A wasteland for two
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- A wasteland for two
- A sharp wind blew straight against Ethan’s gasmask. He’d been scavenging his latest discovery for an entire week and was now moving back toward the Bastion. He swiped the sweat off his forehead using his sandy, scaly arm, his other hand holding his well-filled backpack. The sun had baked the large landscape a long time ago, and it was doing the lizard-man’s exposed scales no favors. Thankfully, the rest of his body was well covered in multiple layers of thin cloth to help regulate his temperature. His strong lizard feet made heavy steps in the sand. For him, the arid weather and desolate landscape was nothing special. The world had been like this since he was born, and apparently, it was no different during his parents’ life either. It wasn’t really important for him to learn what the world was like before, as it would make no difference to his daily life anyways.
- Eventually, he spotted the large towers of the Bastion in the distance. However, it caused little relief to the sand-colored lizard. The structure stood tall in the center of the flat salt lands, meaning it was visible from an impressive distance. He still easily had a day of walking before even reaching the hydro farms surrounding the walls of the city, and easily another half a day to finally reach the trader he dealt with. However, his need for food or water wasn’t bringing him back to the city, nor was the weight of his scavenge. In truth, it was the necessity for contact. Break the solitude of his scavenging life. Yet, he could’ve gone to the city at any time to fulfill it. He was hurrying back to Bastion for a strange tradition. A habit of the old world which remained since. It was a celebration of romance and love – Saint-Valentine’s day.
- The holiday brought a lot of change in the town. The citizens laid red fabric on the sides of the buildings, various materials cut in the shape of hearts and hung around the small alleys and inside the shops. The most distinct of changes, however, was on the resident’s mood. A strong desire to share your appreciation for your neighbors, colleagues and, for the lucky ones, their significant other. It was also a great opportunity for those who were still looking for a partner in life to create a new, powerful bond. It was what the lizard man was walking to the town for. He couldn’t handle the routine of digging yet another ruin and returning to his hideout alone, surviving day to day without living. Sadly, he was pessimistic about it. He had consistently failed before, and he didn’t really see what could’ve changed to warrant it. Maybe it was a sense of obligation that was leading him back to try again? It could also be the fear of missing out? Perhaps someone new would light a fire in his heart? It certainly felt like a wish now, the population of the Bastion was hardly growing…
- He let out a long, exasperated sigh into the sharp winds, shaking himself slightly to regain confidence. It was doing him no good to overthink this before he even arrived. He was already more anxious about that day than his multiple dives inside old world facilities and space ships. It felt utterly ridiculous to be so scared of real contact, but his life as a loner out in the waste had led him to this awkward predicament. His family had always lived on the outskirts of the Bastion, scavenging and exploring for new resources and materials that could help the meager population thrive, rather than survive. Yet, with no siblings, and his parents on their own adventures together, it had left the young man to his own projects rather early in life. He did not really owe them, and they didn’t expect much from him either. They might as well not be family at this point, but he’d be lying if he didn’t admit he liked meeting them occasionally. They often had interesting knowledge or tricks to teach him, while he could also share his own discoveries.
- Eventually, he stopped his long walk to place his tent and bedroll in the shadow of one of the big farms. They were large, old buildings built with tall filters that collected water from the air and allowed the growth of fruits and vegetables inside its accessible floor. The water used to hydrate the soil was finally flowed toward a well in the Bastion, allowing the population access to fresh water. These buildings had to be constantly maintained, prone to failure after such a long time of constant operation. The repairs were generally more left to luck or strange technological rituals and by using spare parts found by scavengers like Ethan. Never the less, the shadow the building offered as well as the setting sun in the distance made the air quite chilly compared to earlier. The lizardman got comfortable and laid down for the night. Tomorrow, he’d be ‘home’ and his quest to find love could begin again.
- The next day at around high noon, he’d move toward the gates, waving to one of the guards on the wall that let him in, the loud grinding of heavy wheels and machinery sliding the doors open and leading him to a rather familiar sight. People had already covered the town in the beautiful tones of pink and red that accompanied Valentine’s day. He bit his lip as he carried his bag across the metal sheet floor that served as pathways within the walls and between building. A few residents he knew greeted him, but none he could call friends. He saw these people generally a couple or few days before leaving to scavenge again, so he’d never grown close to any of them. Part of him wanted to change this, but his responsibility was making sure that the town never ran out of the parts they needed to survive, and everybody was doing their share alongside him.
- He moved inside the shop built into one of the many pre-fabricated metal habitations of the city. Factories had mass-produced most of the buildings here using the same design and model, so people often made a point of pride into customizing them, so they would at least be recognizable. Nanka’s shop had a thick banner made of recycled metals and cogs, bearing the name of the owner. He had worked for the man a few times already, and he was the closest thing he had to a friend. As he moved through the door, the fox man greeted him charmingly, his voice sharing enough energy it could likely shake up even the most bored customer.
- “Ah! Ethan! Been a while since I’ve last seen you. What have you found?” He asked enthusiastically, obviously eyeing the bag like a predator in face of fresh prey.
- The strong lizard took a few steps toward the large counter, built of recycled table parts, and emptied his bag somewhat roughly on it, which made Nanka gasp with amusement. “Come on, you know parts are worth more if they aren’t broken, right!?”
- Ethan sighed in reply, dropping his bag on the ground and stretching his sore shoulders from the sudden removal of so much weight. Most people would consider the contents of the bag trash. Especially anyone without knowledge of engineering, but thankfully, Ethan was knowledgeable, but Nanka knew plenty. He filtered through the parts, whistling nicely.
- “Woah, lots of ship pieces. In good shape too. A few things busted by sand, but that’s pretty usual for our business. You reckon that reactor still works?” He asked as he rubbed his chin, looking for some test fuel in his shop to see if he could jump start it.
- The lizardman shrugged. “Beats me. It certainly wasn’t working when I found it.”
- Nanka sighed amusingly at how little interest Ethan had in the potential of a functioning reactor. The power could probably help quicken some of the larger projects, like powering a few drills in the deep mines or opening terminals with long lost knowledge. He was however slightly concerned, as while the scavenger was generally not very talkative, he still was interested when a good find was made. He found his test fuel under one of the many boxes strewn about his shop, quickly plugging it in the reactor, the thing whirring and making a few strange noises before emanating a soft blue light as it spun slowly.
- “Yes! What a damn good find, my friend! Enough for at least a week of rations or more. Maybe even get a nice place for a few days.” He said, literally shaking with excitement to the seemingly depressed man in front of him. He sighed again, but of slight frustration. “Hey man, I just told you got a good find, why the long face?” He asked authoritatively. Had Ethan done something awful to get it? He wouldn’t expect that of him, of course, but he didn’t really know where the sad face was coming from.
- However, the lizardman simply removed his gas mask and looked away frustratingly. “Nah. Just, nothing.”
- The fox trader shrugged amusedly at the weak dismissal. “Mmmh. It is a bit curious a scavenger would be back so early. I mean, you’re just in time for Valentine’s, right? Maybe you got someone I’d like to meet?” He teased him, nudging his shoulder playful.
- The reaction from Ethan made him laugh all the louder when he just pushed him back and leaned against the wall. The lizardman finally broke the silence. “Nah, you know how it is damnit. Stop teasing me and get this done, seriously.” He answered with definite annoyance and embarrassment, his face slightly flushed.
- Nanka chuckled, sitting in his scrap chair and rubbed his chin. “Maybe you’ve come to meet one of the new bounty hunters we got. Heard she was pretty intense. But if you insist, let me check the rest of the stuff…” He answered, tongue-in-cheek, as he removed the fuel from the generator and stored it very cautiously in a box. He generally didn’t give much care to the scrap he got, but a working condition generator was an item that was probably worth a lot of good favors from the overseer.
- The unmasked scavenger bit his lip in annoyance at how sly his business associate was. He wanted to tell him to fuck off, but his interest was more than piqued. A bounty hunter? They were pretty much loner and always out of the base. They could tackle on more dangerous operations. Maybe he and her had potential, at least as a team? He was getting his hopes up and he didn’t even know her name yet! He rubbed his face to hide his obvious ramping excitement, simply moving a few feet over to him. “Fine, tell me more. Damn it.”
- “Alright alright! Don’t need to be so intense about it. I forgot how long it’s been since you’ve had any company…” He teased him further, although one very intense glare from the lizard-like eyes put an end to it quickly. Nanka gulped playfully. “Her name’s Clay. She’s a hellhound, comes straight from the dark lands across the green sea. She came in a couple weeks ago with the head of one of the raiders we’ve been looking for. We paid her in rations, and she seemed to be sticking around and taking jobs for the Bastion last I saw her. If you want to know anything more, you’ll have to ask her.” He said in a teasing manner after delivering his intel.
- Ethan grabbed his shoulder-length black hair, straightening it out and tying it back properly as he listened to his friend talk about this woman. She sounded downright intense, and dangerous too. half of him felt scared, but that part wouldn’t prevent him from seeking her out. He nodded, waiting for the report on what he brought. There wouldn’t be much conversation between the two men after that, as Nanka was busy cataloging and putting prices on everything the scavenger had collected, while Ethan was overthinking, going over the thousands of scenarios that could likely happen when he would meet the hellhound.
- Once their business was over, he left the shop with his pay in his pocket, but he had something else to do first before getting his rations. He asked around for Clay, and soon enough he found her in a small drinking hole in the town. No matter how desperate the times were, people generally always found ways to create alcohol and make a place to consume it, and this town was no different. He entered the pub, made of two habitation units combined by some amateurish soldering of the walls. The place was lit up by the natural windows as well as a few basic lights powered by oil lanterns, rather than electric lighting, left cold for the time being. A group of customers were already in there, mostly traders, engineers or scientists. People that didn’t really need to get their hands dirty or work during normal hours to make their rations and afford their lodging. He didn’t really mesh well with these kinds of people, so he made sure to avoid any undue contact, looking around to find the hellhound.
- He would shortly spot the lady. She was sitting on a stool at the bar, her long black hair flowing down all the way to the middle of her back. Her face looked rather pristine for someone who lived off bounty hunting, her red eyes staring inside her empty glass with some boredom. Her darker skin seemed well adapted to the bright sun of the salt lands. She was on the taller side, around 6’2”. She was wearing some form of repurposed military outfit, made of carbon polymers and kevlar to protect her vitals, the armor showing signs of frequent repairs, with some of the larger plate having small dents typical of gunfire. She seemed to either have had it pretty rough. That or she had taken the armor recently from an unlucky victim. She definitively had a more muscular physique, her biceps and thighs well toned, her tail moving through a hole she had made in the pants. Her sizeable paws seemed to be rather poor for the use of firearms, but the large sniper in her back was not standard, with the trigger guard removed and replaced by something that could fit her considerably larger digits, as well as the firing bolt made longer for ease of use and fast fire. Her other weapon seemed to be a big hand cannon at her waist, having the same mod to allow her large paws to use it. She had also foregone the use of boots, letting her feet bare. It would be hard to find any shoes that fit them anyways. She definitively was attractive, but she was also very intimidating.
- He gulped a little as he gave a second look to himself before he even approached her. He was decently fit alright, but he looked fairly messy. His entire life was spent in the wilds, digging under sand, cutting through rust and fighting whatever beasts lived within wherever he was exploring. His face was thankfully human, bare for his sharp teeth and lizard-eyes, with shoulder-length black hair generally tied in a ponytail. His body was fit, his feet, arms and back covered in sand-colored scales, both ending with sharp claws. He was slightly shorter than her, at around 6 feet tall. He was at least thankful he could use most weapons without any modification compared to Clay. He was carrying some form of boxy sub-machine gun and a couple of magazines, with a dangerous looking blade tied to his chest. He was at the very least thankful he had done some basic grooming before entering the city. He didn’t want to bring the smell of the wastelands with his already worn looks.
- He eventually mustered the courage to take the seat next to her at the bar, although doing something so simple almost winded him to begin with. His heart was already racing, and he hadn’t even spoken a word to her. She didn’t glance in his direction after he sat down, simply scratching the bar idly. It seemed he’d have to make one step further to break the ice, which made him deeply uncomfortable as he rubbed his nose and considered what to say and how to say it. He finally settled on something that had the least chance to backfire.
- “Hum. Hi. Don’t believe we’ve met...” He said quietly in her direction, his eyes focusing on hers as he hoped for at least some amount of acknowledgment. She rose her eyebrow at the sudden introduction, seemingly as confused as he was for a moment as she didn’t really expect any talk. She was terrible with social stuff, so she mostly let her work do the talking, and most people kind of left her alone on the simple fact that she looked dangerous and intimidating. She bit her bottom lip lightly as she considered what to say herself. She needed to keep her strong façade at the very least. Clay didn’t like bringing attention to herself.
- Finally, she answered: “Hi.” Then kind of left it there. The response from the lizard man confused her, as he seemed to have expected more than that. For his part, Ethan was just puzzled because she had kind of ignored his implied request for an introduction, and he didn’t know if it was on purpose or not.
- He tried to salvage the conversation by putting the ball in her park instead. “Hum. My name’s Ethan. I’m a scavenger.”
- She resisted the urge to facepalm at the moment at how she had forgotten the part where he’d ask for an introduction. At least it seemed he hadn’t taken it personally. She followed up quickly: “I’m Clay. I hunt bounties.”
- The awkward scavenger kept his sigh of relief inside of him for the time being. It seemed a conversation had begun, at least, but it all felt on very thin ice. He had to quickly consider what to ask next. He needed something that would continue the conversation. He swiftly offered a new subject.
- “So you’re new in town, right?” He asked somewhat timidly but trying to show confidence first and foremost.
- “Yes.” The hellhound answered directly, also shutting down the conversation. Ethan chuckled awkwardly, and Clay somewhat cursed at herself at how awkward she was making this.
- Ethan gently rubbed his hair in response, finding a new subject fast enough. “You staying for long?”
- The lady rose an eyebrow at the strange request that put her on the defensive. It felt like a fairly dangerous question to ask, and the poor lizardman only realized that after he’d already asked. “Why are you asking?” She demanded in an intimidating tone, her red eyes almost blazing up to show she really wasn’t messing around.
- The reptile quickly rose his hands and showed his palms as a gesture of non-aggression. Internally, he was screaming at himself for asking such a sensitive question without any tact, and he almost backed out and left there. However, that would be admitting failure again, and probably even make her worry needlessly. “Well, hum, I’m asking… because hum… we could use a bounty hunter like you around?” He lied to pamper her slightly. The needs for them was never that high, and generally, they left once the marks had run out. Moving to the next hunting ground like nomadic creatures.
- Clay shrugged with annoyance and a long sigh. She demanded the barman serve her another drink, downing the large glass in one go as he let the poor man wait on her reply. She thought about what to answer, unsure herself. She felt the guy meant no harm at least. He didn’t really look intimidating to begin with, but she knew the small gun on his waist could be very effective against just about anyone that didn’t have thick natural armor. “Guess I’m staying until there’s nobody else to take down.”
- Ethan chuckled happily, which confused the canine woman as she didn’t really know how anything she said could be either amusing or enjoyable. He had the lead, so he had to keep the conversation going, maybe something romantic? Perhaps that would be too bold? He doubted she was the kind to mess around, so he chose to go for it. “Do you… Do you have hum, a partner?” He stammered out.
- “No. I couldn’t trust someone who had the same marks as me to cover my six.” She replied matter-of-factly, misunderstanding the question, although if it was deliberate or not was beyond Ethan’s social ability.
- Ethan chuckled awkwardly at her response. She was obviously going to make him say it, so he took the minotaur by both horns and replied: “I meant it more… romantic”
- The soldier looked at him for a moment, kind of stunned by the direct question, and unsure how to answer to it. She could feel her cheeks flush as she stared into the man’s eyes curiously. He seemed to be honest, and well-intentioned. She didn’t even remember the last moment she had spent some individual time with someone. Her constant need to travel and work had prevented any real long-term relationship or even any sort of family rearing. The explorer wasn’t unattractive, and they might share some stuff in common. She finally answered after what seemed to be an eternity to him. “No, I don’t have anyone right now.”
- The answer made his heart flutter for a moment. He had to strike the iron while it was hot, even if he risked creating an awkward situation. “Would you be my Valentine!?” He blurted out rather unceremoniously, making the few patrons of the bar roll their eyes in his direction. The sand-colored reptile expected surprise or an even more flustered reaction from his current love interest.
- “… huh, what’s a valentine, exactly?” The fiery-eyed woman asked with confusion. If there was a hole he could dig himself into, the poor man would’ve jumped in it already and hid in there. He really hadn’t thought twice about her not knowing the tradition here.
- He had to recover from this setback, but he was drawing a blank now. He looked left and right, almost as if there was some lifeline he could just grab to pull him out of the embarrassment. Finally, as time grew long, he had no choice but to explain the custom. It took a bit of a moment, but she quickly understood he was asking if they could be together, at least for the time being.
- “So… Would you be my Valentine?” He asked again, now that she was aware of what it meant for him.
- She smirked playfully, taking a moment to let him squirm before answering. “If you think you can handle someone like me, why not. What’s your date plan?”
- The lizardman almost jumped in joy at her confirmation, but her demand for his date plans quickly shattered his confidence, realizing that he’d gone in not expecting anything, and thus had nothing prepared. Again, he started to look left and right, obviously lost. It was rather adorable, which looked slightly out of place for the grown man.
- She rolled her eyes, getting up from the stool and tapping his shoulder firmly. “Come on, let’s find something to do. You’re paying.” She teased him.
- The couple soon moved out of the bar. They looked around the shops in town, trading rations against a few gadgets and spare ammo. She would give him tips to maintain and optimize his weapon, and he’d share her advice on some devices that might help her in combat. The pressure of breaking the ice was gone and the two loners could finally chat sparingly and enjoy each other’s company. They would eventually settle down and move out of town to chat. Ethan had a great opportunity to show her around and tell her a few good spots he knew in the salt lands, while she told him about all the places she’d visited before.
- The rendezvous ended at sundown, and another date was set on the following day. They slowly grew more comfortable together, which eventually lead to them sharing a room. She was renting a small habitation with the bare necessities, but that would be plenty for both who easily slept out of town. They sat down on the bed, as Ethan softly pressed up to her, putting his lips on hers. She winked to him playfully, undoing the belt of his pants while he caressed her back and face.
- It would not take long for him to remove his underwear, regardless of the teasing rubs and tugs Clay made him endure. His human penis stood erect at around 6 inches, his well-tanned soft skin blending fairly nicely into his sand-colored scales on the sides of his body. He caressed her long hair quite lovingly as he began pulling off the straps off her armor and top. He was definitively very horny already, being somewhat forceful and in a hurry to remove her clothes, which made her giggle playfully.
- “Come on, we’ve got the whole night, Ethan.” She replied teasingly.
- He blushed quite brightly at being called out in such a moment. “Sorry… I’ve really been looking forward to this.” He said cutely, finally pulling her clothes up and off her body, exposing her large C-cup breasts with perky red nipples. He placed his hand to grab and knead them lustfully, his finger squeezing her tips in between his digits. Meanwhile, she rubbed his dick with her large fluffy paws, which drew lewd moans from him, covering her hands in pre.
- It wasn’t long before he moved to kneel in front of her to pull off her pants, which came out easily, her briefs doing a poor job at hiding her erection and labia. It would require another pull down to finally expose her 4-inch-long red knotted cock, her red labia snugly hidden underneath. He pulled off the pants off her legs and gently settled her down on the bed, kissing her with passion. The reptile placed himself in between her legs, licking her labia warmly, his tongue gently lapping on her clitoris while his right hand rubbed her penis, tugging around the tip. She moaned happily at the sudden rush of pleasure from her loins, her strong legs shaking, while her tail wagged quickly under them. Her cock leaked a clear liquid at every soft tug, her labia lubricating around his wet tongue.
- It would be a few moments before he moved on top of her, placing her thighs around his waist, her legs locking behind the scales of his back. He pressed his inflamed tip on her moist entrance, placing his strong right hand on her butt, his other slipping against her back. With a soft grunt, he pressed his cock inside of her, squeezing into her slowly, causing her to moan as she hooked her large paws around his back.
- Their passion for each other did the rest, as Ethan pressed himself deep into her, and she would respond by pressing herself strongly on him, her claws scratching against the scales of his back. He felt his cock squeezed tight inside of her, her unattended penis spraying her precum on her toned abdomen messily. It would not take long for the inexperienced man to reach a mind-blowing orgasm, emptying himself into her with a few powerful spurts. At roughly the same time, she moaned loudly and orgasmed herself, her vagina squeezing him tightly inside. He rubbed his face against her as his sweaty body slowly came to a rest on top of her own, her large chest squeezed under him. He took a moment to regain his sense, obviously quite spent.
- He quickly noted however that her male side hadn’t yet finished, so he moved down to gently kiss and lick it. His tongue would circle slowly around the tip of her cock, before sinking it down into his mouth greedily, pressing it deeper until it hit the back of his throat. Slowly pulling his lips on the sensitive skin and repeating the process as he looked into her eyes. She moaned very loudly, her face one of complete bliss as he sucked on her cock. It would not take long for the beautiful woman to orgasm into his mouth. He swallowed all of it before finally laying down next to her, wrapping his arms around her as he fell asleep almost immediately.
- Their relationship only escalated from here. While eventually, the bounty jobs turned dry, she would find plenty of work helping the scavengers taking back ruins from raiders and hostile factions. Ethan eventually created a family with Clay, moving to a more advisory position for other scavengers, while the bounty hunter hellhound made many improvements to the town’s security, ensuring a peaceful life for their family and friends.
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