- The house is too quiet.
- It's funny, missing a generally quiet sort of guy has made the place almost unbearably quiet. God love her, Autumn's been trying her hardest to keep you occupied these last few days as you got antsier and antsier in his absence, no longer content with books or TV or the limited uses you have for Charlie's old laptop. But in the absence of your Master, your appetite for chase and wrestling and sapphic orgasm has finally outstripped Autumn's. Your sister-pet has dozed off on the sofa after another agonizingly long day, both of you only half-heartedly involved in whatever was passing the time, both waiting for the sound of tires rolling up the driveway.
- How did she ever get through this alone before he brought you here? No wonder she was particularly unhinged when you first met, she'd been alone for however long it took your owner to abduct you and the others. Without Autumn here you'd be a bawling wreck by now.
- But with Autumn tuckered out and you still awake and pining after him your night has descended into restless wanderings through the house. He should be home by now! Today is supposed to be his return date, and you've less than an hour left before it passes. Though you're confident it's just traffic or a minor holdup, you still catch yourself worrying that he might have finally had a run-in with the police, and each time your mind flits to a phone sitting on the living room coffee table with both Master and Mr. Eli on speed dial. Your instructions are clear, though, and you're only to call in case of an emergency, falling back on Mr. Eli should Master not respond or if he has not returned or called 48 hours beyond his due date.
- It's a grim prospect, though you were touched to learn that Eli had gladly agreed to take the two of you in were anything to happen. It didn't need to be said that the street went both ways there, but you've got a hunch that he'd take back any of his "product" without a second thought, that strange paternal attachment probably just as powerful as the need to maintain secrecy for as long as possible.
- Another few mintues of idle clicking with the trackball Master attached to Charlie's laptop does nothing to relieve you of your desperate longing for a hand atop your head, your wallpaper - a photo of Opal asleep in her owner's lap - vanishing as you close the lid in frustration. Another hopeful glance out the window is met only with an empty, moon-lit driveway, and not so much as distant headlights to give you hope. You can't help but whine, low and desperate, before sulking your way up the stairs. It's idiotic, how much you miss someone that's barely been gone for a week, even under the circumstances. You can't even point to a particular moment when it happened, either! All the other little victories he's won over you stick out clearly, fondly, in your mind, but the point at which you became this devastatingly dependent eludes you. It must have been a slow thing, each little touch and kiss gradually making you... this.
- You should've expected as much, you happy little love-pet. Almost every waking moment spent in his company for these past few months was bound to leave a mark on you, but you never thought it would be so bad when he finally did go out on another "acquisition run."
- You can't help but swallow your nervousness at the thought. All that time you spent trying to talk him out of being what he is and doing what he does and here you are, anxious to greet him by the door even though you know full well he'll have new victims in tow. New ponies, plucked from homes and lives in the middle of the night and brought here, where he'll want them to emulate you. When you imagined this day on the horizon, you always figured you'd at least be the voice of reason, but since he gave you the laptop and the voice-to-text software to make typing easier...
- You terrible creature, you sang a siren's song and now it's leading wayward souls to doom.
- Happy, cuddly, warm, obedient doom.
- Another heaving sigh escapes your lips as you trot past the door to his "workshop", which has been largely tinkering space for him during his little hiatus. He's still tweaking the process, working in refinements here and there. Apparently his next "Batch" may involve a zebra on special request from the client, which isn't terribly far off the mark from making someone look the way you do now, you suppose.
- You made him promise there would be no forced rhyming, nanotech or training induced.
- He just laughed. A good sign, you suppose, that he followed up with a joke about it getting on the customer's nerves eventually. You're just happy he doesn't plan on making someone so compulsive that every sentence would be so colored by it. Maybe it's a little presumptive, but you've got a notion that you've mellowed him out a little. Maybe having a pool of at least marginally interested candidates to pull from lets him feel a bit better about everything, enough that he's not convinced he needs to be a proper villian to keep doing this.
- Pulling yourself up to the bed and flopping over onto it in a single motion leaves you sprawled, wiggling your hooves in the wrinkled blanket as you try to get comfortable. It your fitful wigglings you bury your face in a pillow and suddenly go perfectly still. Another long, slow inhale lets you savor the smell of his shampoo on the pillow, briefly helping you set aside your anxieties.
- If shampoo smell is this comforting by association, surely you can do better, right? In fact, the other day you'd come in here and found Autumn sticking her head into his laundry hamper, which she played off with a hug and a laugh. Now, though, you think you get it.
- A more reasonable pony would listen to the voice begging you not to stoop so low in the name of dignity, and maybe a day or two ago you might have been so level-headed. Tonight, though, desperate and lonely, there's only a split second of trepidation before you're off the bed and nudging the lid to his dirty laundry open with your nose. No sooner have you wedged your nose into the gap than you're rewarded with the scent of stale sweat. Perhaps another time, this won't smell so perfect.
- But right now it smells like him, and that's almost enough to make you feel better.
- It was your intention to just pull one of his shirts out and take it to bed with you. But no amount of gentle tugging at the sleeve held firmly between your teeth seems to pull the offending sweatrag clear of the bundle. A moment of whining frustration and short-sightedness leads you to drop back onto all fours from your "standing" position beside the hamper, and while the shirt doesn't come loose it certainly moves, bringing the whole shebang down with it.
- Literally covered in your owner's dirty laundry, you can't help but breathe deep, letting some stupid part of your brain convince itself that his scent means everything is just fine, and as much as you know you should be cleaning up the mess, you just can't bring yourself to do it.It takes only a bit of wiggling and rolling around to work the mess into a loose pile, and as dumb as you know it is, you still find yourself cooing happily in a nest of your Master's clothes as your subconscious tricks itself into thinking he's back. Warmth rises in your loins as if to be "ready" for him, but the will to touch yourself just isn't there when you're this relaxed. Breathing deep and still trying your damndest to cuddle a T-shirt, sleep rises up on you before long.
- A strange patchwork of light rouses you come morning, sunlight piercing through what you shamefully realize is a pair of boxers on your face. The man-scented cocoon you'd taken for refuge last night has become stuffy come morning, you can't help but nudge and wiggle your nose out of the pile to get a bit of fresh air. Your whole head follows, though you're still too sleepy to go much further than that, settling you head down on top of the pile to doze for a while longer. The morning air in the house is still and quiet, save for the sound of birds outside. Autumn must not be up yet, you muse, or surely she'd have found you in here.
- After a bit more dozing, though, something changes. Your ears twitch subtly as the soft rumble of an engine and wheels rolling over dirt becomes noticeable in the distance.
- "Truck", to be precise, but that's hardly at the forefront of your mind as you scramble out from the pile of laundry, all thoughts toward cleaning it up forgotten, and barreling downstairs as fast as your little pony butt can gallop short of using your wings indoors. Somewhere in your peripherals Autumn startles awake on the sofa when you dash into the living room, but you're much too busy heading for the window for any kind of greeting.
- Rearing onto your hind legs and leaning against the wall gives you leeway enough to stretch your neck to see through the window, and you're quite certain Autumn understands what your giddy squeal means when you spot that familiar grey kidnap-mobile at the far end of the drive. Your fellow pet is by your side in seconds, happy nuzzles being shared as you fidget and whine impatiently while the truck pulls in and your Master, seriously be-stubbled even at this distance, sets himself about removing his latest haul from the back. You know you really ought to be interested in the two sleeping ponies your owner has over either shoulder, but in all honesty your top priority is putting as much of your body in contact with his as soon as you possibly can. He disappears from your field of view as he approaches the door, your and Autumn's cue to sprint for the entryway to greet him as he enters.
- Now, he'd been out on grocery runs before. You know full well that if you're to greet him at the door he wants you sitting. Off to your right Autumn is clearly trying to remind you about that as the door swings open, but you just can't help yourself. If nothing else, he certainly looks surprised when one of his ponies is up on her hind legs and latched onto his waist before he knows she's there. He grunts softly at your impact, but keeps his balance as you throw yourself onto him, rubbing your face against his stomach in unrestrained affection.
- "Someone missed me, I think."
- You look up to find him looking to Autumn with a smile.
- "She certainly did, Master. I tried to remind her..."
- "No no, it's fine. You used to be the same way, remember?"
- Finally, he turns to meet your gaze, still chuckling to himself at the sight of you. "I missed you too, Zephyr, but I need to put down these two-" he shrugs his shoulders for emphasis, a pair of pony rumps jiggling just a bit to either side of his face while their hind legs dangle down " -and grab the others. Down, girl."
- You comply, with an embarrassed blush and a hurried apology while he takes a few steps and puts down his unconscious merchandise by the doorway to the basement. "Now, you two keep an eye on them while I get the other two, okay?"
- "Yes, Master" comes without thought, as it always does, and a hand gently brushes over your mane as he heads back out to the truck. You and Autumn, meanwhile, eagerly move in for a look at the new pets. A pair of unicorns lay on the ground in front of you, horns visibly poking out from either mane. The mare has pulled her hooves in reflexively, sleepily curling up with a visibly furrowed brow. A rose-red mane nicely complements a cream colored coat, clashing quite powerfully with the blue maned, orange stallion sprawled out on the floor beside her. Still, you find the poor fella wearing a look of distress as he sleeps, matching the mare beside him. It's not much, but you find yourself laying a gentle peck of a kiss on both foreheads, taking care not to poke yourself on their horns. The stallion doesn't seem particularly comforted by the gesture, but the mare seems to relax just a bit. You can't help but smile, feeling genuinely optimistic about greeting these ponies.
- Heavy footfalls from behind catch your attention, and you turn to see your Master struggling a bit with the next two. A blue pony is slung over his shoulder like the others, but your Master's upper body is visibly tilted to one side, his other arm slung around the chest of a substantial thestral, wedged between your owner's arm and his side.
- "You know, this is the first time I've ever had a majority-male group coming back here. It's good to have something for that clientele, but you do know the market is mostly for mares, right?"
- "Of course, Sir."
- He strains just a bit as he leans to deposit the large bat-pony near the sleeping unicorns, a long white mane hanging over the stallion's face, looking near-luminescent against the darkness of his grey coat. Someone clearly had one of Luna's guards in mind making this large fellow, he's the size of Evergreen and heavily built all around! Well, that "someone" had better appreciate the changes, or else all your efforts will be for nothing. Beside the titan of a pony your owner sets down his other cargo, now easily identified as a pegasus. An azure coat plays nicely with a blonde mane that sticks out in all directions as he squirms restlessly on the ground.
- Your stewardship of the sleeping pets-to-be continues as your owner carries them downstairs to the basement one by one, and as he lugs the large thestral down you follow along, catching a glimpse of him setting the pony down on one of the large pillows downstairs, lined up in a row beside the others, each covered with a light blanket. It's downright adorable watching him tuck each one in, though to your mind the picture isn't quite complete. If only he were so doting as to give them back their stuffed lookalikes, then the scene would be perfect. Still, they look downright snuggly for the moment, a far cry from how you stayed when you were down here. Perhaps you have softened him up, just a bit.
- A warm smile goes your way, and it's only a few confident strides for him before he's scooped you up to head back upstairs. You catch a last glimpse of those sleeping faces as the door swings shut behind him, and your latest nagging worry returns.
- "Wont they be mad at me?"
- "Why, sweetie? All you did was tell the truth as best you remember it. Even the bad stuff, and they still wanted it."
- "I don't think they ever imagined it'd really happen, though."
- "Well then they're in for one hell of a surprise. Now come on, silly pony, the couch is calling our names."
- They deserve a longer conversation about this, just like the dozen or so that preceded his leaving to collect them. Or the innumerable talks that came before and during your writing process. Still, as fiendish as his smile might've been when the voice-to-text software worked like a charm, allowing you to dictate an only marginally edited version of your life to this point, your joy at his rewards for your writing was too much to pass up. Sugar cubes, "toys" for you and Autumn, and sexual favors, all just for talking into a microphone and letting him edit things a bit in the name of secrecy afterwards. As if things weren't good enough around here already!
- Soon the three of you are settled on the sofa, one of your owner's hands rubbing and scratching along your back, neck and head while the other does the same for Autumn. You're barely cognizant enough to speak, nuzzling aggressively and rubbing yourself against him, an addict finally getting her fix. Autumn doesn't seem to be much more in control of herself at this point, her breathing becoming quite heavy as she starts to rock her hips suggestively. He doesn't bother playing coy or cracking a joke, his strokes and cuddles transitioning into squeezes and gentle pinches with only a smirk as he watches the two of you go wild. Fingers arrive at your nethers, and a gentle kiss is placed on your nose.
- "Good Girls."
- Relief, comfort, happiness. Autumn gently nibbling on one of your ears as you both rest your heads on his bare chest, the rhythmic rise and fall lulling you into a post-coitus daze. Your owner looks supremely pleased with himself as surveys the room, couch cushions arrayed wherever they happened to land, one resting atop the overturned coffee table.
- "I'm beginning to think we went a bit overboard, Girls."
- "Never, Sir. The table was in the way, it simply had to go."
- A finger gently loops under your collar and tugs.
- "Pet raises an excellent point. What would you say to a nice walk before we check on your recruits?"
- Cool evening air wafts around you as a leash clips on, and your Master leads on toward the treeline, and all is as it should be. You're Zephyr, and this collar is your life's greatest blessing.
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