autopilot had engaged in a futile attempt to preserve the few lumps of cognitive thought that remained.

"Ugh, right. Water. Typically, necessary for bathing." He started to turn from the flirtatious, grinning kobold but paused.

"Do you have any shampoo or anything?"

Lilly shook her head, pointing to a jute bag sitting in the door frame which contained a few neatly folded clothes.

"Well, there's plenty of products to choose from on those shelves." Mark nodded towards the back wall where an array of bottles and tubs were stacked.

Mark didn't believe Lilly could become more animated. Happily, he was proven wrong as Lilly's eyes light up, tail and ears twitching in delight at the sheer choice that confronted her before she bounded over excitedly with a soft giggle.

With Lilly displaying the attention span of a young harpy, this left Mark feeling a bit deflated. Being outclassed by brightly coloured plastic receptacles dulled his warm fuzzy glow, though gave his brain some much needed respite. Mark closed the door to the reception and made his way to the small tiled pool that sat in the corner of the room. It had seemed an extravagance at first; getting what equated to a small Jacuzzi installed, but had proved its worth the first time he was handed a St Bernard. Cujo, the hulking yet gentle beast. Such an original name for that breed, the immature fun he had covering its muzzle in suds, the utter chaos when Cujo broke free and indiscriminately shook water about the entire salon. Seriously, he was like a massive, furry bar of soap. That had been an experience he wasn't likely to forget. Just a shame it was such an arse to clean.

Turning on the taps, the water flowed into the bath with a sharp slap as it hit the hard white tiles. Steam started to rise and billow while droplets of water splashed against Mark's bare arms. He watched Lilly as she ran her paw in front of the rows of bottles, humming to herself in an overly cheerful tone. It seemed as if she was always in motion, Lilly's tail causing the rest of her body to sway in its eager gyrations. She had already set aside a few bottles of shampoo and held another in her paw as she read the description intently. Her tail swished erratically as she poured over the promises on the back.

Mark found Lilly's glee at such a mundane thing exceptionally cute, an endearing quality like watching a puppy go off its nut in fresh snow. In fact, he could just imagine her giddy wonder and whimsy when it snowed. He was also struck by the feeling that he'd like to see that.

"Would I actually consider dating her? I usually go for a bit more aggression. She’s a fittie, has a cracking arse on her!" Shit, mumbling to himself again. He really needed to rein that in. It already got him a few odd looks when he was out shopping. At least he didn't answer on his client's behalf using somewhat condescending tones like some groomers he had met. That had always worried him. A glimpse of a possible future he hoped to avoid.

Time to wade into this quandary of shampoo selection.

"You'll find they all promise a thick glossy coat with plenty of bounce and the entrancing scent of lavender." Mark had plastered on his friendliest; if somewhat patronising; smile while trying to emulate any number of cheesy, wooden adverts that were filled with terminological inexactitudes.

Turning towards him, with the bottle held up to her face and sporting a grin, she was the perfect model for dog shampoo on one of those annoyingly persistent shopping channels. The ones you know sell nothing you want, but find yourself watching for about fifteen minutes until they start repeating themselves.

"I like lavender, it reminds me of my mother's garden." Lilly's musical voice was still affable, there seemed no end to her energy. Mark sighed to himself.

This was getting frustrating. Mark really couldn't sort himself out. It felt as if he was struck dumb when trying to answer her, his tongue like leather when he tried to speak. Similar to being a teenager on his first date again, the clumsy handling of the situation, unsure exactly how to approach any topic that strayed too close to his own emotions.

Well, it was time to bite the proverbial bullet.

"Do you mind if I..?" Mark let the sentence trail off as he gestured towards the hair that cascaded down her back.

"Sure, dive in!" Lilly practically thrust herself at him as she stepped backwards, tilting her head, chin up, eyes closed.

Starting at the base of her ears, Mark ran his fingers through her luxuriously soft hair. Light and smooth as finely spun silk. Periodically, he would pause to rub a few strands between his thumb and forefinger before continuing downwards. It didn't actually help him come to any conclusion, but it made him feel a little more professional, a bit like those pretentious twats that sniffed wine and went on about 'Pebbles in the Rain' and other bollocks. Damn she had beautiful hair. Mark knew people that'd kill for this.

Lilly's breathing had become shallow; more like panting actually, causing Mark to flush once more. He was beginning to feel like a warning light that blinked on and off. Did he continue downwards towards her backside or stop there? Well, it's not as if she was squirming under his touch, her ears were still perky, though her eyes were closed. In fact, he had an urge to tickle the tufts of fur that nestled around her ears, to call her a good girl. No, that would certainly be sexual harassment. Or would it? Still, no!

With a sly smile, Mark continued downwards, tangling her hair between his fingers as he went. God, he could do this all day. It even had a slight floral scent to it. No doubt her own shampoo. Finally, he relented as his fingers neared her backside. Grudgingly, he released the divinity from his grasp.

Crap, Mark was actually meant to help figure out what product would work best. Lilly's lovely smooth hair he could pet and caress all day coupled with a mind easily distracted with anything feminine lured him away from his weak excuse to fondle her hair. Well, it was similar to a Bearded Collie. Mark made a leap of faith, assuming her fur would be likewise, though he decided not to investigate at the moment. He already felt a chubby coming on. It wouldn't do trying to act natural while pitching a tent. Mark doubted he'd get away with tucking it up into his waistband like he used to back in school. Why was it so embarrassingly easy for him to get aroused?

Occupied with his own thought; worrying about surviving the evening without shaming himself, he reached past Lilly to select a white bottle from the shelf. His face was close to the nape of her neck, close enough so that his breath brushed her fur, sending a shiver up her spine. He could smell her perfume, sharp yet sweet like spring honey blossom. There was a dull musk hidden under the fresh fragrance. It was familiar, uplifting.

Startled by his blatant creepy behaviour and invasion of her personal space, Mark stepped back hurriedly, lying to himself about enjoying her scent and failing miserably. Lilly's ears had flattened slightly, but her tail continued to swish, the long hair brushing against his knees.

Mark cleared his throat.

"Em, I would recommend this for your... hair. Given its length, texture and how it flows." He wasn't entirely sure why, but he stopped himself from saying fur. It seemed stupid now that he thought about it. Being called furry sounded better than hairy. Hairy just summoned up images of coarse, wiry hair matted with sweat. Furry had lovely, cute fluffy pictures of kittens and puppies. Proffering the bottle of Royal K9 shampoo; which did indeed promise a 'smooth, lustrous coat and floral bouquet' before excusing himself to check the bath. Lilly had popped the cap and took a tentative sniff.

Mark was getting pissed with his constant state of flapping and floundering around like a fish out of water. It was obvious what she was hinting at, but there was no follow through on her behalf. Mark was left to make the move; something he hadn't needed to do in years, and it caught him completely off guard. He'd gotten used to being the victim, his role reduced to offering the predator what they desired and demanded. He'd gotten pretty good at it, enjoyed it in a way that would've seemed alien and demeaning to his younger self.

Lilly's transparency was the issue. There were so many things he could say or do, but they all felt like he was taking advantage of her. She was just so... so, innocent. Mark had been offered the role of dominance and had been found wanting. Smitten with a damned cold when he didn't usually get sick. Stupid empathy! Why now? He'd need to have a good word to himself, a mental boot to the balls was in order.

Defeated by his tendency to over-think; angry with himself for becoming so lazy in instigating relationships, Mark retreated to the bath, leaving Lilly to her own devices. The water made a thick, hollow glug as it spewed from the tap into the steamy choppy pool.

Lilly padded over while Mark was idly swirling the water with his hand and berating himself, satisfied that the temperature was about right. She held the Royal K9 bottle to her chest in the same way a pilgrim clutched a holy sigil for protection.

"Water's ready if you'd like to check. I'll leave you in peace to hop in." Managing to inject some confidence into his voice and posture that he just wasn't feeling, Mark found himself curious as to what she needed assistance with. Sure, it'd be a pain in the arse working with one paw, especially if it wasn't your dominant appendage, but surely she'd be able to bathe herself.

The thought filled Mark with a twinge of disappointment. He nursed an urge to pet her head, tickle her fluffy ears. This, in turn, made him feel slightly guilty and a tad uneasy about himself. It was her furriness, how closely she resembled a dog. There was even blatant doggy behaviour. Mark wondered if it'd be cruel to throw something and see if she'd fetch it? He then considered the possibility of her telling him to fuck off, leaving a walk of shame to retrieve said object he had thrown and maybe a slap in the face. Better not then.

Tendrils of steam rose from the bath like fingers questing blindly in the dark. The surface of the water rippled as Lilly dipped her delicate paw in with care. She hummed softly, the twitch of her tail indicating it met her approval.

"So, can you help me strip?" Lilly's voice was natural, sweet even. As if she was asking how Mark was, instead of helping her shed her clothing. Though the erratic twitching of her tail belied her composure. Her hazel eyes held a deep longing. Mark's mind was quite happy to run away with a list of possible desires. No matter how he looked at it, they all contained bones!

"I'm a bit clumsy at the best of times." Lilly raised her paws for emphasis.

"Ok... how'd you get dressed in the first place?" Mark hoped his smile was nowhere near as lecherous as he felt, trying to hide the elation that gave his heart a little tickle. Admittedly, there was a pinprick of guilt at the consideration of a clumsy grope or two that he would probably never follow through on. The dream was there. Curiosity as to how Lilly's breasts and body would feel under the inviting cushion of fur was winning the argument of his moral dilemma, a mantra of 'Go On!' echoing in his subconscious.

"Well, I've worn the same clothes for three days of course." Lilly shared an audacious grin in the light of her confession. Eyebrows twitching in his direction as if he was now an accomplice to some dirty secret. Which he was, kind of.

"Even your panties?" Mark returned the grin.

"Ew, that'd be gross!" Her show of disgust was ruined by a childish giggle.

"Just curious. I can manage four days if I go front to back then inside out." It was Mark's turn to give a timid smile.

"Grossers!" Lilly's exclamation was filled with mock indignation, flowing into a pleasant laugh.

"Anyway, it's hard to change what you don't wear." She looked at Mark expectantly; his mouth open bereft of a reply, eyes distant and vacant as her tail wagged with greater enthusiasm.

"So, you gonna help me outta this or what?” Lilly turned her back to him, glancing over her shoulder while raising her arms a touch in case he didn't quite get the message.

She looked like she was waiting for praise and a treat for being such a good girl and Mark would be quite happy to supply any reward she wanted. These thoughts needed to be banished soon!

The help consisted of Mark freeing her arm from the snug hammock that imprisoned it and removing the thick, black collar from around her slender neck. Next, he manipulated the straps of her top so that she could carefully guide her pained wrist through the obstacle course of material. Lilly's face was rife with fierce concentration and much sticking out of her tongue, eyebrows scrunched, allowing Mark to experience his first cutegasm.

Success! The vest was discarded onto the floor, crumpled with as much thought as a discarded tissue. The removal released a cloud of musky sweat, tinged with comfort and an underlying hint of an old, grubby blanket from the murky past of six years old.

Much like her personality, perky was an apt description for her breasts. Moderate in size, they gave the impression of being quite large in comparison to her petite frame. Adequate handfuls of perfectly round, furry globes. Small pink buds protruded from her golden fur, surprising Mark that her nipples were visible. His surprise grew when a further two pairs were revealed. The second pair were positioned about the middle of her ribs and the last just above where her abs would start. They would be about the same size of her proper nipples as Mark would put it. Six nipples! Maybe not as good as the mutant from Total Recall, but with a few delicate clamps...

Sadly, Mark's train of lustful ambitions encountered the cow of disappointment, bludgeoning the unfortunate beast into a bloody mess, but still stopping to have a good look at the carnage, take a couple of photos for facebook and see if there was any tender steak up for grabs.

Lilly managed to remove her shorts unaided. Running her good paw around the waistband, she worked the tight material downwards, gradually showing tantalising glimpses of her round hips before finally revealing her curved; and furry; backside. With the shorts sitting about mid-thigh, Lilly shimmied her legs letting them slide down her smooth coat then delicately stepped out of the pile at her feet. Her tail swished back and forth, acting as a counterweight to help keep her balance and gave Mark a marvellous display of her swaying ass.

Like the draw of a 'Wet Paint' sign and the smell of fresh emulsion, Lilly's rump was just begging to be grabbed, pinched and smacked. It looked firm yet willing to yield. The cliché of a ripe peach had never seemed so fitting. True to her word, there was no sign of any underwear. Questions regarding the figure hugging apparel hijacked Mark's attention.

Lilly turned to face him, her right arm nestled under her bosom protectively while she instinctively shielded her crotch with her other paw. It seemed like a pointless exercise, given her fur conveniently concealed and censored her femininity. Her smiling face displaying a look of adorable timidity, a delicate blush of rose upon her cheeks.

Lilly expected something of him, more than just an attentive gaze and apprehensive posture. The butterflies in his stomach were having none of it, however. They fluttered and churned to the tune of unease. Tongue like leather, limbs of stone, Mark was unable to do anything more than show a stupid, bashful smile. Ashamed of himself, his fear and cowardice, Mark finally found a clumsy was out of the situation.

"I better close the blinds. Do you need a hand getting in?"

She wasn't sad. Disappointed? Lilly's eyes had lost a bit of their sparkle, but she continued to smile. Mark felt a twisting pang of guilt in his stomach. That was one pissed butterfly and really, he couldn't blame it!

Lilly held out a paw.

"If you could." Glint re-ignited, Lilly gripped onto Mark's hand as she sat on the edge of the bath. Deliberately, she swung her right leg up and over the edge with a sharp splash, gifting Mark with a tantalising flash of her furred sex. It was more of a suggestion of nakedness, like using thin strips of material to conceal and heighten anticipation and arousal. It had an almost immediate effect, Mark noticing a warm flow of blood engorging his penis to chubby state.

She lingered on the edge of the bath, a shit eating grin hovering over her face. Resting her weight on his hand, Lilly swung her other leg into the water before sliding into the steaming pool, letting out a relaxed sigh.

Urgency flooded Mark as he went to tilt the blinds and generally not be too close to that tempting bitch. He needed to think about how he was going to handle this. It was pretty obvious how Lilly wanted this to go; even Mark wasn't that ignorant, but he was still unsure how he wanted this to play out.

She was cute, a bit simple, but had a well-proportioned body for her petite stature. What truly scared Mark, was that he had never once been the dominant force in a relationship. As much as he could work from past experiences, they would probably be a bit extreme to force upon such an innocent girl. Scratch that, there was no way she was innocent. Still, it would literally be like kicking a puppy.

Mark really needed to think, and maybe even tuck his chubby into his waistband.

_

Let's turn our attention to the suggestive kobold, lounging in the bath without a care in the world. Mark's becoming a bit of an indecisive fag, more my problem as a poor writer than his fault as a two-dimensional character, with a hastily constructed personality and too many years reading harem manga where the MC have little or nothing going for them apart from being annoyingly nice to everyone! I can't promise it'll get better, but there maybe some more clumsy dialogue and crass innuendo. It worked for the office. Although I never enjoyed that program...

_

Lilly was almost entirely submerged in the bath, the water sat just below her nose, close enough for her breathing to cause small ripples dancing across the surface. She was held a prisoner in its warm embrace. Heat seeped into her muscles, banishing any tension she may have possessed. It was hard to think, a fluffy pink fog of contentment hung over her.

As she lurked in the depths of the pool, her eyes stalked Mark as he busied himself around the stark room. He tried to hide his flushed face, but it was the tell-tale bulge in his jeans that Lilly found captivating. She giggled to herself, hoping to unearth a juicy bone later. It had been a long time since she last got a nibble.

Every now and again, Mark would sneak a glance her way, quickly turning away as soon as their eyes met. Lilly noted his eyes were a beautiful bright blue, striking in his otherwise plain face. It wasn't that he was good looking as such. More handsome in a rugged way, with a hint of stubble that masked a naturally ruddy complexion. His panicked, 'Rabbit in the Headlights' expression and bashful blushes made him so cute, though!

All six of her nipples were tingling, and it wasn't just from the heat of the bath. There was also a deeper warmth between her legs; an itch that needed to be scratched, causing her to fidget and squirm a little. Patience. If she could manage 2 months without a man, then what difference were a few hours? It's would only make the release all the sweeter. As much as Lilly's body pushed her towards lewd cravings, she was determined to enjoy this bath as much as she could. Of course, she'd have a little hand with her pleasure.

Smirking to herself in quiet contemplation, Lilly's eyes scanned the bare, clinical room. It was all silvers and whites, reminding her of a hospital. It did, however, smell nice. There was a tang of chemical lemon, only just masking wet dog and Mark. His scent seemed to be everywhere to her sensitive nose, clinging like a stubborn morning mist. Mark smelled pleasant. There was no other way to explain it. Soft sweat and a brisk woody cologne, his smell was like a sharp, vibrant purple in her mind, if she were to put it in a way someone with a blunt nose would understand.

"Heh, facial..." Lilly giggled to herself again, bubbles gurgling to the surface, popping under her nose as she replayed the moment Mark's face fell in disbelief. She even blushed herself, a fresh surge of heat blossomed across her face. The memory triggered another twinge from between her legs.

"I wonder if he's actually interested?" The notion had snuck up on her, but she had thought of little else since getting here. She had surprised herself with how forceful and direct her urges had made her. Usually, she was softer in her seduction, letting her current fancy take the lead, hoping they would become a master she could serve faithfully. It really had been too long, forcing this woman to find her own satisfaction. Her eyes drifted towards Mark again. Hungry, penetrating eyes.

Shaking her head; trying to dislodge such fantasies and concentrate on making them a reality, Lilly grabbed the bottle of shampoo.

"Mark?" At the mention of his name, Mark jumped out of his concentration of re-arranging the products shelves in a stupor of OCD and focussed on Lilly.

"Could I get a hand please?" Lilly shook the bottle of shampoo for emphasis while attempting to purr her words, laying on a seductive edge. She wasn't sure if it worked or not.

Mark walked over, injecting a bit of confidence to his posture and accepted the bottle from her wet paw. His fingers lightly brushed her fur.

"If you could?" Lilly turned her back to him; looking over her shoulder, hoping he understood her intention, hopefully not giving him room to back out. A breeze from the window chilled her shoulders. Surprising given the warmth of the day. Marks strong hands would be quite welcome in an attempt to keep her warm.

They stared at each other, Lilly determined not to break eye contact as Mark pondered his options. What there was to deliberate over, Lilly couldn't work out. Here was a naked woman, willing someone to pet her... ahem... wash her hair and he just stood there dumb. If she tried to be less subtle, Lilly would be forced to just haul him into the bath. As if an eternity had passed, Mark finally decided what his next course of action would be.

Holding the bottle upside down, Mark gave the bottle a sharp, violent jerk before popping the cap and squeezing a generous dollop of thick, creamy white shampoo into his cupped hand, triggering a smirk from Lilly.

God! She desperately just wanted to pounce, throwing him to the ground. It was a wasted notion, knowing that she couldn't, unable to sum up that last spark of courage to drive herself forwards. She hadn't earned his affection; he wasn't Lilly's Master. Not yet anyway. Sighing, once again accepting the role of the patient damsel, envious of other girls who were able to act on their cravings.

"You want to close your eyes?" Mark's soft voice shook Lilly from her tangent.

"I hear it stings if you get some in your eyes." Obediently, Lilly closed her eyes, taking a deep breath to try and contain her anticipation. Lilly completely missed Mark’s prompt for an innuendo laden come back, not realising a girl like her didn’t like to waste a drop. It was also a bugger to get out of her fur, water just made it go stringy and sticky.

Gently, Mark's fingers rubbed the shampoo into her hair. The kneading was pleasant, comforting, mingling with the relaxing warmth of the water causing Lilly to all but melt into his hands.

Gradually Mark moved his attention to her ears. Scratching and tickling her tufts, rubbing the tips of her fluffy ears and giving them a light pinch. Her body betrayed any control she thought she had composed, drawing in a sharp intake of breath. The tingle of pleasure sent a shiver down her spine.

Lilly noted the shampoo did indeed have a pleasant floral aroma. A strange thought to pop into her head while she finally got to relish the touch of another upon her fur. It was unlike the carnal pleasure of sex, there was a greater intimacy that she couldn't put into words. She felt loved, wanted.

As Mark began to run his fingers through her hair, Lilly raised herself to stand, water running down her furred body like a waterfall and inviting Mark to continue downwards. Lilly hardly noticed the breeze on her body that caused the blinds to buffet and clack together. Her body had found its own source of warmth from within.

She loved the sensation as he slowly teased the shampoo into a thick foam. Some found such pleasure degrading, embarrassing even, but Lilly sighed with delight. A warming tingle prickled her skin.

Too soon, Mark's fingers came to the end of their trail, though Lilly could tell her hair was thick and laden with suds.

"Shoulders?" Lilly made her voice as sweet as possible, hoping it sounded more like a prompt than a command. In either case, she felt Mark's confident hands grasp her shoulders. The hesitance she had expected vanished as they worked her muscles in a familiar and practised routine.

As his hands flexed; caressing Lilly's collarbone while his thumbs kneaded her back in circular motions, he slowly slid them outwards to her shoulders before moving back towards her neck.

Unable to contain herself, the rising excitement caused her to pant slightly. Suddenly, both of Mark's thumbs assailed a particularly sensitive spot between her shoulder blades, producing a soft whimper from Lilly.

There was a brief pause in Mark's attentions before he resumed, his hands worked their way down her back, taking long, slow sweeps along her wet, silken fur. His fingers pressed into her coat, furrows of bliss dug into her as his hands meandered over the curves of her hips and waist.

Mark's firm grip on her luscious hips caused her breathing to become laboured with heavy sighs. This, however, was nothing to the ecstatic shiver that convulsed her body as he pressed his thumbs into the small of her back; just above her wagging tail, before tracing the ridges of her spine up towards her neck. Lilly let out a shuddering moan, knees quaking at the tantalising torture.

Realising her weak point, Mark carefully slid his hands down her furry flanks then assaulted her spine again, extracting louder whimpers and whines. Lilly was filled with a lewd embarrassment, but invited Mark to continue, arching her back into his eager, sensual hands.

Lilly surged with a giddy exhilaration as Mark leant in closer to her, but was soon disappointed as he slipped his hands to her stomach, careful not to jar her right arm.

Mark began working the suds into her fur, gently caressing the bare skin surrounding her navel. Though it was a subtle sensation from the previous lewdness, Lilly's enjoyment more no less diminished. The deep, gratifying massaging and rubbing of her stomach made her feel safe, secure and comforted. Slowly, her laboured breathing became controlled, reduce to a soft panting aroused from the intimacy.

Feeling that her fur was saturated with froth, Mark began to withdraw his hands. Lilly felt the situation demanded more; she desired more, her pent up emotions roiling within, reminded it had been so long since she last had a partner.

By instinct, her left paw rested on Mark's retreating hand. With a light grip on his wrist, she guided his hand up to her chest. His fingers naturally folded around her breast, cupping her flesh like a delicate flower.

Mark hesitated, Lilly could feel the unspoken question. She placed her petite paw over his large hand, her furry digits laced between his thick fingers and she squeezed, urging him to do likewise.

Boiling with anticipation, an eagerness rose within her, bubbling to the surface.

"Master?" She all but pleaded, her voice laden with desire, breath panting, in short, sharp puffs. She had lost all dignity, bowing before the might of the lustful daemoness that rose up within her mind, drawing power from her desperation. Desire had taken its hold, playing Lilly like a marionette.

Lilly shivered, a chill running through her body. She knew she was desperate, needing a release, but mostly needing attention. To be loved.

Mark's free hand, left out from her lewd intentions rested on her shoulder.

"You're cold!" Nothing like stating the obvious, Mark's voice carried genuine concern. He increased the pressure on her shoulder, slowly coaxing the forlorn Kobold back into the warmth of the water. Feeling defeated, the strings had been cut and the daemon banished with ease. Lilly knew she had no willpower, chastised herself for her own weakness and inability to follow through on her desires. Lilly released his hand from her flesh, nipples still erect from the chill and his touch.

Mark began to rinse her body, tenderly working the shampoo from her hair and fur. Lilly was conflicted, unable to tell if her advances had annoyed him. If she had been rejected or not. Wounded, close to tears, trying to comprehend the care and attention lavished on her, rebelling against her depression.

Really, what did she need to do!?

Her attention was drawn to Mark's fingers running through her hair again as he scratched behind her ears. Feeling silly, Lilly sat back, snuggling into his hands once again, willing to accept kindness when it was offered.

_

Almost there, honestly. If you've made this far, I believe you're doing well. I've procrastinated about this far too much, but I'm switching back to Mark. I couldn't make it work from Lilly's POV. I'd probably need to eat a copious amount of magic mushrooms and watch My Little Pony and Powerpuff Girls for a few days to get into the right fluffy frame of mind. Yes, that's a brilliant excuse!

_

Minutes passed while Mark's fingers worked their magic. Lilly sighed heavily, opening her eyes and shying from the brightness. The sunlight on the wall had turned a deep orange as the bath water began to cool.

It was unnerving seeing her so distraught. Mark never would have believed the deepness of Lilly's emotions given her annoyingly cheerful outlook. Guilt was currently kicking him in the kidneys, ashamed as to how he handled the situation. Well, he hadn't taken care of it at all, running away to bury his head in the sand had brought about this mess. It was time, to be honest with himself, not something he cared to do too often.

"Better?" He kept his voice soft, trying not to ruin the moment.

"Much better!" Lilly agreed, her tone was distant and airy unlike earlier but gave Mark the go-ahead to push onwards. Well, he could only try and cheer her up, it was his fault in a way, kinda maybe.

"You didn't really suit the pouty Emo look, but I could dye your hair if you wanted to give it a go. You may end up looking like a skunk, however."

Lilly just smiled, she appeared too weary to give a proper response, even a half-hearted one seemed out of her capabilities. Mark unfurled a large white towel which billowed outwards as he gave it a shake. Holding it open with a welcoming smile, Lilly made her way out of the bath, reluctant to abandon her immediate sanctuary of warmth.

Getting out was a clumsy affair, favouring her left paw made Lilly's movements awkward, and the wet fur only made things worse. Mark likened the display to a three-legged deer on ice. Again, her look of determined concentration, coupled with a hint of pout was too cute. Mark eventually offered his hand which she gratefully took with a wet paw. There was no flash of her crotch, no playful enticement to capture his attention.

Mark suddenly felt sick, the pit of his stomach dropping from him and swirling down a plug hole. He'd obviously fucked up, ignoring her pleading, desperation when she had offered herself to him. He could still remember the phantom traces of her furry breast in his hand. Too scared to commit himself to an action, his hand a clumsy lump of sausages stuck to the end of his arm.

The word 'Master' had hit him in a way that words shouldn't be able to. In his life, Mark had been called many things to the point where no insult seemed to have an effect on him anymore. Lilly shattered his composure by blindly entrusting herself to him. Like the coward that he was, Mark seized upon the opportunity to flee from responsibility. Ducking out with a lame and tenuous excuse then expecting everything would be happy and rosy afterwards. Well, too late for regrets now, though Mark believed this one may stay with him for a while. He'd just need to try and pick up what he could and salvage what little of his dignity that remained.

Maybe... maybe it was time to stop arsing about and just go for it. A quick reflection from the past hour or so didn't paint Mark in a great light. Mark strengthened his resolve or some other crap like that and decided to man up. It didn't take long, there wasn't really a lot of 'man' to 'up', but he felt a bit more confident.

Lilly stood before him, water dripping from her coat and hair. If Mark didn't know any better, this is the part when he tried to pin the dog with the towel to stop the upcoming...

Instinctively, Lilly gave herself a quick shake, spraying droplets of water towards Mark; the last of the sunlight forming a faint rainbow through the haze, while her tail whipped about aggressively. Thankfully Mark managed to shield himself with the towel through established reflexes more than anything else but was unable to cover his face in time. His sodden hair drooped in a foppish manner and clung to his splattered face as he grimaced, scrunching his eyes tight. After a brief pause, Mark dared to open his eyes.

A rather bashful looking Lilly; her fur puffed out from the undignified displayed, chewed her bottom lip as if awaiting a stern reprimand. The sight of Lilly proved to be the spark igniting a laugh from his stomach.

"Looks like I got the facial!"

Lilly finally broke, letting her melodic giggling flow freely while Mark dabbed his face and hair in an attempt to restore some order to himself. Seizing the opportunity to pounce while he was distracted, Lilly dived forward, throwing her arms around him, snatching the towel from his unresisting fingers and burying her face into his chest. Lilly nuzzled into him, inhaling his scent all over again and leaving a damp smear across his shirt while she relished the moist embrace. Well, maybe she's more resilient than Mark gave her credit for.

Like a Tiger being attacked by a kitten, Mark found himself stupefied by the maniacal cuddling. He gathered up the towel that was now pinned between their bodies and wrapped his arms around Lilly's petite naked frame. She had become entombed within the soft cotton as he returned the hug. Without the encumberment of thought that so often got in the way of the important things, Mark tilted his head forward and planted a kiss on Lilly's forehead.

Everything stopped. Mark froze in place wondering if he'd just done something stupid, Lilly stiffened in his arms with a gasp. Even the clock on the wall stopped it's annoyingly repetitive ticking to watch with interest. Mark never did like that clock; as if it was the clocks fault he was careless and distracted. He could sense a hammer-related incident in the very near future.

Carried away with the joyous intimacy of the moment, Mark acted as if Lilly was his partner. There was a fine line between picking up the pieces and trampling them into the ground while trying to do good. Mark supposed he was about to find out if glue would be of any help. Much like the time he sent a sexually suggestive message to his mother when her own text had interrupted a sexting session with his Girlfriend. Well, it's done now. Just need to run with it. It didn't stop it from being any less embarrassing and debilitating.

Soft, almost a whisper, Lilly mumbled into his chest.

"Master?" There was an edge to her voice, not quite pleading, though it had a stronger emotional force greater than hope alone. Looks like his clumsily retarded action may actually pay off. Mark new he often thought too much, this would stand as evidence to that theory until he does something stupidly impulsive. Mark gave it ten minutes, maybe fifteen.

Lilly certainly seemed keen on the idea of Mark being her Master. It had been pretty apparent from within five minutes of being here, but given most monsters were like that it almost went without saying. He worried that it was her desperation talking, that it would all end in a clusterfuck, but really, there was no point in worrying about the future. The only possible downsides he could see were clinginess and shedding. She was cute, endearing... wait a minute!

Yelling and cursing drifted from the back of his mind. The things that were being shouted ranged from unpleasant too downright obscene. Grumpily, his brain made its report as to what Mark should be focussing on then stamped off to its dark little nicotine stained cubby, keeping the most useful parts of the body in check. Mark had been too wrapped up in his own pink cloud and personal guilt trip to notice a seemingly little detail.

"So, how's that arm of yours?"

This time, it was only Lilly's tail that stiffened, jutting straight out from her rear, lifting the towel draped across her back, before wilting down and curling between her legs. She whined as she pushed herself back far enough to look into Mask's face. Her large, doleful eyes stared back at him, fidgeting on the spot as a sure sign of her guilt. Caught red um... pawed.

"Eh... hydrotherapy... y'know... healed it up quicker!?" Neither Lilly's face nor voice carried enough conviction to let that float.

"Is that so? Maybe I have healing hands. A little rub here and a little prod there and bingo. Cured!" Sarcasm started to creep into Mark's voice. He wasn't angry as such, a bit peeved that he'd been manipulated and that he'd felt guilty, not to mention the constant flapping of his fickle emotions.

"Well, I know a few things you could cure with a rub and a prod..." There was the suggestive comment Mark had been hoping for. Lilly even had the audacity to look sheepish before dropping the facade with a coy little grin.

"You didn't have a sore wrist did you."

"I did. Didn’t you see the sling?" She fell back on 'Seeing is believing' for her argument. A good angle to run with. Time to start being the kind of arsehole Mark was good at being.

"Aww, did the horny little puppy get wankers whiplash?"

"Yes! No! Well uh... I um..." Finally, Mark had extracted genuine embarrassment and found a sadistic glee in watching her squirm.

"Let me rephrase that. Your sore wrist was nothing, but a terminological inexactitude and has all been a cunning ruse. Correct?"

Somehow, Mark managed to keep his face straight and his voice serious. Inside he was grinning like a Cheshire Cat and feeling equally mischievous. The devious little bitch actually got him.

Lilly's brow furrowed as she tried to work out exactly what Mark said. He took great delight when she idly raised her apparently damaged paw to her mouth and nibble on her furred index finger.

"Yeeess?"

"So you admit that you lied to me! I'm hurt you would deceive me so. Who's been a bad girl?" His voice stern as if he was actually scolding a puppy. All that he was missing was batting a rolled newspaper on her nose. A quick glance around the room didn't highlight any papery things that could be rolled up for added effect. Shame.

"Me." Lilly whimpered and went limp in Mark's arms. She hung her head as if ashamed, her forehead thumping into his chest. Mark leant forward getting ready to explain a ridiculous array of punishments she could choose from when Lilly sprang, uncoiling like a spring. Her head smashed into his jaw, his teeth rattled together, nipping his poor tongue while a jolt of pain ripped through his skull. Karma you bastard!

"Don't do that to me. I'm not a bad girl!" She whined, pouting as she began to petulantly bat her paws against his chest, completely oblivious to the prior blitz.

"Hey, what's wrong?" The maniacal puppy assault ceased, Lilly placed her paws on Mark's tense shoulders as he stood with both hands clamped around his mouth, breathing through his teeth so as not to let rip with a barrage of expletives. Not that it did any good of course. His tongue throbbed and ached, a coppery taste confirming that he was bleeding. He slowly lowered his hands, balled into fists as he tried to look at her without the sudden anger that surged through his veins. It wasn't her fault, he knew that, but it did remove the need to lash out at something.

"Ah, your bleeding!" Lilly's face went from inquisitive to concerned in a flash. Her paws gripped Mark's shoulders, hoisting herself up onto her tiptoes, bringing her face inches away from his. Her breath was warm as it puffed out against him. Lilly's broad, pink tongue darted out, curling around his chin before being dragged up to the edge of his mouth. It rasped over his stubble. She licked him again, then a third time before inspecting for any more injuries. Satisfied, she lowered herself down with a happy smile.

It was impossible to remain angry with her after such a cute, yet disturbingly sensual display. Mark sighed through his nose, not willing to open his mouth to speak until he was sure the bleeding had stopped. As tempting as it was to let her go to town, it felt a bit too manipulative, even for him. He settled for tussling her hair. On cue, Lilly snuggled into his hand eagerly, humming to herself, eyes closed in bliss. Her ears were perked up, and her tail wagged enthusiastically.

"Now, I think it'd be best if you finished drying yourself and maybe putting some clothes on."

The fluffy towel sat in a forgotten, crumpled heap at her feet. Mark had expected a flurry of motion, even hoping for a furtive glance or bashful squeak. Instead, Lilly ran her paws down her body, slowly meandering along the curves of her breast and hips. Grinning, Lilly turned her back on Mark, flicking her hair with a flourish, the silky strands brushing his face. His nose itched and tickled, twitching in a way that made him feel like a rabbit.

Lilly slowly bent over, reaching out for the towel. In a display of flexibility that caused Mark's tendons to wince, she placed both paws on the floor, arching her back, presenting her curvaceous rear to him. Deliberately, her tail ran up the inside of his leg, coming to nestle against his crotch.

Speechless and flustered, a state Mark found himself at the mercy of too much this evening, he stared in awe at the sublime spectacle before him. Temptations from earlier welled up within, clambering at the dam of his bashful uncertainty, looking for a breach. Lilly casually glanced over her shoulder, her grim flowing into a smirk. The dam cracked, desire began to trickle through, seizing control of his arm, bringing it down hard on her rump with a satisfying slap.

"Waahhhnnn! Master?"

"Fetch me the towel, then go and get dressed. Someone has to clean up your mess." His voice became strict and commanding again, enough that her tail and ears drooped, visibly unsure if he was serious or not. Mark struggled to keep a straight face again, but it was time for a little bit of revenge. Caught in the heat of his glare, Lilly grabbed the towel, clutching it to her chest protectively.

"Here's Masters towel. I've... been a bad girl?" Lilly dared not look at his face, her eyebrows twitched as she tried to sneak a glance without him noticing. It had all the subtlety of a brick. Damn, she was just too cute! Mark just wanted to whisk her into his arms again and pet her while she nuzzled into him. If it hadn't been for his borderline OCD going spare about the floor being flooded; really it was just a little bit of water, but his subconscious was manning lifeboats and get ready to bail out, his act would have melted in seconds.

Accepting the towel, Mark brushed passed her without a word and began to empty the bath and wipe up the aftermath of her exuberance. Lilly stood there for a bit, her paws laced together as she fidgeted. She wanted to say something, but the words just wouldn't come. The change had happened so fast. Did she go too far? She padded over to her bag, her tail had curled between her legs. If getting dressed with a tail didn't already have its difficulties, doing so with an unruly tail was even more frustrating.

Mark busied himself with cleaning, talking Mr Compulsion into accepting a quick wipe down. He positioned himself so that he could watch Lilly, read her reaction and posture. He may have been a bit excessive and hard on her. She really was an open book. Her sincerity made her easy to manipulate, prompting Mark to wonder how many had taken advantage of her before. He caught her looking over from time to time, biting her lip and tapping her fingers together exposing her discomfort as if a neon sign displayed her emotions.

Fuck it that'll do! Mark just couldn't be arsed anymore. Any inclination towards doing a good job had gone out the window, his good friend Mr Apathy smothering the bitching from Mr Compulsion with a clean, crisp pillow. It's how he would've wanted to go.

It had been a long day, far more emotional than Mark was comfortable with. He threw the towel towards the washing basket and succeeded in hitting the floor several feet before it.

"Useless tosser." He mumbled to himself as he punted the towel into the basket with more force than was necessary. That'll show it, bloody disobey me.

Lilly sat on one of the few stools in the room, looking like quite the modern day princess in his mind. Mark obviously had a pretty low estimation as to how a princess, modern or otherwise, would be expected to look. Beautiful would have been a better adjective, but each to his own. She had changed into quite a modest denim skirt, stopping just above her fluffy knees and a black top that clung to her curves. Two white paw prints stretched over her breasts and the slogan 'Doggy Style' was emblazoned underneath. Her hair had been bundled together and thrown over her shoulder as she gently ran a brush through her golden strands.

Mark leant against the counter, drumming his fingers on the worktop. It produced a metallic, tinny thrum as he idly gazed at Lilly.

"Well, bugger!" It was safe to say realisation had finally dawned on Mark. It took its time, slowly working through the myriad of doubts and selfish concerns but it got there in the end. At some point, between her forcing his hand onto her chest and the stab of frustration at being manipulated then assaulted, Mark's brain had sent a signal saying this would be a good time to try and secure her affections.

Mark found himself at the disadvantage of being himself. Quite a handicap in his book. Usually, someone would just go and ask the girl if she was interested in dinner, cinema, etc. in an attempt to get to know one another. He, however, didn't seem to work like that. They were already on speaking terms, but Mark felt the situation needed something a bit more than 'Want to go for dinner' or words to that effect.

Lightbulb. A quote echoed in his mind 'I have a cunning plan!'

Maybe not as cunning as a Kitsune, but probably ingenious enough to grab the attention of an energetic, flirtatious and somewhat gullible Kobold. A few hasty preparations while trying to remain discreet, Mark sauntered over to Lilly, brimming with quiet confidence. His shoes tapped on the tiled floor causing Lilly's ears to swivel towards the sound. She stopped her grooming, turning to face Mark with a tinge of apprehension. 

"You want a hand?" Mark nodded towards the brush, not giving Lilly a chance to answer before plucking it from her unresisting paw. He curled his hand around her mass of hair, fingers resting on Lilly's neck, before gently coaxing it towards her back. The light shimmered off her locks as it spilt down her back. Lilly shivered as his fingertips caressed her neck, her breath catching for a moment. Mark began to run his fingers through her hair, trying to snare any knots or tangles as he followed with the brush which glided through with ease.

"I know a number of women that would kill to have hair like yours. Better watch you don't get scalped." Lilly's answer was a distracted 'Hmm'. She really did enjoy getting petted, quite apparent by the continual batting of her tail against his leg. Just another cute little piece of her personality. Mark found playing with her hair quite relaxing. It even gave him ideas of braiding it, something that he pushed deep down into the cluttered depths of his mind. He was not a hairdresser. Seeing Lilly take such pleasure from something so mundane gave Mark a warm, fuzzy feeling. Just like the smell of oranges brought about nostalgic Christmas memories in a sickly sweet sepia flashback.

Satisfied that her hair shimmered to the radiant standard, Mark set the brush on the worktop and retrieved the collar. He carefully looped the strip of leather around her slender neck, the tag chiming as it clinked and swayed with the motions of his hands. Mark pulled the strap through the buckle, noting the crease in the worn leather where it frequently fastened. It was obviously too big, hanging loosely around her neck even on the last hole. It suited her, tweaking his arousal. A bit like a girl wearing only a t-shirt that was three sizes too big for her.

"I believe you're are done, Madame. If you'd just like to collect the rosette for best in show..."

"Hey!" Lilly spun around on the stool, hair flying outwards. She directed a pout and scowl in his direction, the cuteness of her reaction robbed any heat from her supposed anger.

"Well, you could at least collect the bill." Mark handed Lilly a small, folded slip of paper. Lilly's jaw opened, crestfallen at the sudden finality of the evening, her brash dismissal crushing any hopes she may have harboured. Her eyes were pained, betrayal clung to her posture like a vast cloud.

She accepted the paper as if it was a live bomb, pinching it between her furry thumb and forefinger. Slowly, she unfolded the offending slip. In an instant, she bounded from the stool, causing it to fly backwards and topple, crashing to the ground with a loud ding, as her legs pushed off the foot rest. This, in turn, caused Lilly's attempted glomp to flounder, flopping outwards rather than forwards. The surprise on her face was matched with a squeak before Mark's arms caught her, pulling her into a heartfelt embrace.

There was no warning. No chance for Mark to brace for impact. Not even the courtesy of a Geronimo! Lilly pulled herself up, wrapping her legs around his waist as her broad, warm and moist tongue caressed his cheek in her giddy excitement. Mark was forced to grab onto her rump or risk both of them collapsing into the ground, fingers sinking into her supple flesh while her tail wagged furiously.

Her tongue brushed Mark's lips as their eyes met. They paused, wrapped up in the moment. Lilly took it for granted that Mark would understand and gave a grin. Needing little else in the way of encouragement, Mark leant in, their lips met. Lilly's pink lips were beautifully soft, Mark worried that his would feel dry and rough.

The kiss started off tenderly as they embraced. Mark tucked an arm fully under Lilly's backside to support her weight, sliding his free hand up her back to entwine in her hair and pet the back of her head, tussling the freshly brushed hair. Lilly's breathing quickened and Mark's followed her rhythm, inhaling her scent.

Slowly, Lilly's mouth opened, letting out a heavy sigh as her tongue gently probed Mark's mouth, questing out his tongue. They slithered and wrestle against one another in lewd, damp slurps. Lilly's long, dexterous tongue almost wrapping around his. Her paws kneaded and rubbed Mark's broad back, her legs tightened their grasp around his waist, wanting to pull him in closer.

Grabbing a handful of her silken hair, Mark pulled, urging Lilly to break the kiss with some reluctance. Her breath puffed out in short, sharp gasps, pink tongue lolling out with a look of pleasure. She'd need groomed again, not that either of them would mind of course. With a final parting gift, Mark sucked Lilly's bottom lip into his mouth, nipping the supple flesh and releasing it with a wet smack as Lilly whimpered.

There was an urge to kiss her cheek, nibble down her neck, taste her for himself. Surprisingly, there was also a desire to savour this chance with Lilly. Too often a night of passion had ended abruptly in the morning, waking up to a cold, empty bed, traces of perfume and sex a short-lived memory.

Mark would be the first to admit he was a bit of a manwhore. There was little in the way of pride when it came to carnal pleasure, but recently he yearned for something more, to lose the empty feeling between bouts of passionate lust that never truly sated him. In short, feeling a bit like a girl if he was honest with himself, he wanted things to move a bit slower. Mark felt, hoped that Lilly would be that chance.

Patience. Even if Lilly was champing at the bit, he was sure she could wait a few hours. There was a distraction he was sure would work, while hinting at his own intentions.

"Well? Are you willing to settle the bill?" He gently lowered Lilly to the ground and began to smooth out her tussled hair, it really would need another comb. He settled for giving her another hug, wrapping his hand around her waist and pulling her in close.

"Really!?" Chirping excitedly, Mark was surprised she hadn't exploded with this sudden surge of energy.

"Really. Can't have all my hard work in making you looking pretty and nowhere to go." Mark nodded, unable to keep the grin off his face.

"Where?" Lilly had managed to wriggle out from the hug, clinging to his arm which was sandwiched in between her soft breasts. Her tail resumed its frantic assault on his legs, causing the tags on her collar to jingle as her entire body shook with exuberance as she propelled him towards the door.

"Woah-hoho there. First, park your arse in that stool again so I can sort out your hair. God knows what you did to it?" They both grinned, thinking it would be good to make a fine tangle sometime soon.

Mark busied himself with straightening up his mess, running a comb through Lilly's glossy hair until it shimmered again. Sunset over a tranquil lake. Maybe even a few panpipes in the background. Why were panpipes synonymous with tranquillity? To her credit, Lilly sat obediently as he worked, though she tried her best to lever any information she could get out of him with her expected lack of discretion. She would tense with anticipation if Mark made the slightest indication he was going to drop a hint then fidget and whine when he left her hanging.

"There. Pretty again!"

"So? You gonna tell me, are ya?" She re-attached herself onto Mark's arm, cushioned by her soft mounds. The sensation was comfortably thrilling. He doubted it was a feeling that would ever grow old.

"Well, I know this great BBQ place. You can fill yourself with as much meat and bones as you wish!"

Lilly squealed with delight, clutching his arm to her chest tighter as she nuzzled into his shoulder.

"Will there be... seconds?" Lilly's honeyed voice dripped seduction, her words caressing his arousal.

"Well, that depends if you're a good girl or not."

Patience, he told himself. This horny bitch wasn't making it easy for him, but it was worth a shot. There was also the little matter that he was starving. Not literally, but his stomach had done something with those butterflies from earlier. Maybe it was like that 'You eat three spiders in your lifetime' kinda thing? In any case, Lilly seemed happy, surprising Mark with his own contentment.

He never did understand the whole 'making others happy was the path to your own happiness' bollocks, but Mark was; if nothing else, open-minded when pushed. Well, prodded with a sharp stick, but he'd give it a go.

_

Their voices faded as they left, the front door clicking behind them. Mark only just managed to reign in Lilly long enough to lock up before she dragged him away down the street. The wind blew a plastic bag past the front of the shop, rolling like a tumbleweed in an old Western. Minutes had passed before they appeared again, walking past the salon in the opposite direction, Lilly having chosen a direction at random then set off determinedly.

Mr Clock hung on the wall, straining to see what was written on the discarded piece of paper on the floor.  It would have been much easier if the minute hand didn't obscure his left eye. This whole lack of depth-perception was a pain in the arse. If he had an arse, that is. Technically, he wasn't even a he, unlike those stuck up Grandfather Clocks with their big saggy ball-pendulums. However, Mr Clock appreciated the female form in all its varieties, he could go down the lesbian route, but Mr felt like the right title for himself.

"Pretty sure that's 'Dinner'." Well, that explains the girl's sudden explosion of happiness. Really, if Mark hadn't been such a faggot, Mr Clock might have gotten to see some proper action. At least she was cute and had a cracking set of tits!

"Oh well." He ticked, that was pretty much his job. Sometimes he'd make himself a little fast, other times a little slow, just to mix things up. God, he was bored.

"Everyone one is an asshole- bugger!"

That song would be stuck in his head cogs all night now. Mr Clock continued to grumble to himself, mostly incoherent complaints regarding Mark's taste in music. Nothing we need concern ourselves with, after all, it is just a clock.

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