Thank you for reading! Me and my coauthor Darinost are gradually combining forces and blogs, so the joint comment section for our stories is currently located on discord! Come on in and let us know what you thought, we don’t bite.
The room that the goblins brought Jessica to was a cheerful and well lit nightmare.
There were three other women in the room, all of them naked and possessing ears and tails that marked them as kitsune. They looked young and pretty and miserable as they were swarmed over by a horde of eager goblins. There were at least fifty of the creatures filling the long room that appeared to be their barracks; some of the goblins still wore pieces of their guard uniform, but most were naked as they tormented their captives. Those who weren’t directly involved had gathered around to watch and laugh and encourage the others in their sadism.
One of the goblins was riding atop the back of a fox woman on all fours, one hand holding her jaw open by the chin and the other plugging her nose with two stubby fingers. Jessica was fairly certain that she had black hair, but it was difficult to be sure because her face and head were both so drenched in her captors’ sticky seed. “Who will help friend learn to suck next?” he encouraged, even as another goblin jerked himself off into her open mouth and spurted the last few drops onto her slime covered cheeks. “Tight throat and soft tongue. Say ahh, foxy, show them what a good fuckhole you will have for them.”
When she didn’t respond, he released her jaw and shoved his hand into her mouth instead, choking her on his fingers. “Is foxy too stupid to say ahh?” he wondered out loud as she gagged and tried futilely to turn her head away from him. “I am happy to help with that. Just remove all teeth, pop pop pop, and foxy will have a wonderful fuckhole no matter how stupid she is!” He yanked the fingers of his other hand out of her nose so that he could press his thumb against her back of her front molars. “Pop pop pop, one at a time, easy and fun! Ready?”
“AAaaaaaAAAAAaaaaahhh” she screamed into his fingers, and the goblin laughed.
“Stupid foxy learned to say ahh?” She nodded quickly, still moaning out the sound. “Doesn’t want to waste time with pop pop pop when she could be sucking yummy goblin cum out of yummy goblin cocks?” Another frantic nod. “Good foxy. Go ahead.”
He removed his fingers from his throat and plugged her nose again. She immediately out a nasally “ahhhhhhhh”. “Stick out tongue too,” the goblin said cheerfully, and she obeyed. “Good, good, good.” Two of the watching goblins came over and laid their fat cockheads on her outstretched tongue, and her eyes crossed as she looked down at both of them.
“Too much?” the goblin riding her asked with mock concern. “Pesky teeth getting in the way of enjoying yummy goblin cock?” The fox woman shook her head and pushed her head down onto their shafts, stretching her lips wide to fit both of them in at the same time. Drool ran out of her mouth as she sucked loudly on both heads and meekly lapped the underside of both shafts. “Now there’s a good foxy friend,” her rider crooned. “So eager to stuff her face with goblin meat and get happy white presents for her belly.”
It was immediately apparent that her two rapists were more interested in her throat than her mouth. They took turns at first, letting her swallow one goblin’s cock while the other smacked his wet shaft against her cheeks or groped her breasts. But this could not satisfy them for long, and soon both of their cockheads were in her mouth again and they each gripped one of her sensitive fox ears. “Do not worry,” one of them said. “We have done this many, many times, with many friends’ throats. Lots of practice. This will not hurt the two of us at all.”
Following some unseen cue, both goblins gave her ears a sharp twist at the same time. The kitsune screamed in pain, and the cry immediately became a muffled gurgle as they tugged those ears and smacked the entrance of her throat against their cocks. “Do not worry if this takes time,” one of them told her as they both strained. “We will have years and years to play with our furry cumsock friend from now on. And the tighter our friend’s throat is to enter, the more fun we will have when we are inside.” His companion nodded.
There was an ugly popping noise as something in the kitsune’s jaw shifted, and then both cocks were lodged in her throat, their owners looking delighted at their success. “See how good you already are at taking goblin cock?” one said as they kept pulling, the woman’s eyes wide and hopeless as she watched their shafts disappearing between her lips. “Just imagine how amazing you will be after the first decade. We have friends who please eight, nine goblins at the same time, with holes and hands and feet and chest. You will be just like them eventually: a happy, cum soaked goblin pincushion.”
On the other side of the room, a tall, well muscled blonde knelt with her head down and her ass in the air as goblins took turns spanking it. None of the women had all nine of their tails, but hers in particular looked to have all been chewed off, leaving only small ragged stumps behind. Her flesh was already bright red from her thighs all the way up to her lower back, but it seemed like they were just getting started. Her position wasn’t voluntary; ropes were wrapped around her limbs and neck to hold her in place, and from the way she tensed and shifted, she was still actively fighting against them. “Foxy is so generous,” one of the goblins said as he slapped his open palm against her with a meaty smack. “Wants all her friends to have nice tender cheeks to enjoy while they play with her.”
“Just one word, foxy,” said another. “When you cannot wait any longer, one word and we will be inside you. Until then…” he reared back and put his entire body weight into his slap. “We keep giving you pretty red ass.”
Every blow, light or sharp, was making her flinch in pain as her flesh shifted to a dark red and bruises began to show. The goblins gave her no warning when they switched to smacking her with leather belts instead, and she let out a surprised yelp of pain when the first strip of leather smacked her posterior. “Ooh, foxy likes the belt,” said the one who’d swung it. “Likes her sweet leather kisses.” The air whistled as he swung it again even harder, and she let out a louder yelp when it struck her exposed asshole.
“Puh…” she gasped finally, after they’d begun lashing her slit along with everything else. “Puh lee…”
“Yes?” said one goblin eagerly. “Does fox finally want us to please us with her tender ass and hot insides?”
“Puh… please go… fuck yourselves,” the blonde panted. “And if you’re gonna… hit me… try putting some power into it… be happy to demonstrate…” Her comments seemed to crack some of their cheerful exterior, and their next few lashes were louder and sharper than ever, but she adamantly refused to say anything more.
Eventually one of her abusers grew frustrated enough to wrap his belt around her neck and cinch it shut. The blonde gagged, fighting to draw a breath that would not come. “Too much spirit, this one,” spat the goblin choking her. “Needs to learn her place, understand what she is good for.” He knelt down to put his lips right to her ear, though his voice was still loud enough to carry to Jessica. “Your place is around the shaft of a goblin cock, and you are good at exactly two things, fox, the same two things that all our friends are so perfect at: making us cum, and making us want to cum again. That is all you are now, and being stubborn will only make it sweeter when you are tamed. One day we will remember the wild fox you were and laugh, and you will laugh with us.”
The third woman was short and dark haired and on her back with her hands bound beneath her as a goblin vigorously pumped away between her legs. A river of cum was leaking out from her slit, almost but not quite enough to distract from the thin needle skewering her clitoris, black thread tied to one end… He had both hands on her breasts and was crushing them in his grip as he used them to support his weight, his lower body smacking against hers over and over. “Such a pretty foxy,” he cooed. “Pretty foxy with pretty jewelry.” She squeaked something through the gag in her mouth. “Don’t worry, foxy, your new jewelry will be just as pretty.”
With a final grunt, he came in her. With his cock still buried in her pussy, he reached over to one of the discarded guard uniforms on the floor and ripped a brown button off the shirt. “Another load, another jewelry,” he said cheerfully. “Such a pretty pretty fox you’re becoming.”
She squealed loudly and repeatedly, but none of the urgent sounds she made stopped him from pulling the needle from her clitoris and placing the button flat on her stomach, just above her pubic mound. She already had ten of them on her breasts, several scattered around her upper thighs, stomach, and shoulders, and a single one sewn into her right cheek. The needle flashed as he skillfully sewed the newest one to her, and then he finished by jabbing it back into her clit.
The noirette was still weeping with pain when the next goblin all but jumped on her. “Such a popular and stylish foxy you are!” he chortled, and then cocked his head. “Hmm, I think it is time for this to go, yes?” He pulled the gag from out of her mouth, which was revealed to be a balled up pair of underwear.
The word “Please!” burst from her lips the moment the gag was out. “Please! We share a common enemy in the vulpan! If we could just talk thi-gahh” she gagged as he pinched her tongue between his fingers and drew it out of her mouth.
“Silly foxy,” he teased. “Didn’t take that out to talk. Nobody cares what a silly foxy cum dump has to say.” He tapped the top of her tongue with two fingers. “Right here,” he promised. “Foxy will look so pretty with her newest jewelry right here.” She whimpered.
Jessica watched all of this happen while sitting in the lap of another goblin, helping him to fuck her ass on his cock. He wasn’t the first one of them to rape her back there and she was certain he wouldn’t be the last. It hadn’t taken much persuading to get her to shift back into a form that they could rape; after two and a half years of obeying every command Master Levi gave her, the fact that she’d hesitated at all to do what they wanted was a wonder. They’d been surprised to see that she was a vulpan, but it hadn’t changed anything about their treatment of her.
They’d taken away the fox skin tied to her leg. She could’ve told them that she posed no danger to them in any form, but even such a show of submission would be overstepping her bounds. For the same reason, she didn’t bother telling them that she had another five strips from the same skin sewn into her body at various points. Master Levi had done the work himself, without anesthesia, during one of her first days of captivity. It had been half about ensuring that she could never steal another foxskin to gain a less defective form – as the one closest to her, the sewn strips would take priority – and half about showing her that he could do whatever he wanted to her body, even cut it open and install foreign objects under her skin.
That strip of fox skin was now with all the rest, in a massive pile on the other side of the room. There had to be hundreds of them, all worn and filthy and smelling like an open sewer, with numbers crudely carved into them. Jessica occasionally saw the captive kitsune give them a look of longing, but there were far too many goblins around, on, and in the women for them to have any chance of reaching the furs.
Jessica watched the other women be tormented some more, and helped two more goblins squirt their loads into her asshole, before there was a sharp knock on the only door out of the room. It opened slightly to let a goblin head poke through. “Others are here,” he reported, sounding much less jovial than any of the others had. “Want to discuss terms.” His lip curled into a sneer. “Say they need to see hostage first.”
“Fine,” said the one of the spectators. He pointed to Jessica. “Bring the pretend fox.”
Jessica was directed to get on all fours, gagged with a torn up bit of someone’s uniform, and then one of the goblins sunk his hand into her slit, easily fisting her and making her flinch. “Time for walkies, fox,” he said while another goblin wound a scratchy rope around her neck to make a crude and uncomfortable leash. Crawling was difficult with his fist inside her, but she didn’t argue or complain as she and three other goblins exited the room.
After several turns down the winding hallways, Jessica saw two foxes waiting for them, both naked. One was a wiry man with a mustache, and the other was a dark haired girl who looked so much like the woman with the buttons that Jessica was immediately certain that this was her daughter. “Who is this?” asked the man harshly when he saw the blonde. “And what are you doing to the poor woman?”
One of the goblins shrugged. “You want hostage, you get hostage.” He slapped her ass. “See? Right as rain.”
“I want to speak directly to Kaede, Captain Ichika or Dr Emi,” the man demanded. “And if you have mistreated them in any way…”
“Mistreat?” asked a goblin, sounding offended. “We teach, we play games, we give jewelry. Mistreat! Are you ready to discuss terms, or do you need to insult us more first?”
The man’s expression darkened. “Insult you?! We outnumber you more than ten to one according to the others here. Those three kitsune approached you to try and work out a peaceful solution because we wanted to avoid unnecessary bloodshed getting out of here, and your response was to abduct, rape, and turn them into bargaining chips!”
“Yes, many foxies,” one of the goblins said calmly. “You can kill us all lickety split if you like.” He shook his head sadly. “Shame how many pieces our good foxy friends will be in if that happens. Such sweet, fun girls. Their poor screams will be very unpleasant to our ears.”
The man looked like he was about ready to come to blows, but the girl stepped forward before he could say anything further. “We will not swear not to harm any of you, and let you depart this place with us, and in exchange, you will hand over all hostages, provide us with our fox skins, and do nothing to harm anyone else… nor will you play games, provide gifts, teach lessons, or perform any other similar acts without seeking the explicit consent of a majority of our people.”
The goblin whose hand was still buried in Jessica shrugged. “That is almost acceptable. We have on further demand. A small thing, very trivial. If any of your people decide they would like to stay with us and be our good friends forever, you will honor their decision and not try to stop them.”
“That’s ridiculous,” spat the man. “As though any of them would want to spend a single second more in your wretched company.”
“Then it is easy provision to accept, yes?” said the goblin. “You know your people well. You are probably right.”
The girl looked uncertain, but she nodded. “Very well, on the condition that if they want to stay with you, they must tell us so themselves.”
The goblin laughed. “You think we would lie? Silly foxy. A true shame it is we cannot play games with you too, show you how much fun it is to be friend of goblins.” He pulled his hand roughly out of Jessica and offered it to the dark haired girl. “Deal?”
She looked at his slimy hand with disgust, but took it gingerly with her own. “Deal.”
“Wonderful. Always a pleasure to meet such smart friends. We will go back, tell the others of the agreement.” He stuck his hand back into Jessica. “More walkies, fox.”
“Wait!” the girl said. “Leave her alone. She is one of the hostages too, isn’t she? You’re supposed to hand her over now.”
The goblin tsked. “Poor foxy, not as smart as I thought. We agree to hand over all, remember? This only one. Must go back, get others. And then we can say goodbye.”
“Then you can at least get your hands off of her,” growled the man.
“This?” said the goblin innocently, twisting his arm around inside her and making Jessica flinch. “Just innocent fun! But if you want, please, call your people together and take your vote, as you wished. Decide if this is okay or not. We will stay right here, and in the meantime, the others will keep showering your friends with our finest hospitality. Good on you?”
“Just go then,” the man snapped. “Go and bring them right back and let’s get this over with!”
“Yes, yes, good idea,” agreed the goblin. “So you do not mind this after all?” He twisted his arm again. “No need for vote? Walkies good on you?”
“Fine, yes, just get going,” said the man.
The goblins all bowed, and happily let Jessica lead the way back into their room.
“How much medicine?” one of them asked once they were inside.
“Only one,” said another sadly, holding up a vial of some yellow liquid. “Will not last very long split among four.”
“Will last enough,” the goblin said. “Come, let us get friends ready.”
Rei waited anxiously for the goblins to return, trying to figure out what she was missing. They had some sort of loophole in mind, she knew it, but she didn’t have time to sit down and work it out. And the longer they dragged this negotiation out, the more time the goblins would have to think of even more loopholes. The creatures weren’t like high fae, who couldn’t speak a single untrue word, but they were still bound by contracts and oaths, which meant that they had plenty of experience making misleading deals, and they were always going to be better at this than she was.
Not for the first time, she wished that she’d been the one to initially go meet with the goblins instead of her mother. The people chosen had seemed reasonable at the time: Kaede to do the talking and work out the actual deal, Captain Ichika to be bodyguard and walking proof that the kitsune wouldn’t go down without a fight, and Dr Emi to treat any injured goblins and demonstrate the sort of help their people might be able to provide if they allied together.
They hadn’t been planning to reveal themselves in the first place, but the scouts that had been spying on the guards had learned some of what was going on above them, how the vault itself was now sealed, and perhaps most importantly, that the goblins were in possession of their fox skins. Her mother had been convinced that they could be made to see reason and understand that this was an extraordinary situation, and that it was in everyone’s best interests to cooperate.
Throughout all the horrors of the last week, Rei had at least been able to spend them by her mother’s side, the two women both providing and drawing comfort from each other. But now they were separated. An icy ball of dread had formed in her stomach when one of the goblins had shown up carrying several disgusting photos they’d taken of “playing with their new friends”, and she’d realized that they might never see each other again. It was still there, heavy and cold and telling her that she’d already ruined her one chance to get her mother back.
It must have been showing in her expression, because Nobu put a comforting hand on her shoulder. “You’re doing good,” he encouraged. He shook his head, his own expression still one of frustration. “Much better than I would be doing if I was here alone. I just want to wrap my hands around their smug little throats and…”
“I know,” the girl said. “And so do they. They are trying to rattle us, get us to rush things and make an agreement without thinking things through.” She wished she could feel confident that they’d failed, instead of this growing certainty that she’d walked right into their trap. “But they wanted to come to a peaceful agreement too, I’m certain of it.”
“Why?” Nobu asked, his tone curious rather than argumentative.
Once upon a time, being alone with him like this and working together would’ve left Rei flustered and tongue tied. But right now, she was so distracted by their situation that she was barely aware of his presence at all, let alone bothered by it. “Because of who they brought out. The most valuable hostages are the ones people care about the most, which would make a stranger like her the worst possible choice to wave in front of our faces during a negotiation. Unless they wanted to be careful they didn’t get us too rattled. I think they wanted us angry enough to not think rationally, but not so angry that we’d lose control of ourselves and attack them to get her back.”
Where were they? It shouldn’t have taken this long just to tell the other goblins that they’d agreed upon a deal. Were some of them refusing to accept it? She let out a breath when she heard the goblins coming back down the hall. Maybe this would turn out all… The color drained from Rei’s face as she took in the sight of them.
“Is there a problem?” asked the goblin from earlier, the one who’d been molesting that poor stranger. “We agreed walkies are okay, yes?” He grinned at her.
All of the women were bound in a position that Rei’s captivity had taught her was called piddlefours: their arms and legs doubled over and tied, forcing them to balance on knees and elbows. Simple rope leashes like the one the stranger had been wearing were now wound around all their necks, the ends held by the goblins standing behind each of them, who were… the women were all rolling their hips and eagerly fucking themselves on the goblins’ cocks. All four of them, including her own mother, looked like they were in utter bliss, their faces flushed and drooling. The sight of brown buttons sewn all over Kaede’s body made Rei want to vomit.
“Took some time,” one of the goblins, the one behind Captain Ichika, said in mock apology. “Our new friends very hungry. Hard to get them to move.” He gave the blonde’s ass a hard slap, and she moaned like she’d just had the best orgasm of her life. “Walk, foxy!” he ordered. “A few more steps, then you may play with your treat again.” The captain whimpered in disappointment, and moved her limbs only with great reluctance, dragging herself forward with deliberate slowness to make sure that the goblin’s cock never slipped out of her. She crawled a couple feet like that until the goblin told her to stop. “Very good girl, foxy,” he said pleased. “Back to playtime.” She squealed happily and got back to fucking herself on him.
“As we agreed,” said the first goblin smugly, “they may stay with us if they want.” He was using her mother, and Rei was absolutely certain that he’d done that knowing the two of them were related. Kaede’s tongue lolled out of her mouth, showing off the button sewn to it, and her eyes were rolled up as she shivered and bucked on him, thick strands of pussy juice dripping down from her crotch. “Do you want to stay with us forever, foxies?”
“Yes!” all four of them cried out eagerly.
“See?” he told Rei, and smiled. “Good deal, yes? No violence, and four very happy foxy friends. Everyone wins.”
The girl looked desperately up at Nobu, and saw the same conflict in his expression that was going on in her own mind. The goblins had to have done something to them, some kind of trick, but… while it was true that her people far outnumbered the goblins, they were all hungry, exhausted, and most had little experience with combat. If it came down to a physical confrontation, not only would they lose the hostages themselves, there was certain to be many additional casualties.
Rei had to think about the rest of her people, and the wishes of the hostages as well. While she couldn’t speak for the blonde stranger, she knew the other three well enough to understand what they would want. Kaede wouldn’t want them to lose their only hope of escape because of her, and neither would Ichika or Emi. “Will… will they be happy?” she asked hesitantly, hating the words that were coming out of her mouth. “Do you promise that they’ll remain happy if they stay with you?”
“How could they not?” smirked the goblin inside her mother. He began thrusting one finger in and out of her asshole, making the woman squirm and gasp and buck her hips to try and get his digit in deeper. “They will learn all sorts of wonderful games, with so many eager teachers.” He pulled his finger out and held it up, showing the gobs of sperm clinging to it, then stuck it in Kaede’s mouth for her to eagerly suck clean. “We will take them somewhere to make many, many friends, and all of them will make sure our foxy friends are never bored.”
“Will they be happy?” Rei demanded. “Yes or no?”
“If happiness is a belly full of warm goblin cum,” he replied, “then yes, they will be happiest foxies in the world.” He patted her mother’s head. “I will personally try to make this one be overflowing with happiness for the rest of her life.”
His mockery brought tears to the dark haired girl’s eyes. They already knew that she couldn’t afford to refuse. Rei looked at her mother’s slack, pleasure filled face and wished that she could talk to her just once more. She would know what to do, Rei was certain of it. She knew how to make decisions when so many lives were on the line, and her daughter… her daughter was just a scared girl who wanted her mother back. But she couldn’t let that selfish desire cost her people everything.
“Very well,” she said, feeling like she was killing all four hostages herself. “We accept this deal.”
Jessica had never felt better in her life. The goblin cock inside of her was the most wonderful thing she could imagine, and every last twitch and pulse of it sent her to new heights of ecstasy. Her only regret was that it was only her pussy being fucked right now. If she could have a cock like this in her ass and mouth too, and even some rubbing between her fingers and nestled between her breasts, all of them would be so very perfect. Maybe if she was a good girl, they’d be kind enough to gangbang her like that.
Something was wrong. She knew something was wrong, but… it was all so right, too! They’d given her that syringe, and at first she’d been scared, but then there’d been no room in her head for anything but hot, hungry, desperate bliss. And it was still growing, becoming more and more intense with each passing moment.
She pressed her ass against the goblin behind her, trying to get even one more millimeter of that perfect cock into her. This wasn’t going to last. Whatever they’d given her, it would wear off eventually, and then there’d be no more bliss, just disgusting goblins to service for the rest of her life. But she didn’t care. If it meant even one more second of this glorious pleasure, she’d sell them her very soul without hesitation. Just the knowledge that there might be more, that they might someday let her experience this again, was enough to make her want to be their faithful and loving slave for the rest of her life.
If only George were here, she thought idly as her pussy clenched the goblin’s cock as hard as it could, as though it could wring even more pleasure out of it. Not the George that sometimes belittled or mocked her, who could make her feel like she was only a pretty decoration for his home. Not the George that had tried to offer up her life to save his own. No, the George that had been thoughtful and sweet and tender. The one who had confided in her, cared about her, who held her in his arms at night. She knew he wasn’t a perfect man, perhaps not even a good man, but he had been hers and she had loved him. Yes, that was the only thing that could make this moment better, if she got to share this glorious sense of euphoria with her husband. But she couldn’t because… because…
Because he was dead.
And he was dead because of her. Seo-yun was mutilated because of her. Hanabi’s people had been raped and murdered because of her. It was all her fault.
Gnawing guilt washed over Jessica even as she continued to squeal and cum and happily fuck her new goblin owner. This bliss was so wonderful and she never wanted it to end, no matter what the consequences might be… but she didn’t deserve it. Not after causing so much tragedy and death through her own stupidity.
She tried to push her joy away, but it clung to her mind, refusing to let go no matter how much she wanted to dismiss it. It would go away on its own, a voice in her head whispered. She could just enjoy it while it lasted. Plenty of other people got things they didn’t deserve. Her entire life had been like that, right up until Master Levi had entered the picture. She didn’t need to stop this, didn’t need to make a fuss, she should just go along with things like she always did and ignore her actual thoughts and feelings.
But… but… she didn’t want to be like that anymore. In two and a half years of absolute hell, the only saving grace had been the hope that maybe, just maybe, she might be a better person for it. No one would ever forgive her and no one would ever stop hating her, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t be something more than just Jessica Wilmingshire. Hadn’t she promised herself that if she could do it over again, things would be different? She wanted to be more.
So instead of giving up, like every instinct in her mind, body, and soul pleaded with her to do, she flailed about wildly, looking for something, anything, that might break this hold on her. There was nothing… no, there was almost nothing. Deep in her chest was the faint glow of her fox marble. She lunged for it, seized it, threw everything left of her willpower into it while simultaneously praying that it wouldn’t work.
And the drugs in her veins burned away as she transformed.
“Drugged us!” she shouted. Tried to shout. Her body felt weak, even for her, and her voice came out as little more than a rasp. “Drug…”
She blacked out.
The goblin who’d been raping the blonde cursed and kicked her unconscious vulpine form. “Stupid foxy,” he grumbled.
“Get the hell away from them, now,” Nobu demanded, his fists clenched.
The one still raping Kaede held up both his hands. “Relax, friend, relax! Drugs, no drugs, makes no difference. Deal is a deal is a deal. And is good deal for you too. Freedom for all foxies, and all it costs is four little sluts. We show you fox skins now, yes?”
“No,” Rei said. Something had clicked in her mind just now. “Why did you kick her?”
“What else does one do with stupid animals?” asked the goblin who’d done it. “How can they learn better?” The other goblins nodded.
“No…” said the girl slowly. “You kicked her because you’re a bully. You’re all a bunch of bullies.” She swept a hand at the deceptively obscene pictures that lined the hall. “That’s all you ever do, isn’t it? You already own her. She’s already going to do whatever you want. And she’s not even awake to feel it. There was no point to it except to enjoy hurting someone who can’t stop you. The deal is off.”
“A deal is a deal is a deal,” said the one raping her mother angrily. “We have honored our end of it. If you do not do the same-”
Rei stepped forward and slapped him hard across the face. “There. Our agreement is broken. And now we make a new one.”
“You will regret that, foxy,” the goblin spat. “You will regret it on your knees and on your back and for the rest of your life.” He turned to Nobu. “We claim this one as our property. If you want our help, if you do not want all your people to die down here, you will hold her down yourself and let us-”
She slapped him again. “Be quiet. I’m not finished talking.”
He shook with rage, but he didn’t respond, just like she’d known he would. “You’re all a bunch of bullies,” she repeated. “And bullies are cowards. That’s why you took hostages in the first place, because you were scared of what we’d do to you without them.”
“We could kill many of your kind,” threatened another of the goblins, the one raping Emi. He grabbed the doctor’s hair and pulled her head back so he could put his jagged yellow nails to her neck. “I could kill this one right now.”
“Yes, but you would die in the process,” Rei said calmly. “I’m willing to make a sacrifice like that for my people, but are you?”
“It’s part of your contract, isn’t it?” Nobu said suddenly, and Rei saw the goblins’ expressions shift uncomfortably. “That’s why you’re the ones guarding the vault, because the dragon wanted fae that he could hold to an agreement. Let me guess: you must fight us to the death without surrender and accept no gifts from us, something like that, right? But you found a loophole. You don’t have to fight to the death if you never really start fighting at all. And you’re not accepting any gifts if you hold onto the hostages, just keeping what you already took.”
Rei nodded her agreement. “It’s not just that they don’t want to fight us. They can’t, because once they start, they’re not allowed to stop. You were able to ambush my mother and the others because they were on their own, but the two of us are officially here on behalf of all the slaves. Raising your hand against us means declaring war on everyone down here, and even fae can only stretch a loophole so far. Are we wrong?”
The goblin she’d slapped looked sullenly at the others, and then at her. “You are… accurate enough,” he admitted.
“And that’s why we’re going to make a new deal,” Rei told him. “We’re still willing to honor our end. You won’t be harmed, and you’ll be allowed to leave here peacefully. But there will be no more games or tricks from any of you, and you don’t get to take anyone with you, no matter how many drugs they’re hopped up on.”
The goblin grit his teeth and looked miserable… but he nodded.
Jessica woke to find herself cradled in someone’s arms again. Their grip was gentle and their naked flesh pleasantly warm, but they smelled unfamiliar, and she twisted around nervously to look up at who had taken her.
“It’s alright,” said the dark haired girl from before. “The goblins are gone and you’re safe, I promise. My name is Rei.”
The mustached man next to her looked over. “And I’m… Nobu,” he said, his voice strained.
“Are you sure you’re okay like that?” Rei asked him. “I can help…”
“No, I’ve got it,” he insisted, his face a little red. “Just… a bit out of practice. Haven’t gotten to… stretch my muscles enough lately…” Jessica looked back and saw the source of his distress. The three other women were all unconscious, their faces now relaxed and peaceful. Each of them had three different tails wrapped around them, and they were being held in the air and carried.by them. The tails holding the tall blonde were having much more trouble than the others and kept dipping close to the ground. “You’ve done more… than enough… you were amazing back there…”
Rei blushed fiercely. “I, I don’t, I didn’t,” she stammered. “I, was just, just trying to think of what my mother did, I mean would do. If it was her instead of me.”
“Well, when she… wakes up… I’m sure she’ll… agree that you did a… fantastic job… She’ll be… so proud of you…”
The girl blushed harder, until even the tips of her brown fox ears seemed to take on a pinkish tinge. “Y-you helped! And, and, and so did she!” She looked down at Jessica again, clearly wanting to distract herself. “If you hadn’t fought off the drug like that, I don’t think I would’ve figured out what was really going on. It’s thanks to you that I was able to save my mother and Captain Ichika and Dr Emi.”
The tiny fox whimpered softly, uncomfortable with the attention but pleased despite herself. She didn’t know what had happened while she was out, and her memories of being drugged were hazy at best, but… she’d helped? Really?
“May I ask your name?” questioned Rei.
“Jess…” the fox said softly. Was it even fair to call herself Jessica Wilmingshire anymore? That had been a different life and a different person. She didn’t know who she was now, or if she was really any less awful than she’d once been, but… maybe it would be okay to try to find out. “Just Jess.”
The girl smiled warmly. “It is very nice to meet you, Jess.”
“It’s nice to meet…” Jess began to respond automatically, and then her ears perked up as she finally woke up enough to remember why she was down here in the first place. “Hanabi!” she said. “Hanabi sent me!”
“Where is she?” Nobu asked immediately. “Is she okay?”
“Yes, she’s alright. She’s waiting at the entrance to talk to one of you. I think she has-” Jess cut off as Nobu raced past her and Rei.
“I’ll go see her as soon as I’ve taken care of the others!” he shouted. The three women bobbed behind him as he ran, and he seemed to have no trouble carrying any of them anymore. “You just stay there, okay? I’ll be right back, I promise!”
“They did what?!” Hanabi demanded.
“It’s alright, Flower, it’s already been dealt with,” Nobu said from behind the wall, only a portion of his face visible.
“Dealt with by ripping their heads off and shoving them up their asses, right?”
Sam silently nodded her agreement while she kept her head down and continued her work on the drill. Unmooring it from the platform had proved simple enough, but the idiots who’d been using it clearly had no training and no sense. They were lucky they hadn’t torn the entire machine apart while trying to brute force their way through the wall. There wasn’t a lot she could do for it with just the tools they’d left behind, but it was better than just sitting around and waiting.
Nobu smiled. “I wouldn’t have complained much if that was the solution, but I’m afraid Rei found a more boring and peaceful alternative. It was a good thing your friend Jess was there, though.” Sam snorted softly, but said nothing. “I don’t think things would have turned out so well without her. Is she… one of them?”
“Not exactly,” Hanabi said. “She was a prisoner of theirs. One of Levi’s.” The girl tried to hide her shiver at the man’s name, but not well enough for Sam to miss.
“If you can send six or seven people this way, that will make moving this piece of junk a hell of a lot faster,” Samantha said, hoping to change the subject. “Make sure at least one of them knows the shortest route from here to the easternmost room of the vault. That’s where we’re going to want to set this up.”
“Right,” replied Nobu. “I… suppose I’d better hurry then. Those friends of yours might have this damn wall open any second now.”
“I’ll miss you too, Dad,” Hanabi said earnestly. “But it’s okay. We’ll see each other again soon, I promise.”
“I love you, Flower.”
“I love you too, Dad.”
Once he’d left, Hanabi crouched down to continue helping Sam with the drill. “Do you think this is really going to work?” she asked softly.
“Of course it will,” Sam said easily. She wasn’t even bluffing; after killing that fucking efreet, everything else felt easy-peasy. “We’ve got the capital g God on our side, after all.”
“Definitely,” Sam told her. “Because that old bastard knows if I die here, then invitation or not I’m gonna kick down those pearly gates of his and strangle the shit out of him.” She was glad to see her joke have the effect she’d hoped for: Hanabi giggled, and some of the tension in the fox’s body eased.
“Now there’s a girl after my own heart,” said a man behind them.
An instant later Hanabi was in fox form and Sam had her rifle out and pointed at the newcomer. “Don’t even think about transforming,” the redhead warned. “I’ll blow your fucking head off before you’ve got anything more than a pair of tiny fuzzy balls.”
The stranger standing just a few feet away from them raised his hands above his head, though his body language held nothing but relaxed amusement. He wore a suit and tie, and his clothing was immaculate despite the battlefield he must have just walked through. “No need to get all excited, Sam,” he told her lightly. “I’m not one of your enemies.” He cricked his head. “Well, I am on Paragon’s Board of Directors,” he admitted, “but I took a personal day. Martin Glendale, Glendale Automotive, and it is an absolute delight to meet the both of you.”
The name tugged at Sam’s memory. “You’re… you were Betty’s owner,” she said, not lowering the gun or easing her finger off the trigger.
Martin smiled. “That’s right, she’s one of my sweet cuddly kitties. I almost brought her along with me today, but she and Sally were having such a good time together, and I didn’t want to spoil their fun early…” He leaned in slightly like he was sharing a secret. “They’re both just hanging around right now, doing little dances while they think up a ditty about how much they adore me. Betty’s got the sweeter voice, make no mistake, but Sally, she’s got just enough bite in her to know exactly what sorts of words I love hearing from that mouth of hers. At the end of the week, whoever has the nicest love song gets to go have some fun with me in the bed, while her sister…” he grinned and winked. “Her sister just keeps on hanging around, if you know what I mean. Oh, you should see the two of them right now! Betty’s been a little limp for the last couple hours, but Sally is still dancing away up there…”
“Yeah, I get it,” said Sam flatly. “You’re another fucked up sadist. Congrats and get in line. What are you doing here and why shouldn’t this end with your brains splattered across the floor?”
“I’m just getting a little window shopping done,” Martin said, unruffled by her threat. “You girls seem to be in a bit of a hurry after all, and I don’t think you’re going to have time to clear out this entire vault, so I’m sure you won’t mind if I pick out a few souvenirs. As for your charming offer to put a bullet in my head, go ahead and try if you really-”
The gun barked.
“-want,” Martin finished. “But I’d conserve your ammunition if I was you. You’ve got a lot more enemies than bullets right now.” Sam tried to hide her shock as she stared at him. She’d shot him at point blank and hit – she knew that she’d hit – but there was no sign of any bullet hole. “Here,” he said, and tossed something small at her with an underhand flick of the wrist. “A little token of my friendship. I recommend choosing a better target for it next time.”
Sam couldn’t catch the thing and hold the rifle at the same time, and she flinched slightly as it struck her chest and bounced off. Against her better judgment, she let her eyes dart down at it for a second… a bullet. An unused cartridge of the exact model she’d just shot at him.
When her eyes flicked back up a moment later, he was gone. Her head swung frantically from side to side as she looked for him. “Where did he go?” she demanded.
“He, he just… vanished,” said Hanabi nervously. “Like he was an illusion. Who was that? What was that?”
“I have no idea,” Sam admitted, picking up the cartridge and examining it. She still didn’t see the bullet she’d fired anywhere, nor the spent casing, and she had a feeling that she wasn’t going to find either no matter how hard she looked. “And I’m pretty sure we’re better off not knowing.”