Shine: Chapter Eleven

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“Thanks for staying last night,” Emily said, toes digging into the sand. She hadn’t gone in the water, but she wore her bikini anyway as a precautionary measure. They didn’t really have a beach, not enough sand and not enough room, but there were sandy areas beneath the rocks that sometimes sufficed at low tide. It was enough for Drago to sprawl out, anyway, and it reminded her of a cat sunning himself. Or maybe he was just enjoying no longer being trapped in the cramped bathtub.

It really was a very large bathtub. He was just larger, was all.

“I like you,” he said, as if that fact spoke for itself. He’d been very understanding about the whole thing, even though she knew she could be a handful when she was drunk.

“I like you, too,” she said, and he smiled. He was resting on his stomach, arms curled beneath his head, giving her a spectacular view of his back. And his back was spectacular. Slowly she inched closer to him, adjusting her legs to kneel beside him; he watched her lazily, unmoving except for the idle sway of the fin at the end of his tail. “Can I?” she asked, hands hesitating as they hovered above his skin. He hummed an affirmation, and she ran her fingers over a stripe along his ribs. He continued to hum, and she narrowed her eyes suspiciously. “What are you saying?”

So like a cat, but his grin was wolfish, full of shark’s teeth. “Hard to translate,” he said, and she was not sure that she believed him.

“Was it something nice?” she pressed, hands sliding higher to feel the edges of his shoulderblades and the valley of his spine. Touching him in earnest made her realize that his skin was not as rough here as she’d expected; she hadn’t noticed that, before. Not like his forearms, not like his scales.

I think so,” he said, which was both reassuring and intriguing. Her hands slid lower, to the transitory space between skin and scales. He moved without urgency to rise on his arms, prop his head on a hand so that he could see her better. He flared out the fin and the spines along the back of his tail, and she blinked in surprise.

“Goodness,” she said, letting her hands leave him briefly before tentatively touching one of his spines. Large, like the rest of him, and even if she splayed out her fingers they could not come near to spanning the length or the width of it. “You can feel it?” she asked, because she really couldn’t tell. The spines seemed like bone and the fins were so thin that she could not imagine where he hid things like blood and nerve endings. He hummed another affirmation, something soft in his expression as he watched her examination of him. “Does it feel good?”

“It does not hurt,” he said noncommittally. Which, she supposed, meant it also didn’t feel particularly nice. Nerve endings, but maybe not many. She ran her hand along his scales, instead, and he gave a sudden noisy purr that almost startled her.

“Good?” she teased, well aware of the answer.

“Maybe a little,” he said, as if he were not even then rumbling faintly. She ran her hands lower and then higher, harder and then gentler, trying to pinpoint what made him purr the loudest. She wondered what it must feel like to have scales, if they felt numb or sensitive or itchy. She rolled her fingers firm along the scales beside his fin, and he did not just purr but shivered. When she let him go he rolled sideways, took her by the wrist to pull her closer. She giggled as she kissed him, delighted by the thought that she could drive him even half as crazy as he drove her. She laced her fingers with his, and that always pleased him, made him kiss her more fiercely as her palm pressed to his.

Her other hand ran along his chest, down along his musculature until she could feel scales again. His mouth left hers, fingers untangled as he reached suddenly for the hand that wandered. “Ah—no.” He said it more like a warning than a request, gently trying to coax her hand away.

“No?” Her brow furrowed in confusion, though she didn’t try to touch him without his permission. “Would I hurt you?”

The sound he made was neither a rumble nor a purr, and she couldn’t quite place it. “Not—not hurt, no,” he said, a faint flush darkening the skin around his stripes.

… huh.

She looked down between them, pulling away to see him better. Now that she was looking—really looking, no longer embarrassed to be caught—she could see the faint line through his scales, an easily overlooked seam. It was not as high as she might have expected, nearer to the middle of his lap, but she still did not think she was mistaking what it was.

Did that mean he was actually…?

Her eyes met his again, her hands hovering between them. “Can I?” she asked again, and though he hesitated he took his hands away. This time both her hands slid lower, brushed her fingertips gently along the edge. His fingers dug into the sand as his fins flared outward, his purr a loud and rolling thing. She felt emboldened enough to try stroking him outright, but pulled her hands away when it… moved.

“Oh. Oh! So that’s where your—oh.”

Drago definitely had a penis. That was definitely, unmistakably what that was. Even if it was a bit on the blue side. And the… stripey. Spirally. Ribbed. Side.

There were a lot of very large sides and there was a lot going on with all of them.

She reached out to touch him, as gentle as she could, scared to hurt him. She didn’t know why she was so worried that she would, except that the way it jutted out between the opening in his scales made it look so much more an organ. Something delicate, something dark.

“Emily,” he said, his voice a low growl, and she watched his face as her fingers wrapped around the length. He was watching her in turn, his eyes wide and his face flushed.

“Good?” she asked.

He opened his mouth, but the sounds that emerged the first time were not ones that she could understand, low guttural sounds. “Good,” he managed finally. Her grip tightened, and he thrust into her fingers with a growl. The ridged shape of him felt strange against her palm as she stroked him. When her hand slid down to the base of it, pressed against his scales, his entire body seemed to roll. His spine arched, hips bucked, tail curled.

“Oh, you really like that,” she said, unable to help the way she grinned. The way he moved had hair tumbling over his shoulders, and his every gasp for air was a purr, thrumming beneath her fingers. “You’re kind of at my mercy, huh?”

Again he struggled to say something that she would understand, sharp points of his teeth visible as his jaw worked. Her hand did not stop moving, and soon enough he’d given up, humming instead of grasping for words that did not come naturally to him. She remembered the way he’d touched her beneath the pier, gentle and persistent and demanding nothing. That was what she wanted to do for him, wanted to make him feel the way she’d felt. She wanted…

Well. It was one thing for an attractive man to tell her she was pretty. It was another to have him saying her name with his cock in her hand.

Emily moved lower so that she could straddle his tail, ignoring the discomfort of sand sticking to her knees. She had not let him go, but he seemed to have a moment of brief concern as she settled herself. The fins at his hips, she recalled, made straddling him a tricky business. “Don’t worry,” she said, as gently as she could. “I’ll be careful.”

He didn’t seem to have the focus necessary to protest, so he fell back, hair falling in curls against the sand as his chest rose and fell. She wondered if anyone else had touched him this way, other women beneath the sea. Or other anyone. Or just himself.

She didn’t think she was ready to go asking him about his masturbatory habits just yet, outdoor handjobs or no.

Her grip loosened, lightly stroking along the strange ridges with her fingertips, exploratory. It was sort of fascinating, how similar it was to anatomy she recognized while still being entirely distinct. Delicate stripes were darker near the base, grew lighter until they disappeared in the upward spiral of it. She ran her thumb over the head, and he hummed something that sounded oddly familiar in its tone. It reminded her, she realized, of cursing.

Maybe cursing sounded completely different in his language. She had a hunch it didn’t.

“I hope you’re saying nice things about me,” she said, a note of warning as her fingers wrapped around him again.

“Always,” he managed eventually, between groans and rumbling purrs of pleasure. His voice was strained in both languages, and she liked the way that it sounded.

Experimentally she leaned a little lower, a little closer. Her knees dug into the sand on either side of him, her breasts nearly touching his scales, and after a moment of deliberation she ventured a long and langourous lick.

He tasted… like skin, mostly. Skin, and the sea, saltwater and slick. She did not think it was a particularly deft or skillful maneuver, since she was just testing the waters, but Drago’s body rolled as he growled and the force of his rumbling had him practically vibrating in her hand. He rose up on his elbows again to look at her, his expression mingling incredulity and awe and desire. So she did it again, bottom to top with her tongue flat and wide, and she watched his face while she did it. He watched her in turn, an intensity in his gaze; his humming and even his purring had stopped, like he was holding his breath.

Emily couldn’t recall a single boyfriend who’d ever looked at her like that. Not even in high school, secret virgins feigning experience they did not have. Drago was guileless, free with his affections and his awe.

She thought that she might kind of love him for it.

Her lips wrapped around his shaft, slid lower as she sucked. His purring resumed full-force, growling and humming and thrumming as his claws dug into the sand, cock twitched and tail rocked. He was trying not to thrust, and it probably did not even occur to him that it might ever be acceptable to thrust into his lover’s mouth. His tail nonetheless curled up beneath her, scales sliding between her legs, and involuntarily she ground against the contact.

Until that moment, she hadn’t realized how aroused it had made her to touch him this way, to see him like this. She simply hadn’t thought of herself as that kind of person, if she thought about it at all. But the pressure of hard muscle between her legs was electric, shot straight through her and made her realize that she was enjoying herself.

She slid her mouth from his skin just long enough to speak, hand still wrapped around him. “I wish I could understand you,” she sighed, pouting shamelessly before she resumed her ministrations. His tail stayed curled, and she continued to grind against it; it really didn’t seem like it should have been as effective as it was. She knew better than to think that she could fit the whole of him in her mouth, so she kept her hand around him to follow the motion of her lips instead.

“You are amazing,” he translated, with no small amount of effort. It was her turn to hum happily, though she was not convinced that he could feel it in the grand scheme of things. Or that he could even hear her, when he was so noisy all on his own. “Beautiful,” he said, and she would have smiled if her mouth weren’t full. “Lovely, wonderful Emily.”

She couldn’t help it: the hand not on his cock slid between her legs, beneath fabric to press fingers more firmly against her clit. The friction of her lips against the ridges of his cock felt strange and yet satisfying, and arousal let her take him to the back of her throat, a sea of sensation suppressing her gag reflex.

She’d been so determined to watch him, to drink in every detail of his response to her touch. All that was forgotten in the face of her own pleasure, overwhelmed by everything that he was. Scales against her skin, muscles and sand, rolling drums of sound that filled her ears and that she could feel against her her tongue. His every unconscious motion seemed to ripple through her, aware of everything and wanting more.

Her mouth left him as her back arched away from him, the sudden tension of imminent climax, toes curling in sand and her mouth wide as she gasped for air. Her hand’s grip on his cock tightened, and much to her surprise he came alongside her. Or, rather. On her. She flinched even as fireworks shot from her brain to her nerve endings.

“Sorry,” he croaked, and she giggled at his chagrin, cracking one eye open but leaving the other shut as a precaution.

“Don’t be sorry,” she said, releasing him to try and wipe as much of the stickiness as she could from her skin. She opened both eyes carefully, eyelashes fluttering as she tested that nothing had gotten anywhere that it shouldn’t. Her fingers were a mess of white pearlescence, and without thinking she licked at it.

Yup. That sure was semen.

She didn’t know what she’d been expecting, honestly. Candy-flavored ejaculate seemed like it would be gilding the ribbed-for-her-pleasure lily.

Emily.” He sounded so scandalized that she started laughing again, then met his gaze quite deliberately when she did it again.

“You don’t like it?” she asked, feigning innocence.

He sighed, running a hand through his hair. His cock was receding back into his body, to disappear behind muscle and scale. “You are strange,” he said finally, and she laughed again.

“What! You don’t get to call me weird now, that’s rude.”

“I like you. And I like strange.”

“Hmm.” She looked down at herself, feeling stickier and messier than she actually was. She looked out past the sand. “Would it be weird to wash this off in the water? Or would that be gross?”

Drago raised an eyebrow. “That is where it usually goes,” he shrugged.

“Ew!” Emily made a face. “Drago! That’s not—people swim in there! You can’t just be jizzing into the sea, that’s terrible.” He sat upright then so that he could kiss her, no concern at all for what a mess she may have been. Then he grinned.

“Who will tell the whales?”

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