The Adventures Of A Reluctant Dragon Lord

by Enclave2277

First published

Shortly after his eighteenth birthday, Spike receives a summons from Lord Torch to compete in the Gauntlet of Fire. When he finally arrives in his ancestral homeland, Spike realizes just how little he knows about his own people.

A week after his eighteenth birthday, Spike receives a mystical summons from Lord Torch, ruler of the Wyvertii. After speaking with Princess Celestia and Luna about this life-threatening compulsion, they convince him to travel to his ancestral homeland so that he may learn more about Wyvertii culture, their customs, and to ultimately spare his own life. Unfortunately for Spike, the summons requires him to journey to the highly secluded Valley of Wyver all by his lonesome. When he finally arrives, the young man discovers just how little he knows about his own people.

Pre-Reader/Editor: Travolore

Cover Art by: 00gojiramon

The Summoning

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Chapter 1

Castle of Friendship, Ponyville

Spike usually awoke to the rays of the early morning sun with a desire to do nothing more than curl up into a ball and continue sleeping. Unfortunately, this morning was markedly different from the norm. Mere moments before, he was experiencing a bizarre and wonderful dream. Some of the details were still a bit hazy, but he clearly remembered being a king. What kind of king you ask? Well, interestingly enough he was a king of the forest.

When one thinks of a king of forest, a lion or a bear usually comes to mind. However, this was not the case in Spike’s dream. He was still very much the teenage Wyvertii that he was in the realm of reality, if perhaps a bit exaggerated.

In this case, he was a king clad in little more than a loin cloth, sitting on a throne made of darkened wood. Kneeling before him were Fluttershy, Applejack, and Rarity wearing nothing more than pleasant smiles. All three seemed more than eager to serve their king.

Just as things were starting to heat up was when Spike woke up. It wasn’t the first time he had such an erotically charged dream, but the results were nothing short of a soiled pair of boxers. With a groan of annoyance, Spike cursed himself for not remembering to relieve his sexual tension for nearly a whole week.

He hadn’t really had the presence of mind to do so, considering that nearly all of his energy had been spent helping Twilight draft a set of zoning ordinances for a major overhaul to Ponyville’s schoolhouse.

Spike chucked his sticky boxers into the hamper. “Ugh. I guess a shower is really out of the question at this point…”

There was at least a silver lining in this unfortunate situation. The throbbing erection he currently sported had been released from its cloth prison and was free to stand proudly to the world. Spike looked down at his troublesome organ and sighed. This is just getting ridiculous. Even after a wet dream, I’m still harder than Braeburn pecks! Errr…wait. Why am I even thinking about him? Stop it dick! I like women and you know it! I guess this is all just part of being a hormonally charged teenager. At least that’s what Twi would say…still sucks though.

Spike had to admit that the Castle of Friendship was far more spacious than Golden Oaks Library. It meant that he had a larger room than before, which was fine by him. Unfortunately, it also meant that the nearest bathroom was the whole way down the hall. Why the crystalline castle couldn’t have put bathrooms in every bedroom was beyond his understanding. Magic was stupid like that sometimes.

He was so occupied with his own thoughts that he barely even registered his short journey to the bathroom down the hall. It was only when he rammed straight into Twilight did he even notice that he’d been walking…and butt naked with a hard-on to boot.

Twilight scrambled to her feet with a fierce blush. “SPIKE?! Why are you naked? And—you’ve got an…e-erection. O-ok. Just breathe like Cadence taught you, Twilight. It’s only a penis. It’s—SPIKE PUT A TOWEL ON FOR CELESTIA’S SAKE!”

You’d think that Spike and Twilight would have been used to seeing each other naked considering how many years they’d been living together. However, that was not the case. Both of them were rather modest when it came to their bodies and took great pains to keep their nudity private whenever possible.

For Princess Twilight Sparkle, it was an extremely awkward and embarrassing reminder that Spike was no longer the child he once was. He had just turned eighteen a little more than a week ago. He was now, both legally and physically, a man.

For Spike, not only was it beyond humiliating for his big sister to catch him in the nude, but he had been waving around a raging boner the whole time! He felt his entire face heat up as his hands shot down to cover himself. It didn’t cover nearly as much as he would have liked and he managed to smack his balls in the process, but at least he was attempting to ease his sister’s distress.

“Ehehe sorry. I didn’t realize you were there, Twi.”

Twilight put her hands on her hips. “For the love of the sun, please try not to make a habit of walking around with your morning erection from now on, ok? Wait a minute…is that? Sweet Celestia it is! Why do you need to do…that so early in the morning?”

“It’s not what you think! I wasn’t mast—”

“I don’t care! Just take your shower already. I’ll have breakfast ready when you’re done.”

With a bit more pep in her step than usual, Twilight sped towards the kitchen to make breakfast. In her wake, a thoroughly mortified Spike padded into the bathroom to take his long-awaited shower. He might not have brought a change of clothing with him, but at least he would have a towel to cover himself with once get got out of the shower.

The hot spray of water that trickled down his body did much to clear his mind and relax him somewhat. It didn’t take him long to wash his hair, so he moved on to lather the rest of his body. With bath pouf in hand, he stared down at his now flaccid member and let out a harsh chuckle. Oh Great! Now it decides to go soft. Figures. I have just about the same amount of luck as Trouble Shoes.

Spike’s teenage mind was no stranger to thoughts of sex and intimacy. He had, in all likelihood, read more smutty romance novels than half of the middle-aged female populace in Canterlot. It came with being the number one assistant to Ponyville’s affectionately dubbed “Monarch of Manuscripts”.

He understood the medical and technical aspects of it as well. Back when he had turned thirteen, his sister had been too embarrassed to have “The Talk” with him directly, so she gave him a book about it instead. Some might consider such an approach to be negligent or thoughtless, but it was typical behavior for the bookworm. She was just trying to help him out in her own way.

The young man’s problems truly began when he started to see women as more than just friends to hang out with or declare his affection for. Sure, he had a huge crush on Rarity for years…but that’s all it was. As he got older, his obsession over the beautiful fashionista became less about finding his way into in her heart and more about finding his way into her pants.

By the time he was sixteen, Spike decided it was high time to make Rarity his girlfriend. The whole idea of the two being an actual couple was a disaster from the very beginning. Rarity was eight years his senior, a gap far too large for a relationship to work between a gangly teenager and a burgeoning businesswoman. Their lives were simply in very different stages.

Her affection for him, she said, was more akin to a doting aunt than a lover. She made a point to say that she indeed loved him, but it was not romantic love. Much to Rarity’s credit, she treated Spike like an adult when she finally broke the news and apologized profusely for not making things clear beforehand.

In retrospect, Spike realized that he had been blinded by his lustful and often obsessive feelings and hadn’t really considered all the implications that went with a relationship. He had been saddened by her rejection, but it also gave him the perspective he so desperately needed to move on.

The universe wasn’t done with Spike yet. It merely gave him a different problem. Whereas before he had been the one attracted to an older woman, now a younger woman was attracted to him. To make matters worse, this younger woman was none other than Rarity’s little sister! Life can be so ironic indeed.

Sweetie Belle was a beautiful, bubbly, and adorably clumsy girl. If she had just been a few years older, Spike would have pounced at the chance to go out with her. But that was crux of the problem. She was too young. While their age gap wasn’t quite so large, a mere fourteen year old girl dating a newly legal adult was disconcerting to say the least.

Spike made sure to let her down as gently as he could. She still sobbed despondently over her own rejection and retreated to her room for two whole days before she was able to pull herself together. She reminded Spike so much of Rarity that he had to bite his cheek to suppress a laugh when she finally came out of her room, looking like she had wrestled Tirek in Tartarus.

Spike slowly rubbed the pouf across his arm. Yep. No luck at all.The rest of the young man’s shower proceeded without incident and he wasted no time getting dressed as quickly as he could despite Twilight’s absence. About five minutes later, he made his way to the dining room where a large stack of chocolate chip pancakes and bacon sat waiting for him. Twilight sat across from him absently munching on a bowl of corn flakes.

The silence between them was deafening. Never had he seen his big sister so quiet at this hour. She was very much a morning person and loved to chat while they ate their breakfast…at least under normal circumstances, anyway. While the pancakes were buttery, soft, and delicious every bite felt like concrete sliding down his throat.

Spike coughed. “Twi…I’m really sorry about before. I wasn’t quite awake yet when that happened.”

“There was one part of you that seemed plenty awake to me.”

“That’s because—I had a wet dream. The only thing I was focusing on was getting out of my errr…sticky boxers and cleaning up. I wasn’t trying to be a pervert, I swear!”

Twilight blushed. “Well, I guess it couldn’t be helped. But…aren’t wet dreams indicative of a lack of semen release? A-at least that’s what all the books say…”

“It is. Look, don’t take this the wrong way but I completely forgot to do that this week because I was so busy helping you with the ordinances.”

Twilight frowned. “Spike, you should have told me you were tired! I would have gladly given you a break, especially for something like that. You’re my little brother, not my indentured servant. I want you to be as happy and healthy as you can be.”

“I know, but you looked like you were in the zone with all of that ordinance stuff. I didn’t want to stop ‘cause we were making so much progress. But…I guess I strained myself too much. I promise I’ll let you know when I start to feel tired from now on.”

Twilight nodded. “I’m sorry too. I keep forgetting how much stamina I have now that I’m a princess. Thank you, Spike. I mean it. You did an excellent job with those ordinances. It would have been much harder to get them to Mayor Mare in time if you hadn’t helped me.”

Despite their modesty, both Twilight and Spike were completely comfortable showing affection to one another. It had been that way for as long as the two had known one another. Without a moment’s hesitation, Spike got out of his chair and gave his big sister a hug. As he rested his head atop hers, he noted the familiar sent of the lilac shampoo she liked to use. It dispelled any remaining tension that was left in him.

Suddenly, he felt something odd. It was a peculiar itching sensation on the back of his hand. As time went on it became more and more intense, until it started to feel like it was burning. Twilight’s eyes lit up with concern as she witnessed her brother clutch his hand as if it had been dipped in molten lava. When he finally got a good look at his hand, a glowing green flame tattoo had appeared.

Spike began to hyperventilate. “T-Twi what is this?!”

“I don’t know! I’ve never seen anything like this before. Do you think we should go to the hospital?”

Spike grit his teeth. “I…don’t…think this is your run of the mill injury. It feels like magic, but it’s…really weird and strong. I need to get this to stop or I’ll pass out.”

“Ok, just calm down a second. I’ll teleport us to Princess Celestia. She’ll know what to do.”

“I guess so. Just don’t be too surprised if I’m not conscious when we arrive. Gods! It feels like my hand is being sawed off the—”

That was all Spike was able to utter before he slumped to the floor. When Twilight looked at his hand, the tattoo was still glowing but the skin around it was starting to become seriously inflamed. She had no doubt it was painful. With all of her might, she wrapped her arms around Spike and prepared to perform a long distance teleportation spell. She prayed that she was powerful enough to do so with two people. But you never know until you try, right?

Princess Celestia’s Chambers, Canterlot

It had taken a long time for Celestia to finally become a morning person. While she enjoyed it now, centuries ago she was barely able to peel herself out of bed at this hour. Her sister, however, was still as much of a creature of the night as she had been a millennium ago. That is why she wasn’t the least bit surprised when Luna, wearing nothing more than a weary expression, clambered into the room.

The smell of coffee must have been what roused her sister from sleep’s embrace. Since discovering the caffeinated beverage four hundred years ago, she adopted it as the official drink of the royal house. It was not a decision she came to regret in the least. However, she was glad to have already partaken in some unlike her groggy sister. She would have been mortified to have been seen as Luna was now. It was very “un-princess” like but so very Luna.

Celestia sipped from her cup. “Come to greet the day, dear sister?”

“We—err—I still am getting used to rising with the sun. The coffee smells of the sweetest ambrosia, sister mine. It shall certainly fill my veins with vigor this day!”

Celestia tried not to cringe when Luna plopped on the plush sofa across the room and began stuffing her face with fresh doughnuts and coffee. The solar princess was very good at concealing her expressions a majority of the time. Anyone would be if they had as many centuries of practice as Celestia did. Luna was never fooled though. All Celestia got back was an exaggerated eye roll.

“Worry not, Tia. I shall clean off these crumbs when I bathe.”

“That is the least of my concerns, Lulu. You really need to start wearing clothes in the morning. It’s unbefitting of a princess to lounge about in the nu—”

Luna scoffed. “I am not the least bit concerned. If our subjects are bothered by the bare royal form, then they may go fornicate with themselves! Why, two millennia ago we had our nude likeness carved from the finest marble. Actually…where are those statues? They are no longer in the garden.”

“I had them put in storage. Times have changed, Lulu. We can’t do that anymore. I fear…that there is already an abundance of bawdry materials produced in our likeness. It would do little good to show our subjects what we actually look like.”

Luna stood up for a moment and struck a sexy pose. It would have been very seductive, save for the fact that her face and chest were covered in chocolate icing, crumbs, and sprinkles. In a rare moment of embarrassment, Celestia felt a blush form on her cheeks.

“You have become quite prudish, Tia. I am the princess of the night; sex and intimacy are well within my domain. Let them think I am promiscuous, for I care not! As I seem to recall, the Wyvertii never concerned themselves with clo—”

Celestia sighed. “Yes, I am aware of their particular customs. You can do as you please while we are in the castle, but try to be more modest while we are in public. That is all I ask.”

“I am still not going to clothe myself until my bath is complete. So, you shall simply have to deal with my bare form until then. By the way sister, the coffee is delicious. The chef who produced it has my compliments.”

Celestia smiled. “Ah. I thought you might like it. I had it imported from Zebrica. As for the brewing, I like to do that myself. The chefs can never seem to get it just right.”

“Thank you for the delightful breakfast, Tia. I shall sojourn to the royal baths should you require my presence or care to join me.”

“You’re welcome. But I don’t believe I shall be joining you. I already bathed earlier this morning. While you’re at it, try the new hair conditioner that came in yesterday. It supposedly smells like blueberries. I imagine such a scent would suit you quite well.”

Luna stuck her fist in the air. “Verily! I find that I enjoy the smell of fruit. And…the men don’t seem to mind it either.”

Celestia shook her head as she watched her bare-bottomed sister saunter towards the royal baths. Luna could be rather crass at times, but it was something that Celestia adored about her. It made their conversations more interesting and their sisterly bonding all the sweeter. Truly, it was great to have Luna back after all those years ruling on her own.

Just as Celestia was about to pour herself another cup of coffee, a loud popping noise nearly made her drop the carafe onto the floor. It took her a few moments to realize what was going on, but she immediately recognized the magenta colored aura that followed the teleportation spell. It could only be Twilight Sparkle. A sense of dread began to creep into her chest when she realized just how unusual it was for the bookish princess to drop in her chambers unannounced.

In her arms, Twilight held Spike and he looked as if he had seen better days. His skin was pale and a thin sheen of sweat covered his entire body. But what stood out the most to Celestia’s ancient eyes was the glowing green tattoo on his hand. It was a symbol she had not seen in over three thousand years, yet she never forgot how distinct it was.

Celestia rushed over to her former student. “Twilight, what happened? Is Spike…alright?”

“I don’t know! This weird tattoo just showed up on his hand and he said how much it hurt a-a-and then he passed out. Oh please help him! I’ve never seen anything like this before.”

“Calm down, Twilight. I know what this is and how we can fix it.”

Twilight wiped her eyes. “Thank goodness. I thought he was seriously hurt.”

“He will be in grave danger if we don’t do anything about the tattoo. I’m afraid it’s an incredibly powerful and ancient compulsion spell, crafted by the Dragon Lord himself. There is only one way I know of to get it to dissipate.”

“But Wyvertii magic is practically unknown to us. And from what I know about compulsion spells, if the conditions that bind the victim aren’t satisfied within a certain time limit…they could potentially die.”

Celestia gently stroked Spike’s hand. “I’m afraid that is exactly what will happen. As for the compulsion, we are fortunate enough that I happen to know the cause of it. Such a thing only happens every few centuries, but it is a call sent to all Wyvertii males who have come of age. They all must journey back to their homeland to compete in the Gauntlet of Fire. You see, the competition determines the Dragon Lord’s heir.”

“Why would the Wyvertii invent such dangerous magic? It makes no sense.”

“Perhaps to you and I, Twilight. But they think differently than we do. Their society is quite a bit more draconian than ours because they are a warrior culture deeply entwined to nature. Competition and death are just a part of their daily lives.”

Twilight bit her lip. “Does that mean he has to compete? I just don’t want him to get hurt or killed! He isn’t some big, burly warrior. He’s a scholar like I am. They’d eat him alive…”

“I believe that Spike could take care of himself, if given the opportunity. He’s an intelligent young man. Have faith, Twilight. You just have to give him a chance to prove himself.”

“So what now? He obviously can’t travel anywhere while he’s unconscious.”

Celestia smiled. “That is my sister’s specialty. She will be able to reach him with her magic while he rests. Once he declares his name and intentions, the compulsion will lessen but not completely go away until he arrives in his homeland.”

The Journey

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Chapter 2

Princess Celestia’s Chambers, Canterlot

When Spike awoke, the first thing he noticed was the scent of blueberries. It’s not as if he minded the smell, but it was a bit odd. Then again, the dream he just had was plenty weird too. Luna appeared to him clad in a skimpy set of armor that left little to the imagination and urged him to state his full name and intention to participate in what she called “The Gauntlet of Fire”.

It was all very confusing and surreal. Mostly because he had a difficult time taking his eyes of the night princess’s goddess like physique. He would never admit such a thing to her face. No, that would probably only invite her ire. It was unwise to anger a woman who was the literal avatar of the moon. Besides, he was probably a few thousand years too young for her. That still didn’t make her any less sexy…

He did as he was told and saw his own body became surrounded in emerald light. After that, he just woke up. The second thing he noticed was a peculiar sensation near his forehead. It took a few moments for him to determine that something incredibly soft was pushing against him.

For a second, he thought it might have been an ice pack but that couldn’t be it. Ice packs were cold. What he was currently feeling was actually…warm. In fact, if he didn’t know any better he’d swear it was—LUNA’S BOOB! Panic hit his brain like a sledgehammer. Why was she squishing her boobs against his head?!

“Princess Luna…is that you?”

She pressed herself even closer. “Indeed it is, dear Spike! I am quite relieved that you followed my instructions. All of us feared for your health and safety. But it seems that I was able to reach you in time.”

Spike cleared his throat. “Thanks. I guess I must have passed out. I can’t feel any more pain coming from my hand, did the tattoo go away?”

“Nay, it is still present. The compulsion spell has merely been dissipated for the moment being. However, you still need to journey to your homeland in order to get rid of it permanently.”

“I’m sorry; I don’t understand what you’re talking about, Princess.”

At that comment, Luna actually had the decency to blush. She still insisted on cuddling close to Spike as if she had no concept of personal space…but the young man didn’t really see any reason to call her out on that. She smelled wonderful and it was painfully obvious she wasn’t wearing a bra under her t-shirt.

“I apologize, dear Spike. My eagerness to see you well made me forget that you weren’t privy to our earlier discussion. The gist of the situation is this: The ruler of the Wyvertii has sent out a compulsion to all males of age in order to choose a worthy heir for his throne. It shall be determined in a competition called ‘The Gauntlet of Fire’.”

“Ok. That doesn’t sound too bad, but the whole compulsion thing seems a bit extreme. All I have to do is go to this Wyvern place and say I don’t really want to compete. I come back home and my life will go back to normal, right?”

Luna seemed to consider her response with far more trepidation than Spike felt comfortable with. In fact, moments stretched on into seconds until an entire minute of silence occurred between the two of them. The princess of the night remained silent, but began to rub Spike’s back as tenderly as she could to show support. This certainly did not bode well.

Luckily, Celestia arrived on the scene only a moment later. She knew her younger sister was terrible at delivering bad news to their subjects. It had always been that way. But Luna was also more adept at the physical aspects of showing empathy, as she so clearly demonstrated with Spike. This was why the two of them worked so well together. They complimented each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

Celestia took a deep breath. “I’m afraid it isn’t that simple, Spike. For one, The Valley of Wyvern is an incredibly isolated place. The path there is fraught with danger and can only be reached by foot. That alone may take you a few months.”


“Furthermore, I doubt your people will take any blatant disregard of their traditions lightly. They aren’t as…reasonable as we are and may bring harm to you if you refuse. It would be in your best interest to compete with every shred of skill and might you can muster. Besides, I imagine it shall be a wonderful learning experience, if nothing else.”

Spike fidgeted underneath the bed sheets. “Is there really no other way? I don’t want to be a Dragon King or whatever it is! Why does my life have to be so complicated?”

“I’m truly sorry, Spike. I wish I had more encouraging news to share with you. But if you don’t make this journey, you will die. The compulsion spell on that tattoo contains an ancient form of Wyvertii magic that neither my sister nor I can possibly hope to break. You must do this.”

As much as he wanted to continue to sit on the bed and enjoy Luna’s snuggles, he knew that he had to stop feeling sorry for himself and prepare for the long journey ahead of him. He gave Luna a quick hug as thanks, which she proceeded to return tenfold. She nearly crushed his ribcage, but it was totally worth it.

Celestia, on the other hand, was far more reserved about showing her affection. She opted to grasp him by the shoulders and plant a soft kiss upon his forehead. When the smell of her rose scented perfume hit his nostrils, a feeling of melancholy crept to Spike’s heart. He was going to miss her far more than he cared to admit. He always considered Celestia to be the closest thing he had to a mom.

Such a thing was not entirely surprising, for the solar monarch always seemed to project a motherly aura around her subjects. But in Spike’s case, she had literally raised him when he was a small child. It was only for about the first seven years of his life, but the two of them had bonded nonetheless.

Such was the reason why he saw Twilight as more of a big sister than anything else. Though, that didn’t mean he loved either of them any more or less for their respective roles. Speaking of Twilight, she came running into the room as soon as she saw that he was getting off of the bed. The two shared a brief embrace, and afterwards she handed him a leather satchel.

“Luna and Celestia told me about where you have to go. I prepared a kit for you while you were still unconscious. It’s got your basic travel supplies in it, along with a few things I thought would be good to have just in case.”

“Thanks, Twi. You know that I’m really gonna miss all of you while I’m gone. Are you sure you’ll be alright without me around? I can ask—”

Twilight put her finger on his lips. “Don’t say another word! All you need to worry about is your own problems right now. I’ll figure out how to take care of all that stuff later. Just promise me that you’ll make it back home safe. Ok?”

“I…I’ll try. Geez, this satchel is really heavy! Did you stuff an encyclopedia in here?”

Twilight blushed. “No, but I did include textbooks on wilderness survival, topographical maps, and first aid. Sorry! I just wanted you to be prepared for any situation.”

“Nah, don’t sweat it. I’m sure they’ll all come in handy at some point. Well, I guess I should head back to Ponyville and pack some clothes.”

Spike took only a few steps before his arm was grabbed by Celestia. In a rare moment of emotion, her eyes became glassy and she seemed to be on the verge of tears…but after taking a deep breath, the solar monarch composed herself. With a brief flash of magic, she summoned a ticket and gave it to Spike.

“That is a royal train voucher. As long as you have it in your possession, every train in Equestria shall be made accessible to you. I know it won’t get you the whole way to the valley, but—”

Throwing all decorum to the wind, Spike hugged Celestia as tightly as he could. He knew that she would probably be embarrassed afterwards, but he could care less. It was important that she understand how much he loved her, even if he wasn’t her biological son. That was all it took to break Celestia’s crumbling resolve. She wept softly into Spike’s shirt.

“Thanks, Mom. I’ll use it when I can.”

Celestia sniffed. “It’s been far too long since you last called me that.”

“Err…well I didn’t want to embarrass you.”

Celestia sighed. “I suppose that’s my fault. It is difficult sometimes to separate my royal façade from my private one. Please forgive me, Spike. I didn’t mean to imply that you aren’t precious to me. So…from now on do try to call me ‘Mom’ more often, alright?”

“Yeah, I can do that. Thanks again for the ticket.”

“You’re quite welcome. And be sure to send me letters at regular intervals! They don’t have to be friendship reports or anything like that, but I still want to know how you’re doing.”

Spike chuckled. “Don’t worry, I will.”

Equestrian Naval Outpost Sigma, Edge of the Ebonwood Forest

The initial part of Spike’s journey had been relatively straightforward. All he had to do was take a train from Ponyville straight to Baltimare. Once he arrived there, the young man boarded an Equestrian Naval cruiser called HMS Solaris bound for what was colloquially known as the “Wild Continent”. The name certainly didn’t sound too inviting.

Despite the short distance across the Celestial Sea and the “The Wild Continent” it was by no means a short journey. The captain informed him that it was impossible to land the ship on the north shore because of the strong currents and the beaches there only led to a high mountain range called The Teeth of Delmira. So, they nearly had to sail around the entire western edge of the island continent just to find a spot to anchor the ship safely.

Even then, there was very little flat land for them utilize. The ship was still a few kilometers out to sea, but Spike’s eyes widened in awe as he saw the massive forest that seemed to swallow up the land beyond the coast. He swallowed a lump in his throat. Some of those trees had to be bigger than the skyscrapers in Manehatten.

Captain Iron Sides nodded solemnly. “I don’t envy you, young man. Many explorers have braved those woods and never came out again. But I suppose you can’t help it, being what you are.”

“Don’t I know it? I’m only here because of this stupid compulsion tattoo on my hand. Otherwise, I’d rather be in Ponyville with all of my friends and family.”

“Aye, it’s been a while since I’ve seen my wife and daughter. At any rate, I think it best that we not dwell on such thoughts. I’ll have a shore party assembled to escort you to the outpost, and you can stock up on whatever supplies you might need. From that point on, you’re on your own.”

Spike shook his hand. “Thanks, sir. I appreciate all of your help.”

“It is always a pleasure to serve the crowns. Good luck on your journey, Master Spike.”

The outpost was little more than a few tents and a small command building. The complex was well supplied despite how utilitarian it appeared to be. Spike had brought some food with him, but had since gone through most of it in his travels. That only left him with the less than appetizing solution of taking as many MREs as he could fit into his satchel.

The young man sighed. They would at least keep him fed for a while, even if they tasted like sawdust. He could always forage for berries and plants in the forest, if he needed to. Towards the back of the room, he noticed that the entire wall was covered in an assortment of firearms and blades. Spike had never been a fan of violence, but recognized the need to protect himself should the need arise.

Judging by all the rumors he heard from the sailors, there was a vast array of dangerous creatures that lurked within the Ebonwood Forest. His hands trembled when he reached for a pistol. It felt utterly alien in his grasp, but he was glad that Shining Armor had taught him how to maintain and use one. The final item he took was a curved blade machete, which slid into a sheath upon his back with a satisfying click.

There was one niggling thought that crept into the back of Spike’s mind as he approached the forest. The Captain had stressed that early morning to late afternoon was the best time of day one could chose to venture into the forest. The canopy was so thick that very little light came through. Therefore, it was imperative that one traveled when the sun was at its brightest. Woe betides the explorer who braves these woods at night!

The darkness was not really the only issue. Who knew how many nocturnal predators could be lurking in such a vast and primeval forest. Spike understood that he was going to have to set up camp in there somewhere, but it frightened him out of his wits to even think about it. That was why he brought a long a couple flashlights and a fire starting rod. Fire would frighten most of the predators…right? At least that’s what he hoped.

Luckily, it was still quite early in the morning and he’d already eaten breakfast with the sailors in the mess hall. He checked his watch. It read only a few minutes past seven. Because the island continent was closer to the equator, the sun’s rays were slightly more intense than they were in Equestria. But oddly enough, it wasn’t terribly hot. In fact, the temperature was quite pleasant…if one didn’t mind giant spooky forests and impassable mountain ranges.

At least he wouldn’t sweat to death while trudging through the forest. It was a small blessing, but one he would count nonetheless. The most unusual thing he noticed while going through the forest was the lack of underbrush. There were ferns, moss, and twigs covering the ground but otherwise he had little trouble keeping a steady pace.

Spike took a sip out of his canteen. It made a certain amount of sense, he supposed. With how little sunlight there was trickling down from the canopy, smaller plants probably had no chance of thriving. The other thing that struck him as unusual was how eerily quiet it was. There had to have been thousands of animals living here, yet he only heard the occasional bird call and a few buzzing insects. His instincts screamed at him that something was wrong. He wasn’t alone anymore.

He slowly pulled out his pistol and chambered a round. The dose of adrenaline that now coursed through his veins sharpened his senses and made his hands tremble. For a moment he tried to steady himself but it was no use. He was afraid. He was more afraid than he had ever been in his entire life. It was a fear that his ancient ancestors knew only too well. It was the fear of being hunted.

Spike panted heavily. “O-ok, just keep your wits about you. You can do this, Spike.”

A twig snapped in the distance. He spun around in the direction he thought it came from but found nothing. By sheer coincidence, he turned to his left and saw a pair of reptilian eyes glowing in the gloom of the forest. Spike squinted and found that there was just enough light to make out its hulking silhouette. The creature was nearly the size of a fully grown bear.

The reptilian beast clearly was in no mood to play games. It made no attempt to intimidate its prey by growling or roaring, the creature simply coiled its muscles and lunged at full strength. Despite its size, the creature was incredibly fast and agile. Spike was only saved from getting torn to pieces by virtue of the fact that he slipped on some moss in his attempt to flee.

The creature was momentarily stunned since it charged headlong into a tree trunk instead of flesh and bone. Now that Spike had a chance to collect his wits, he got a good look at the beast. It almost looked like a flightless dragon, save for the all of the muddy green feathers covering its body. He was absolutely certain that they had nothing to do with flight and the creature’s bones couldn’t have been hollow either.

Such a creature would have been fascinating to study under more controlled circumstances, but he had more important things to do at the moment…like fighting for his life. Exotic reptilian biology studies would just have to wait.

The beast bellowed out a cry that sounded like a war horn mixed with a wolf’s howl. It shattered the relative silence of the forest and sent a chill down his spine. Spike wasn’t exactly an expert zoologist, but even he could tell that the reptile was more than a little pissed off. Scrambling to his feet, the young man aimed his pistol at the beast.


Spike was only able to fire three shots before he had to start moving again. The beast just shrugged off the blows and kept charging, unhindered whatsoever. It wasn’t that the shots had missed their mark, the caliber of the bullet was simply too small to significantly injure the creature.

He cursed himself for not bringing a rifle instead. A few well-placed shots with one of those might have been able to kill the creature. Unfortunately, the only option he had at this point was to fire as many rounds into the beast as possible and hope that it would slow down enough for him to escape.

Only ten minutes had passed since the initial encounter, but it felt like an eternity to Spike. From what he could tell, the lumbering predator was beginning to slow down somewhat due to fatigue or blood loss. But it wasn’t enough. The stupid thing just kept coming.

Spike’s entire body burned from his exertions, screaming at him to stop and rest. Every ragged breath he took made him want to throw up. But he couldn’t stop. It would mean certain death if he did. For a mere moment, he happened to spot a steep gully ahead of him. If he could manage to lure the beast in there, all of his problems would be solved!

With a newfound surge of hope, Spike started running towards the gully. Now that he got closer to it, he realized it was quite a bit deeper than he first thought. The bottom must have been at least ten meters deep. A cold knot formed in his stomach. Even if anything survived such a fall, the rocks embedded in the ground below would make a mechanical injury nearly impossible to avoid.

Spike planted his feet along the edge of the gully, prepared to move a moment’s notice. It would take an incredible amount of luck and good timing to make sure that he didn’t fall along with the beast or get turned into dinner. Just as the beast started walking towards him, he heard a strange whistling sound accompanied by a meaty squelch.

To his astonishment, someone had shot an arrow into the beast’s eye. Since it had happened so fast, the creature did not yet realize it was dead. It took a few more steps, growled softly, and slumped onto the ground like a sack of potatoes.

Spike unabashedly wept like an infant, thanking whatever deities he could think of for sparing his life that day. The young man was so absorbed in his celebration that he failed to notice the hunter who felled the beast. When he finally noticed someone else was standing in front of him, it surprised him so much that he lost his footing and tumbled down into the gully below.

So much for being saved…

The Encounter

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Chapter 3

Ebonwood Forest, The Wild Continent

Spike awoke to find that his entire body ached from head to toe. Other than being slightly annoyed at being knocked unconscious so many times lately, he was grateful that he was even able to feel pain. Because feeling pain meant that he was alive. A quick assessment of his surroundings confirmed that he was now sitting on a massive tree limb somehow.

Other than being utterly baffled as to how he managed to go from the bottom of a gully to a tree, he felt…rather breezy. He wasn’t exactly cold since the forest was, for the most part, tropical. It was more like a sense of nakedness. One quick look down confirmed that the only thing he was currently wearing was a loincloth that barely preserved his modesty.

The young man had been wearing a full set of Equestrian Navy fatigues earlier, along with a satchel and other supplies. Now, they were simply gone. He certainly hadn’t packed a loincloth. Besides, what kind of crazy bastard ventures into a dangerous jungle wearing only that?! The only time that kind of thing happened was in primitive fantasy novels or movies.

So that only left one option: someone must have clothed him in aforementioned loincloth and saved him from the gully. As if on que, Spike got his answer mere moments later. Much to his surprise, a young woman climbed up the tree like a monkey and hung from a branch right next to him.

She wore clothing (if you could call it that) very similar to his own, except her chest was covered by a thin layer of hide. Otherwise, her garb left very little to the imagination. To make matters worse, she was probably the same age as he was…and very cute.

It wasn’t in the traditional sense that Rarity was known for but more in an exotic, rough and tumble tomboy sort of way. She was very similar to Rainbow Dash in that respect, except for the fact that her breasts were definitely a few cups bigger.

Her sapphire hued hair was cut in a messy, shortened style that screamed function over form but it suited her. Unlike the fair-skinned people of Equestria, her flesh was a creamy tone of bronze that bespoke of basking in the sun’s rays with little to no clothing on for most of her life. Spike found himself ogling her. He hoped she didn’t notice.

“You’re finally awake, huh?”

“Oh…y-yeah, I guess so. Were you the one that saved me?”

The girl grinned. “Mhmm. You’re one lucky bastard. Not many people survive a tumble like that without breaking a few bones or just flat out dying.”

“Umm…thanks. I appreciate it. What happened to all of my clothes and stuff?”

The girl cocked her eyebrow. “Are you really gonna ask me that? You nearly died you idiot! I seriously think you need to reevaluate your priorities.”

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to make it sound like I was ungrateful. It’s just that my satchel had all of my guides, supplies, and gear I would need to survive out here. Without them, I’m pretty much screwed!”

“I guess that makes sense. But you don’t really need to worry about all that. I know these woods like the back of my hand. As long as you stick with me, I’ll take you to my village and you can stay there. Otherwise, all of your stuff sank in the mud or got ripped up.”

Spike felt his cheeks warm up. “Wait, so you were the one who cleaned me up and…p-put this loincloth on me?”

“Duh. Who else could have done it?”

But that means you saw me na—

The girl gave Spike a half-lidded stare. “It’s not like I haven’t seen a penis before. Why are you so upset about it? I even gave you a loincloth to cater to your delicate Outlander sensibilities.”


“Yeah. It’s the name we give anyone who comes from beyond the valley. You might be blood kin, but I could tell right away that you were raised by Outlanders.”

Spike coughed awkwardly. “That’s true but…you act like you don’t normally wear anything at all!”

“I’m only wearing this because it’s my duty to trade and negotiate with the Outlanders. They tend to freak out when you show up to their camp with nothing on. Otherwise, if we were in the village, I wouldn’t bother.”

It was difficult for the young man to gather his thoughts. He felt as though his face was going to turn into a vine ripened tomato. This girl was one of his people. And she was basically admitting that they were a race of full-time nudists!

Spike considered himself a learned man, but never had he read of such a thing. Granted, there was very little information about the Wyvertii in the first place…but how could such a huge detail about their way of life have been left out?! He didn’t even want to begin to imagine how awkward things were going to get once they reached the village.

Spike bit his lip. “Will I have to—you know—take my loincloth off too?”

“Judging by the mark on your hand, I’d wager that you’re here to compete in the Gauntlet of Fire. Isn’t that right?”

“Mostly. I mean, I’m more concerned about breaking the compulsion spell than actually winning anything.”

The girl sighed. “Figures. You are kind of scrawny for a Wyvertii man. But if you do decide to compete in the Gauntlet of Fire, it is mandatory that you do so as your true self. By sacred tradition, Delmira demands it!”

“Back up a second. Who’s Delmira and what do you mean by true self?”

“She is the great mother dragon who gave birth to our people. By her word, we live as simply as we are born. So yeah. You are going to be naked the whole time. Don’t like it? Too bad! That’s just the way things are around here.”

Spike rubbed his arm. “I-I don’t know if I can do that…

“For the love of the goddess! Do you feel uncomfortable allowing others to see your arm?”


The girl crossed her arms. “Then allowing others to see your penis is no different! It is a part of your body like any other. Like or not, your flesh is an integral part of your being, so why should you be ashamed of it?”

“It’s not that simp—”

“It is! You merely have to allow yourself to get used to it.”

“Mom did tell me I needed to learn about my own people. I guess I don’t really have much of a choice but to try it. Just promise me that you won’t laugh or anything.”

The girl blushed. “That’s ridiculous! I would never do such a thing. B-besides, only an idiot would be embarrassed of having a perfectly healthy manhood…

Fortunately, Spike didn’t happen to catch the last part of her comment. With all of the sudden awkwardness of their meeting, a thought occurred to him. He had no idea what the girl’s name was nor had he told her who he was. Spike mentally cursed himself. It really wasn’t the best way to form a good impression, especially towards the people whose hospitality he’d have to depend on for the foreseeable future.

“Hey, I feel kind of stupid for saying this but I don’t think we introduced ourselves yet.”

“Hmm. I guess I did get a little caught up in everything. My name’s Ember.”

Spike smiled. “Mine’s Spike. I hope that we can become good friends, despite our awkward introduction.”

“I suppose we could be, so long as you don’t keep making me save your scrawny hide.”

Spike pouted. “I-I’m not that scrawny! I just…haven’t really had time to work out lately.”

“Soft excuses from a soft Outlander. Fortunately for you, I’m willing to help you get stronger. You’re going to need to be able to harness every ounce of strength you have in order to survive the Gauntlet, after all.”

“That assumes I even want to compete.”

Ember twiddled her fingers. “I know it sounds silly but ever since I was a little girl, I always dreamed of seeing the world beyond the valley. But I can’t do that because my father won’t allow me to travel to the Outlands. If you won the competition, you could override his command. I figure that it’s small price to pay on your part, considering that I saved your life.”

“Fair enough, I guess. But why can’t you just compete in the Gauntlet? You seem strong enough.”

Ember closed her eyes. “Whether I’m strong or not isn’t the issue. I can’t compete because only men are allowed to hold the title of Dragon Lord. Sometimes, tradition sucks.”

Spike had been around women of various ages for his entire life, so he knew a thing or two about their feelings. Although he hadn’t known her for long, he could tell that Ember was struggling to keep her emotions in check. She was a lot like Rainbow in that regard too. A woman who rarely sought help or comfort from her friends and had difficulty expressing how she truly felt.

Screwing up his courage, Spike decided to take a chance and rub Ember’s back in an attempt to comfort her. With how strong she looked, he was afraid she would beat the stuffing out of him if she wasn’t very comfortable with physical contact. He winced, expecting her to slug him or something along those lines…but was surprised to find that she didn’t resist at all.

Spike continued to gently rub her back. “I’ll do it. Even if you hadn’t saved my life, I still would have done it. Because that’s what friends do. They help each other.”

“You will? I didn’t really expect you to actually help me. I was only calling your bluff with the whole life-debt thing. No one’s ever…been this kind to me before. I-I don’t know what to say.”

“Thank you would probably be a good start.”

This time, Ember really did punch him in the arm. It wasn’t at full strength, but Spike winced in pain all the same. There was no doubt about it. She was wickedly strong. Since Spike didn’t want to push his luck any further, he bore the pain in stoic silence. Plus, he didn’t want to look like a wimp.

Ember’s face turned beet red. “Y-Y-YOU IDIOT! I was trying to have a serious heart to heart with you and all I get in return is your sarcasm?! See if I ever talk to you again!”

“Ehehe…sorry about that. I can’t help myself sometimes. Look, in all seriousness I promise to help you. We can do whatever training you think I might need, no matter how tough it is or how much I complain. You have my word.”

Ember pointed her nose in the air. “Fine! Just be more considerate of my feelings next time. I’m still a woman, you know.”

“All too well, I’m afraid.”

Spike later found out the name of the feathered reptilian creature that had been stalking him earlier. It was called a Charrick. Apparently, this was mating season for them and they were all hyper aggressive and eager to present the females of their kind with a fresh kill.

At least Ember had sounded impressed that he’d survived against it as long as he did. But she also advised that wounding it in the manner that he’d done was a very stupid idea. Charricks were well-known for having tough skin underneath their camouflaged feathers. Only a head or eye shot could possibly kill with any sort of efficiency.

Despite all of the lecturing, Spike was amazed at how fast she skinned and butchered the animal. It bespoke of years of practice and skill. The whole display only further reminded him not to get on her bad side, because an angry woman with a knife was on an entirely different level of nope. After all that was said and done, she gathered up some stones and twigs and made a fire pit.

Ember directed her hands at the pile of twigs and grunted. Spike looked at her in confusion. Just what in the world was she doing? She closed her eyes and concentrated as hard as she could, but still nothing happened. At this point, Spike felt a bit sorry for her and decided to intervene, lest she further embarrass herself.

“Umm…what are you doing?”

Ember huffed. “I’m trying to start a fire!”

“How exactly do you plan to do that?”

“I’m gonna light it with my dragon fire, of course. It’s just that—I’m not very good at it yet. Gimme another minute to concentrate, I’ll make it happen.”

A cocky grin spread on Spike’s lips. “Well, I just so happen to be really good at casting fire. It’s kind of my thing. Yep. I did it all the time back in Ponyville.”

“Ha! Yeah right. It’s incredibly rare for our people to able to cast dragon fire. How could you, a whelp raised by Outlanders, have that much control over your pyromancy? For that matter, how did you even discover you could do it?”

Spike chuckled. “It was actually by complete accident that I found out. But once I figured out how to do it, I used it all the time. But don’t get the wrong idea! I wasn’t a pyromaniac or anything crazy like that! I used my flames to teleport mail…for the most part.”

“Do you have any idea how difficult that is?! Only our eldest and wisest magi are able to do such things. I can barely start a normal flame without feeling like the life’s been drained out of me.”

Spike rubbed his neck. “Wow, I didn’t realize it was that special. I just thought it was something everybody could do. Do you…want me to light the fire for you?”

“You’d better do more than that! If I’m going to be taking time out of my day to train you, I want you to train me as well. Teach me how to cast dragon fire more efficiently.”

“Sure, that sounds reasonable. The first thing you have to do is concentrate on the fiery feeling inside of your chest. Then, once that builds up for a little while, you let the energy flow into hands. Last of all, just picture the fire in your palm and release it.”

In an instant, a small green flame danced in Spike’s hand. Much to his embarrassment, Ember grabbed his hand towards her and looked at with a scrutinizing glare. It was actually kind of cute, seeing her nose all scrunched up in concentration like that. After getting his fill of Serious Mode Ember, he retracted the flame back into his palm.

“Wait! Why did you take it back? Aren’t you going to light the fire?”

Spike shook his head. “That’d be too easy. I want you to do it.”

“Gah! I already told you I can’t.”

“Yes you can. Just concentrate a bit more.”

Ember closed her eyes. “Alright, I’ll try. But you’d better not laugh or I’ll break your nose.”

Spike knew better than to laugh at this point, but he nodded in agreement all the same. Besides, if this dragon flame ability was so rare it made a certain amount of sense that someone like Ember would have trouble performing it. He waited patiently while she concentrated.

Much to his surprise, she actually managed to summon a small sapphire-hued flame in her fist within about thirty seconds. He was about to congratulate her, but was interrupted by her peals of joy upon seeing the flame. Instead, he just gave her a slight smile. She sure was a quick learner.

“See? I knew you could do it.”

Ember giggled. “I’ve never summoned a flame this quickly before! You really do know what you’re doing. So…what do I do now?”

“Light up the twigs, my faithful student.”

Ember furrowed her brow. “Is it like shooting an arrow? It can’t be that easy…”

“Just will the fire in whatever direction you please. That’s all there is to it.”

The fireball she shot was not very big, but size could sometimes be deceiving. Sure, a big fireball or a stream could potentially produce more damage but it was really all about how much will the user put into forming the flame in the first place that determined the strength. Within moments, the twigs caught fire and produced a beautiful sapphire-hued campfire.

Immediately, Spike noticed that Ember’s flames generated a peculiar scent. His usually didn’t smell like anything other than whatever it was he happened to be igniting…but this was different. Her flames created a slightly floral aroma that carried a smoky undertone. Strange, to be sure, but not at all unpleasant to catch wind of. Maybe pyromancy worked a bit differently with women? He wasn’t really sure.

Ember skewered a chunk of Charrick meat on a stick and began to roast it over the flames. In all of the excitement, Spike had almost forgotten how long it had been since he last ate something. Now that he was thinking about food, his stomach growled in protest, demanding that he consume more calories.

As a gesture of hospitality, Ember offered him the charred chunk of meat as soon as it was cooked enough. He had to admit that it didn’t look very appetizing. But at least it smelled good. When he finally took a bite out of the meat, it didn’t taste as bad as he thought it would but it was very chewy and had a distinct gamey aftertaste. Even so, he ate it without any further protest.

Ember began roasting another chunk. “Why didn’t you just burn the Charrick with your flames? That probably would have killed it.”

“It very well might have. But conjuring fire, in a big forest, while in a panic? Not a good idea. Knowing my luck, I would have started a massive forest fire. Plus, I kind of forgot I could do it because I was so scared.”

Ember nodded solemnly. “Charricks are apex predators. You’d have been a fool not to fear them. The only reason I didn’t panic was because I’ve run into them before and knew where the best kill shot was.”

“I still feel bad that you had to kill it for me. Aren’t the men—I dunno—supposed to protect the women? I just…feel kind of useless.”

Ember awkwardly placed her hand on his shoulder. “You aren’t useless, only ignorant of how things work around here. And I’m pretty much the exception to the rule when it comes to ‘needing protection’ as you put it.”

“Sorry, I—it’s going to take me a long time to learn about everything. And I know I’m not the strongest or most selfless guy around, but I promise I’ll work hard to help you with your dream. Umm…I guess what I’m trying to say is: Thanks for taking me under your wing, Ember.”

Ember felt her cheeks get warmer and it had nothing to do with the fire. “Using honeyed words won’t make me go easier on you, Outlander.”

“Nah, I didn’t expect they would. I guess I’m just used to being open about how I feel. It comes with being raised by Equestrians. I’ll stop being so sappy if bothers you.”

Ember nervously twirled a strand of her hair. “I don’t dislike it. I-I mean, Wyvertii men hardly ever speak of such things. They’re more concerned about boasts and conquests than matters of the mind and heart. I suppose it’s just refreshing to hear you speak that way.”

“Suits me just fine.”

“Good! We should probably get some sleep because there’s no way we’re traveling to the village in the middle of the night. Too many nocturnal predators. Be prepared to rise early, as well. We shall set out at dawn.”

The Arrival

View Online

Chapter 4

Ebonwood Forest, Wild Continent

Spike slowly opened his sleep crusted eyes and greeted the rising sun. If he was being honest with himself, sleeping in an impromptu hammock constructed from leaves, moss, and twigs had not granted him the most comfortable sleep of his life.

Let it not be said that he was ungrateful. Ember, being the survival expert, suggested that they sleep up in the trees to avoid predators and the host of insects that called the forest floor their home. Being able to sleep without worrying that a nasty critter might crawl up and bite him was a small price to pay for a lumpy moss mattress.

The young man suppressed a shudder. He was never very fond of insects. Fluttershy didn’t seem to have any issues with them, but she never expressed hatred towards any kind of animal no matter how creepy or crawly they were. Most people were scared of spiders, but Spike feared another insect far greater: the millipede.

He encountered them often when he used to clean the library and found the thousand legged creatures to be disgusting and able to scurry about far too fast. His hatred stemmed from the fact that one happened fall on his face while he was sleeping. After that point, he took it upon himself to kill any he could find.

His reverie was broken when he noticed something odd. He felt comfortably warm. Even though he was technically in a humid jungle, the mornings were still cool enough to chill the skin if one didn’t wear the proper attire. Furthermore, he wasn’t exactly wearing very much at the moment. So why did he feel this way?

Spike’s answer came a few seconds later when he felt Ember’s breasts squish against his back. In fact, now that he got the chance to take stock of his surroundings, he realized that she was cuddling him like a giant teddy bear.

Clearly, it was involuntary on her part. The two of them had tried to sleep as far away from one another as they could…but the moss hammock was only so big. It was only a matter of time until she awoke, and then all hell would break loose. He decided to take advantage of the situation while he still could.

Spike reveled in the softness of her breasts, and the warm tingly feeling where her flesh was pressed against his. He took a deep breath. She even smelled wonderful! Despite the fact that she had been hiking around in the jungle for the past day, Ember’s body exuded a delightfully floral aroma with only the barest hint of sweat. He grinned like an idiot and giggled.

That little sound was all it took to rouse Ember from her sleep. Spike felt a knot form in his chest. He desperately hoped that she wouldn’t do anything rash once she realized the intimate position they were locked in. He winced, preparing to be beat-up…but was surprised when the blows never came. Instead, all he felt was her disentangle her body from his own, accompanied by the tell-tale rustling of moss as she scooched away.

Spike glanced towards her and noticed that she was trying her damnedest to suppress the redness on her face, but was failing spectacularly. He wanted to do something to comfort her, but he decided it was for the best that he shouldn’t. After all, the two of them touching one another was what started this in the first place…even if it wasn’t on purpose.

Ember crossed her arms. “Just so you know, I move around a lot when I sleep. So…sorry if I caused you any discomfort or anything. Let’s just hurry up and bathe. I don’t want us to reek of sweat and mud when we reach the village. Then we can eat breakfast.”

“Yeah, that’s sounds good.”

Luckily, there happened to be a stream nearby where Ember had set up the hammock. Spike was fairly certain she had done so on purpose because she was already kneeling down to fill up a pair of water skins. The odd part was that she ground up some kind of plant and mixed it into both of the skins and shook them up. He assumed it must have been some kind of flavoring?

Spike scratched his head. “What exactly are you doing?”

“The plants I put in there will give it some flavor as well as kill off any parasites. You’re lucky I’m here with you, Outlander. Otherwise, you’d be shitting your guts out from drinking untreated water.”

“Oh. Wait…you guys know about that kind of stuff? I thought that—”

Ember scowled at him. “The Wyvertii are just a bunch of spear-chucking savages? Hardly! You have a lot to learn about your own people. We know just as much about germs as the Equestrians do. You should also be aware that we take cleanliness very seriously.”


“Yep. In fact, we have communal baths so that people can enjoy each other’s company and socialize…and get clean, of course. Those with higher status often have their own private baths as well. So, you’d better get used to the idea of bathing regularly!”

Spike waved his hand. “You don’t have to worry about that. I like taking baths. Although, I usually take them by myself.”

Ember didn’t waste any time bothering to reply. Instead, she tossed off what little clothing she was wearing and plunged into the stream. She dove under the water for a few seconds and resurfaced with a satisfied grin on her face. Spike just stood on the bank with a stupefied look on his face.

“Aren’t you coming in?”

Spike blushed. “I umm—I’ll just wait until you’re done.”

“Why? That’ll just waste time.”

“But you’re n-naked!”

Ember put her hands on her hips. “Well, you’ll have to get used to seeing everyone naked at some point. Like I told you before, pretty much everyone in the village doesn’t wear anything. Just get your scrawny ass in the stream or so help me, I’ll drag you in here!”

Spike gingerly removed his loincloth, knowing full well that she could easily follow through with her threat. Intellectually, he knew that she had already seen him naked…but that was when he was unconscious. This was an entirely different situation. He had never been very comfortable showing off his body around others.

The young man slowly waded into the water and found that it wasn’t nearly as cold as he was expecting. However, as even tepid water tends to do, he found that there was still some shrinkage involved. It did little to boost his confidence. With a resigned sigh, he began washing his hair.

Ember cocked her brow. “Why are you so tense? If you walk around like that all day, you’ll give yourself a bunch of cramps.”

“Look…I’m sorry, ok! This isn’t something I’m used to. It’s embarrassing for me to be naked in front of a girl. Especially when she’s naked too!”

“Because you think I’ll laugh at you?”

Spike bit his lip. “Something like that.”

“Uggh! That’s just stupid. Why would I laugh at you?”

Spike looked down at the water. “Ya know because my errm…thing isn’t like super big.”

“Do you really think that matters to me? Penises come in all shapes and sizes. Sure, yours isn’t very long but at least it’s thick. I happen to like how your—WAIT I DIDN’T MEAN TO SAY THAT!!”

Spike scrambled to cover his junk. “I knew it! You were checking out my dick!”

“T-That’s beside the point! You can see all of my body just the same. There’s no reason to feel embarrassed about it; I assure you that no one is going to make fun of your manhood. Although, I can’t say the same about your pitifully under-muscled body.”

Spike splashed some water towards her. “I’m not that scrawny!”

Ember, being the hothead she was, summoned a fireball and glared daggers at Spike. He was certain she was aiming for him…until she shot it far to the left. For a moment, he was going to harass her for having such poor aim when he saw something burning out of the corner of his eye. His heart dropped into the pit of his stomach. That was where they had put their clothing.

Ember let out a haughty laugh. “There! Now you have no choice but to remain naked. Serves you right for splashing me! And to think, I was going to go easy on you during our first training session. Oh no, I’m going work you so hard that you’ll be chiseled as stone when the Gauntlet finally begins.”

It was no use anymore. Spike wasn’t going to be getting his modesty back anytime soon, so he decided to just accept the situation as it was. The more he thought about it, the less terrible it really seemed. The climate in this part of the world was incredibly mild, so it wasn’t as if he was going to be uncomfortable walking around in the buff.

And think of the convenience! No more worrying about what to wear. He could just roll out of bed and be ready for the day. No one would judge him for it, because they were all naked too! A more troubling train of thought creeped into his mind as he observed Ember lathering her (beautifully toned, he had to admit) behind. What if he got excited?

It was bound to happen. With the sheer amount of testosterone coursing through his teenage veins, it was impossible for him not to. At least if he had been wearing clothing, his erection could be hidden. What would he do now? Awkwardly walk around with his hands over his junk…or just act casual with a ragging hard-on? Neither option was very appealing to Spike.

As embarrassing as it was, he decided to swallow his manly pride and ask Ember about it. Surely, such a thing happened in her village, at least on an occasional basis. The last thing he wanted was to violate some social taboo the Wyvertii had and get kicked out. Maybe they were more understanding than he thought.

Spike’s voice cracked. “Ember, do you mind if I ask you a weird question?”

“I guess. What is it?”

“Since I’m kind of new to this whole ‘living in the nude’ thing, what do I do when I ermm—you know—get excited?”

Ember blushed. “I-I suppose it can’t be helped because you aren’t used to it. We are more open-minded about our bodies than Outlanders are. If you become aroused, be humble about it. And for the love of Delmira, don’t go around flaunting your erection! It probably won’t stop some women from staring or giggling…but it isn’t an entirely uncommon occurrence.”

“So, I won’t get kicked out of the village or pelted with rotten vegetables?”

“Of course not! We would never punish someone for what amounts to a natural reaction. Just don’t make a habit of it or I’ll be sure to give you a swift kick to the ball sac.”

Spike winced. “Ehehe…I’ll try not to.”

Village of Brimstone, Wyver Valley

After all of the bathing drama, breakfast was a rather tepid affair by comparison. Ember had somehow managed to scrounge together some berries, a few bird eggs, and pine nuts from the forest. Since the both of them could conjure fire, it had been easy for them to fry eggs if one overlooked the fact that it was done so on some flat rocks found on the stream bed. Other than that, it was a satisfying meal.

Even though he tried his best to get used to the whole naked thing, Spike found it difficult not to admire the sight of Ember’s bare form. He could now appreciate just how muscular her body actually was. She didn’t have the exaggerated muscles of a bodybuilder, but more like those of a highly trained athlete. Sure, softer girls like Pinkie could be cute…but he’d always thought that girls with toned bodies were much sexier.

Her entire body was hairless, save for a thin tuft of sapphire colored pubic hair on her groin. It had always bothered Spike as to why he grew so little hair and now it made sense. The Wyvertii simply didn’t need it. He looked down at his own patch of emerald green pubic hair and wondered if any of the women would think it looked sexy. At least he didn’t have to trim it, considering that it had stopped growing by the time he was sixteen.

Ember’s breasts were a complete mystery to Spike. Despite how muscular she was, they were rather sizeable in comparison. That is not to say that she had the kind of volume that Fluttershy possessed, but they were certainly larger than Rarity’s. The biggest oddity was that they barely jiggled when she moved.

Spike’s eyes widened. “By Starswirl’s beard! Her boobs don’t jiggle much because that’s mostly muscle under there. Unnnnn…they’re just so beautifully shaped! It’s like they’re carved from marble or something. I know I already felt them against my back but they were covered then. I bet they feel even more amazing in the flesh…

They were very close to the village now, if the tell-tale columns of smoke were anything to go by. He closed his eyes for a few seconds and practiced the breathing exercises that Aunt Cadence had taught him. His lecherous thoughts concerning Ember had stirred his loins to life and he didn’t want to have a full hard-on when they entered the village. That would NOT be the best way to make a good first impression.

When he finally opened his eyes, he was amazed to witness the impressive stockade hewn from large trees found in the forest before him. Two burly looking guards with bows stood atop the ramparts, looking out for any intruders. Ember made a strange whistling noise and they opened the gates. The inside was just as impressive.

Spike had been expecting to see a primitive village with a few huts sprinkled here and there, but what he got was practically a forest metropolis. It wasn’t a modern city like Canterlot, but it was far more advanced than he gave the Wyvertii credit for.

Most of the structures were made of wood and thatched moss roofs. They were all similar in size and resembled cabins rather than the primitive mud huts Spike was thinking of. There were even complex designs such as dragons and other forest creatures carved into the sides.

Ember hadn’t been kidding when she said that they took cleanliness seriously. Even though the streets were made of dirt, there wasn’t a spec of waste or refuse to be found. The only smells that pervaded the air were that of cooking food, earth, and wood smoke. All in all, it was a rather pleasant mixture of scents. It gave Spike an oddly nostalgic feeling in his chest…like he was finally home after taking a long journey.

When he cast his gaze around to soak in the majesty of Brimstone, he finally realized that everyone was completely nude. The full implications of what Ember said earlier hit him like a freight train. Men, women, and children of all ages were represented here. They went about their daily lives as if nothing was wrong. It truly didn’t matter to them.

Suddenly, he felt extremely self-conscious. Only by sheer willpower alone was he able to concentrate on staying casual. At least that’s what he thought. To any observer, he would have appeared to be very tense. A tiny voice in the back of his mind screamed at him to go hide in one of the wooden barrels he saw as they entered the village.

Needless to say, he beat that tiny voice with a rusty shovel and threw the body into a ditch. This was his life now and he needed to get used to it, no matter how bizarre it seemed to him. Besides, just because they chose not to wear clothing didn’t necessarily imply that they were doing anything obscene. Of course, the cute female vendor openly hawking wooden dildos didn’t really help much to dissuade such notions…

Ember chuckled awkwardly. “Like I said: we’re far more open about our bodies than Outlanders. Pay her no mind. Masturbation is a c-completely healthy and NORMAL way to relieve stress! Nothing unusual about that!”

“What? I didn’t say anything.”

Ember’s cheeks turned red. “I know that look. You were THINKING ABOUT IT!!”

“Sure. And I agree with you. It’s not like I have a problem with you masturbating.”

SHUT UP! I have no desire to discuss the specific benefits of masturbation in the middle of the market. Especially with a man!”

Spike waved his hands. “Ok, ok. Calm down, I didn’t mean to embarrass you. I was just agreeing with what you said. I promise I won’t say anything more about it.”

“Good. I don’t need people starting any rumors. They tend to spread quickly around here. Especially since you’re a newcomer and no one’s seen you before.”

Whether intentional or not, the universe was determined to make Ember’s life more difficult. And by extension, Spike’s as well. For only a few moments after she uttered those words, a woman came running towards them with an excited expression on her face.

She appeared to be about a decade older than Ember and possessed a far more slender physique. The woman didn’t really have much in the way of breasts, but they were quite perky and well-shaped. However, that was not her most distinguishable feature. What set her apart from the rest of the crowd was her pale flesh, pink eyes, and ghostly white hair. She stuck out like a sore thumb amongst the normally bronze-skinned populace of the Wyvertii.

Spike almost mistook her for a woman hailing from the cold reaches of Griffonia but she had the same pointed ears, fangs, and reptilian eyes as he did. She had to have been Wyvertii then. It took him a while to remember, but he recalled seeing something similar to this in one of Fluttershy’s bird books.

This woman had to have been an albino. It was an incredibly rare genetic mutation that was almost unheard of amongst the human races. He was immediately captivated by her exotic appearance. And…she was also quite beautiful too. That certainly helped.

The woman bowed to Ember. “Greetings, Mistress Ember! Your father told me to escort you to the Hall of Flames as soon as you retrieved our guest.”

“Wait. Father knew about him?”

“Mhmm. He sensed the connection to our guest’s summoning crest. Is there something wrong?”

“No…I simply forgot that Father could do that. I suppose it’s fortuitous that I guided him here then.”

Rather than reply, the woman simply nodded. And then, as if someone had flipped a switch, the woman darted behind Ember and began to gently fondle her breasts. It was such a surreal scene that Spike didn’t think it was actually happening…until he heard Ember’s soft moans and shouts of protest.

WINNY, STOP IT! You’re annhh—embarrassing me!”

The woman grinned like a dirty old man. “Oh ho~ You have such wonderful breasts, Mistress Ember. I can tell that you’ve been working on your abdominal exercises. That’s the best way to make sure they don’t get saggy.”


“Or what? You’ll punch me? You know that won’t work. I’m too agile for that. Just admit it, Mistress. You like it when I play with them.”

Ember let out a soft whimper. “I-I mean it, Winny! I don’t want to practically broadcast to everyone in the Hall of Flames that I’m excited! Father would never let me live that down. A-And…you’re embarrassing me in front of Spike.”

“Ah, I wouldn’t want you to lose face in front our esteemed guest. I’ll head back to the Hall of Flames. You can follow me if you wish, or you can cool off for a few minutes. The choice is yours.”

Spike watched as the albino woman merrily skipped down the market place. Whoever she was, it was obvious that Ember knew her on a personal level. As to exactly what kind of relationship the two of them had, Spike could only hazard a guess. He was about to suggest that they follow, until he noticed how flustered Ember was.

“Don’t you dare utter a single word.” Ember growled. “We are going to wait here for a few minutes so I can collect myself. Understood?”

“I needed a break from all that walking anyway.”

The Dragon Lord

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Chapter 5

Hall of Flames, Brimstone

Spike couldn’t help but marvel at the interior of the Hall of Flames. Calling it a “Hall” was not entirely accurate. The entire complex was pretty much a cave that had been blasted out of the side of a mountain with dragon fire. But that didn’t mean it wasn’t impressive inside.

The interior, much like the buildings in the village, had been decorated with a plethora of various dragon reliefs. They were so realistic that Spike swore a few of them looked as if they were going to jump out and shoot a fireball at him.

Other than that, most of the décor was rather Spartan. It seemed to be a recurring theme with the Wyvertii. They were just a very functionally minded people who didn’t seem to care much for opulence when it wasn’t necessary. That is not to say that the furniture wasn’t well made or pleasing to the eye. All of it just so happened to be ergonomically designed to maximize potential usefulness.

The one thing he did notice as odd was that the interior was only slightly cooler than the outside. This in of itself was not unusual for a cave, but most caves that Spike knew of were almost always damp. However, the floor felt bone dry on his bare feet. How could that be? He got his answer a few seconds later when he noticed a massive hearth in the middle of the Hall.

It had to have been the largest and most ornate hearth he’d ever seen. Not even some of the drinking halls in Griffonia could even hold a proverbial candle to this one! The whole thing was shaped like a dragon’s maw, complete with a roaring fire in the center. To the left of it was a simple stone-cut throne, lined with an assortment of pillows and cushions.

Upon it sat a towering hulk of a man. From what Spike could surmise, he had to have been nearly two and a half meters tall. This guy was a freaking giant! His presence was made only more intimidating by the fact that his muscles were just about as chiseled as the rocks around him.

The fangs protruding from his mouth were more pronounced than just about every other Wyvertii Spike had seen thus far. The giant ran his hand through the spikey orange and crimson locks of his shoulder length hair and motioned for Spike to stand in front of him. Although the young man felt as though he was about to wet himself, he complied.

“I am Lord Torch, ruler of the Wyverti. Do you know why I have summoned you here?”

Spike knelt on one knee. “Yes, your lordship. I am to compete in the Gauntlet of Fire.”

“Indeed. However, I want to make something very clear to you. The Gauntlet is not to take place until two months hence. The main reason I summoned you here now was with the express purpose of allowing you to learn about Wyvertii culture and customs.”

Spike really tried to keep his composure, but it was incredibly difficult. Not only was Lord Torch an imposing figure, but he had a habit of sitting with his legs spread apart while on the throne. It essentially gave Spike an unobstructed view of the man’s ludicrously large penis.

Oh gods it’s freakin’ huge! That thing looks like a baby’s arm holding an apple! I-I mean, I guess it makes sense considering how tall he is. But still! Ok Spike, just try to focus on something else. GAH! I CAN’T! He could probably satisfy an Ursa Major with that thing!

Spike forced himself to meet Torch’s eyes. “I have been curious about my own people, so this presents a wonderful opportunity for me. Although…if you don’t mind me asking: could you remove the compulsion spell? It’s one of the main reasons I came here in the first place.”

“Think nothing of it! In fact, the moment you stepped into this hall it was dispelled. I apologize for the nature of the sigil, but it was originally crafted during an ancient and more brutal period of our people’s history. Things have changed since then.”

“Thank you, your lordship.”

Torch laughed. “No need to stand on such formality with me, Great and Honorable Spike the Brave and Glorious! I have heard tale of your heroic deeds in the Crystal Empire. Any hero who steps foot in this hall is welcome to call me Torch.”

Spike felt his face flush. He really didn’t like it when people called him that. It was such a long and embarrassing title. Though he would readily admit that he did help defeat the evil King Sombra, he didn’t think it was really that big of a deal.

He had done it in order to help his friends, rather than receive some fancy title or anything like that. He had to admit that it did have its perks when he wanted to get a deluxe treatment at the Empire’s premier spa though.

“Thank you once again—ermm—Torch. But I don’t think I’m much of a hero. I just did what I had to do to save my friends and keep the Crystal Empire safe. That’s all.”

Torch smiled. “You are humble as well. A refreshing quality in a Wyvertii at your age! Some of the youngsters these days are far too arrogant and hot-blooded for my taste. You shall make a fine competitor in the Gauntlet.”

Ember, who was standing next to Spike, paled. Apparently, she had been unaware of Spike’s titles and deeds and felt a tad bit guilty for not treating him with more respect. Of course, she also had no desire to invite the lord’s ire either. Torch stepped off of his throne and wrapped Ember in a surprisingly gentle hug.

“Daughter, it is good to see you! You have my thanks for bringing Spike here in one piece.”

Ember chuckled nervously. “Of course, Father. It was hardly any trouble at all. I did have to save him from an angry Charrick, but it was dispatched easily enough.”

“Ah, yes. Anyone but the most skilled of hunters would have had trouble slaying a Charrick during mating season. I am proud of you, Ember. Display the skin of your kill with pride.”

“Don’t worry, I will.”

Torch rubbed his chin. “That only leaves the matter of where Spike shall reside. I’ve got it! He can stay in his parent’s former abode. It is his birthright, after all. And don’t worry, lad. It has been well maintained these past eighteen years, in case you decided to come back.”

“I’m sorry sir, but I never really knew my parents…”

Torch nodded solemnly. “A sad state of affairs, that is. Yes, I knew your mother and father. They were good friends of mine. I mourned their passing for a long time, but I have since made peace with it.”

“What were they like?”

“Viridian and Elm were magi by profession. I suspect that’s why I felt such a strong magical aura around you when I first cast the sigil. That and you’ve spent your entire life absorbing the latent magical energy from some of the world’s most powerful beings.”

Spike grinned sheepishly. “I guess I never really thought about why I could cast fire so easily before. Although, it does make sense now that you put it in context.”

“It is to be expected. You were ignorant of our ways. By Delmira…you look so much like Viridian. I—excuse me, lad. An aged Wyvertii like me tends to get sentimental at times.”

“I understand. Please continue.”

Torch cleared his throat. “Despite my best efforts to dissuade them, they could not resist their own wanderlust for exploring the world outside of the valley. It was an especially risky decision, considering that you were only a newborn at the time. They managed to book passage on an Equestrian supply vessel bound for Manehatten, but it sank during a fierce storm.”


“Only later did I find out that Princess Celestia’s vessel happened to be returning from Griffonia and passed by the wreckage of the supply ship. I can only assume that she must have found you and taken you in. I’m…truly sorry that you never got the chance to know them.”

Spike blinked away a few tears. “Princess Celestia has always been a good mother to me. And I have a wonderful sister who looks after me as well. You have nothing to be sorry for. I’ve had a good life up to this point.”

“I still have a portrait of them hanging in my personal chambers. You are more than welcome to view it any time you desire. If nothing else, it will allow you to see what they looked like in their prime.”

“Thanks, that means a lot to me. I’ll take a look at it sometime.”

Torch cracked his knuckles. “Let’s move on to more light-hearted topics, shall we? Ember, I am assigning you to be Spike’s tutor for the duration of his stay. Show him how to strengthen his body and prowess in combat.”

“We have already reached an agreement on that particular issue. He shall also be training me how to harness my dragon fire more effectively.”

“Excellent! If the two of you have nothing further to discuss, I shall journey to the Grand Bath for a good soak and some female company. And do try to find some time to relax as well, Daughter. Perhaps a massage from Winter Silk might ease some of your tension? I swear that woman has magic fingers!”

Ember’s eye twitched. “I shall…consider it. Enjoy your bath, Father.”

Without further ado, Torch made his way to the Grand Bath to enjoy some rest and relaxation. Spike breathed a sigh of relief. He was expecting the Lord of all Wyvertii to be some vicious barbarian tyrant, but was pleased to see that he was actually a pretty decent guy. Even if that was the case, it still didn’t detract from how utterly intimidating the man looked.

Spike’s mind ground to a halt when he realized a very important detail that had not occurred to him earlier. Ember had called Torch “Father”. That meant Ember was basically a big deal around these parts. He suddenly felt like an idiot. What kind of title did she have? Was it some sort of social faux pas to just casually call her by her first name? Did she think he was rude for doing so? Spike wanted to tear his hair out and scream.

Ember glanced over at Spike with concern. “Why do you look like you’re about to have an aneurism?”



“I didn’t realize that your father was a lord! Do you have some sort of title I need to know about? You aren’t offended that I didn’t use it, are you? Is it improp—”

Ember put her hand over Spike’s mouth. “Shut up, you’re making a scene! No, I don’t care that you call me by my given name. I prefer it that way. Being called a princess all the time is an embarrassing pain in the ass. Just keep treating me like a normal person, ok?”

“Sorry I overreacted. It’s a bit of a bad habit I picked up from my sister. Are you sure you’re ok with that? I just don’t want you to think I’m not showing you the proper respect you deserve.”

Ember blushed. “Don’t worry about it. You’re already showing respect for me by being concerned about it in the first place. Let’s just—get started on our training.”

“Yeah, ok. That sounds good. Lead the way.”

Beyond the village of Brimstone was a lush, green valley that reminded Spike of Ponyville. Except that it was completely wild and lacked any signs of civilization. Though, it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. There was a certain appeal to exercising outdoors without the hindrance of clothing to slow you down.

Ember led him to a lone oak tree that happened to be in the middle of a grassy clearing. All in all, the flat terrain was a perfect place to do some training. It didn’t have any rocks or tree branches he could potentially trip on. For once, Spike felt optimistic about the situation.

His optimism only lasted for about thirty seconds. True to her word, Ember was a harsh mistress when it came to training. She started off by explaining that he needed to work on his stamina if he had any hope of actually building some extra muscle. Then and only then, would she even consider giving him any combat training.

Her regimen started simple enough. She instructed him to join her on the grass and stretch out all of the muscles in their legs, back, and arms. Spike understood the concept and readily joined in, but had a difficult time concentrating on the exercises alone.

It became even worse when they graduated from sitting to standing. At least while they were sitting, the grass obscured both of their lower extremities. Now, Spike was directly behind Ember and got a generous eyeful of her lady bits every time she bent over. And rest assured, she bent over quite often.

The thin sheen of sweat that began to form on her bronze skin made the impromptu peep show all the more enticing for Spike. He couldn’t stop staring. She was just so damn sexy! He knew he should stop, but his eyes were hopelessly glued to the flexing muscles of her gloriously toned legs and behind.

Even worse, the breeze picked up and wafted the aroma of her sweat into his nostrils. It was that intoxicating mixture of flowers (hyacinth maybe?) and subtle earthy undertones that composed her natural scent. No perfume on the planet could possibly hope to smell that good! He wanted nothing more than to bury his face between her legs and savor it firsthand.

Spike had a sinking feeling that such a thing would never happen. Ember had consistently shown that she was, at best, uncomfortable with any sort of physical contact. Particularly when it came from males. She even looked tense when her father had given her a simple hug.

From Spike’s point of view, nobody had any business being that uptight about receiving affection from a family member who was obviously trying his best to be gentle and caring. Even if he happened to resemble a terrifying giant! It just didn’t make any sense.

The young man was so caught up in his thoughts that he failed to notice the full erection he was now sporting. For the past minute or so, he was just absent-mindedly repeating some back stretches that he had been doing before. To Ember, it appeared as if he was shamelessly thrusting his manhood at her. Needless to say, she didn’t take it too well.

YOU P-PERVERT! HOW DARE YOU!” Ember screamed.

“Huh? What are you talking about?”

“I’m trying my best to train you a-and all you can think about is sex?!”

Spike paused for a moment and realized that his penis felt suspiciously sensitive all the sudden. When he looked down, to his horror, he was achingly hard. It had to have been like that for a while because even the slightest breeze made it twitch. There was even a tiny bead of pre-cum on the tip.

Spike’s face burned. “I’m sorry! I got lost in my own thoughts!”

Ember stomped towards him like an angry bull and moved close enough to him that their noses were practically touching. It was meant to intimidate him further but her movement had an unintended side effect. Her stomach accidently rubbed up against his poor, overly sensitive penis. That was all it took to send Spike over the edge.

In a fleeting moment of unadulterated bliss, Spike grunted softly as he squirted several globs of pent-up cum all over Ember’s abs. A warm sense of relief flooded his entire body. With all of the sexual tension he’d been experiencing in the past few days, it felt ridiculously good to get that out of his system. But now that his brain wasn’t clouded by lust anymore…it occurred to him just how far up shit creek he was without a paddle.

Would you believe me if I said it was an accident?”

Spike knew he was totally fucked. The reason he knew this was because when women got really angry they became quiet. He could have handled shouting and insults, his psyche could recover from that easily enough. But silence was utterly terrifying! It meant that Ember was so angry that she couldn’t even articulate the words to describe her fury.

It all happened so fast that Spike didn’t get the chance to react. With the speed of a professional boxer, Ember punched him in the face. Due to her outrageous strength, it was more akin to getting hit by a baseball bat than a human fist. Immediately, he crumpled to the ground and felt a stinging pain in his right eye. Yeah, that was going to leave a gigantic black spot later. As he writhed on the ground, Spike was secretly thankful that Ember hadn’t decided to kick the stuffing out of him too.

Even with his now blurry vision, his ears worked perfectly. Though it wasn’t very loud, he inevitably felt worse when he heard Ember quietly crying as she ran back towards Brimstone. He wasn’t really sure where she was going, but it was clear that she needed to be away from him for a while.

Spike slowly rose to his feet. “I guess I’ll go check out my house. Ha…no time like the present, right?”

It only took a few moments after he arrived back in Brimstone to realize that he had no idea where he was going. Spike gingerly rubbed his forehead. He should have remembered to ask Lord Torch where his house was.

Not only did he feel incredibly stupid at the moment, but he was getting quite a few curious stares from most of the people he passed by. He supposed it wasn’t exactly normal for someone to walk around with a swollen black eye. Imagine that.

Spike was about to just give up and mope, until he saw the distinct white hair of the woman he and Ember had run into earlier. He wasn’t exactly sure what her relation to Ember was or even her name but it was worth a shot. She probably knew her way around Brimstone. Not wanting to scare her, he gently tapped the woman on the shoulder to get her attention.

“Uhh…hi. You met Ember and I earlier, right? Do you mind giving me some directions? I have no idea where I’m going.”

The woman smiled. “What a coincidence, I was just about to—BY THE GODDESS WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR EYE?!”

“That’s a long and painfully embarrassing story. I’d rather not get into it.”

She nodded knowingly. “Mistress Ember related, no doubt. I can’t say I’m surprised. That girl really needs to learn how to control her temper. I’m Winter Silk and it would be my pleasure to direct you to your new home.”

“Wait…so that’s why Ember didn’t look too happy when her dad mentioned you.”

Winter Silk winked. “I’ve been known to mercilessly tease Mistress Ember on occasion. Who knows? Maybe if I like you enough, we can come to a similar arrangement.”

“Whatever. I just want to rest for a while and get my eye patched up. Oh…I’m Spike by the way.”

Winter chuckled. “I know~ Lord Torch assigned me to be your personal attendant for the remainder of your stay in Brimstone. That’s why I was in the market, you see. I was gathering the ingredients for lunch.”

“Seriously? I—uhh—I’ve never had an attendant before. What exactly do you do?”

“Anything you want, really.”

Spike twiddled his fingers. “Doesn’t that…bother you?”

“Hmm. Not particularly. It’s considered a great honor to directly serve the Dragon Lord.”

Spike felt his cheeks warm. “When you say anything…”

“If you hunger, I shall feed you the finest meats. If you thirst, I shall quench it with the sweetest wine. If you desire a woman’s touch…I shall satisfy you with my flesh.”

“I-I that’s—you don’t have to…how can you be ok with that?!”

Winter shrugged. “I enjoy having casual sex. Besides, you’re easy on the eyes and you have a delightfully thick manhood. No wonder Mistress Ember is interested in you! Although, I can see why she thinks you’re scrawny. Nothing a little exercise can’t fix, though.”

“Are you sure she’s interested in me? I’m not really so sure.”

Winter laughed. “Trust me, I can tell. When you get to be three hundred and forty five, people become less of a mystery and more of a pattern. Unfortunately, Ember is a prideful, violent, and stubborn girl who’s rarely honest about her feelings. She’s a real sweetheart once you crack her shell, but I suspect that will take some time on your part. That is…if you’re willing to try.”

“You’re how old? That can’t be possible!”

“It’s rude to call a woman old, Master Spike. We Wyvertii are a long-lived people. Lord Torch alone is nearing his sixteen hundredth birthday. So yes, you will live just as long or perhaps even longer. Apologies, Master Spike. I keep forgetting that you are ignorant of our ways.”

Spike felt his stomach churn. “I never knew. So…I’m not considered a baby, am I?”

“Of course not. You are, by all accounts, a man. Our people tend to mature just as quickly as any race but we age exponentially slower once we reach sexual maturity. So you don’t have to feel bad about being so young.”

Spike looked down at his feet. “To answer your question from earlier: I’m very interested in Ember, even if she’s difficult to get along with. She isn’t like five hundred years old, is she? I don’t want things to get weird because we’re centuries apart…”

“No, she isn’t that old. Mistress Ember turned eighteen a few months ago. She is nearly the same age as you are. What? Don’t you like older women?”

Spike blushed. “YES—I MEAN NO! Stop putting me on the spot! I don’t actually have a problem with older women. They can be attractive too. I just…want to try dating a girl who’s my age. N-Not that it’s any of your business!”

“Oh ho~ Do you think I’m attractive?”

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t…”

Winter traced her finger along his thigh. “I like it when a man is honest. However, I think our priority should be attending your wound. After that is taken care of, we might be able to work something out.”

“Hahahaha! Taking care of my eye…yeah that’s a good idea. I am kind of hungry too, so maybe we could have lunch?”

Winter wiggled her butt. “Or would you rather eat me?”

“Just…get us to the house please. My lack of self-control already got me in trouble today. You’re not exactly helping me to get any of it back with your over the top flirting.”

Winter frowned. “Very well, let’s be off. If nothing else, I will listen to your troubles and offer advice if I can. Does that sound good?”

“Yeah, I’ll have to talk about it at some point. Thanks, Winter Silk.”

The Lesson

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Chapter 6

Spike’s Home, Brimstone

Winter Silk led Spike to his parent’s home shortly after their encounter in the market. It was a modest sized abode, but decorated with enough carvings that stated the owners were of a higher class. When he stepped inside, he was taken aback by how clean it was. There wasn’t a speck of dust floating around, nor did the air have that stale odor like many old buildings did when people hadn’t lived in them for a while.

It felt like a home. He knew that he had once lived here, but there weren’t any concrete memories attached to it, so it didn’t quite feel like his home yet. For now, it was simply a cozy place to live in. Winter Silk motioned for him to sit on some comfy looking cushions near the fireplace while she scampered off to the kitchen for something.

The silky smooth fabric of the cushions felt wonderful against his bare skin. It was almost like trying out a new set of bedsheets for the first time. There was just enough stuffing in them that he could sink in, but not so much that they were stiff. He sighed in approval.

Spike supposed that the Wyvertii needed to make some pretty damn comfortable furniture, considering that they were nude all the time. Having your skin get stuck to wood or leather was never a pleasant experience. That and sitting down too quickly on any hard surface tended to painfully squish certain parts of the male anatomy. Cushions were definitely the way to go.

After relaxing for a few moments, he took a quick glance down at the ground. It made sense that the floor was comprised of smooth stone with heavy carpeting. Gravely dirt floors weren’t very kind to bare feet either. He had to admit that it was still difficult getting used to walking on Brimstone’s hard-packed dirt roads barefoot, but it wasn’t as if they were littered with debris.

Spike stared at the flames dancing about in the fireplace. They were so hypnotic, so calming, that it felt like he had spent an eternity gazing at their writhing forms. The more time that passed by, the more Spike began to feel the siren call of sleep. Just as he was about to close his eyes, he felt someone tap his shoulder.

“I know it’s nearly lunch time, but you can’t be that tired.”

Spike blinked. “I’m…not? Sorry, staring at the fire makes me sleepy.”

“Don’t worry about it. Many Wyvertii share you sentiment. Personally, I think fireplaces are romantic.”

“Why do you say that?”

Winter adopted a dreamy expression. “They’re the perfect place to make slow, passionate love in front of~ Even if it’s rainy everyone stays nice and toasty! And it’s a great place to cuddle afterwards.”

Spike had a feeling she was going to relate it to sex. It wasn’t as if he disagreed with her. He’d read plenty of romance novels where the protagonists did exactly what Winter described. The only difference was that he hadn’t had the pleasure of experiencing it firsthand.

For a brief moment, he imagined what it would be like to share such an experience with Ember. Then he shook his head. It would do him no good entertaining such carnal thoughts right now. If he was going to be a full-time nudist like everyone else in Brimstone, he needed to learn to show more restraint.

His lust-driven actions had already provoked Ember’s ire and may have even cost him his friendship with her. It would be a trying task, considering that the vast majority of women here were gorgeous, in great shape, and had no concept of body shame. In other words, Spike was living every red-blooded teenager’s wildest dream.

But he had to try, both for his sake and Ember’s. He needed to prove to her that she wasn’t just some hot piece of meat to ogle, but someone he wanted to get to know better. Someone he wanted to have an actual relationship with. All of this was hinging on whether or not Ember would forgive him, of course.

Winter cocked her head. “Care to share your thoughts? I’m a pretty good listener.”

“I don’t know what I’m supposed to do, Winter. It’s damn near impossible for me not to get excited when I see all of these beautiful naked women. Especially Ember! I know you guys don’t think about it that way, but I still do.”

“I wouldn’t go jumping to conclusions just yet, Master Spike. Wyvertii men and women are very much able to become aroused by the same thing you are. The body is a beautiful thing and should be admired for its splendor!”

Spike frowned. “I don’t understand. How can you be aroused and act so casual about it at the same time? Am I missing something obvious?”

“No, I believe it has more to do with what you were raised to believe. To us, our bodies are simply a part of who we are. There is nothing inherently sexual about that. However, when we express interest in someone we find attractive the situation changes.”

“That doesn’t seem any dif—”

Winter placed her finger on Spike’s lips. “Hush, I’m not finished yet. The Wyvertii are not animals. We do not shamelessly fornicate for all to see. While it is true that we express physical affection more liberally than our neighbors, there is an appropriate time and place for making love.”

“Huh, that actually makes a lot of sense. But how do you get past your sense of attraction to someone’s body?”

Winter poked Spike in the chest. “You simply need to accept Mistress Ember’s body as a greater part of her entire being. Become intimately familiar with her mind and heart before you do so with her body. Once you do that, everything else will fall into place.”

“Wow, that’s some really profound advice. I promise that I’ll take it to heart! I just want things between Ember and I to work out, you know? Assuming that she’ll forgive me…”

“I imagine she will, so long as you apologize to her in a timely manner. And it will likely take her a while to warm up to you. Have patience, she is a—challenging woman to get involved with.”

“Yeah, that’s an understatement.”

Spike’s attention had been so focused between the fireplace and conversation that he hadn’t realized that Winter had brought a tray full of goodies in from the kitchen. But before he could enjoy eating any of it, she brought a warm washcloth up to his eye and gently cleaned it. Spike had to admit that it felt wonderful and made the pain subside somewhat. He very nearly voiced his disappointment when she ceased her ministrations.

Winter merely paused so she could dunk the cloth in a bowl of hot water sitting near the fireplace. Once she wrung it out, the albino woman made her way over to the cushion and sat on top of Spike’s lap and began to make lazy circles with it across his chest. Spike suddenly tensed up. He had no idea how to handle the situation.

“There’s also a more direct approach to controlling your arousal~”

Spike felt his pulse quicken. “What are you d-doing?”

“Come now, Master Spike. I should think that it’s obvious. I’m gonna have sex with you.”

“Haaaaa—I don’t know if this is a good idea!”

Winter straddled his leg. “What’s the problem? We’re just relieving some stress and having a good time. Relax~”

“But I’ve never—”

Winter gasped. “By Delmira’s tits! You’re a virgin, aren’t you?!”

You don’t have to say it so loud.”

“Your constant arousal makes so much more sense now! Why didn’t you mention it before?”

Spike’s face turned beet red. “Did you honestly believe I was going to tell an incredibly beautiful and experienced woman that? It’s too embarrassing! Now you probably think I’m total loser…”

“Shhh, it’s alright. I don’t think you’re a loser. Everyone has to have their first time at some point. Just think of me as another tutor.”


Winter smiled. “Mistress Ember is training you how to fight, so I’m going to train you how to fuck. Let me put it to you this way: Do you wish to pleasure her without awkwardly stumbling around like a virgin?”


“Excellent! Then let me teach you.”

Spike’s gulped. “Ok. But I want us both to feel good. What should I be doing first?”

“I have a feeling that you’re going to make an excellent lover! You asked me what I wanted instead of ramming your manhood into me with reckless abandon. That, Master Spike, is what makes a woman fall for you~”

“So…uhh maybe we could start by k-kissing?”

Winter giggled. “Sure, I wouldn’t mind that~”

Since the two of them were already sitting close to one another, Spike leaned forward, wrapped his hands behind Winter’s head, and pressed his lips against hers. She eagerly accepted, and returned what she got tenfold. Being far more experienced in the art of love-making, she quickly adopted a far more aggressive style of kissing.

Spike’s eyes widened in surprise when he felt Winter’s tongue slide its way into his mouth, but he didn’t offer any resistance. As strange as it felt at first, Spike found that he enjoyed playing with her tongue as well. Since his was bigger than hers, he easily won their impromptu wrestling match and savored the slightly sweet flavor of her saliva every time their tongues intertwined.

Winter pulled away from Spike’s mouth, panting heavily. She paused for a moment and licked her lips, performing a perfect imitation of a mischievous and very frisky cat. After uttering a soft purr, the white haired woman gently nuzzled the side of Spike’s neck.

“Oooh you’re a pretty good kisser. But you can’t just stop at the lips…not when there are so many other sensitive body parts to choose from~”

Winter squeaked in surprise when she felt Spike plant a series of rapid kisses along her neck all the way down to her collar bone. With a wicked grin plastered on his face, he gently cupped her breast and brought his lips right over her hardened nipple. Ever so slowly, he stuck out his tongue and made lazy circles around it, which elicited a soft gasp from Winter.

Encouraged by her gasp, Spike went ahead and began suckling on her breast in earnest. While her boobs could easily fit in the palm of his hand, Spike didn’t begrudge their lack of size because they were incredibly soft to the touch. He supposed it was just because Winter wasn’t quite as athletic as Ember was.

Winter ran her fingers through Spike’s hair. “Mmmm~ You’re applying just enough pressure to make it feel good, but you’re gentle too. Are you sure you aren’t a professional masseuse?”

Spike stopped suckling her nipple, but continued to massage both of her breasts so he could answer her inquiry. So far, he was very surprised at how well things were going. He expected his first time to be quite a bit more awkward.

Even though it was embarrassing to admit aloud, he was glad that he enjoyed reading romance novels so much. It gave him at least somewhat of an idea as to what women liked. That and constantly overhearing many years’ worth of sleep over conversations between the Element Bearers had made him privy to feminine secrets that most men his age could scarcely imagine.

“Actually, I did work as a masseuse back in Ponyville. It was only a part time job at a spa, but Aloe and Lotus were great teachers. I uhh—take it my massage feels good?”

Winter cocked her eyebrow. “Didn’t my moans tip you off? No need to make that kind of face, Master Spike. I’m only joking with you! Seriously, it felt amazing. Now, I want you to do something for me: lean back into the cushion, spread your legs, and let me return the favor~”

“Winter, what are yo—ooooooh gods!”

Spike had just barely spread his legs when he felt Winter envelop his entire length into her mouth. There was nothing amateurish or hesitant about her ministrations, just the incredible feeling of her soft lips sliding up and down his shaft.

If that wasn’t enough, she would occasionally rub her tongue all over the tip of his head. The inside her mouth was so incredibly warm and soft that Spike felt like his dick was going to melt like a stick of butter. Only a short time later, he already felt a familiar tension building deep inside his loins.

Spike closed his eyes and tried to concentrate, desperate to last just a little bit longer. He wanted to show Winter that he had at least some semblance of stamina, his manly pride demanded it! Unfortunately, that was the moment Winter began sucking him vigorously and started fondling his balls just for good measure.

“I-I’m gonna c-cum soon!”

Although his practical knowledge regarding sex was limited, Spike knew a few cardinal rules. One of the big ones was the fact that not all women enjoyed the taste of semen. As such, they thought it very rude if you came in their mouth without any warning.

While he did warn Winter out of courtesy, she stalwartly refused to stop sucking. If anything, she bobbed her head even faster so that Spike could enjoy every last moment of his impending orgasm. Then it happened. He felt his dick erupt like a dormant volcano as a thick stream of cum shot into Winter’s eager mouth.

She swallowed every last drop without a single complaint. Once she was done, the albino woman took the cloth of out of the bowel once more and wiped the excess semen off of Spike’s semi-flaccid penis. Now that he was clean, she smiled and let out a happy sigh.

“Did you enjoy that?”

Spike stared back with a glazed expression. “Yeeeaaahhh.”

“Sorry, I might have gotten slighty carried away there. In my excitement, I forgot that you never had oral sex before either. Usually, I start off slower so that you can enjoy it longer.”

Spike blushed. “It isn’t because I didn’t have enough stamina?”

“Stamina is something that you gain with more experience. I honestly didn’t expect you to last very long anyway. And to be fair, I was a tiny bit more aggressive than normal…”

Winter got up from her position and pushed a cushion closer to the fire. She gracefully laid her body upon the cushion and made certain that Spike could see every luscious curve of her svelte form. The young man felt excitement begin to stir in his loins once more as Winter began to lazily stroke her clit.

“If you want to make love to a woman, she has to be nice and wet first. Otherwise, it can be quite a painful experience for her. However, I think that we can both agree that such a condition has already been met.”

“I-I guess so.”

Winter ogled his newly stiffened member. “Simply marvelous~ I’m starting to doubt your lack of stamina already. Master Spike, what a voracious beast you are!”

“I can’t help it! You look so alluring in front of the fireplace like that…”

Winter giggled. “Flattery will get you everywhere, Master Spike. Now, why don’t we move on to the main event? Just remember to enter me nice and easy. There’s no need to rush.”

Spike crawled over to her and positioned himself right above her waist. This was it. He was finally going to lose his virginity and to an incredibly beautiful woman no less! It took a herculean effort just to keep his hand steady as grasped the base of his shaft and slowly maneuvered it in front of her glistening lips.

For a brief moment, all of the horror stories of how clumsy couples’ first times wound up popped into his mind. He REALLY didn’t want to fumble around like some clueless idiot trying to find the entrance, or worse yet…put it in the wrong hole.

Luckily, Winter sensed his hesitation and used her fingers to spread her delicate pink petals of flesh to grant him easier access. Spike felt a wave of relief wash over him. By Faust was he fortunate to have his first time with an experienced and patient woman! His entire experience would have been painfully awkward otherwise.

He slid his penis in as slowly and gently as he could. While it was true that Winter had century’s worth of experience regarding companions and love-making, he didn’t want to hurt her in any way. Spike let out a quiet gasp. He was utterly shocked at how little effort it took to almost completely bury his dick inside her. It bore testament to just how wet Winter was.

Whatever Spike imagined the inside of a vagina to feel like was nothing compared to the real thing. Winter was warm—astonishingly so—and gripped him like a soft, fleshy vice. Every second, he felt her womanhood pulse against his length, sending a hot dribble of her womanly nectar onto his thighs and onto the cushion underneath.

“Oh goddess…you’re so thick,” Winter hissed, voice strained. She clenched her fingers into Spike’s buttocks to force him inside her to the hilt. Afterwards, she wrapped her slender legs around his torso and gave her partner a pleading stare to pleasure her further. She was not disappointed.

Spike was surprised at how light Winter was. It took very little effort for him to lift her up when he started moving his hips. After a while, the two of them worked themselves into a rhythm. Spike would thrust slowly, but consistently into her slippery depths while she moaned and ran her fingers through his hair. There was nothing frantic about their love-making; they simply wanted to enjoy the feeling of being joined as one, so long as they could.

The young man eventually shifted his position so he could hover directly over Winter’s body. In doing so, he was able to kiss her lips while they were still thrusting. While her kisses weren’t quite as intense as before, they were languid and passionate. She mostly played around with her tongue, but gently nibbled on his lips from time to time. Spike found that he didn’t really mind. The taste of her mouth was rather enjoyable.

Since they were fucking at such a sedate pace, Spike didn’t really start to feel the need to relieve the growing tension building up in his balls until about twenty minutes later. But when he finally did, it was the most intense he’d ever felt. He continued to thrust—albeit gingerly—until he felt like he could explode.

Spike shuddered. “W-Winter, I don’t think I’m gonna last much longer.”

“Go ahead and cum as hard as you like. You’ve done an excellent job lasting this long.”

The young man didn’t need any more convincing. With one final thrust, he clenched his butt cheeks and shot his pent-up load into Winter as deeply as he could go. To say his dick spasmed was an understatement; any semen that was left over from Winter’s blowjob shimmied its way out through his head, almost painfully squirting into her feminine folds.

In response, she cried out in ecstasy and tightened her grip around his torso, letting out a slight gush of her own cum. When the two of them were finished, they collapsed into a sweaty, quivering heap in front of the fireplace.

Spike felt as though he’d drained his entire being through his penis. Even though he was utterly exhausted, he’d never felt more satisfied in his entire life than at that particular moment. Winter merely snuggled up to him and let out a happy sigh. After what seemed like hours, Spike decided to break their mutual silence.

OH SHIT! I totally came inside of you! You aren’t going to get p-p-pregnant…are you? I got so caught up in everything that I didn’t really think about wearing a con—”

Winter kissed him on the lips. “Relax, Master Thick Dick. I let you cum inside because I’m unable to get pregnant.”

“Oh…I’m so sorry.”

Winter poked his stomach. “Lighten up; you don’t have to feel bad about it. I just can’t have children because of my condition. That’s why sex is so much fun~ I don’t ever have to worry about getting knocked up.”

“That’s a relief. Hey, I—wait—you called me ‘Master Thick Dick’? Am I really that big around?”

“I swear it by Delmira! It’s like getting plowed by a hot, meaty tree-trunk! And I loved every second of it~ You’re going to make Mistress Ember a very happy woman someday.”

Spike’s face turned red. “That’s good to know, I guess. Just…please don’t call me that in public.”

“I promise I won’t. Although I’m obligated to point out that your penis is already out on display for everyone to see. All they need to do is look down and witness the truth!”

Spike sighed. “I suppose it can’t be helped. Thanks…for what you did. I hope it’ll take my mind off sex for a while. The only problem I have now is how to apologize to Ember.”

“We definitely need to take a bath and eat some lunch first. But I know exactly what to do with Mistress Ember. She might not look like it, but she loves stuffed animals. If you get her one of those as an apology gift and tell her how sorry you are in a sincere manner, I imagine she’ll forgive you.”

“Alright, that sounds good to me. Does she have a particular favorite?”

Winter nodded. “She thinks lizards are adorable for some reason. I don’t really get the appeal, but I do happen to know a tailor who makes stuffed animals on the side. We can swing by the market after we get cleaned up.”

“No kidding. We probably stink like sweat and sex…”

Winter inhaled deeply. “Yep! Luckily for us, your parents decided to install a luxurious stone bath in the basement. The only thing you have to do is conjure up some dragon fire, and we’ll be set.”

Even though he was warm from the fireplace and Winter’s body pressed against his, Spike decided that a hot bath sounded pretty good. If nothing else, it would help him to clear his mind and come up with a decent apology for Ember. He hoped it would be enough.

The Apology

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Chapter 7

Hall of Flames, Brimstone

Spike felt incredibly refreshed after he bathed and got some food in his belly. He couldn’t even remember the last time he felt so relaxed and rejuvenated. As he would later find out, Winter was actually a pretty damn good cook. She bounced around the kitchen like a happy little rabbit and ended up making roasted chicken and spiced veggies. It amazed him how much energy she had left, considering what they had been doing earlier.

The food was absolutely delicious. The young man drooled a little bit, knowing full well that he would be enjoying a vast array of Winter’s home-cooked meals for the foreseeable future. It was her job to meet his needs. She was supposed to be his attendant, after all. Even so, he always asked her politely to do anything for him. He considered her more of a friend than a servant and tried his level best not to take advantage of her position.

After they finished their lunch, the two of them stopped by the tailor’s stall and requested to purchase a lizard plush. The bizarre thing about it was that he happened to have quite a few already premade. When asked, he simply stated: “People seem to like what the princess likes. Who am I to question that?”

Spike did have to admit that they were cute. Although for the life of him, he had no idea what kind of lizard it was. They were probably something native to the Ebonwood Forest. He wasn’t quite so sure that he wanted to run into an actual one despite its adorableness. Given the colorful splotched pattern on its hide, it was a strong indication that the reptile was poisonous.

When they finally reached the Hall of Flames, it was practically empty save for a few attendants performing various cleaning duties. The head attendant, Onyx, stood by the throne and bowed to Spike politely with a cheerful smile on her lips. Spike returned her bow with a flourish of his own.

She was a relatively short woman, but what she lacked in height was more than made up for in sheer muscle mass. If Spike had met her in Equestria, he would have easily mistook her for a bodybuilder. Like all Wyvertii she possessed bronze skin, but what made the woman stand out was her lustrous black hair and piercing grey eyes. She had even pulled her hair into practical braided bun.

“Is there something you need, Master Spike?” Onyx inquired.

“Well, not exactly something but more like someone. Do you happen to know where Ember is by any chance?”

Onyx nodded. “The reason Mistress Ember is not present is because she is training with Lord Torch. The last I saw them; they were sparring in the courtyard behind the hall.”

“Thanks, we’ll be on our way then.”

“You’re quite welcome, Master Spike. Should you require any further assistance, don’t hesitate to ask.”

Once they were far enough away, Spike allowed himself another glance at Onyx while she was arranging the cushions on the throne. Why did an attendant need to be so freaking muscular? Well…not that he really minded of course, but it was more out of curiosity. Noticing the confused look on his face, Winter pressed herself closer so she could whisper into his ear.

“She’s not just an attendant, you know. Onyx is an expert in hand to hand combat and wrestling. She regularly spars with Mistress Ember and serves as one of Lord Torch’s elite bodyguards.”

Spike eyes widened. “Seriously?! I’m glad I was so polite with her.”

“You’re such a gentleman, Master Spike~ I realize she looks very intimidating but she is, without a doubt, one of the kindest and sweetest women I’ve had the pleasure to call a friend. But you’d better not piss her off or she’ll turn you into a pretzel.”

“Errr…right. I wasn’t planning on it.”

Winter grinned. “Excellent! We need to exercise some caution upon entering the courtyard. Lord Torch and Mistress Ember are both highly skilled, but they tend to forget how powerful they are. Be aware of your surroundings, they occasionally…break things.”

“I promise I’ll be careful. But how bad could it be?”

When Spike finally witnessed father and daughter sparring, he felt his balls try to shrink back into his stomach. Not that his stomach felt much better either. It was insane! The two of them fought each other like they were in some high budget action movie, except this was very much real. Torch didn’t seem to look any different than he was when Spike first met him, expect for the sweat glistening off of his torso and the predatory glint in his eyes.

Ember, however, was in pretty bad shape. Her hair was matted down from all the sweat and her entire body was covered in a combination of scrapes, scratches, and even a few bruises. Unlike her father, she had an angry, almost feral expression on her face. She gripped the wooden staff in her hands and charged at her father without uttering a sound.

The moment she tried to strike Torch, her blow was intercepted by his muscled forearm. Spike winced when he heard a cracking noise, but was surprised to notice that is was not the man’s bone that snapped…but the staff.

With incredible speed that a man his size shouldn’t possess, Torch jammed his other elbow into Ember’s diaphragm, sending the scrappy princess skidding across the grass. She moaned in pain and lay prone on the ground for a few moments, until she stood up once more. Spike could tell it was taking her everything she had just to do that because she trembled like a leaf in a windstorm.

Torch shook his head. “Enough, daughter! You are too injured to continue. Go back inside and have the healers tend to your wounds. We are done training for the day.”

“I can…keep…going. One m-more…round.”

Torch stomped his foot. “I SAID ENOUGH! You are allowing your anger and frustration to cloud your judgement. If we continue any further, you will bring permanent harm to your body. As your trainer—no—as your father, I would never be able to forgive myself if I maimed you.”

Ember, cowed by her father’s words, slumped to the ground and held her knees to her chest. She tried not to cry, her stubborn pride was too great to allow herself to do so. But the dam broke anyway, despite her efforts to hold back. Hot tears fell onto the grass beneath her as Torch walked away. Spike felt a pang of guilt hit his chest like a wrecking ball while he witnessed Ember quietly sobbing against the tree.

Torch patted Spike on the shoulder. “I’m sorry you had to see that, lad. I don’t enjoy directing my wrath towards my own daughter, but sometimes it is necessary to protect her.”

“I’m the one who should be apologizing. It’s my fault she ended up that way…”

Torch rubbed his chin. “Perhaps a small portion of the blame belongs on your shoulders. But Ember is also acting like a petulant child about the whole incident. She has the right to be upset with your actions, but I taught her better than to strike someone in anger. I believe apologies are owed to both parties in that regard.”

“That’s why I’m here, sir.”

“Good. Ember is…not very good at dealing with her emotions. I imagine you have already figured this out. So, please be patient with her. She also isn’t used to having a man interested in her as a woman.”

Spike’s mouth immediately became dry. “You—umm—know about that?”

“She confides many things to me. I am aware of what happened during your training. No, I’m not upset. It actually makes me happy that she finally met a man who sees her that way. Although, you should consider practicing greater control over your urges around women.”

Spike rubbed his neck. “I’m trying my best to cope with it. But I’m just not used to seeing women casually walk around naked all the time. It…can get really distracting.”

“An Outlander sentiment, but understandable nonetheless. That is one of the many reasons I summoned you here so early. Don’t worry; our nudity will become as mundane to you as breathing, given enough time.”

“When you said she wasn’t used to being seen as a woman, what did you mean?”

Torch sighed. “She has always been tomboyish, even as a child. Always more interested in fighting and hunting than boys and gossip. For many years she—lacked the feminine curves most girls had at her age. I never witnessed it firsthand, but I think she was mercilessly teased about it. She got into so many fights. It progressed to the point where she pushed herself to become so strong that no one would meddle with her anymore.

“Her body finally started to mature by the time she reached sixteen. And by Delmira did it happen quickly! Before I knew it, she was no longer just my daughter but a fully grown woman. Unfortunately, the damage had already been done. Wyvertii men have little interest in courting an obdurate woman who can effortlessly best them in a contest of strength.”

Spike frowned. “I-I had no idea she went through so much. It’s no wonder she got so upset.”

“You couldn’t have known, lad. The type of companionship you can offer her isn’t something a father can give. It will be difficult, but I beg you to stand by her side. I just want to see my little girl find the happiness she deserves. Can I entrust this task to you, Spike?”

“You can count on me, sir!”

Torch chuckled. “That’s what I like to hear. I must return to the throne room to discuss important matters concerning the logistics of the Gauntlet of Fire with some of the town leaders. All very boring, but entirely necessary work to finish. I’m sure you understand.”

Spike carefully approached the wretched ball of pain and anger that was Princess Ember. In the short time that he had conversed with Torch, she seemed to have calmed down enough to the point that she was no longer crying but still had her legs tightly pressed to her chest. Winter Silk felt it was wise to give the two of them some space, so she patiently waited near the entrance to the Hall of Flames until they were ready to leave.

Spike sat in the grass next to Ember. “I’m really sorry about what happened earlier. You were just trying to help me train and I got distracted by your…body when I should have taken your feelings into consideration. I can’t promise that I won’t stop looking, but I will try to keep my urges under control, ok?”

Ember didn’t reply verbally. The only noises that came from her were a snuffle, hiccup, and the sound of her toes wiggling in the grass. Her lack of response didn’t exactly give Spike a whole lot of confidence that his apology was working at all. He decided to play his trump card and give her the stuffed lizard. With bated breath, he gently placed it next to her leg and hoped it would cheer her up.

It was quiet but he heard her giggle. She carefully picked up the plush and hugged it to her chest. Ember still didn’t say anything, but she did finally lift her head up. Her eyes were clearly puffy and red, her hair was a mess, but Spike didn’t care. It was progress. She finally broke the silence by clearing her throat.

“I suppose I have no choice but to accept your apology. But only because you were considerate enough to get me a stuffed lizard as compensation for my humiliation.”

Spike breathed a sigh of relief. “Winter Silk gave me the idea. I guess I owe her big time, huh?”

“She loves having sex, so just give her a good fuck and she’ll be set. Since you’re so horny all the time, it’d be a win-win situation for the both of you.”

Spike nearly choked on his own spit. “I-I’ll uhhh…keep that in mind.”

“Even though your lecherous thoughts got you into this predicament, you’re still seriously entertaining the idea? You’re such an idiot…”

Spike spied a particularly nasty cut near her shoulder. “Are you ok? I mean, I’m not a doctor or anything…but some of those cuts look like they hurt.”

“It’s nothing I can’t handle. I just pushed myself a little too hard.”

“You call that a little too hard?! It looks like you fell off of a cliff!”

Ember bared her teeth. “I SAID I CAN HANDLE IT!”

“If you say so. Let’s get you to the healers, and then we can decide what to do from there.”

The young woman merely grunted her assent. As she was attempting to get up, Spike noticed that she was still shaking quite badly. It didn’t give too much credence to her earlier statement. Knowing full well he’d regret it later, Spike decided to carry Ember so that she wouldn’t further injure herself just to satisfy her stubborn pride.

He did so as gently as he could but she still yelped in surprise even though he had a firm grip on her. She wasn’t quite as light as he was expecting but it had more to with the fact that she a lot of muscle weight rather than fat. Plus, he wasn’t exactly in great shape himself.

Much to Ember’s embarrassment, the most stable way to carry her was princess style. Surprisingly enough, she did not resist once she got over her initial shock. Whether or not this was because she was too tired or simply enjoyed being treated like an actual princess would remain a mystery for the rest of time. She nestled her head against Spike’s chest and listened to his heartbeat.

“You’d better not tell a soul I let you do this.”

“Sorry, I didn’t want you to aggravate your injuries. Your secret is safe with me, princess.”

Ember felt like her whole body erupted in a blush. “I-I guess it can be nice to c-carried around sometimes. And you smell really nice too. So…thanks.”

Spike ended up having to carry her the whole way to the infirmary. With the amount of blushing Ember did along on the way, he was surprised that she didn’t pass out from all the blood rushing to her head. As soon as he laid her on one of the beds, she buried herself under the sheets in an attempt to hide from the outside world. Spike wanted to feel bad for her but she was just too cute when she was embarrassed. Instead, he settled for having his heart melted…several times.

“I’m sorry for punching you earlier. You didn’t deserve that no matter what happened. Father is always telling me that I need to control my temper, but it’s really difficult sometimes.”

Spike gently rubbed her back. “I’ve already forgiven you. But jeez you hit like a championship boxer! I’m going to have a black eye for weeks.”

“That’s because I train all the time, you idiot! Could you at least try to be sound grateful without all the sarcastic quips? I’m not very good at apologies…s-so you should consider yourself lucky that I’m even making the effort!”

“Ok, I’ll lay off the sarcasm. Do you want any water or—”

Ember slid her hand out of the sheets grasped Spike’s hand. “No…just stay here for a bit. The stuffed lizard is nice and soft, by the way. It’s good for snuggling.”

Spike was too surprised to really come up with a response. He chose to simply hum in agreement. For as strong as Ember could be, she had the capacity to be gentle when she chose. Her grip was firm but not too tight. She rubbed her fingers against the back of Spike’s palm in a comforting manner that was completely at odds with her tough-girl personality. Even though it was in baby steps, the young man realized that she was slowly coming out of her shell.

The two of them continued like that for a little while until a healer stopped by. Spike turned his head towards the door when he heard the distinct sound of bare feet padding against a flat surface. He was even more surprised at who stood before him. It was Onyx! Even though Winter told him she was kind and sweet, the muscled woman didn’t really fit the specs of a nurse.

Onyx averted her eyes. “I hope I’m not interrupting anything. I’m just here to tend to Mistress Ember’s wounds. I can come back later if you two want some privacy…”

“Oh—errr—it isn’t like that! I was just keeping Ember company for a while. Go ahead and do your thing.”

Onyx bowed and made her way over to the bed. With a single deft motion, she pulled back the covers and inspected Ember’s body. The woman frowned and gave Ember the sort of look that a mother would give to their child for roughhousing too much even though they were told not to. Ember apparently caught onto it because she blushed and grinned sheepishly.

“Mistress, I hope you understand that pushing your body too hard isn’t good for your health. Healing magic will cure your wounds, but you mustn’t rely on it too much. If used too often, it can cause the body to become dependent on it.”

Ember bit her lip. “I’ll try to be more careful for now on. Thanks, Onyx.”

Then something amazing happened that Spike had never seen in his entire life. Onyx shot sooty black flames out of her palms that began to engulf Ember’s body, but they didn’t burn her or anything else. It was shocking and fascinating to watch at the same time. Slowly, her wounds began to close and fade and before he knew it, Ember’s skin was back to the way it was before.

Spike’s jaw dropped. “How is that even possible?!”

“Ah, I take it you’ve never seen the healing arts? It is an incredibly difficult school of magic to master, but it is highly sought after. I’ve been practicing it for the past four centuries, mostly because I am also skilled in combat and saw a need to heal those with grievous injuries.”

“Is it possible for me to learn it too?”

Onyx rubbed her chin. “I could teach it to you, but I’m afraid only those with a large magic reservoir can truly utilize it. I’ll tell you what; I shall help spar with you and Mistress Ember. That way you can have more than one perspective and gain healing techniques too.”

Ember began to rise from the bed until Onyx effortlessly pushed her back down with one hand. The muscular healer kept her hand on Ember’s chest while she tried to resist but found that she was still too weak to get anywhere. When she finally settled down, Onyx shot the young princess a withering glare that demanded obedience.

“You aren’t going anywhere, Mistress Ember. Rest is essential, even if healing magic has sped up your recovery. My suggestion is to take a long, hot bath to sooth your muscles and…rid your body of the odor of sweat.”

Ember sniffed herself and blushed. “By Delmira I stink! DAMN IT SPIKE WHY DIDN’T YOU SAY SOMETHING!?”

“Well, I was more worried about you recovering from all your injuries. I just figured we could take care of the whole bathing thing later…”

Onyx narrowed her eyes. “Calm yourself, Mistress Ember. Master Spike is correct. I know you like to keep your body clean and pleasant smelling, like all of us do. But…healing always takes priority. I am due for my mid-afternoon bath anyway, so I shall accompany you there. Master Spike, you may join us too if you wish.”

Spike idly wondered why the Wyvertii were so obsessed with bathing. Not that he was complaining. He always thought that people who lived in quasi-primitive conditions tended to throw keeping clean completely out the window. He shrugged and just went along with it. The bath waters were always kept at that sweet temperature that wasn’t too hot or lukewarm. Plus, he got to hang out with a bunch of naked women. That was always a plus.

The Grand Bath

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Chapter 8

Grand Bath, Hall of Flames

Spike felt a curious mixture of awe and embarrassment when he entered the Grand Bath. The title was, of course, appropriated earned. It easily was the size of two swimming pools put together, except that it was made from carved stone instead of concrete. But despite being so large, the only people there were Onyx, Ember, and himself.

The floor of the bath was decorated with elaborately colored fresco tiles, depicting what Spike could only assume were flames. It made the floor surprisingly comfortable to walk on. He didn’t even want to imagine what kind of havoc untreated stone would have done to bare feet. Thankfully, it would make sitting down a lot less painful too.

It wasn’t the bath itself the caused him to blush. Rather, it was the décor surrounding it that did. He knew firsthand that the Wyvertii were a people who had a very relaxed attitude when it came to sex. But it still didn’t prepare him for what adorned the walls surrounding the bath.

Sure, there were plenty of depictions of heroes slaying creatures and scenes of epic battles…but there were far more depictions of Wyvertii engaged in dozens of exotic sexual positions. The pieces of erotic art were no mere painted frescoes; they were literally etched out of the stone itself. The carvings were so exquisitely detailed and lifelike; Spike had a difficult time trying to suppress the easily excitable portion of his male anatomy.

He closed his eyes and tried to concentrate on the aroma wafting from the water instead. Before, when Winter Silk had bathed with him, she explained that instead of using soap, the Wyvertii were fond of pouring distilled flower oils directly into the water. The oils served many purposes: they made the skin smell fragrant, kept it soft and smooth, and helped it retain moisture.

Spike chuckled to himself. Rarity probably would have given her left arm for such an exotic and “back to nature” bathing experience. People paid big money back in Equestria for anything that was deemed to be organic or hand-crafted.

While the fashionista was certainly no stranger to enjoying her time at the spa without a stitch of clothing, she only did so in the presence of female company. She would have found the Wyvertii custom of co-ed bathing highly inappropriate on several levels. A lady was expected to keep a certain level of decorum, after all.

The other thing that struck Spike as odd was how the Wyvertii washed their hair. They used some kind of thick paste derived from a fruit they called Hagsbane. It was very common to the forest surrounding the valley, and it was apparently utilized as food at one point. That is, until they discovered how horrible it tasted.

However, despite its disgusting taste and ugly appearance, the Hagsbane did have one redeeming quality. The juices smelled like a cacophonous blend of honey, oranges, and cherry blossoms all combined together. It was unlike anything Spike had ever smelled before but it gave everyone who used it a very flowery, fruity scent. He decided that was a good thing, even if his masculine sensibilities cringed slightly at the idea of smelling like a woman when he used it. Flowery, fruity shampoo was better than none at all.

The water felt amazing. It was just hot enough to melt away all the tension in his muscles, but not so hot that he felt like a lobster boiling in a pot. And the best part about the bath being so big was the fact that it happened to be deep enough to sink your entire body into. Spike let out a sigh of content as he allowed the water to come the whole way up to his collar bone.

Ember mimicked Spike’s action except she chose to rest her arms against the edge of the bath. The tomboyish teen was usually guarded about her emotions, but she unabashedly enjoyed the hot water without a care in the world. Onyx too, seemed to be enjoying the water as well.

Winter Silk declined to join them, stating that she needed to run to the market and get some toiletries. Spike wasn’t entirely sure if that was a good or a bad thing. After their little romp in front of the fireplace, she hadn’t overtly tried to have sex with him in the bath, but that didn’t stop her from violating Spike’s personal space every chance she got.

Spike nearly jumped out of his skin when he felt a delicate set of fingers run through his hair. When he turned around to investigate, he found that Onyx was busy lathering shampoo into his scalp with a pleasant smile on her face. He allowed her to continue only because it felt so good, but still managed to send the attendant a questioning look.

“Am I not being gentle enough, Master Spike?”

Spike closed his eyes. “No, it feels wonderful. I just—why are you doing this?”

“It is customary for men and women to wash each other while bathing. The bath is…also a place for us to socialize with others. Do not worry; we do have rules of conduct. Intercourse within the bath is strictly prohibited because it fouls the water. There is a separate chamber in the back for couples who cannot resist the urge to copulate.”

Spike sighed. “That sure explains a lot. Do you mind if I ask you an odd question?”

“Go ahead and ask.”

“You guys seem pretty liberal when it comes to sex. But why haven’t I seen many pregnant women? For that matter, I noticed that the village doesn’t seem to be overpopulated. Am I missing something?”

Onyx slowly poured water over Spike’s head. “It is true that most of us enjoy making love. However, bearing children is seen as a sacred duty. It is not something the Wyvertii take lightly. Couples will only conceive a child when they are truly ready to accept the responsibility of introducing a new life into the world. Otherwise, we simply apply herbal contraceptives to avoid pregnancy.”

Spike considered her answer for a moment. In a way, it was comforting to know that the Wyvertii weren’t a bunch of irresponsible nymphomaniacs but he still wondered at what exact age they started to learn about the “birds and the bees”.

Sex-ed classes in Equestria didn’t even start until middle school. By that point, most kids were already in their early teens. He could only assume that Wyvertii children were exposed to it at a far earlier age. Was that necessarily a bad thing? He honestly couldn’t say.

Considering their blasé attitude when it came to genitals, Spike had to consider that perhaps it may not have been so farfetched that children were allowed to ask questions about their bodies and explore how they worked at an earlier age. After all, it was a difficult topic to ignore when you never wore clothing.

It wasn’t really fair of him to judge the Wyvertii on such a practice. He had grown up in one of the most conservative cultures in the entire world. His preconceived notions didn’t really apply here. It was obvious to Spike that they made a clear distinction between nudity and sex. If they didn’t, Wyvertii society would have descended into chaos ages ago.

Onyx ran the cloth over his back. “There’s something about the baths that makes you want to ponder things. I often find my mind wandering while I bathe too. Do you care to share your thoughts with me?”

“I was thinking about how different things are in Equestria.”

Onyx proceeded to wash his legs. “Indeed. Our ways may seem strange to you, but just give yourself a chance to simply experience them. Perhaps, in time, you may come to appreciate them as I do.”

“I didn’t mean to imply that they were bad! I guess it’s just taking me more time than I thought to adjust to everything. Anyway, when are we going to start tra—nggghh!”

Spike foolishly assumed that Onyx would at least tell him when she was going to start washing his penis. No such luck. It was obvious there was no sexual intent behind her ministrations, but that didn’t make it feel any less wonderful.

She was incredibly gentle and thorough with every motion, making sure to rub the cloth against every nook and cranny. Fortunately, she finished before Spike’s semi-tumescent cock could reach full mast, which would have made the situation far more embarrassing. Onyx noticed her faux-pas and blushed heavily when she retracted the cloth.

“I’m so sorry, Master Spike! I forgot to ask if you were comfortable with someone else washing your genitals. The thought never even occurred to me, I—”

“It’s alright. You weren’t rough or anything.”

Onyx looked like she was on the verge of tears. “That’s no excuse! I’m such a thoughtless attendant! If you’re still aroused, I-I could help…relieve you if you wish.”

“Look, umm…that won’t be necessary. Hahaha! What do ya know, I’m flaccid already! Just…calm down, ok? You didn’t do anything wrong. I should have been more aware of what you were doing.”

Onyx grabbed his shoulders. “Are you certain? Winter Silk is far better at pleasuring men than I am, but my stamina is nearly unmatched! All you would need to do is lay down and I could ride atop so—”

The offer was tempting, but Spike didn’t want to take advantage of poor Onyx like that. She was only trying to do her job and forgot that he wasn’t accustomed to Wyvertii bathing practices. He had to admit that she was fairly attractive, but he remained intimidated by the idea of such a powerfully built woman fucking him silly. The young man wisely chose not to voice that particular concern.

There was also the fact that she was going to be the one training him in both healing magic and martial arts eventually. The last thing he needed was for things to get super weird between them because of some spur of the moment decision to have a quick romp in the back room of the Grand Bath. He hesitantly wrapped his arm around her in one of the most awkward hugs he’d ever given in his entire life.

“We don’t need to do that. Are you feeling any better now?”

Onyx hugged him back hard enough to make his ribs creak. “OH THANK YOU, MASTER SPIKE!! YOU TRULY ARE A KIND AND FORGIVING PERSON!

“Yeah—no—problem. Can’t—breath—could—you maybe let go of me?”

Onyx grinned sheepishly. “Ah, apologies again. I forget my own strength sometimes.”

“*Cough* I guess that means you’re the perfect person to help train me. So long as Ember is ok with it.”

“I suspect she will be. The two of us train together on a regular basis. In any case, she won’t be able to train for at least another day or so. It would be my pleasure to get you started with the basics.”

Spike furrowed his brow. “How’s come she can’t train with us?”

“It has to do with the nature of healing magic. You see, it not only requires energy from the caster but it takes some from the recipient as well. That is why she needs to rest, so she can replenish her strength.”

“You said it takes away energy from the recipient? Isn’t that dangerous?”

Onyx nodded solemnly. “If used improperly, healing magic can be deadly. That is why we tend to use traditional medicine a vast majority of the time. And even when used correctly, it can lead to dependence and even addiction.”

“Jeez…that’s some heavy stuff. Do you think I’ll be up to learning it? I don’t want to hurt or kill anyone.”

“Healing magic works on anything that contains living tissue. We shall start practicing on plants first, and then move onto more complex organisms. But I must emphasize one thing: it cannot heal what is already dead.”

Spike shifted uncomfortably. “I wasn’t planning on becoming a necromancer. I had my fill of dark magic when I dealt with King Sombra.”

“Dark magic and necromancy aren’t the same thing. Although both are utilized for nefarious purposes in most cases. I can understand why you placed them in the same category.”

“I don’t really follow…”

Onyx slid deeper into the water. “Dark magic is inherently destructive. It feeds off of the emotions and will of its caster. Necromancy, on the other hand, also feeds off of the caster’s will…but it seeks to create life where there is none.”

“That means Sombra couldn’t possibly have been a necromancer. The two types of magic would have been at odds with one another! But…how do you know so much about all of this? Back where I came from, most magic users barely know anything about them.”

Onyx smiled. “You certainly are a clever one, Master Spike. The Wyvertii only know so much about those two vile forms of magic because of a corrupt Dragon Lord who ruled many eons ago.”

“I feel like I’m missing a lot of backstory. Is this some kind of legend or something?”

“I assure you the story behind Lord Anthracite is all too real. I can recount it for you, if you like.”

Spike got a bit more comfortable. “Well, I guess I might as well learn some history while I’m at it. Go ahead.”

“Anthracite was once a powerful healer who served as his lord’s personal attendant. After a time, he grew jealous of everything his lord possessed and craved all the power and prestige for himself. For many years, he explored new ways to utilize his magic and honed his body so that he could assume power.

“The healer discovered how to cast necrotic magic and used it to kill his former lord and promptly took the throne not long after. He ruled for decades with an iron fist. That is, until the Wyvertii grew tired of his despotic rule and decided to overthrow him.

“One day, a brave and humble blacksmith decided to climb to the highest peak of Delmira’s Teeth to beseech the goddess herself for a solution to destroy the wicked lord. His prayer was answered when a divine drop of Delmira’s blood crashed into the ground before him.

“The blacksmith incorporated the crystalized drop of blood into a sword he forged from enchanted dragon glass. Upon completing his holy blade, the blacksmith confronted Lord Anthracite and challenged him to a duel.

“A fierce battle raged between the two atop a fiery volcano, but the blacksmith eventually emerged victorious after plunging his blade into Lord Anthracite’s wicked heart. Hence forth, the sword was known as The Bloodstone Blade and served as the Dragon Lord’s symbol of office. It also marked the beginning of what we call The Gauntlet of Fire.”

Spike waved his hands. “Hold on, so The Gauntlet of Fire is actually a symbolic representation of the battle the two of them had?”

“In a sense, yes. But it also serves as a method to produce a worthy successor to the throne. Now do you understand why it is so important to us?”

Spike felt a knot form in his stomach. “No…I had no idea. How exactly do I prove myself worthy in the Gauntlet?”

“Think of it as a test of survival through the wilderness of the valley. But also remember that you will be facing others, and they will challenge you to duels to prove who is stronger.”

“Princ—err—my mom seems to think you guys fight to the death during the Gauntlet. Is that true?”

Onyx vehemently shook her head. “Of course not! Nearly an entire generation of young men died after the first competition due to that very reason. Challengers are now eliminated in three ways: incapacitation through injury, loss of consciousness, or voluntary surrender.”

Spike felt some of his trepidation fade away with the news that he wouldn’t need to kill anyone, but it didn’t mean that the Gauntlet was going to be any easier. Exactly how much training was he going to need? Surviving in the forest with modern equipment had been difficult enough. But now he was going to have to do it buck naked with a bunch of other guys trying to beat the stuffing out of him. Spike slid further into the water and blew some bubbles to vent some of his anxiety. He could already feel his muscles begin to ache.

As he continued to blow bubbles, an errant thought crept into his mind. Winter Silk had insisted that he drink at least a few cups of water in order to replenish all fluids he had lost throughout the day’s activities. He just nodded and didn’t utter a word. She would have teased him relentlessly if he had so much as mentioned the primary cause of his dehydration.

He might have gone a little overboard with the drinking though. Now it was coming back to haunt him. Out in the woods, it had been simple: find a bush and do your business. Considering that the Wyvertii used heated water, it wasn’t far-fetched to assume that they had plumbing of some kind…right?

Spike nearly face palmed. Not once had he actually bothered to ask if they had toilets. Was it rude to ask? Even if it was, he didn’t think he could keep his poor bladder from bursting for much longer. While it was very tempting to just pee in the bath, he didn’t want to do something so utterly disgusting (not to mention mortifying) around his gracious hosts.

“Hey…umm are there any bathrooms in here?”

Ember gave him a confused look. “What are you talking about? We are in a bath room.”

“I mean a place where you have toilets. I have to…pee.”

“That’s gross! Why would Equestrians bathe in the same place they relieve themselves?”

Spike anxiously tapped his foot. “Ugh! It’s just a general term. And we do clean everything, you know. Even if we do have toilets in the same room as the bathtub…”

“Still, that’s just unsanitary. We Wyvertii would never do such a thing! If you must know, there are some toilets in here. I have to relieve myself as well, so you can just follow me.”

Spike practically jumped out of the water. “Hurry up! I don’t think I can hold it much longer!”

Ember led him to an unassuming side room that was only a few steps from the bath itself. Spike was expecting it to have carvings or just some kind of decoration, but it was completely utilitarian. He was right about the Wyvertii having knowledge of running water; however their toilets weren’t exactly as modern as the Equestrian ones he was used to.

Instead of flush toilets, the Wyvertii utilized clay-fired, rectangular blocks with holes bored in the top. The whole setup reminded him of an old fashioned outhouse, except for the fact that there happened to be a constant flow of water underneath it instead of raw dirt. On the opposite side of the room, a series of curved troughs were carved into the floor, indicating that they were probably some type of primitive urinal.

He immediately recognized the sink when he saw it, but there was one other thing in the room that he’d never seen before. It looked an awful lot like a water pump, but with the nozzle turned upside-down in an angled U shape. Judging by the wisps of steam coming off of it, he had to assume it was hot water.

But what he didn’t understand was why there was a constant stream of water shooting out of it. Or why it was centered so low to the ground. He decided that learning about a mysterious water pump could wait. Emptying his bladder was a far more immediate concern to the young man.

Without further delay, Spike stood in front of the curved trough and let nature take its course. He was perfectly content to mind his own business…until he noticed Ember walk over to the trough next to his and squat over it. In hindsight, Spike should have known that this was going to happen. It was just an entirely different matter to experience it firsthand.

A heavy blush formed on his cheeks as he watched Ember unabashedly relieve herself right next to him. Well…watched wasn’t really the right word. More like noticed out of the corner of his eye. It wasn’t as if he had THAT kind of fetish. The young man tried his best to be nonchalant about her presence, but it proved to be an impossible task. The sound of her peeing was simply too loud to ignore.

Just how much did she have to drink? I had to go really bad and even I don’t sound that loud! Does that mean she has a really tight…NO—DON’T THINK ABOUT THAT RIGHT NOW!! Ugh…I suppose it makes sense that a society of nudists wouldn’t care too much about bathroom privacy. But she could have at least moved down a trough or two!

Spike awkwardly shook his penis, practically shaking the dregs of urine out as quickly as he could. With a sigh of relief, he padded over to the sink and washed his hands, happy to finally have such an awkward interaction over with. Ember joined him a few moments later and washed her hands as well.

After she was done doing that, it became apparent what the strange water pump was for. She stood in front of it and let the warm stream of water wash over her crotch for a few seconds. It was essentially a universal bidet. As unsavory as the thought was, he was glad that the Wyvertii were so conscious about their personal hygiene.

Ember looked at him expectantly. “Aren’t you going to clean up too?”

“Hehehehe—yeah…just gimme a second.”

Spike stood in front of the bidet and was surprised at how hot the water felt. It wasn’t pleasantly warm, but it didn’t scald him either. He was glad that the pump didn’t exert a whole lot of water pressure or things could have gotten awkward very quickly. Once his privates were thoroughly cleaned, he gently grasped Ember’s shoulder to stop her for a moment.

“Sorry about the hold up. Toilets are usually separated by gender where I come from. So, it’s really weird for me to umm…pee out in the open r-right next to a girl. I’m just not used to this sort of setup.”

Ember rubbed her neck. “Oh, I forgot about that. I’m sorry if I made things…awkward. It wasn’t intentional.”

“That’s ok. I know you weren’t doing it on purpose. So—uhh—the big rectangle with holes in it over there, do you poop in those? It just seems kind of…cramped. Doesn’t that bother you? And what do you use to clean up afterwards?”

Ember rolled her eyes. “Yes, we defecate in those. No, it doesn’t particularly bother me. The toilets usually aren’t so crowded that you need to sit really close to someone. And we use softened moss to cleanse our bottoms. It’s in a vase off to the side.”

Despite Ember’s snarky explanation, Spike was grateful that he now knew about how the bathrooms worked around Brimstone. It would serve to avoid any further awkward encounters when he needed to do his business…for the most part, anyway.

He would have liked to have more privacy, but it was foolish to expect the Wyvertii to change their ways on account of his own personal preferences. Like everything else in this crazy place, he’d just have to get used to the absolute lack of body shame.

On a more positive note, the bathroom was well maintained and didn’t smell like raw sewage. That probably had a lot to do with the sticks of burning incense that were placed in slots along the walls. He idly wondered if the attendants considered cleaning the bathroom to be an unfavorable job assignment. At some point, he’d have to ask Onyx about it.

The teenagers made their way back to the Grand Bath, until Ember nearly crumpled to the floor right before the entrance arch. Without a moment’s hesitation, Spike went over to help her up and found that her skin was incredibly clammy for someone who just took a hot bath. Her eyes even had slightly dark circles underneath them. It looked as if she was suffering a nasty bout of exhaustion.

“Hey, are you alright?

Ember rose on shaking knees. “Onyx’s…healing…must have taken more energy from me than I thought. I’ll…come with you guys to the training yard but…I guess I’ll have to lie down in the grass.”

“Ember, I know it’s embarrassing but do you want me to carry you again? I’m worried about you and I just don’t want to see you to get hurt again.”

Ember clenched her teeth. “Damn it! Now I really am some helpless princess!”

“Seriously, I don’t mind carrying you. If you want I can—”

NO! I mean…just let me lean against your shoulder. I need to build up my stamina anyway. If I rely on you to carry me around all over the place, I’ll never get better.”

“Ok. But just remember that you don’t have to bear all of your burdens alone. Let me share some of them from time to time. I may not be the strongest guy here, but you can trust me to do that at least.”

Ember blushed. “Fine, you’ve made your point! Now shut up and help me walk out of here.”

The Training

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Chapter 9

Courtyard, Hall of Flames

Training, as Spike found out, sucked just about as much as he thought it would. His session with Onyx was far more productive than when he first set out with Ember. Mostly because he wasn’t busy ogling a certain region of the female anatomy.

Reluctant though he was to admit, having sex with Winter had done much to sate his relentless teenage libido. That combined with his concern over Ember’s condition had banished any lustful thoughts that remained in his mind.

Onyx made him stretch out too, but this time he decided to stand in front of her instead of behind. Given how lean and muscular she was, the attendant had very little to offer in the breast department. But that didn’t stop him from admiring her incredibly toned abs and legs. With a heavy gulp, he wondered if she could crack walnuts with just her stomach alone.

The young man chuckled to himself. Thinking about Onyx’s muscles reminded him of a funny story. About a year ago, he had inadvertently walked in on a contest between Rainbow Dash and Applejack at one of Twilight’s monthly sleep-overs.

Simply put, the two athletes somehow started a rather asinine competition to see who could complete the wildest dare. As in many cases when alcohol is involved, things get pretty raunchy in a relatively short period of time. Rainbow Dash’s cider addled brain came to the conclusion that Applejack needed to live up to her title of having “apple buckin’ thighs”.

Rather than be embarrassed about it, AJ not only accepted the challenge but upped the ante. With her whiskey fueled declaration made, she emerged from the kitchen a few moments later with her orange boy shorts discarded and a walnut placed in between her lips. If you think it was the pair on her face you’d be in her words: just plum wrong.

The cowgirl proudly stood in front of her five friends so they could all get a good look. After she took a deep breath, AJ grunted and the walnut cracked apart…leaving the two halves of the shell to clatter onto the floor below. There was complete silence afterward. All of the girls were speechless.

Spike, who had been in his room reading at the time, went down to fetch a drink and witnessed the bare-bottomed blonde standing there in all her muscled splendor. Applejack probably would have tried to cover herself up had she not been so intoxicated, but she obviously wasn’t thinking clearly. Instead, she wiggled her hips suggestively at the young man standing before her.

See, even Spike is impressed! Ya owe me fifty bits, RD.”

RD slowly licked her lips. “Totally worth it…”

Looking back on it, he was glad he decided to get a glass of water at that precise moment. The burning question of what AJ did to groom her pubes was finally answered. She happened to trim hers into a surprisingly cute landing strip. Somehow, he’d expected her not to even bother with shaving down there. Then again, maybe it wasn’t quite so surprising. She always did like to wear those really tight daisy dukes.

It was also very fortunate that all of the girls had been completely sloshed. The next morning, all of them complained about how fuzzy their memories were concerning the previous night’s activities. Spike wisely feigned ignorance, offered medical grade aspirin, and cooked the girls a big breakfast.

As much as the teenager enjoyed reminiscing about AJ’s half-naked shenanigans, he really needed to focus on his training regimen. The remaining stretches weren’t terribly strenuous, but they did make his heart beat just a little bit faster. Spike took what he believed to be a battle ready stance and waited for Onyx to start fighting him. When she didn’t do anything, he stood there with a dumbfounded look upon his face.

Onyx laughed. “We aren’t going to start using any techniques for a while yet. You need to build up your strength and stamina first, Master Spike.”

“What, am I just going to be doing push-ups and stuff?”

“Not quite. Stand still for a moment and you’ll see what I mean.”

Spike did as he was told, albeit with a healthy dose of skepticism. In Onyx’s hand was a plain looking leather bracelet. It was completely ordinary save for a dark colored stone set in the middle. She secured it around his wrist and shot a tiny black hued flame into the stone by pressing her finger against it.

For a brief moment, it appeared as if nothing happened. That was until Spike felt like his entire body had been turned into a giant concrete slab. He took one step forward and promptly fell on his face. Every movement he made from that moment onward was a struggle. Even the simple act of breathing took a tremendous amount of effort; he wasn’t quite sure how he was going to train if he could barely move.

Spike gasped for air. “What…did…you…do…to…me?”

“The stone in the bracelet is made from dragon glass. It’s enchanted to intensify the effect of gravity on your body. That way, you can build your bone and muscle density in a relatively short period of time. Don’t worry; the magic will prevent you from seriously injuring yourself.”

Spike struggled to lift his head. “I can…barely move. How do you…expect me…to train like this?”

“Your task for today is to simply stand up. If you can do that, I’ll reduce the strength of the spell. In the meantime, I’m going to go tend to Mistress Ember.”

While he couldn’t argue with Onyx’s logic, he still wasn’t very happy about being turned into a flesh and blood bowling ball. For the first minute or so he didn’t move at all. In the back of his mind, he wanted to chalk it up to “getting used to the magic” but that was an utter lie. He was pathetically out of shape and he knew it.

Meanwhile, Onyx sat cross-legged next to Ember while they enjoyed a mug full of the Hall’s finest mead. The princess felt a little guilty, sitting there and drinking while Spike suffered…but Onyx insisted it was for the best. With a snort of frustration, she slammed her mug onto the ground.

“Just how weak is he?! It’s embarrassing to watch him like this. Let me go help him up.”

Onyx gently grasped Ember’s arm. “In order to have a strong body, one must also have a strong will. I purposely set the bracelet to maximum power to see if he could take it.””

WHAT?! That’s just cruel! There’s no way he’s going to be strong enough to even crawl over here, let alone stand up and walk. I’m going to go help him!”

Onyx tightened her grip. “I’m afraid I can’t let you do that, Mistress Ember. Just let him figure this out on his own. You’d be surprised at what some people can do under extreme circumstances. Although, I commend you for having your heart in the right place.”

“Well, that’s ermm—to be expected! It’s not like I want to see him get hurt…”

Onyx giggled. “Of course, Mistress. Now please calm down and rest. You need to recuperate your own strength. You can’t do that if you’re stressed out.”

Spike watched the two women as they conversed. He was far enough away that he couldn’t quite make out what they were saying, but it was clear that Ember was upset about something. She still didn’t look like she’d recovered completely from the healing spell, yet she did look healthier than when they had walked out of the bathroom earlier. It served to calm Spike’s worries at least somewhat.

The young man snorted loudly as a blade of grass tried to make its way into his nose for a fourth time. How could he possibly keep his promise to Ember if he couldn’t even stand on his own two feet? Right now, all he was doing was wallowing in his own self-pity when he could be fighting the spell that kept him bound to the earth below.

If he couldn’t find the will do it for himself, he’d do it for someone else. In particular, a certain tomboyish princess that he started developing a confusing, and variegated jumble of feelings towards. It was as if a great fire lit inside his belly. Whether it was more than just metaphorical, he couldn’t say. The fierce energy spread through his entire being, giving his limbs a surge of strength.

Slowly, Spike began to rise to his feet. When he finally stood, it felt as if every muscle in his body was screaming at him in pain, begging him to rest. He paid them no mind. Walking was more important. It took a herculean effort just to walk a few paces, but he held fast. An agonizingly long time later, he found himself standing in front the two women with a strained smile on his face.

Onyx couldn’t help but be impressed and somewhat alarmed. She hadn’t really expected Spike to be able to stand so soon, let alone walk to where they were sitting. Though she doubted the young man knew he was consuming a great deal of his own magic to augment his willpower. It wouldn’t be too long until he collapsed from exhaustion, so she decided to praise his effort while he was still conscious.

“Well done, Master Spike! I think we can stop training for tod—”

Spike began to shake violently. “No…I…need to…keep going. Have to…get…strong.”

Onyx sighed to herself. The magic in Spike’s body was interfering with his ability to see reason. If she didn’t do something quickly, he might seriously hurt himself. The body could only handle so much strain and she was fairly certain that he wasn’t in good enough shape to endure it much longer.

She got up from her position and darted behind Spike. Since he could barely stand, she didn’t encounter any resistance when she wrapped her arm around his neck. Onyx needed to exercise the most extreme caution when preforming her choke hold. Spike’s life depended on it.

It was only meant to make him pass out, but with the added complications of his exhaustion and magic…things could get deadly with just the slightest error on her part. Only with centuries of martial arts experience, was she was able to apply the exact amount of pressure to subdue him. He promptly crumpled to the ground like a ragdoll.

Onyx tapped the stone with her finger. “I reduced the gravity significantly. It is still active, but he will be able to move with greater ease now.”

“Is he…going to be alright?”

“In time, yes. I stopped him before his magic could override his biological functions. I must say…he has quite an impressive reservoir for someone his age. His training will need to be modified because of that.”

Ember cracked Onyx across the cheek. “DON’T EVER DO SOMETHING SO STUPID LIKE THAT AGAIN! He could have been crippled or worst yet, killed! I thought you knew better than that. I trusted you, Onyx!”

“I’m…deeply sorry, Mistress. I erred in judgement. From this point forward, I vow that I shall exercise the utmost caution when it comes to Master Spike’s training. It shan’t happen again.”

Ember closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “Good, see that it doesn’t. And…I’m sorry too. I shouldn’t have slapped you like that, but the whole situation scared me out of my wits. I don’t enjoy seeing Spike suffer like that.”

“Ah, I see now. Have you, perhaps, developed an interest in Master Spike?”

Ember’s cheeks lit up. “I dunno…m-maybe a little bit? I don’t exactly dislike him, even though he can be pretty stupid sometimes. Ugh! Whatever! I’m just concerned about him, ok!”

“Fair enough, I am as well. The only question that remains is: should be we take him back to his home and allow Winter Silk to attend him? Or do we wait for him to wake up here and continue training?”

Ember bit her lip. “I suppose it wouldn’t be an issue if we just looked after him here. There are plenty of supplies within the Hall of Flames to suit his needs. Why don’t you wait here while I fetch a washcloth and some water?”

“Are you certain you don’t want me to do that?”

Ember nervously twiddled her fingers. “He helped me earlier, so it’s only fair that I repay the favor. There’s n-nothing more to it than that! So don’t read into it too much!”

“As you wish, Mistress Ember.”

When Spike finally regained consciousness, it felt as if all the muscles in his body had been stretched out like a rubber band, and then dipped in lemon juice just for kicks and giggles. He wanted to ask what happened, but his mouth was nearly devoid of moisture and his tongue didn’t seem to want to cooperate with him. In the end, he settled for rasping out the word water.

Not a moment later, he felt the tip of a water skin touch his lips. He greedily chugged the water like a man who had been stranded in the desert for days, and nearly choked because of it. When he finally started to gain his bearings, he realized that his head was resting on Ember’s lap.

He expected the princess to scold him or at least get angry, but she gently rubbed a cool washcloth over his forehead instead. For just a brief moment, he imagined that this might be a dream but quickly realized that people didn’t usually feel so crummy in dreams. Seeing as how he could barely move or speak at the moment, he simply enjoyed the sensation of Ember’s warm, soft skin against his cheek.

“Shhh, just rest and relax. Onyx made a mistake in your training. She…put too much strain on your body with the gravity spell. It ended up making you burn through your magic reservoir too quickly.”

“Is that why I feel like shit?” Spike croaked.

“Mhmm. I volunteered to look after you since you helped me out earlier. Think of it as repaying my debts.”

“You never owed me anything. I’d help you even if I got nothing in return. That’s what friends do, Ember.”

Ember blushed heavily. “Well, I’m still kind of new to this whole friendship thing. So…I guess I’d do the same for you. I-If you needed it, of course! Does that answer satisfy you, Mr. Creampuff?”

“Mr….Creampuff? Are you calling me that because I’m sweet?”

NO! It’s because you’re pale, flakey, and always making a mess with your creamy filling.”

It was Spike’s turn to blush. “I told you I was sorry about that.”

“And I forgave you. But that doesn’t mean I’ll ever let you live it down.”


Ember wiped his forehead again. “Just shut up and enjoy your treatment! This will probably be the first and ONLY time you’ll ever have the pleasure of experiencing it. So make it count!”

While it was a little awkward to be pampered like this, Spike had to admit that he loved every second of it. After all, what red-blooded man wouldn’t enjoy having a beautiful nude princess as a lap pillow? Even with that thought in mind, he wanted to show Ember how much he appreciated her kindness.

Spike slowly moved his arm and grasped her hand as firmly as he could. He was obviously still very weak and every movement he made felt like his body was wading through a vat of wet cement, but it was worth it to see the happy, if slightly embarrassed smile on Ember’s face. Encouraged by her reaction, he felt confident enough to place a soft kiss the thigh he was resting his head on too.

“Thanks, Ember. I really appreciate you looking out for me.”

You’re w-welcome.” Ember squeaked.

He wanted to stay awake, but his body felt too weak. It urged him to rest and he soon realized that it was futile to resist any longer. Besides, Ember’s lap was just too comfortable not to take a nap on. The last thing he noticed before dozing off was the flowery scent of her skin as it wafted into his nostrils. It filled him a serene sense of comfort that allowed him to fall into a deep, contented sleep.

Near the entrance to the Hall of Flames, Lord Torch stood next to Onyx as they witnessed the two teenagers lying in the grass. He had not been pleased at all to hear of his head attendant’s botched attempt at using a gravity spell, but seeing Spike and his daughter together quelled a great deal of his ire.

Lord Torch had never been a man who was deeply in tune with his emotions, but even he had to admit that Spike and Ember looked as if they belonged with one another. It only further cemented his opinion that Spike was an excellent candidate to take his daughter’s hand in marriage. That was for the future, though. Until then, he would allow their friendship to flourish and perhaps grow into something more intimate.

Onyx, it seemed, had come to a similar conclusion as her lord. She looked at the two with a dreamy expression, as women often did when they found something adorable. Even though the attendant felt horrible about her earlier mistake, she couldn’t help but wonder if it had been a blessing in disguise.

It went against Ember’s very nature to allow any men who weren’t kin to become familiar with her. Her reluctance was rooted in her childhood when she was ruthlessly teased about her boyish appearance. While some of the other girls had participated in her torment, more often than not the boys were the ones who pointed out her lack of feminine appeal. That made her deeply distrustful of men’s intentions.

Even rarer still was her willingness to share any form of physical contact or affection with men either. Yes, she shared hugs with her father. But that was nothing unusual. The two of them had always been affectionate towards one another. It was one of the many reasons that Lord Torch was so protective of her. She was, without a doubt, daddy’s little girl.

Despite all of these issues, she seemed to be quite comfortable allowing Spike to sleep on her lap. It baffled Onyx somewhat. She hadn’t known Spike long enough to judge his character completely, but from what she’d seen so far he seemed like a kind-hearted, if somewhat awkward young man. Maybe that was exactly the type of man Ember needed in her life.

Onyx smiled. “They look so natural together. Wouldn’t you agree, Milord?”

“Aye, they do. The lad might have been raised by Equestrians, but I don’t think that’s entirely a bad thing. It makes him more empathetic, I think. Ember needs a man like that right now.”

Onyx nodded. “Do you believe they will take the next step soon?”

“No, she will still be very reluctant to do that. Spike, on the other hand, is a young man at the pinnacle of his virility. That is why I assigned Winter Silk to be his attendant. She will take care of his more—ah—carnal needs. Goddess knows I’m an old man, but I still have itches that need scratched.”

Onyx reached over and gently stroked his penis. “Do you have an itch right now, Milord?”

“This is exactly why I can’t stay angry at you, Onyx. As long as you’re up to it, I believe I’m in the mood to fuck you from behind. It shall allow me to admire your shapely behind.”

Onyx giggled when she felt Torch tweak her butt cheek. “I’m eager to serve as always.”

Delmira’s tits! You’re truly the only woman for me! C’mon, let’s go back to my chambers. I promise that I’ll give you a good licking before we start.”

Onyx kissed his neck. “You spoil me, Milord.”

“Well, I want it to be enjoyable for the both of us! Besides…you know how much I love your taste on my lips. Let’s get to it before the two of them notice we’re fooling around.”

While Onyx wasn’t as skilled as Winter Silk when it came to sex, she made up for it in spades with her stamina. That was something a Wyvertii woman needed when bedding the Dragon Lord himself. If they happened to catch his eye, that is.

Her relationship with Lord Torch was such that he preferred to fuck her more than any of the other women in the entirety of Brimstone. In fact, she couldn’t recall the last time he’d fucked another woman prior to Lady Inferno’s death. That was saying a lot considering that he had an entire harem at his disposal.

The bond between them wasn’t exactly that of husband and wife, but she couldn’t deny that they loved one another despite the vast gap in their social status. It was strange and almost taboo, but she cherished every moment of it. Even if they never married, she’d happily spend the rest of her life beside him.

In one swift motion, Lord Torch swept her into his arms and they made their way to his personal chambers. All of the other attendants they passed tried to ignore the couple’s antics, but it was practically impossible with Troch’s gigantic erection bobbling around.

When the doors finally closed to the Dragon Lord’s chambers, a single female attendant went to go fetch some cleaning supplies. After those two were done fucking, the room would be a smelly, sticky disaster zone. The attendant grumbled to herself when she heard Onyx’s muffled moans. At least she would have plenty of time to enjoy a leisurely dinner before she began her unenviable task.

The Confession

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Chapter 10

Spike’s House, Brimstone

The past few hours were a hazy blur to Spike. Given how utterly exhausted he became after Onyx’s botched gravity spell, it wasn’t really any surprise that had trouble recalling things. But despite all of that, he distinctly remembered falling asleep on Ember’s lap as she tended to him. Given his final memory, the young man was baffled as to how he ended up in his own bed.

Two more details only served to further confuse him. He had begun his training with Onyx and Ember right around early afternoon and judging by the light filtering through the window; it had to have been early morning. The only reasonable explanation was that he had slept through the remainder of the day and into the next one.

It was an entirely reasonable explanation. His body had been pushed to its limit and needed to recharge. He could live with that. It was the other detail that sent his mind racing. The unmistakable feeling of warm, soft female flesh pressed against his back sent a bizarre mixture of excitement and panic down his spine.

For a brief moment, he thought it might just be Winter Silk teasing him…but he could definitely feel muscles, particularly where the woman had entwined her legs around his. She also wrapped her arms around his stomach in a gentle embrace, as if she were cuddling him like a big teddy bear. Even in the dim morning light, Spike could tell her skin was a lovely shade of bronze. It couldn’t have been Winter.

The only logical conclusion he could come to was that Ember had somehow decided it was a good idea to sleep with him. Slowly, the young man turned over so as not to wake up his impromptu partner. A fraction of a second later he was greeted by Ember’s sleeping face. Spike fought hard not to allow his brain to melt while he gazed at her adorable face. The soft snores that came out of her mouth didn’t really help matters either.

Spike held his breath as she moaned softly and snuggled up against him. This time it was far more distracting because he was facing forward. And just like any other morning he rose from bed, his penis proudly stood at attention to greet the new day. Spike let out a pathetic whimper as Ember unintentionally sandwiched his throbbing manhood between their stomachs.

He dared not move. Given how hard he already was, it would take very little to get him going. Spike did not want a repeat of what happened earlier. However, in this case, his erection was more the result of biological function rather than purposeful arousal. The distinction did little to ease his mind. He had no idea what to do next.

Spike tried scooching away from Ember, but her embrace was too firm to be broken without putting forth some serious effort. The young man watched in horror as she slowly began to awaken from her slumber. He prayed that she would be well-rested enough to forgive his breech of decorum.

Ember yawned and smacked her lips. “Mmmnnngh. Is it…morning already?”

“I guess so. I haven’t really been up very long myself.”

Ember looked under the covers. “You certainly seem up to me…”

“Yeah…I’m sorry. It’s not something I can really control.”

Ember gave Spike a half-lidded stare. “Yes, I am aware of that. You kept poking me in the stomach with your erection. That’s what woke me up in the first place. But…that’s what I get for sleeping with you, I suppose.”

“So, you aren’t mad?”

“Nah. It’s too early in the morning to get riled up over crap like that. Besides, this isn’t exactly the first time we’ve had such an encounter.”

Spike shifted uncomfortably. “True enough. Is there any particular reason you’re still snuggling me then?”

Ember was content to remain silent. She didn’t make any attempt to break their embrace and actually went so far as to gently rub her fingers along Spike’s back from time to time. As wonderful as it felt, her actions confused the young man to no end. She had never been this comfortable with physical affection before. What had made the princess change her mind?

Ember nervously rubbed her feet together. “I had an epiphany after what happened to you in the courtyard. It made me so angry and scared when you got hurt that I actually slapped Onyx. I—I…promise me you won’t laugh at the next part?”

“I promise I won’t. You can trust me.”

Ember bit her lip and blushed. “I think I-I’m…fallinginlovewithyou! There I said it! Now don’t expect me to be affectionate like this all the time! I’m just more comfortable with doing it here because we’re alone.”

“You actually have…romantic feelings for me?”

“Yes, I suppose I do. Is it really so hard to believe?”

Spike’s heart started to pound like crazy. “Ember…you have no idea how happy this makes me! I’ve been attracted to you ever since we first met and I honestly didn’t think you saw me as boyfriend material. Hell, I’m even more surprised that you’re actually admitting it!”

“Well, you’re still an idiotic pervert who’s always causing me embarrassment or just being a general pain in the ass. But…you’re also really kind, understanding, and patient. I guess that’s what made me fall in love with you.”

Spike’s stomach decided to ruin Ember’s heartfelt confession by rumbling its protest at not having any food put in to it for over half a day. Oddly enough, it was more embarrassing than the erection that he had almost forgotten about and was well on its way to subsiding. Ember, of course, took the opportunity to laugh at his misfortune.

The young man was just about ready to go hide somewhere, until he felt Ember press her lips against his. While the kiss lacked the intensity of Winter’s, it was nonetheless satisfying to Spike. In just a few short seconds, she pulled away and turned beet red, unable to look Spike in the eye after what she had done. It became glaringly obvious that matters of romance were completely alien to her.

Ember crossed her arms. “Your lips are dry and you have morning breath. But I wouldn’t mind doing it again. You know, just for practice…”

Spike didn’t need to be told twice. Since he was prepared this time, he placed his hands on Ember’s cheeks and gently pulled her towards his face. Their lips met once again, though this time the kiss they shared was slightly more passionate and exploratory.

Spike didn’t want to upset his inexperienced partner, so he refrained from using anything more than his lips. He yearned to entangle his tongue with hers, but the young man knew that he had to take baby steps when it came to exploring Ember’s body. In this case, he was glad that his normally hyperactive libido was dulled by a combination of hunger and exhaustion.

He would have to exert Fluttershy levels of patience where physical intimacy with Ember was involved, but he was willing to do so for her sake. Winter Silk would be more than willing to satisfy his urges in the meantime…though he wondered if Ember would take issue with that now that she had confessed her feelings. The wrath of a jealous woman was not to be taken lightly! Especially so for someone as strong as Ember.

This time they pulled away from one another with a bit more reluctance. Both of them clearly enjoyed the kiss and were panting for a few moments afterward. In the dream-like state of bliss that followed, Spike’s stomach protested again. Ember merely shook her head and practically dragged Spike into the bathroom.

“Let’s get cleaned up first, then we can put some food in your belly. I’m not quite as hungry as you are, but steak and eggs sound really tasty right about now!”

As it turned out, Ember’s definition of “steak and eggs” wasn’t exactly what Spike had in mind. It was not as though he thought breakfast was disgusting or anything like that. On the contrary, Ember was actually quite a talented cook. The entire dish just had some weird flavors that he couldn’t put his finger on. One thing was certain: the animal proteins he just consumed definitely didn’t come from cows or chickens.

Despite how hungry he was, Spike had been taught how to eat with the manners of a prince. It came with the territory when you were around Equestrian royalty all the time. So he chose to savor his meal with grace and dignity, one bite at a time. The Wyvertii did have cutlery, but it seemed as though Ember blatantly ignored it. In a piggish display that would have made even Luna blush, she tore through her breakfast like a starving Manticore.

It was one of those awkward moments that Spike felt incredibly embarrassed for Ember, but she didn’t seem to comprehend why he was blushing. Even worse, the young princess decided that belching was perfectly acceptable at the breakfast table too. He vowed that he would teach her how to eat properly at some point, even if it would prove to be more difficult than all of his training combined.

With all of the commotion going on, a very grumpy Winter Silk padded out of her room and glared daggers at the two of them. Her look was supposed to intimidate them, but ended up being ineffective due to her ridiculous case of bed-hair. Ember just sat on her cushion and sighed in satisfaction, while Spike broke out in a fit of giggles.

Winter poured herself a mug full of coffee. “Well, aren’t you two just a ray of sunshine this morning.”

“Your hair just looks so pbbbfff—goofy!”

“Unlike Mistress Ember, my hair requires a delicate touch to make it look presentable. Do you even have any idea how much time I spend in the bath straightening it out?”

Spike rubbed his chin. “You know, my friend Rarity has a very similar problem. I’m going to say that it takes you about two hours or so. Am I right?”

“That’s—actually a good guess. Maybe you do understand. I’m not a morning person, never have been. So, I’d appreciate it if you didn’t laugh at my lack of preparation at the start of the day.”

“Sorry, I couldn’t help it. You look adorable with your hair all mussed like that.”

Winter blushed heavily. “You’re lucky I like you so much, Master Spike. I assume…that Mistress Ember must have carried you here yesterday?”

Ember got up from her cushion and poured herself some of the same coffee Winter was drinking and tried to look as nonchalant as possible. Ember was a terrible liar and always tended to telegraph her emotions through her facial expressions, so her attempt failed miserably. She slurped from her mug loudly to try and detract some of the attention away from her face.

“I ermm—it couldn’t be helped! He was unconscious and there was no way I was going to just let him sit there all night. He w-wasn’t very heavy because he’s so scrawny! I didn’t even break a sweat.”

Winter grinned maliciously. “Ooooooh? That’s very noble of you, Mistress. And since you’re here so early, I must also assume that you slept with him too? What a bold direction to take your relationship~”

“He was already asleep when we arrived. I-I was still tired from Onyx’s healing spell and I thought that he wouldn’t mind if we shared a bed. Right…Spike?”

Spike coughed awkwardly. “Oh, yeah. No biggie.”

“You two are such sticks in the mud. Had I been there, we’d have had a morning quickie to start the day off properly. Still…it’s nice to see that you’re finally allowing a man besides your father to touch you, Mistress. Small steps still count as progress, I suppose.”

“Just b-because I’m not as comfortable with having sex as you are, doesn’t make me a stick in the mud!”

Winter slowly slid her foot along Ember’s thigh. “As I recall, you approached me earlier seeking advice as to what type of dildo was the best fit for your delicate flower~”

“I masturbate just like everyone else does! You don’t have to make it sound like I was doing something weird. I just…don’t go shopping for stuff like that very often.”

Winter giggled. “But you did follow my suggestion, didn’t you?”

“That’s beside the point…”

“Master Quartz’s dildos are the finest in Brimstone, but they just can’t compare to a real penis! That’s something you’ll just have to experience with a man~ Oh my, I think we’ve made Master Spike’s imagination run wild! We should probably stop or things will only get harder for him.”

Spike silently agreed that watching Ember play with herself was something he would have loved to witness firsthand, but at the same time he felt that Winter was being a little too pushy with her teasing. One look at his bracelet told him what he really needed to be focusing on. He took a deep breath to calm himself and got up from the cushion.

“Winter, Ember and I really need to start training in earnest. We got sidetracked yesterday because of Onyx’s mistake, so I’d like to make up for lost time. I’d appreciate it if you toned down the teasing a little. It’s making Ember uncomfortable.”

Winter sighed. “I’m sorry; your training is important and I shouldn’t be distracting you two so much. It’s just that…I’m feeling a little left out because I can’t really do much to help either of you. I’m more of a housemaid than a warrior.”

“You’ve done plenty! I know I appreciate coming home to a clean house and freshly laundered sheets. Plus, you’re a great cook too. Think of what you’re doing as ermm…keeping up morale! Yeah, that’s it.”

Winter kissed Spike on the lips “Flattery will get you everywhere, Master Spike. All joking aside, I’m relieved to hear that you think I’m an asset to you. And, of course, it goes without saying that I am more than willing to boost your morale further…should the need arise~”

Spike felt his balls try to retreat into his stomach when he looked over at Ember. The kiss that Winter gave him wasn’t overtly passionate but it did imply that a certain degree of intimacy did, in fact, exist between the two of them. Though the teenage princess didn’t voice her disapproval directly, Spike could clearly see her jaw muscles clenching tightly.

Ember practically dragged him off of the cushion. “C’mon, Spike. We’re going to the guard barracks for training. Winter Silk can prepare the bath for our return.”

“O-Of course, Mistress! Ermm—good luck with your training.”

Guard Barracks, Brimstone

Much to Spike’s surprise, he found out that there was a fairly substantial number of men who were part of the town guard. From what he had gathered earlier from Ember’s past, it was no surprise at all that there were no women present in the barracks. Wyvertii society was staunchly patriarchal and had strictly defined gender roles. Even Onyx, despite her vast experience and martial skills, was still considered only a head attendant rather than a guard captain.

It was a stark contrast to what he was used to at home. Equestria had been ruled by women for thousands of years, and was the world leader when it came to female rights. Or more accurately, gender discrimination was abolished centuries ago when it came to jobs, politics, and civil rights. Despite its progressiveness, Equestria lacked the liberal attitude Brimstone had when it came to sexuality. Spike didn’t like to dwell on the bizarre contradiction; it often gave him a headache.

Politics weren’t really on the forefront of his mind at the current moment. He was far more worried about how Ember was acting. They were currently inside of a large room that housed all of the equipment the guard needed to train with either their bodies or weapons should the need arise. The physical aspect of the training itself was intense, but did not place too much of a strain on Spike’s body.

Ember, on the other hand, was clearly venting her frustration on a straw stuffed training dummy. The scariest part about it was the fact that she had not even used a weapon to wreak such havoc. The poor dummy had been practically obliterated through simple, albeit powerful kicks and punches. It didn’t exactly make Spike feel comfortable sparing directly with her at the moment. He had no desire to leave the barracks with broken bones.

Spike took a deep breath and summoned every ounce of courage he could muster. He walked slowly towards the princess so as not to startle her out of her violent stupor. When he finally placed his hand on her shoulder to get her attention, he noted that she was positively drenched in sweat and trembling as well. Ember very nearly decked him with an elbow strike when she turned around. She stopped midway when she saw Spike wince.

“Oh goddess, I almost hit you! Why do I always have so much trouble controlling my anger?! It’s like everything else around me disappears and I just…blank out. Please don’t be afraid of me…”

Spike began to rub her shoulders. “Hey, it’s alright. You stopped yourself in time. Do you want to talk about what’s bothering you?”

“It has to do with Winter Silk. I’m—really jealous of her…”

“I have a pretty good inkling as to why, but go ahead and explain.”

Ember eyes began to water. “She kissed you! And don’t try to tell me that she was just teasing! Winter only kisses people she actually likes. Did you two already…m-make love? Do you prefer her as a companion more than me?”

This wasn’t a conversation Spike was remotely ready or willing to have. Yet, he had to give Ember an answer. He would be lying to himself if he claimed that he didn’t enjoy Winter Silk’s company. But it was a completely different type of enjoyment than when he spent time with Ember.

Spike did like Winter as a friend, but he was certain that he wasn’t in love with her. Their relationship was more about mutual, sexual interest rather than romance. In the words of the (in)famous Cloud Kicker: they were Bang Buddies©.

There was also their vast age difference to consider. Even though she didn’t look it, Winter was several centuries old…while he was barely considered a legal adult. He wanted to be with someone his own age, someone whom he could better relate to.

A practical romantic relationship between him and Winter just wasn’t very feasible in his opinion. She didn’t strike him as the type of person who would tie herself to one partner even if she did have genuine feelings for that particular individual. Winter was too much of a free-spirit to be monogamous.

Though it was still early in their relationship, Spike knew Ember was who he wanted to be with. Unfortunately, with all of her insecurities, it would be quite some time before she would feel comfortable expressing her affection for him with anything more than the occasional hug or kiss. It was painfully frustrating for the young man because he craved to explore every last millimeter of her body…but not at the risk of destroying the fragile blossom of love that was just starting to grow between them.

Spike sighed to himself when he remembered a quote from Pinkie’s father, Igneous. Anything in life that is worth having always requires hard work, patience, and sacrifice. While he would never consider rock farming as a career, the dour man’s words rang as the gospel truth. Ember was going to be upset, but lying to her was not something Spike intended to do.

“To answer your question, Winter and I did have sex. But…I don’t think there were any romantic feelings attached to it. We did it simply to have fun and blow off some steam. I like her in my own way, but I’m not in love with her.”

Ember suddenly turned around and pinned Spike to the floor. She reached down towards his waist and slowly began to stroke the shaft of his penis. The entire time, Spike could feel her hand trembling. She clearly wasn’t comfortable with the situation and the concern Spike felt overrode any sort of excitement he would have experienced otherwise.

Ember’s voice quavered. “This is w-what you want, right? I can please you too! That way…s-she doesn’t have to!”

“Ember you need to stop. You aren’t ready for this.”

Tears streamed down her cheeks. “Just shut up and enjoy it! I’m doing this for your sake, you idiot!”

Spike was careful not to move too quickly lest he have his dick squeezed like a tube of toothpaste. There was absolutely no way he was even close to being strong enough to wrench her fingers off on his own. She was far stronger than he was, after all.

On the plus side, he was still semi-flaccid and the two of them were close enough to one another that he could pull her into hug…even though it would end up being awkward and slightly painful for him. That being said, he wrapped one arm around her back, the other behind her head, and pressed her tightly against his chest.

Ember was so surprised that she immediately stopped stroking him and pulled her hand back towards to her chest. Spike didn’t utter a single word. He simply held her and ran his fingers through her hair in an attempt to get her to calm down.

It took a little while, but Ember finally started to relax. By that point, Spike’s chest was practically slathered in a sticky combination of tears and snot. Inwardly he winced, but took it like a man. Now wasn’t the time to fret over being clean.

Ember mostly remained silent, save for the occasional hiccup. Spike had to practically bite his own cheek to stop himself from laughing. She had some of the most petite hiccups he’d ever heard and it clashed horribly with her tough girl persona. When he felt the young princess kiss his chest, he returned one in kind upon her forehead.

“Are you feeling better now?”

Ember sniffed. “Mhmm…t-thanks. Why didn’t you let me have sex with you? Isn’t that what you want?”

“Of course I do. So much so that it drives me crazy! However, you aren’t anywhere near ready for it. When we do eventually decide to take that step in our relationship, I want us both to enjoy it.”

“I-I’m sorry for being such a terrible lover…”

Spike rubbed her back. “Hey, don’t say stuff like that. You’re just scared and nervous because you’ve never experienced a romantic relationship before. I promise that we’ll have sex only when you’re comfortable with it, ok?”

“I suppose, for the time being, I’ll continue to allow Winter Silk to satisfy your needs. And you can bet that she and I are going to have a long talk about this! She needs to know her place, after all.”

Spike couldn’t help but chuckle at Ember’s bravado. At least it meant that she was starting to calm down and accept things how they were. The two of them snuggled for a short while longer until Spike felt like it was time to get cleaned up and continue on with their training.

As Spike feared, she wanted to cover hand to hand combat first. Even worse, the techniques she showed him were nothing like the ones he’d seen in the movies. They were brutal, quick, and meant to telegraph as little movement as possible.

More times than he cared to admit, Spike had his ass knocked to the ground. It certainly didn’t help that the gravity spell was still active on his bracelet, even though it lacked the intensity from before. Ember was very careful not to hit him too hard. She wanted Spike to be able to continue his training rather than be bedridden with injuries all the time.

After two hours had passed, the two of them decided to take a break and hydrate themselves. Spike felt like his entire body had been stretched out like rubber band, but it was satisfying to know that he was actually learning how to fight. Unfortunately, his sense of satisfaction was short lived.

A lanky, orange-haired man stomped into the barracks. Though he was skinny, his body was covered with wiry muscle and scars. Spike swallowed a lump in his throat. He clearly gave off a “don’t fuck with me” vibe that make Spike’s skin crawl. Whoever he was, he didn’t seem too pleased that Ember and Spike were in the same room.

“Well, well if it isn’t Princess EmBRUTE! And who’s that scrawny little shit sitting next to you? Don’t tell you’re training him to be a guard.”

Ember clenched her fist. “Guardsman Garble, this has nothing to do with you. I suggest you go about your business before I decide to show you just how much of a brute I can be.”

“Like hell it doesn’t! I need to size up all of the new meat in Brimstone. Even though I’m pretty sure I’ve seen women with more muscle than him.”

Ember crossed her arms. “If it’ll get you to go away, I’ll tell you. The man sitting next to me is Spike. He’s come to Brimstone upon my father’s invitation.”

“Lord Torch invited him…here? That doesn’t make any sense! I mean, sure he’s scrawny and pasty lookin’ but he’s obviously Wyvertii.”

“Well, that’s because he was raised in Equestria. My father…summoned him to participate in the Gauntlet of Fire just like all men who come of age.”

Garble bellowed with laughter. “Oh goddess! You’re serious, aren’t you? That punk is actually going to try and compete. Hahahahaha! And what? You’re training him right now?”

“Y-Yes. What’s it to you?”

Garble scoffed. “Absolutely nothing at all. The Gauntlet might be two months away, but there’s no way he’s gonna be ready for it by then. The best he can hope for is to be knocked out in the first round.”

“We won’t know until it happens!”

“He’s a just soft-assed Outlander who has no place competing with true Wyvertii! Maybe you can convince your father to make him an attendant instead. With how soft he looks, he might as well be a mead wench.”

That was the last straw for Ember. Her emotions were still raw from what happened earlier even thought she’d had some time to calm down. She was sick and tired of putting up with Garble’s attitude. In a blur of motion, she lunged at Garble like a tiger and mercilessly kneed him straight in the groin. Despite how much of a jerk he was, Spike still winced as he watched the guardsman crumple to the floor while clutching his battered balls.

“You bitch! That’s…goddess above I feel like I’m gonna throw up…fighting dirty! No man would ever resort to—”

Ember kicked him in the back for good measure. “I’m not a man you brainless cretin! And if I ever hear you insult my partner like that again, I won’t hesitate to break every bone in your worthless body! C’mon Spike, we’re leaving.”

Spike took Ember’s hand as she led the two of them out of the barracks. The macho thing to say was that his heart was beating faster due to the adrenaline rush he got from seeing Ember beat up Garble. But he knew that wasn’t entirely true. Ember had defended him without a moment’s hesitation. As embarrassed as he was to admit it, he was enamored by the gesture…even though she ended up using violence to satisfy his honor.

Spike kissed her cheek. “Thanks for what you did back there.”

“I-It was n-nothing! Garble was being a jerk, so I just put him in his place. Anyway…let’s head back to your house. We really need to take a bath.”

The Revelation

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Chapter 11

The Ebonwood Forest, Valley of Wyver

Spike grunted softly while he concentrated on maintaining the emerald ball of flame contained between his palms. It wasn’t as if he hadn’t done this before. In fact, he had performed this particular exercise dozens of times over the course of the past two months.

However, his task was made more challenging due to the fact that he was currently sitting cross-legged on a bolder underneath a roaring waterfall. That was the new wrinkle in his magic training today. Onyx claimed it was to help him concentrate on casting his flame, despite the most grueling circumstances.

She was an excellent magic teacher, both patient and understanding when it came to instruction. She also never got angry when Spike had any questions. Yet…Onyx was often an incredibly harsh mistress when it came to the physical aspects of the training itself.

In some bizarre and indescribable way, Spike actually appreciated her for being that way. It made the rest of his training seem like a cake-walk by comparison. Of course, that didn’t necessarily mean Ember or Winter Silk’s training didn’t put his body to the test. Both were equally satisfying and exhausting in their own way.

This was especially true if Winter happened to be feeling frisky. Considering that it was practically the albino woman’s default setting, Spike rarely went more than a day without engaging in some form of sex.

The young man smiled to himself. How different things were from his old life! Merely three months ago, he was still a doe-eyed virgin, content to imagine bedding the beautiful women he saw in magazines. Now, however, he had become so familiar with the soft contours of Winter’s pussy that fucking her felt like wearing a well-worn and extremely comfortable pair of shoes (an ironic comparison considering that he now walked around barefoot).

It was crazy how many different positions and techniques she knew. Hell, they’d pretty much had sex just about everywhere at this point. One of his favorite things to do with her was a game she devised a few days after he’d returned from training with Ember.

He would eat his breakfast on a cushion and she would crouch in-between his legs and suck his manhood for all it was worth. It was a light-hearted contest to see how long he could continue eating without blowing his load. Due to her superior skill, Winter won the vast majority of the time.

In order to concede defeat, he would use his own mouth to pleasure her. Spike honestly never really considered “losing” to Winter a defeat at all. He loved how she tasted and it was always satisfying to hear the adorable little squeaks and moans she let out when his tongue writhed around inside of her.

Spike felt his loins begin to stir, even though the water crashing down on him was absolutely freezing. He slowly cracked open one of his eyes to see if Onyx was still nearby. While his mentor wasn’t particularly prudish, she didn’t approve of Spike becoming distracted by beautiful women or other lustful thoughts while they were training.

He agreed with her for the most part, but sometimes…his mind would wander. And being the hormonally charged teenager he was, such thoughts were often difficult to dismiss once they began. Spike opened his other eye only to discover that he was now sporting a full-blown erection. Worse yet, Onyx happened to be standing in the pool of water before him with a sour expression on her face.

“Is there ever a moment when you aren’t thinking about sex, Master Spike?”

Spike felt some of the blood rush to his cheeks. “I’m sorry, Onyx. Sometimes, my mind begins to wander and I ermm—have a difficult time not imagining certain things.”

“You are forgiven, but please try to focus on the task at hand. Magical prowess in battle can often tip the odds in your favor. If you are only thinking of ways to wet your manhood, you will never become a proper warrior. But…at least you seemed to have maintained your fireball.”

Spike stood up slowly, so as not to slip on the boulder he had been sitting on. Even though she was in full lecture mode, Onyx made no effort to avert her gaze from Spike’s awkwardly bobbling erection. Under normal circumstances, simply diving underwater would have been enough of a shock to quell the heat in his loins.

That was one of things that happened when you started living as a full-time nudist. You got used to temperature variations. It wasn’t as if the Wyver Valley was cold or anything. No, it was actually incredibly mild, bordering on hot, most of the time. The climate was the exact reason why the Wyvertii saw no need to don clothing in the first place.

Spike’s current problem had more to do with the fact that he’d been sitting under a waterfall for the past hour. His skin had simply gotten used to the cold water. Diving in wouldn’t have done him any good at all.

Spike felt a tiny surge of pride well up in chest because he had, in fact, managed to keep his fireball from going out. Yet, it was only a small consolation for the sheer embarrassment he was feeling under Onyx’s scrutiny. He wanted nothing more than to go hide in some bushes and forget this ever happened.

“Well, umm… what exactly do you want me to do?”

Onyx stared at him. “Excuse me?”

“I can’t exactly do very much training when I’m all hard like this. Knowing my luck, I’d probably end up whacking my dick against something…”

“For Delmira’s sake! I swear you’re just like Lord Torch! He may be the ruler of our people, but he’s always constantly thinking about sex. I suppose, if you truly must, I will allow you to relieve yourself. Do it now before I change my mind.”

Spike nervously shuffled his feet. “Would you mind turning around?”

“Why are you acting so nervous, Master Spike? I have lived for several centuries and I assure you that I have seen many penises over the course of that time. Go about your business and do it quickly. I’d like us to do some spell casting before dinner.”

Spike tried to stroke himself a few times, but it didn’t do any good. The whole situation was simply too embarrassing and awkward for him to continue. The complete lack of lubrication made it a bit more uncomfortable as well. He blushed and lowered his head dejectedly.

“I-I can’t do it.”

Onyx let out a frustrated snort. “Figures. I just can’t understand why you’re having so much trouble. With all the bragging Winter Silk does, you seem to have absolutely no issue relieving yourself when she’s around.”

“Ah… that’s because she uses her mouth. You know b-because there’s more lubrication? We’ve been having sex for a while now, so we’re used to each other’s bodies and uhh... needs. It’s too embarrassing having someone else watch!”

Onyx rubbed her temples. “I suppose there’s no helping it. Stand still and spread your legs apart slightly.”

“Okaaaay, but why do I nee—”

Before Spike could utter another word, Onyx slid behind him and held his arms in a lock to prevent him from moving. Despite how muscular she was, Spike could easily tell she had the soft, smooth skin of a woman who took excellent care of her body.

His penis twitched slightly when he felt her breasts press firmly against his back. Whatever his mentor was planning, it wasn’t doing much in the way of making his erection disappear. If anything, it only made him even hornier.

Onyx summoned a sooty black flame in her free hand. “I know this spell may seem dangerous, but I assure you that it is completely safe. Once I am finished casting it, you are NOT to utter a word about it to anyone. Do you understand?”

Spike swallowed the lump forming in his throat and nodded. The young man practically shuddered when he felt Onyx gently press two of her fingers against that wonderful spot just beneath his balls. A distant part of his mind recalled reading about it in one of Twilight’s books. It was apparently the male equivalent of a G-spot.

He was about to complain because Onyx wasn’t really doing anything more than applying pressure to the spot. That is… until he felt a warm, yet ridiculously pleasant tingling sensation run the whole way up his dick. In mere seconds, he already felt like he was going to explode. This was unlike anything he’d ever experienced before.

Spike whimpered. “I can’t—hold it back—much longer…”

“Then don’t. That’s what the spell is designed for. Just let it all out.”

Spike didn’t need to be told twice. He finally stopped holding back and allowed the spell to run its course. Unable to help himself, he moaned loudly while shooting few globs of sticky cum into the grass below. In reality, the act only took a few moments, but to him it was the most intense orgasm he’d ever experienced.

With his balls now completely drained, the young man slumped into Onyx’s waiting arms. Fortunately, his penis was now completely flaccid but the spell had taken a lot of energy from him. When the post-orgasmic haze finally cleared, he stared back at his mentor with a goofy expression.

“How did you do that? I don’t even—just wow! It felt like all of my energy was being drained out of my dick. That was insane…”

Onyx coughed and blushed. “Any Wyvertii as ancient as Lord Torch is tends to build up quite a bit of sexual stamina over the centuries. I developed that spell in order to help him ermm… hasten the release of his seed and, of course, make him experience extreme pleasure while doing so.

“As for feeling weak, that is an unfortunate side-effect of the spell. It is essentially a modified healing spell, designed to stimulate your entire penis via the prostate gland. I do not… need to use it very often. But you can understand why I want you to keep it a secret, right?”

Spike laughed awkwardly. “Yeah, I completely understand. But for what it’s worth, I think it’s an awesome spell. Wait a second. You said you don’t need to use it very often. Does that mean you have crazy sex with Lord Torch all the time?”

“That is none of your business, Master Spike! Suffice to say, Lord Torch and I often enjoy each other’s company when time allows. Now, we should move on to our sparring session before it becomes too late. We’ll start with battle magic first.”

Hall of Flames, Brimstone

Spike dragged his weary carcass out of the baths and towards Lord Torch’s chambers. Almost the entire time he’d been sparring with Onyx, they were practicing combat magic. When he first started his magic training, he’d been amazed at just how versatile the Wyvertii were at crafting spells. Much to his surprise, he found out early on that he was quite adept at healing magic, but that was not the case with battle magic.

Onyx mentioned that it had something to do with nature of his scroll-sending spell. It was more passive in nature, thus was considered to be part of the healing/utility tier of spells. Battle magic, on the other hand, was destructive and required more power and intent from the caster. Spike had never been much of a fighter.

That pretty much came with the territory when one was raised within the confines of most peaceful country on the planet. Needless to say, it took him a long time focus his will on trying to destroy or cause harm to something on purpose. He was still a bit sore from taking so many hits, but taking and bath and getting a massage afterwards did wonders to dull the worst of it.

He gently knocked on Torch’s door, expecting a handmaiden to answer but he was pleasantly surprised to hear the ancient Wyvertii’s voice instead. The interior of the room was just as lavish as Spike expected: furniture crafted from the finest woods, priceless tapestries hung all over the walls, a gigantic bed with silken sheets in the corner, and an ornate granite fireplace as the centerpiece.

Torch stood in front of the fireplace, drinking from a simple pewter goblet. He motioned for Spike to stand next to him. The young man obliged, and was rewarded with a goblet of his own. When he took a whiff of it, his nostrils were immediately assaulted by the cloyingly sweet scent of honey and berries. He sipped from it gingerly, but still ended up coughing. It was some seriously strong stuff.

Torch chuckled. “You just drank the most valuable liquor I have in my possession. It’s a rare blend made from our own honey and Crystal Berries from the Empire. I got that about—hmm—I believe just over a thousand years ago. Yes, that sounds about right.”

“Are you sure you want me drinking this?!”

“Aye, I’m certain. I wouldn’t have offered it to you, if I wasn’t. Just relax and enjoy it.”

Spike took another sip. “Not to be rude, sir… but why did you ask me to meet you here?”

“I wanted to check up on your progress and reminisce about the past. More specifically, I wanted you to see the portrait of your parents.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. I almost forgot about that.”

Torch patted him on the back. “It’s ok lad. I understand that you’ve been busy. And it shows! Why, you’ve put on quite a bit of muscle since you first arrived. I imagine the women are practically throwing themselves at you while you walk about the market place!”

“Well, I noticed that a lot of women have recently started flirting with me. One of them e-even tweaked me on the behind! I’m just glad Ember wasn’t around to see it…:”

Torch laughed. “True. Ember has never been one to conceal her jealously very well. But I have to ask: how are things going between you and my daughter?”

“Pretty good, I think. She’s still really reserved about showing me affection in public, but we’ve made quite a bit of progress since we started training together. We still ermm… haven’t had sex yet either. But that’s ok! I don’t want to force her or anything.”

Torch rubbed his chin. “Aye, that’s for the best. Bless your heart, Spike. I admire your patience and dedication. I doubt that I would’ve been able to do the same had I been in your situation.”

“I think Ember’s worth it, even though she can be difficult to deal with sometimes. That’s what we do when we love someone, right?”

Torch hummed in agreement and gently gripped Spike’s shoulder. The conversation lulled into silence, but it was far from uncomfortable. The two men felt like there was little else they needed to say. After enjoying the warmth of the fire for a few moments, Spike took the time to glance up at the mantle. Right above it, he noticed a stunning portrait of a young Wyvertii couple reclining on a cushion.

The man in the portrait was clearly not a warrior. He possessed muscles, but they were the wiry sort that one got from a lean lifestyle rather than training or hard labor. That didn’t mean he wasn’t handsome. His chestnut-colored hair was slicked back in a style reminiscent of Canterlot’s elite businessmen during the turn of the century.

Other than that, the man was rather average in most regards. Though he wouldn’t admit it aloud, Spike noticed that Wyvertii artists painted every detail of a person’s anatomy with one hundred percent accuracy. The young man nearly choked on his drink when he noticed how thick the guy’s penis was. It obviously wasn’t as big as Torch’s, but it was still impressive to look at in a totally non-homosexual way.

Spike quickly regained his composure and took a look at the woman in the portrait. She was significantly taller than the man, by at least a head. But that didn’t stop the woman from placing an affectionate hand atop her love’s hip. Despite her height, she was fairly curvy. Not exactly fat, per say, but it was easy to see that her buttocks and breasts were filled to delectable proportions.

Even though she possessed a voluptuous body, the thing the stood out the most about the woman was her hair. If Spike didn’t know any better, he’d swear that it was the same color as… his own? Even her eyes were same shade of emerald. What were the odds? Thinking back to Twilight’s lecture on genetics, he realized that eye color had a lot to do with heredity.

Spike nearly dropped his goblet. “Those are my parents, aren’t they? OH GODS! I was ogling my own mother! Gaaaahhhh!”

“Aye, they are. There’s no need to feel ashamed about seeing your mother that way. Even I thought she was one of the most beautiful creatures to ever step foot in Brimstone. Your father was an incredibly lucky bastard to have won the affection of your mother.”

Spike blushed profusely. “The thickness of his junk probably had a lot to do with it. At least I can see where I got it from.”

“Indeed! Perhaps that might have been part of it, at least initially. Those two were madly in love with one another. They would go on for hours discussing magic, history, science, and other scholarly things. I won’t go into detail what they would do afterwards. But I can say that you are most definitely a direct result of their ‘post-discussion’ activities.”

Spike felt like he was going to throw up. “I hope they didn’t make too much of a mess in the library…”

“I hate to tell you this lad, but they were always messy. Luckily, they had the sense to put away all the scrolls before they started fucking. By Delmira, the handmaidens certainly didn’t care about the damned scrolls. They just hated cleaning up after those two all the same!”

Despite all of the embarrassing details, Spike was glad to have seen the portrait of his biological parents. He took another look at the portrait again, and he could tell by the smiles on their faces that they were a happily married couple. A profound feeling of loss welled up in his chest.

His parents, no doubt, had loved him dearly when he was born. But he would never personally experience their love firsthand. It was not as if he didn’t love Celestia or Twilight, but he found himself shedding a few tears for the family he would never meet. Much to his shock, Torch wrapped him in a surprisingly gentle hug and rubbed his back.

“Go ahead and cry, lad. Delmira knows I loved them too. I’m certain that if Viridian and Elm were still here, both of them would be fiercely proud of you. All that I ask is to honor their memory in your heart.”

Torch, in many ways, was like the father-figure he never had growing up. There were precious few male role models in his life, save for Shining Armor. But the relationship between them was more brotherly than that of father and son. He took Torch up on his offer and wept openly into the older man’s chest. It only lasted for a few moments, but once Spike was finished, Torch gave him a warm smile.

“Do you feel better now?”

Spike sniffed. “Sorry, I don’t know what came over me.”

“There is no shame in grieving your loved ones’ passing. You have nothing to apologize for. Are you certain that you feel better? Should I summon the handmaidens to fetch us some more spirits?”

Spike hiccupped. “No, that won’t be necessary. I umm—thanks for letting me cry on you. It really did make me feel better. I hope that I… didn’t get too much of my snot on your chest.”

“Think nothing of it, lad. A good soak in the bath will clean all of that up. Now that you’ve got that out of your system, there is something else important we need to discuss.”

“Sure, what is it?”

Torch pointed to a tapestry on the wall. “What do you see depicted there?”

“It looks like a bunch of people dancing around and drinking. Umm… why is that so important?”

Torch smiled. “Whenever the Gauntlet of Fire occurs, we hold a massive feast the day prior in order to honor the brave souls who decide to participate. It has been a Wyvertii tradition for many generations.”

“That sounds like fun. Wait a second! There’s something you’re not telling me, right?”

Torch snapped his fingers. “I knew you were a clever one. The tapestry you see before you is an extremely simplified version of what actually happens. To put it plainly: there will be plenty of drinking, dancing, and fucking going on. Sometimes, all three at once. I warn you lad, most people won’t care who happens to see them that night. Who knows? You might even be invited to join in.”

Spike’s mouth suddenly became dry. Torch was making it sound like this Wyvertii feast was essentially just a massive orgy. He couldn’t deny that he loved having sex. That was a given. But he was more than a little leery at the idea of just randomly going around and banging any pretty girl that gave him a wink or a nod.

He already knew how Winter would feel about it. She’d probably drink like a fish, dance a little bit, and fuck just about anything on two legs. But what about Ember? Was she even going to attend at all? Spike highly doubted it. While the offer was extremely tempting, the young man decided that it would probably be for the best if he just invited Ember over to his house for the duration of the festivities.

Spike let out a disappointed sigh. “I don’t think I can go, sir.”

“Delmira’s silky snatch! Are you mad? You are the very reason we’re holding this feast in the first place. Do you wish to waste the townsfolk’s hard work and preparation? What’s gotten into you, lad?”

Spike bit his lip. “Well, I’m worried about Ember. As much as I’d like to go, she probably won’t want to. I want to make sure that she isn’t lonely during the night of the feast.”

“Ah, is that all? A noble reason, but it’s all for naught.”

“But… why?”

Torch wrapped his arm around Spike’s shoulder. “Because my daughter informed me yesterday that she shall be attending the feast. You should feel very lucky, lad. She’s only going because of you.”


Torch grinned. “Indeed. Oh, and I should mention that she plans on surprising you with a gift when she arrives. As for what that is, I won’t tell you. It wouldn’t be a surprise if I did.”

Immediately, Spike’s mood soared upon hearing the good news. Granted, he was still a little nervous about what he would find at the feast. But it was a good kind of nervous. Nervous-cited as Pinkie Pie would often say. Yes, it was going to be obscenely difficult to control his urges that night, but at least Ember was going to be there with him.

The Celebration

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Chapter 12

Spike’s House, Brimstone

Spike winced as he pried his weary carcass out of bed. The previous day had been difficult for him both physically and emotionally. He was, of course, glad that he’d talked with Lord Torch about his parents. Despite Torch’s openness, Spike still felt somewhat embarrassed about crying on the big man’s chest.

When he finally trudged back home a few hours later, red-eyed and exhausted, Winter ran up and embraced him without saying a word. She then guided him towards the bed and cuddled up against his back as soon as they found a comfortable position. The gesture went a long way in easing his mind and helped him gain some much needed rest.

He glanced over at Winter Silk’s still slumbering form, and frowned. The young man wanted nothing more than to curl up next to her once more and sleep the day away. But he couldn’t. He was still sore from yesterday’s training. If he didn’t at least do some stretches, it would cause his muscles to stiffen up painfully and cause issues later.

Spike gently brushed back a strand of her hair and kissed her on the cheek. She sighed happily for a brief moment and continued to snore in that adorable way that always reminded him of a kitten. Once his morning exercise routine was complete, he vowed to make her breakfast. It was the least he could do to show Winter how grateful he was for her presence in his home.

By Spike’s reckoning, it was roughly about two hours past dawn. There was no way to be certain because the Wyvertii didn’t use clocks. Their concept of time tended to be more fluid than the strict, to the second account that Equestrians kept. The odd thing was though; they seemed to have an innate sense as to when important meals needed to be served.

In all honesty, Spike was totally ok with that. He had grown weary of how strict his sister (and everyone else for that matter) was about keeping everything on a tight schedule. It was nice not to have to plan your day out, minute by minute.

As per his breakfast routine, Spike brewed some coffee and started to fry up some wild boar he’d bought from the market. It was great for making bacon and a whole host of other porky delights. One of the best parts about living in a more primitive society was how fresh all the produce was. None of it was mass produced or processed, like the stuff back in Equestria.

The goat’s milk he put in his coffee, for instance, was always smooth and creamy. The Wyvertii even had a viable substitute for sugar! Granted, it tasted a bit odd compared to the sugar he was used to. But that was only because it was derived from the nectar of a plant called Sirytaa.

Spike was no botanist, but he had to admit it was remarkably similar to the Agave plants they occasionally grew in Appleloosa. The only thing that was a bit off putting about the nectar was its dark red color. Spike panicked when he first saw it, much to the collective amusement of Ember and Winter. At the time, he thought it was blood! Otherwise, it smelled and tasted similar to honey with a pleasant, citrusy aftertaste.

Just as he was about to enjoy his first sip of coffee, Spike felt a familiar tingling sensation spread across his right palm. It could only mean one thing: an incoming letter from Equestria. After putting down his clay mug, he allowed the letter to materialize before him. Sure enough, the scroll bore the wax emblem of the Equestrian diarchy.

My Dearest Spike,

How is your training going? I hope that your new friends aren’t working you too hard. I… imagine that I’m worrying too much. You’re obviously quite capable for your age. Twilight, Luna, and I miss you more and more as each day passes. But we appreciate you keeping in touch with us so frequently.

If you happen to return to Canterlot with Ember, I will make it a special point to greet her with the utmost hospitality the Equestrian crown has to offer. I—probably shouldn’t mention this, but the Element Bearers have a little bet going on as to what she actually looks like.

As for me, I have no doubt that she’s beautiful. You’re too much of a handsome and charming young man not to catch the attention of the fairer sex! Regardless of her appearance, I’m happy that you’ve found someone special to share your heart with.


Sol Invic Mom

Spike couldn’t help but chuckle after he read the letter. Celestia was getting better at being informal with her correspondence, but she still had a habit of using her title at the end. He supposed it simply came with countless centuries of habit. It was an easy thing to forgive because not so long ago, he’d called her Princess instead of mom too.

Spike carefully folded up the letter and set it aside. Later, he would write back to her but for now… he needed to focus on getting some food into his grumbling stomach. While he certainly could have eaten more, the young man settled on a few morsels of pork, a chunk of bread, and an assortment of fruit to balance everything out.

It was never a good idea to perform any sort of exercise on a full stomach. He learned that lesson the hard way one morning when he’d practiced with Ember. However, the one thing he never compromised on was coffee. Every morning, he stubbornly insisted on drinking at least two cups. It was really the only way he ever felt motivated enough to do anything so early in the day.

With a sufficient amount of caffeine now coursing through his veins, the young man set about his exercise routine. Spike stretched out his muscles first by doing some squats, then a set of jumping jacks to kick off his cardio, and finally some martial arts to work on his coordination. Once he’d worked up a good sweat, he set about doing push-ups. Mere months ago, he would have been gasping for air on the floor from such exertion.

Now, however, he was not only physically fit enough qualify for the Equestrian Marine Corps, but would have bested them in hand to hand combat if given the chance. Onyx’s gravity bracelet had helped immensely to improve his speed, endurance, and strength far faster than what he could have achieved on his own.

He was still amazed at all the progress he had made. Because at the end of the day, he was the one who had shed all the blood, sweat, and tears necessary to transform fat into hardened muscle. The other change he made to his appearance was to cut his hair military style, much like Guardsmen preferred in Canterlot. It had quickly become apparent that the length he typically kept it was far too hot and itchy for the warmer climate of the Ebonwood Forest.

The Wyvertii only possessed rudimentary hair care products, and a trip to the barber was more often made out of practicality rather than for stylistic choice. Just a few days ago, Winter Silk had been complaining that her hair was too long for her liking. A quick trip into town later, and her hair had been cut from just below the shoulders all the way back up to her neck.

Spike was completely shocked when he first saw her with short hair. She shrugged it off as being a completely normal occurrence, stating that the vast majority of Wyvertii women preferred their hair to be shorter because it took less effort to wash, style, and maintain. Ember’s trademark tomboyish cut and Onyx’s braided bun seemed to lend credence to her claim.

Just as Spike was finishing up his last set of pushups, he heard the distinct pitter-patter of bare feet against the floor directly behind him. He slowly rose to his feet and grabbed a cloth to wipe the sweat off of his face. When he finally turned around, he saw Winter shamelessly ogling him with a predatory grin on her lips.

“Good morning, Winter. Is everything alright?”

Winter nodded. “Everything is perfectly fine, Master Spike. I’m simply enjoying the view.”

“You were watching me workout, weren’t you? How long have you been standing there?”

“Just long enough to sneak a peek. I probably don’t say this often enough, but you look so incredibly manly~ You were relatively easy on the eyes before, but… THOSE MUSCLES!”

“Oh—errr—well, thanks. I’m glad you noticed.”

Winter ran her hand along his pecks. “You really need to start being more assertive about your relationship with Mistress Ember.”

“What do you mean by that?”

Winter clicked her tongue. “Master Spike, you may not realize this, but you are the living embodiment of what Wyvertii women find desirable. Trust me. I’ve seen the hungry looks you get in the marketplace when we pass by the stalls.”


Winter rolled her eyes. “Yes, I’m being completely serious! The Wyvertii… aren’t strictly monogamous when it concerns romantic relationships. If you don’t openly declare your intention to bed only a single partner, then other women will think you’re fair game.”

“I’ve always wondered why Silica gives me discounts whenever I buy meat. SWEET TARTARUS! Now that I think about it, she was definitely flirting with me the other day. This is bad!”

Winter sighed. “Well, I suppose I can’t fault you for your ignorance. You weren’t exactly a muscular buffet of manliness when you first arrived here. And our more relaxed attitude about these sorts of things is, in part, why Ember allowed you to have sex with me in the first place. But I’ve known her since she was just a child, so she trusts me.”

“I guess that kind of makes… sense? Sorry, I’m still trying to get used to all of these cultural differences. What should I do?”

“Honestly, the best way to show that you only want to be with Ember is to announce your intention to make her your wife. Luckily for you, the celebration for the Gauntlet is happening tonight. You could simply announce your intentions after Lord Torch finishes his speech.”

Spike blushed. “We haven’t even had s-sex yet! I’m not sure if I’m ready to make that kind of commitment on such short notice…”

“I didn’t say you had to marry her right away, Master Spike. It’s nothing more than a public declaration. Think of it as an engagement of sorts. You can either make it official later, or not. All you’re doing is sending a clear message that you only desire a single partner.”

Spike felt like his tongue had turned into cotton. “Haaaaaaa—this is too much! What if she doesn’t want me to become her husband? Ember already has a difficult time showing affection in public as it is. She’ll freak out if I say that in front of the entire village and her father!”

“Maybe, or perhaps you’re underestimating her. Ember has never been a fan of attending any sort of celebration, even important ones such as choosing a new Dragon Lord. Like I mentioned before, the sole reason she’s even attending is because you’ll be there with her.”

“Yeah, but I—”

Winter put her finger on his lips. “I’ve lived for many centuries, Master Spike. Believe me when I say that I know what a woman in love looks like. By the end of tonight’s festivities, I imagine that she’ll surprise you in more ways than one~”
“I don’t like it when you get all cryptic like that! Tell me what’s going on.”

Winter booped his nose. “Nope. Then it wouldn’t be surprise, would it? Besides, I promised her that I wouldn’t whisper a word of what we discussed to anyone. You’re just going to have to be patient and trust her, Master Spike.”

The rest of the day progressed at rather a sedate pace. Nothing of particular note occurred. Spike got in a bit more training with Onyx after lunch, but both Winter Silk and Ember remained conspicuously absent for the remainder of the day. When he inquired, Onyx simply replied that they were getting ready the evening’s festivities. The two of them parted shortly thereafter, when Onyx said that she had to get ready as well.

Spike didn’t exactly understand what his teacher meant by “getting ready”. While he understood that Wyvertii women often liked to bathe and maintain proper body hygiene, what other things did a bunch of forest-dwelling nudists really need to do in order to properly prepare for a party? It’s not like they needed to change into a dress or anything…

In any case, he realized that it would he in his best interest to head back home and take a bath himself. He didn’t want to show up to the celebration smelling like sweat. About an hour later (taking long, hot baths was a guilty pleasure of his) he toweled off and headed into town.

For the first time in his life, he was attending a party wearing nothing more than his birthday suit. And it wasn’t even one of those spicy nacho fueled nightmares where everyone laughs at you for being naked in public! Despite it being a bit surreal, he actually felt… comfortable doing so.

Spike chuckled to himself. The young man had to admit that it was incredibly convenient to be able to just take a bath, dry off, and go about town. He never would’ve gotten away with doing something like this back in Equestria.

When he arrived in the center of town, it was obvious that the festivities were well under way. A massive wooden table had been erected in the town square, and it held a feast that would’ve put a medieval king to shame. Meats, breads, fruits, nuts, and cheeses were laid out on every spare space available. The smells that wafted into Spike’s nose practically made him slobber like a hungry dog.

As was customary, everyone sat around the table on egalitarian, but comfortable cushions. In the center sat Lord Torch with the town leaders sitting nearby. When he saw Spike, he motioned for the young man to take a seat directly next to him.

“There’s no need to be so reserved, lad. Help yourself to some food and drink! That’s what the celebration is all about.”

Spike obliged and tore off the leg from a spit roasted pig. It was basically like eating a gigantic chicken wing, except that it was much messier. The Wyvertii did use eating utensils on occasion, but they weren’t terribly fond of them. For a feast like this, it was probably better to just eat with your fingers anyway.

A contented smile formed on Spike’s lips as he swallowed the tender chunks of swine flesh. Brimstone had some of the most delicious meat he’d ever tasted in his entire life. He was fairly certain it was due to how quickly the animals were butchered and cooked. With the exception of dried fruits and pickles, nothing ever sat around for more than an hour or two.

Torch handed him a wooden goblet. “Sepia always makes the most succulent roasted pork. It’s a secret recipe that’s been handed down in her family for generations.”

Spike started to take a sip from the goblet and noticed the distinct alcoholic aftertaste it had. Judging by how sweet it was, he concluded that it had to be the ubiquitous honey mead that the Wyvertii were so fond of drinking. He enjoyed drinking it, but the stuff could get you shit-faced drunk in no time at all if you weren’t careful.

Spike took another bite from his pig leg. “By the creator, this is pork is amazing! It’s so smoky and tender. I barely even have to chew it. My compliments to Sepia, although I’m not exactly sure who she is…”

“Ah, that’s right. I don’t think I’ve ever introduced the two of you. She’s in charge of cooking all of the food in the Hall of Flames. Technically, she’s my personal chef but… I don’t mind sharing her talents with everyone else.”

Torch smiled and waved to a woman who was busy stirring a massive stew pot. She immediately stopped her task and hurried over to where the Dragon Lord was seated. Sepia was, as it turned out, a complete contrast from most of the women he knew in Brimstone.

While her body wasn’t nearly as trim as Ember’s or Onyx’s, she wasn’t exactly fat either. That is to say, she was delightfully curvy in all the right places. Sepia was of average height, and her hair was a two-toned combination of rusty orange and dark red. She had it pulled back in a simple, but adorable ponytail that was interlaced with colorful glass beads.

Spike tried to be gentleman and look her in the eyes when she arrived, but that proved to be a difficult task. Her soft, plump breasts kept jiggling every time she moved and he found himself hypnotized by them. He felt his loins begin to stir, but fought his baser instincts by pinching himself.

The situation got even worse when he became curious about her hair color. For brief moment, he took a quick glance between her legs and had his hypothesis confirmed. A neatly trimmed strip of pubic hair with the exact same tones as her head stood out plain as day. When she finally got to the table, she bent over and placed her hands on her hips while giving Spike a warm smile.

“Oh, I see that you’re enjoying my cooking!”

Spike nearly choked on his mead. “Yes, it’s probably the breasts I’ve ever had!”

“Excuse me? Did I mishear you or—”


Sepia raised her eyebrow. “Normally, a man introduces himself before he starts ogling my breasts.”

“Hehehe… I’m Spike. You must be Sepia?”

“Yep, that’s my name. It’s a pleasure to meet you, despite all the staring.”

Spike’s entire faced turned red. “Look, I’m sorry if I was—”

“You’re not sorry and neither am I. Go ahead and look all you want, handsome. I assure you that the feeling is most definitely mutual.”

Spike nearly froze when he heard the curvy cook blatantly flirt with him. Just as he was about to try and collect his wits, Sepia grasped his hand and placed it on her right breast. Even though he tried his best not to purposely fondle her, the woman wasn’t having any of it. She went ahead and guided his hand through the motions.

The young man almost bit his lip hard to draw blood. Her breast was ridiculously soft. It was like digging his fingers into a giant fleshy marshmallow. Spike whimpered when he felt her nipple stiffen underneath his fingers.

Torch had mentioned that some of the women might proposition him at the party, but this was insane! She continued to let him fondle her for a few more moments, until a soft blush formed on her cheeks.

“Did you enjoy your free sample?”

“I umm…”

Sepia looked down at his erection and giggled. “That’s ok. I have a feeling I know what your answer is. My break is an hour, so meet me in the Red Tent if you’re up to it. I’ll be waiting~”

Spike watched Sepia (who sauntered towards the stew pot, in order to give Spike a good look at her beautiful bouncing butt cheeks) leave as she went back to her cooking duties. Much to his dismay, Torch roared with laughter and slapped him on the back. Even though it stung, the pain wasn’t enough to make his erection go away, or the embarrassment for that matter.

“I’ve never seen Sepia act like that before. You’re something special, lad.”

Spike groaned. “It’s not like I tried to do any of that on purpose! And what in the world is a Red Tent?”

“Well, to put it bluntly: it’s a place where couples can go to fuck themselves silly during the celebration. Sure, there’s going to plenty of kissing, groping, and cuddling going on but that’s the best place to really let loose.”

“At this point, I’m not entirely sure why this surprises me…

Torch chuckled. “It really is for the best. A cushion is a far more comfortable place to make love than on a wooden table or, goddess forbid, the hard ground. There’s also a makeshift bath setup nearby so you can clean up afterwards.”

“I’m going to hate myself for asking this, but does it have separate rooms?”

Torch shook his head. “It’s basically a large, communal room with a bunch of cushions set up inside.”

“You mean… there’s no p-privacy?!”

“No. Why is that a problem? It’s not like you’re going to witness something that you haven’t already seen.”

Spike blushed. “I actually like to have some privacy when I m-make love to a woman. It’d be super awkward and embarrassing if I had to do it in front of other people.”

“I’m sorry, Spike. I keep forgetting that you’re used to how things are in Equestria. I’ll try to be a bit more respectful of your preferences. But even you have to admit that Sepia is a gorgeous creature.”

Spike twiddled his fingers. “Well, of course she is. If I wasn’t already interested in Ember, I probably would have taken Sepia up on her offer. I realize that this is supposed to be a celebration, but I still have to be mindful of your daughter’s feelings.”

“Ah, you’re probably right. Ember is already wary of you sleeping with Winter Silk. I don’t imagine she’d be too happy if she found out that you had your way with Sepia as well.”

“This is all just so… difficult to get used to! Back when I lived in Ponyville, most women hardly ever gave me the time of day. Now, practically everywhere I go, they try to flirt with me! A lot of guys would envy my situation, but here I am complaining about it. I sound pathetic, don’t I?”

Torch refilled his goblet. “It’s not pathetic to cherish a woman so strongly that you only have enough room in your heart to love her alone. Allow me to be frank, lad. I feel very much the same way about Onyx. In fact, I haven’t bedded another woman other than her for the past eighteen years.”

“Really? That’s… I just kind of assumed that you had a harem. “

Torch laughed. “That much is true. Or at least, I’m entitled to have one. But no, I don’t have one anymore. Onyx shouldered the burden of carrying me through the lowest point of my life. If it weren’t for her I’d—never have overcome my grief over the death of my wife and your parents. She deserves nothing less than my full devotion.”

“I never knew you cared that much about Onyx. That’s so romantic!”

Torch actually blushed. “Keep your voice down, lad! This is a strictly a conversation between the two of us, you understand? I can’t have everyone in Brimstone thinking that I’ve grown into a soft, sentimental old man.”

Spike chewed on another chunk of pork and rolled his eyes. Everyone knew how much Torch loved his daughter. That was as plain as day. Therefore, it was not an exaggeration to say that everyone was also well aware that their lord was in a deep romantic relationship with the head attendant. Why was it such a difficult thing for Torch to admit?

The young man simply dismissed the statement as one of Lord Torch’s many quirks. It wasn’t as if he hadn’t witnessed Ember do the exact same thing when she delved into matters of romance. The more he thought about it, the more clear it became that Torch’s attitude had simply rubbed off on his daughter over the years.

Unfortunately, stubborn pride wasn’t exactly the best personality trait for a young woman like Ember to emulate, even if she did come by it honestly. The Wyvertii could think their current Dragon Lord was sentimental and soft all they wanted, but Spike doubted that anyone would have ever said so directly to his face.

Most of the people living in Brimstone (including himself) probably thought it was a blessing that such a behemoth actually had sentimental feelings in the first place. Otherwise, Torch would have been a monstrously brutal tyrant, the likes of which would have made King Sombra look like Fluttershy by comparison.

Spike shuddered as he imagined spells and bullets wildly bouncing off of Torch’s naked form, while the big man smashed down the walls of Canterlot. After seeing him effortlessly snap an Ebonwood staff upon his forearm, it was well within the realm of possibility that such a thing could happen.

Torch shot him a concerned look. “What’s wrong, lad? You look like you’ve see a hydra.”

“Oh—umm—everything’s fine, sir. I was just thinking about something… unpleasant.”

Torch wrapped his arm around Spike’s shoulder. “Try not to dwell on it! This is a celebration, not a funereal. Prepare yourself, Spike. We’re in for a real treat.”

“What do you mean?”

Torch grinned lasciviously. “The finest women in Brimstone are about to dance for us! Do you see that large bonfire right in front of us? That’s what they’ll be dancing around.”

Spike directed his attention towards the fire and noticed a group of musicians beginning to set up some cushions a fair distance away from the fire. It was the first time, in the two months since he’d arrived, that Spike had ever seen so many Wyvertii musical instruments gathered in one place.

Their instruments were simple, but very well crafted. He noticed a few pan flutes made out of wood, animal hide drums, bone flutes, and something that resembled a medieval lute but had several more strings. Twilight probably would have had a field day observing how such an isolated culture managed to create such complex instruments.

Spike’s eyes widened in surprise when his gaze shifted to a woman holding a pan flute. It was none other than Winter Silk! Not once had she ever mentioned that she was a musician. When she finally noticed him staring at her, the albino woman gave him a sheepish smile as an apology. Spike crossed his arms and huffed.

“I take it that Winter Silk never told you about this?”

“No.” Spike grumbled.

“That woman loves to brag about her prowess under the sheets, but seldom does she ever mention her skill with the pan flute. I assure you that she is quite talented. And her singing voice is lovely as well. But I suppose that simply comes with century’s worth of practice.”

“I just don’t understand why she kept it a secret from me! If you have talent like that, why not use it every once and a while? I enjoy listening to music too…”

Torch stroked his chin. “Hmm, I don’t believe there was any malign intent behind her secrecy. She probably just forgot to mention it, lad. I imagine that there are still things that she doesn’t know about you either. It’s best not to dwell on it. Just relax and enjoy the performance.”

Spike had to admit that he was still a little peeved, but ultimately Torch was right. It was pointless to obsess over something that may not have been intentional to begin with. Instead, he took a deep breath and smiled at Winter, signaling that everything was alright between them. She smiled back and took her place amongst the remaining musicians.

The lute player quickly began to strum his instrument, while Winter Silk blew a few notes on her pan flute to accompany him. They paused for a few moments, until the lute player began to play a steady succession of chords with the other flute players occasionally adding in some harmony. Once a steady rhythm was established, the dancers slowly gathered around the fire.

In that moment, as the women began to dance, Spike finally understood why Ember and Onyx had been absent and what they needed to get ready for. Every dancer’s entire body was painted with distinct and colorful patterns that seemed to writhe along with them as they danced. Whirls, dots, lines, and zigzags covered them from head to toe. Spike was completely entranced from the very moment they started. It was like nothing he had ever seen before, nor would he likely ever seen again.

As they moved their bodies to the steady rhythm of the music, Spike felt something primal stir within him. It was almost indescribable. The entire routine was equal parts ballet, martial arts, and erotic temptation. Spike felt a rush of blood go straight to his loins as he continued to watch.

The young man was far too absorbed in the sensuous display to really care about his renewed arousal. For a brief moment, he spared a glance towards his fellow party goes, and noticed that he was far from the only man now sporting a full erection.

The dancers made a conscious effort to show off their beautifully toned bodies from every possible angle they could. All of them smiled when they turned towards their audience and noticed the fruits of their labor. Much to Spike’s disappointment, the dance was over before he knew it and the women dispersed amongst the crowd to enjoy the remainder of the celebration.

His breath caught in his throat when he saw Ember saunter over to where he was sitting and chug an entire goblet full of mead. Once she was finished, she bent over the table, grabbed Spike by the cheeks and gave him a passionate, but extremely sloppy kiss.

He was surprised, but returned his lover’s kiss eagerly. The two of them continued to wrestle with their tongues for another minute or two, until they started to hear whistles and whoops coming from the crowd. After that, they quickly separated and Ember took a seat next to him. Both of their faces were beet red.

“Sorry, I get really worked up whenever I dance.”

Spike gave her a peck on the cheek. “Don’t be. I enjoyed every second of it.”

“Good! Because it took me forever to muster up the courage to dance like that in front of everyone. I did it as a special good luck charm for when you compete tomorrow. You’d better not expect me to do it all the time!”

Spike wrapped his arm around her waist. “Thanks Ember, I loved it. And you looked incredibly sexy while you were dancing. But I’m sure you already figured that out…”

Ember gently poked his erection. “Did I really do that? I-I mean it’s not like haven’t seen your penis before, but—umm—it’s a little different when I’m actually trying to excite you on purpose.”

“Eh heh… that part of me has never been very good at lying.”

Ember rolled her eyes. “You can say that again. So… would you mind accompanying me to the lake for a while?”

“I don’t really mind. But why?”

Ember nervously twirled a strand of her hair. “Ah, well I’m all sweaty from dancing and this paint is starting to make me itchy. I’d like to clean up a-and spend some time with you! That is, you know—just the t-two of us.”

“I’d like that. Everybody is starting to get a little too drunk and rowdy for my taste anyway.”

“Thank Delmira.” Ember whispered under her breath.

“Hmm? Did you say something?”

Ember got up and grabbed Spike by the arm. “N-Nothing! Let’s get going.”

Spike was slightly confused as to why Ember chose to come all the way out to a secluded lake in the Ebonwood forest, instead of just going to the baths to clean up. It had taken a while to reach it, but he immediately understood why once they arrived. The spot was like a slice of wooded paradise that would not have looked out of place in a fantasy novel.

The moon happened to be full that night, so it cast a reflection upon the still surface. From a distance, it looked as though a gigantic pearl was resting on the bottom. Surrounding the lake was a copse of trees, but the boulder strewn shore contained little plant life other than moss and short grass. The only sound pervading the air was the constant drone of cicadas and crickets.

Spike took a moment to admire the natural splendor, but Ember didn’t seem too interested in the scenery. Instead, she climbed on top of a rather large boulder and dove headfirst into the lake. Spike sighed when he heard the accompanying splash. It ruined the ambiance of the moment somewhat, but he got over it rather quickly when he heard Ember laugh.

She slid underwater once more, and did not surface again for quite some time. Spike was beginning to get worried, until he noticed that all of her body paint had been washed off. She also happened to be holding a colorful crystal in one of her hands. The princess wadded over to where Spike was standing and presented her prize.

“What is that?”

Ember grinned. “A lunar crystal. The old folk tales claim that you can only find them when the moon is full. They also say that it’s a symbol of everlasting love. Go ahead. I want you to have it.”

“Ember that’s really thou—”

Poor Spike didn’t get a chance to finish his sentence. Ember started splashing him with water, which annoyed him at first, but he soon realized that she was just horsing around. In retaliation, he jumped into the water and dunked her. When she surfaced once more, the princess took it upon herself to turn the tables and dunk him back.

This went on for a few more minutes, until the two of them decided to just relax and enjoy the water. Spike swam behind her and carefully wrapped his arms around her body in a gentle hug. Ember sighed contentedly and intertwined her hands with his.

“It’s such a beautiful night, isn’t it?”

Spike kissed her neck. “Sure is. All the better since I’m spending it with a beautiful woman.”

“Spike, you know that I love you… right?”

“Of course I do. And I feel the same way about you. Why do you ask? Is there something bothering you?”

Ember tightened her grip. “I just want you to know that whatever happens during the Gauntlet, I’ll be praying for your success. Please… try to stay safe. Your life is way more important to me than some stupid title.”

“I promise that’ll be careful.”

“Well, I suppose that even an idiot can have moments of brilliance from time to time.”

Spike laughed. “Yep. But just remember that you’re the one who fell for the idiot.”

“Mhmm. My strong, handsome, kind, lovable idiot.”

Spike closed his eyes and became consumed once more by the smells and sounds of the forest around him. That was, until he felt Ember let go of his hand. Momentarily confused, the young man cracked open one of his eyes only to witness her hand slide towards his waist.

Ember hesitantly began to massage his shaft, slowly increasing the pace as she became more confident. Despite the coolness of the water, Spike’s penis quickly became erect as he found himself staring directly into Ember’s eyes. She had a satisfied smile on her lips, clearly pleased that ministrations were making her lover feel good.

Spike took the initiative and began to gently fondle Ember’s breasts. They were fairly large, but lacked the subtle softness he’d come to enjoy while playing with Winter Silk’s breasts. However, they were incredibly firm and… sensitive, as he soon found out. With every little touch he made, Ember seemed to whimper in pleasure.

She immediately stopped stroking his shaft when he took one of her nipples and rolled it between his fingers. In response, Ember moaned loudly and nearly went underwater because her knees began to buckle. At that point, Spike decided that they needed to go somewhere else if they intended to continue.

“Ember, we need to stop.”

The princess let out a frustrated whine. “What?! I’m way too horny to stop now!”

“No, no, no. I don’t mean it like that. We just need to get out of the lake. It’s not exactly a safe place to have sex…”

Ember blinked. “Oh. Yeah, I guess that’s true.”

“Although, I have to say: I didn’t realize your breasts were so sensitive.”

Ember blushed. “S-Shut up! They’ve always been that way! It’s because they don’t have a whole lot of fat on them and the nerves are closer to the surface. At least, that’s what the village healer told me when they first started growing.”

“Hey, I’m not complaining. It makes it easier for me to make you feel good, right?”

Ember crossed her arms. “Maybe. Just hurry up and carry me to shore so we can pick up where we left off.”

Not one to leave a lady waiting, Spike did as he was told and waded over to the shore with Ember in his arms. Once they were comfortable, the young man had to explain (despite being experienced, it was still incredibly embarrassing) to Ember how to get into the best position so they could both pleasure each other at the same time.

Spike lay down in the grass, and waited patiently for Ember to present her backside to him. She did so hesitantly, despite the fact that the both of them were quite familiar with each other’s bodies by that point. Much like before, she started to move her hand up and down his shaft, but it was clear to Spike that she was distracted.

Spike carefully spread her lips. “Just relax. I’ll make sure to be gentle.”

“It doesn’t look… weird, does it?”

“Hey, don’t be like that. You have a beautiful pussy, Ember. It’s a lovely shade of pink. Almost reminds me of salmon. However, I imagine it tastes a lot better…”

Ember moaned when she felt Spike insert his tongue. “Don’t say such embarrassing things, you I-Idiot!”

Rather than respond verbally, Spike took the opportunity to begin swirling his tongue in a corkscrew motion, in order to get every nook and cranny of Ember’s pinky, fleshy folds. She let out a soft gasp, but continued to diligently stroke Spike’s shaft. After a while, when she started to become more confident, Spike felt her wrap her lips around his cock and she began to bob her head up and down.

Having gotten used to Winter Silk’s professional grade blowjobs, Ember’s technique left much to be desired, but the effort she was putting into making him feel good outweighed any accidental scrapes she made with her teeth. She realized her mistake when Spike involuntarily jerked a few times, and began to use her tongue and lips to more effect.

Spike increased the intensity of his motions, using his entire mouth to eagerly lap the slightly musky flavor of Ember’s juices, while using his thumb to gently tease her clit. It was something that Winter had taught him about, and she insisted that it would drive any woman crazy. Immediately, Ember stopped sucking and let out a muffled whine.

Encouraged by her reaction, Spike kept up the intensity of his ministrations, until he felt her walls begin to spasm around his tongue. Barely a moment later, she took her lips off of his cock with a wet pop and arched her back as a powerful orgasm wracked her body. As a consequence, Ember collapsed on top of Spike in a sweaty, panting heap.

“I—I’ve never felt anything like that before…”

“Believe me; I haven’t always been this good. It took lots and lots of practice to get to where I am now.”

Ember’s face paled. “SHIT! I got so caught up in what you were doing that I forgot to finish pleasuring you with my umm… mouth. It’s really obvious that I’m a virgin, isn’t it?”

“Hey, stop beating yourself up. I know that you’re trying your best to make me feel good.”

Ember nuzzled Spike’s leg. “You’ve always been so patient with me, and—I just want you to know how much I appreciate that. It’s one of the reasons why I l-love you so much. But I still feel bad about it.”

“Well, you don’t have to. We can take this as slow as—”

Spike didn’t get the chance to finish his sentence. Ember was still on top of him, but she took the opportunity to flip herself around so that she could look him in the eyes. The moon was bright enough that Spike could clearly see her features, and what he saw was an expression of equal parts affection, lust, and determination.

Ember positioned her hips so they aligned directly above Spike’s still erect penis. She placed one hand on his chest to keep him down, and used the other to grasp his shaft. Slowly, she lowered herself onto him, until his balls squished up against her backside.

“Oh Goddess!” Ember whimpered, “It’s so much bigger than I thought.”

“Ember, we can stop if it hurts. I’m serious. I promise I won’t get angry.”
Ember violently shook her head. “No, I’ve already come this far! I’m not stopping… even if it is a little uncomfortable. I just—need some time to get used to it.”

Spike let out a barely audible sigh of relief and allowed her to continue. If he was being completely honest, being blue-balled was one of the worst feelings in the world. Not… that he was going to last very long once Ember got started.

Despite how slowly Ember was moving her hips, the inside of her pussy was so tight and wet that it felt like his dick was getting swallowed by an anaconda. That, coupled with the fact that he was achingly hard at this point, meant that his stamina was nearly spent.

It took Ember a while to find a rhythm, but once she did, the young princess really started enjoying herself in earnest. For a brief moment, she paused. Spike nearly whined in protest, until he felt Ember take hold of his face and press her lips against his.

The kissing session didn’t last terribly long, but it was passionate and sloppy. When they finally finished, Ember pressed both of her hands against his chest and rocked her hips back and forth as quickly as she could. The sounds of Ember grunting, and the lewd squelching noises his cock made as it slid in and out of her were too much for Spike to bear.

“Ember… I-I’m…. getting close to my limit.”

Ember let out a tired chuckle. “Cum whenever you feel like it. And don’t worry about getting me pregnant. I made sure to drink some Thistle tea this morning.”

Spike felt reassured by the news, but tried to hold out for as long as he could. Unfortunately, it was only for about another minute. The familiar clenching feeling in his balls signaled that his climax was imminent. With a loud grunt, Spike squirted several thick globs of his seed into Ember while she continued to ride out yet another orgasm of her own.

In the afterglow, Ember collapsed onto Spike’s chest and snuggled up against him. Spike rubbed his lover’s back and simply took a moment to get a good look at her. Ember’s hair was matted down, she stank like sex and sweat, and he was certain that he was in no better condition. But as he gently kissed her forehead, he realized that she couldn’t have been more beautiful to him than at that very moment.

The Gauntlet of Fire

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Chapter 13

Ebonwood Forest, The Wild Continent

Spike sighed forlornly as he stared into the emerald flames of his campfire. He could still feel the soft warmth of Ember’s skin pressed against his as they slept together. With all of the progress they’d made with their relationship the night prior, he felt terrible just leaving her to sleep while he prepared to leave. Despite his desire to cuddle with her in bed, he knew that he had to compete in the Gauntlet. A promise had been made, and he had no intention of breaking it.

Last night, as they walked back to Spike’s home with arms intertwined, Ember wished him the best of luck by pressing her lips against his. She had also given him a satchel fashioned from the hide of the Charrick she had killed when they first met. After blushing profusely, the princess explained that along with her virginity, it was the second part of his “going away” present for the Gauntlet.

After she composed herself, Ember adopted a more serious expression. She warned Spike to keep his wits about him and stay safe. While the Gauntlet was no longer a competition where participants fought to the death, there was still a very real possibility that one could become gravely injured or die from the many hazards it presented.

The competitors were expected to trek through a snaking path which included the Ebonwood Forest, a series of dark caves, an immense fresh-water lake, and a towering mountain that was, in reality, an active volcano.

If the environment wasn’t enough to contend with, there was also the fact that many dangerous carnivores called this place home. None of which would have any qualm gobbling up a wandering Wyvertii to satisfy their hunger.

Spike chewed on a sliver of deer meat as he imagined Ember’s peaceful expression while she slept. I’m sure she understands. I just—I should have woken her up to say goodbye. At least I left a note, telling her how much I care about her. She definitely knows that… right? Gah! This is no time for doubt, Spike! Get your shit together! Focus on surviving and… winning.

When he had left for the forest at dawn, he had been surprised at how few competitors there had been. By his own rough estimate, he counted only twenty men (including himself) at the gates of Brimstone. The vast majority of them were just as young as he was, eager to prove that they were worthy of the title of Dragon Lord.

One of them happened to be Garble, and Spike was none too pleased to hear the same man who had ridiculed Ember boasting about his physical prowess. If anything could make the arrogant guard change his attitude, it was the Gauntlet of Fire. To his credit, Spike simply ignored Garble and molded his anger into resolve.

Unlike when he had first arrived, the Ebonwood Forest hadn’t proved to be too difficult of a challenge for Spike. Both Ember and Onyx had taught him what to expect and how to survive. According to the map Lord Torch had given to all of the participants, he was barely half a day’s hike from Lake Tranquility. Now, the name of the lake was rather misleading. It only referred to how calm it appeared to be on the surface. In reality, the lake teemed with aquatic life lurking in the azure depths below.

Initially, Spike had been shocked to learn that a fresh water lake could even support large predators. Onyx assured him that they were not mystical sea monsters, but very large and dangerous creatures that should not be taken lightly.

As it turned out, the lake had been formed thousands of years ago by a meteorite gouging a large crater into the middle of the forest. Hence, it was an extremely deep lake. The same impact that had made it so deep also caused the lake to be very wide as well. That meant that Spike was in for a rather unpleasant and dangerous swim.

Competitors were allowed to carry whatever weapons they deemed necessary. In Spike’s case, he mostly relied on his physical and magical training, but decided to take what amounted to the Wyvertii version of a combat machete. It was more of a tool than a weapon, but could deal some serious damage in a pinch.

The machete would at least help somewhat if he ran into any large “lake monsters”… or so he hoped. Since the fire he summoned was magical in nature, he was easily able to cast it while underwater. Onyx had shown him how to do it only a few weeks ago. However, the young man wasn’t entirely certain how effective it would be. He’d never once tried to cast fire against anything living before.

After finishing up his lunch, Spike snuffed out the campfire and began his trek towards Lake Tranquility. He was pleasantly surprised at how little time it took to arrive there, but the feeling didn’t last very long. Several other competitors had already arrived, and his jaw dropped in shock when he saw how massive the lake actually was.

Without so much as a warning, two Wyvertii jumped into the lake and began swimming towards the other side. Spike had to admit that it was pretty impressive how fast they were going. Only people who were in supreme physical condition could possibly hope to swim like that and still have the endurance to keep going.

Spike’s grin morphed into a grimace when he started to hear screaming. From the depths below, a massive reptilian creature breeched the surface with a mighty roar. It was slightly larger than the Hydras one would expect find in the Everfree Forest, except that it had flippers instead of legs.

The creature’s entire body was covered in dark blue scales that Spike could only assume made it blend in with its environment. Two equally dark blue head-frills jutted out from where its earholes would normally be located. When it opened its maw, rows upon rows of dagger-like teeth clamped down on the hapless Wyvertii who had been swimming on the surface.

The poor man was flung into the air, screaming, and with a thunderous snap… he was eaten whole. Just like that. The other man desperately swam in the opposite direction, but it was no use. The creature was simply too large and fast for him to make any headway. With a quick flick of its muscular tail, the creature dragged the other swimmer underwater, presumably to drown him.

After that, everything became calm and quiet once again. Spike and the three remaining competitors hesitated to take any action. What could they possibly do against such a leviathan? Spike sat down in the grass cross-legged and let out a huff of frustration. There had to be something he could do… but what?

A ruby-haired competitor walked over to Spike. “Delmira have mercy! It’s bad enough that half a dozen men were hunted down by a pack of Charricks, but this is just ridiculous. How are we supposed to kill a Nagaradon?”

“I assume that’s what that creature is called?”

“Of course it is, what are you a—ah, forgive me. I forgot that you were raised by Outlanders. On the mainland there is a creature called a Hyrda. From what I understand, Nagaradons were once Hydras, but adapted to live in our homeland over thousands of years. Have you seen one?”

Spike nodded. “Yeah, you could say that I’m familiar with Hydras.”

“That is good news! Then you know how to kill a Nagaradon.”

Spike rubbed the back of his neck. “Not… exactly. I never actually fought a Hydra directly. I just happened to see one of my friends defeat one.”

“Some help you are! I should have known it was too good to be true.”

“Hold on! Maybe we could work together to figure out how to kill it… or at least create a distraction long enough to get by.”

The ruby-haired man scoffed. “Work together? Ha! This is a competition where the winner becomes Dragon Lord. Only a single Wyvertii can claim the title and the power that comes with it. What a foolish notion!”

“I understand that, but how else do you expect to swim across the lake? Teamwork is the only way! Please, put aside your stub—”

The ruby-haired man swatted Spike’s hand aside. “Bah! I don’t need your weak, Outlander sensibilities. You can stay here and wait like a coward, but I’m going to cross that lake.”

Spike looked on in frustration as the man did exactly what he set out to do. And just like the other two that had attempted the crossing before him, he was doomed to fail. He was only a few meters away from shore, but the water was deep enough for the Nagaradon to come up underneath him.

Within seconds, the great beast rose up and took hold of the man’s body. Spike fought back the flood of bile in his throat when he heard the sickening crunch of flesh and bone being ripped apart by the Nagaradon’s jaws. The only thing left of the ruby-haired man was a tiny slick of blood on the surface of the water.

The other two competitors fled in fear after they witnessed the carnage. Spike could hardly blame them, but it wasn’t as if the Ebonwood Forest was any safer than the lake. He hoped that the two of them would make it back to Brimstone unharmed. As he retched into the grass, Spike finally understood why the Gauntlet of Fire was so dangerous.

Spike waded into the lake as slowly and carefully as he could. He bit back the urge to gasp even though his body shivered violently. Despite how warm the climate was on the Wild Continent, the water of the lake was anything but. It wasn’t quite as bad as meditating under a raging waterfall, but it was hardly pleasant. After moving around for a bit, Spike eventually became acclimated to the temperature of the water.

After taking a deep breath, Spike dove underwater to reduce his swimming profile. The last thing he wanted was to alert the Nagaradon to his presence by splashing around on the surface. Such a strategy had not worked out well for the other competitors, considering that they were now nothing more than meat digesting in a lake monster’s belly.

Had the situation been less dire, Spike would have taken a few moments to marvel at the world around him. Since Lake Tranquility was so large and deep, it was essentially like witnessing a miniature ocean-like ecosystem. Dozens of different species of fish swam about, while bottom dwelling crustaceans scurried along the sand for any spare morsels.

As fortune would have it, Spike happened to be near a forest of kelp. He swam towards it, hoping that the aquatic plants would help conceal him from the Nagaradon until he got his bearings. It worked for a time, that is, until he needed to breathe again.

Spike surfaced with a bit more force than he had intended. Honestly, it wasn’t entirely his fault. The need to fill one’s lungs with oxygen generally outweighs any other issue as far as the brain is concerned. Even so, the young man cursed his carelessness. When he dove underwater once more, the yellow glowing eyes of the Nagaradon greeted him in the distance.

Thinking fast, Spike summoned mystical fire into both of his palms and blasted it to the side. The casting was not meant to hit the creature, but propel Spike through the water far faster than his legs could ever hope to carry him. Unfortunately, it was only good for short bursts of speed.

The fire bolts needed a lot extra power in order to achieve the propulsion Spike needed. As a result, it was far too taxing on him to cast it continuously, especially when he was trying to conserve his air supply. Not one to let an opportunity pass him by; Spike used the creature’s temporary confusion to grab a fresh gulp of air.

For being such a large beast, the Nagaradon was deceptively fast and agile in the water. Such a thing shouldn’t have surprised the brother of a learned woman like Twilight Sparkle. The creature did happen to be in its native environment. But… it wasn’t every day that one was forced to battle a real-life leviathan with little more than a machete and some magic.

Spike concentrated as much magic as he could into the palm of his right hand. Immediately, a brilliant, emerald-hued fireball flared to life in his palm. Using the kelp to steady himself, the young man aimed his hand towards the monster and loosened yet another fire bolt. In an instant, the blast struck the creature’s side.

Unfortunately, it had little to no effect. Much like the Hydras of the Everfree Forest, the Nagaradon had an innate resistance to all forms of magic, including Wyvertii fireballs. Spike stared in disbelief as the creature rushed towards him like an underwater freight train. Summoning another set of fire bolts in his hands, he shot them towards the lake bed and sped towards the surface.

The abrupt change of pressure in his ear drums made Spike scream in agony. But such pain was preferable to being ripped to shreds by a massive sea-serpent. Spike frantically looked around for his foe, but the creature seemed content to bide its time underneath the surface. The brief moment of inactivity gave the young man a moment to catch his breath.

That single fleeting moment was all Spike got before the Nagaradon’s head fin began racing towards him once more. Although it was a long shot, he gripped the handle of the machete and prepared to find a soft spot to stab the beast. The scales obviously weren’t going to work. If they were tough enough to deflect pure fire magic, Spike doubted a blade could pierce them.

Eyeballs were always a weak point on any creature. The only problem was how Spike was going to attempt to strike said eyeballs. Due to its long, snake-like body, the Nagaradon had an equally long snout. That meant that the creature’s eyes were quite far apart and difficult to reach, especially with how fast it was moving.

It was incredibly risky and a longshot by any measure, but Spike decided to swim directly in front of the beast so that he could attempt to gouge out an eye as it passed. Seeing its prey floating helplessly, the Nagaradon practically flew through the water and opened its massive maw.

Spike’s plan evaporated in an instant. The beast had caught up to him far too quickly, thus making him have to adjust his position in a hasty, albeit sloppy manner. Due to his panicked state, the young man accidently dropped his machete into the inky depths below. The only weapons he could rely on after that point were his wits and magic.

Adrenaline coursed through Spike’s veins as he witnessed a torpedo of flesh and bone careening towards him. There would be only one chance of success. He had to time his spell perfectly or… he would end up just like the others. Spike channeled every iota of magic he could muster into the palm of his hand. The immense strain on his body threatened to make him black out, but he stubbornly refused to lose consciousness.

After a few moments of concentration, a dense emerald ball of fire formed in his hand. Had anyone been there to witness his magic, they’d have sworn it was so bright that it looked like a miniature sun. In fact, the heat radiating from that single ball of plasma was intense enough to constantly boil the pocket of water surrounding it.

The Nagaradon’s jaws had begun to open. Countless rows of vicious teeth were poised to tear Spike’s body to bloody shreds. It was at that precise moment the young man chose to launch the fireball. While the creature’s scales were tough and resistant to magic, Spike wagered that the inside of its mouth was not.

The sea serpent failed to react in time because it had not expected its prey to attack with such ferocity just before being devoured. The entire lake glowed with emerald light as the fire ball exploded in the creature’s mouth. All that was left of the Nagaradon was the cauterized stump of its lower body, which slowly sank to the bottom of the lake.

Utterly exhausted, Spike slowly swam to the surface. Fortunately, the blast had been so powerful that it had propelled him towards the opposite side of the lake. Even so, it took him an agonizingly long time to crawl onto the sandy shore.

Now that his life was no longer in danger, Spike simply lay in the sand and took a moment to catch his breath. Every gasp of air was like having shards of glass in his lungs. Even the barest hint of movement made his muscles feel like they were being dipped in molten lava. Such was the price one paid when channeling so much magic.

But it had ultimately saved his life. For what felt like hours, he did not move from his position in the sand. The only thing that motivated him to get up was the pang of hunger he felt in his stomach. With a loud grunt of pain, Spike slowly rose to his feet.

Thinking back to when Twilight used to have magic surges, he concluded that it was inevitable that he felt so hungry. The body needed to consume quite a bit of energy in order to generate spells of that magnitude. He was elated to have been able to cast such a powerful spell, but there would be ample time to revel in his achievements later. The need for nourishment came first.

Spike was supremely thankful for the new satchel Ember had made him. By some miracle, it had survived the elements as well as being jostled around underwater. But even though it was intact, the contents inside of it had not fared quite so well. With a heavy sigh, Spike pulled out a soggy strip of jerky and began to chew on it.

He was hungry enough to eat a kitchen’s worth of food, but jerky and some dried berries would have to do. The young man simply did not have the strength or energy to go hunting. Even if he did, there was nothing to hunt on the side of the lake he now currently resided on.

What was once lush forest had turned into grey, ashen soil. This was due to the slow, but constant pyroclastic flows that oozed out of the “mountain” like fiery sludge. It pretty much burned everything underneath it that was unlucky enough to get in its path. As such, the wildlife had learned to avoid this side of the lake long ago.

Despite the apparent desolation, there was a silver lining to be found. Since the soil was mostly composed of ash, it was relatively soft and comfortable to walk on while barefoot. This was a blessing for the young man, who had grown tired of walking on pebbles and twigs.

Spike had, more or less, gotten used to not wearing shoes, but every once and a while he yearned for a good pair of hiking boots. On the plus side, his feet were far easier to clean and they never wore out. Besides, being barefoot meant that Winter Silk was more than willing to give him the most amazing foot massages, which often led to—nope, it pretty much always led straight to sex.

The young man sighed wistfully. Not for the first time since staring the Gauntlet, he yearned for a soft bed and the company of a beautiful woman. Even just a friendly face would have been nice too. Having been raised in Equestria, he enjoyed a closer knit relationship with his friends and family.

While the Wyvertii weren’t exactly a bunch of loners, they were far more aggressive and competitive towards one another. It made being out in the wilds, by his lonesome, that much more difficult to bear. He shook his and tried to focus on the reason he was doing this in the first place: his promise to Ember.

After mechanically hiking for a time, Spike finally made it to the base of the mountain. Unlike the ground below it, the rocks were sharp and jagged and stuck out at awkward angles. There was a small, albeit narrow path winding up to the summit… but that didn’t necessarily make it any easier to reach the top.

Just as he suspected, the surface of the mountain was incredibly hard on his poor feet. But at least he wasn’t winded from the hike itself. That was the great part about being in such excellent physical condition from training so much. Spike was just about to pull a pebble out of his heel when he heard a strange noise.

It sounded almost like sobbing. Not the melodramatic kind that Rarity was often prone to, but the desperate sobbing of someone who was grievously injured and had given up hope of anyone coming to help. His interest piqued, Spike carefully walked towards the spot where it was coming from.

As he drew closer to the disturbance, it became clear that there had been rockslide. Buried under a pile of rubble was none other than Garble. Spike cringed when he saw that one of his rival’s legs was crushed underneath a fairly large boulder. The sobbing now made sense. Garble had to be in an immense amount of pain and there was no telling how long he’d been there.

Spike knelt down and pressed the nozzle of his water skin against Garble’s lips. “Don’t worry, I’m here to help. Drink some water.”

Garble greedily chugged the water and began coughing violently as a result. It was clear that he’d been trapped for a while because of how dehydrated he’d become. Spike admonished him to drink more slowly, and the guard complied…hesitantly. Once he’d had his fill, Spike took a swig too and sat down.

“Thank Delmira you survived! I thought I was gonna die up here.”

Spike cocked his head. “What do you mean survive?”

“I—erghh—the Nagaradon, I saw you fighting it. No offense, but I figured I’d go ahead and cross the lake while it was distracted. I’m… glad that you managed to get past it.”

“It wasn’t easy, but I managed to shoot a fireball into its mouth. You don’t have to worry. It’s definitely dead.”

Garble let out a pained grunt. “That’s pretty… damn impressive. Please, I can’t take the pain anymore! Isn’t there anything you can do for my leg? You know healing magic, don’t you?”

“I do, but I’d have to see how bad your injury is first. And even if I manage to heal it, you’re not going to be in any condition to hike up or down the mountain any time soon.”

Garble started to panic. “Y-You’re not gonna have to cut off… are you?”

“Calm down! I have no idea. Just get ahold of yourself.”

The boulder on top of Garble’s leg was not terribly difficult to pry off, much to Spike’s relief. He still screamed in pain, but at least he was no longer pinned to the ground. Spike tried not grimace when he saw just how bad the injury was. While the skin was still largely intact, Garble’s leg was bent at an unnatural angle.

“I’m not going to lie to you, Garble. Your leg doesn’t look too good. I’ll try and heal it the best I can… but I’m not sure you’re going to be able to walk for a while.”

Garble began to cry. “You’d d-do that… for me, even though I was a complete asshole to you and Princess Ember?”

“No one deserves to be left out here to die. But yeah, you were a total jerk. Just try to act nicer from now on, ok? I’m sure that kind of attitude doesn’t win you any friends…”

Garble nodded. “It’ll take some getting used to, but I think I’m up for that. Besides, I kind of wanted to start being nicer because—ermm—of a woman I met on the night of the festival.”

Spike considered it fortunate that Garble had something he wanted to talk about. His healing skills were up to the task, but it certainly wasn’t going to be a painless process for the injured guard. If Garble was distracted, then he would pay less attention to the pain coursing through his broken limb. Spike gently placed his hands on Garble’s leg and began to channel magic.

“A woman, you say? Who is she, if I may ask?”

Garble grunted. “What does healing have to hurt so damn much?! Ah… well, I met her near the kitchens. She was just sitting on a cushion, drinking mug after mug of ale. She looked bummed out for some reason, so I decided to try and cheer her up.”

“Oh… that was really thoughtful of you, Garble.”

Garble narrowed his eyes. “I’m not complete idiot, you know. Plus, it didn’t hurt that she was really cute. We talked for a while and I found out that we both loved to cook. And you'd better not tell anyone that I said that or I'll AGUH!”

“Easy there, stud. You don’t want to aggravate you injury. And besides, what’s wrong with cooking? I like to cook too sometimes.”

Garble bit his lip. “That’s b-because only housewives and maids are supposed to do stuff like that. It’s unmanly! Not that I’m surprised a soft-hearted Outlander like you enjoys—shit… I’m doing it again, aren’t I? Sorry, I really suck at this being nice thing.”

“That’s ok, I’m not angry. So, did anything else happen?”

Garble blushed. “Yeah, we snuck off to the barracks and fucked each other silly. I think it was because we were both drunk and really desperate for some company. Hey! Don’t judge me! There was no way I could have refused such a beautiful woman like Sepia…”

“Ember and I pretty much did the same thing, once she finished dancing.”

“You actually managed to fuck the princess?! That’s crazy! What was it like? I’ll bet it was like mounting a tiger. What, with how strong she—”

It was Spike’s turn to blush. “That’s none of your damn business! A-anyway, I’m done healing your leg. Just try not to put too much weight on it. You can lean on my shoulder for the time being.”

The climb to the summit of the mountain was an arduous and agonizingly slow journey. Both of them had to move slowly, due to the extreme conditions and Garble’s constant need to rest and recuperate from his broken leg. Even though it was slow going, Spike and Garble managed to form a bond of mutual respect and friendship along the way.

Garble willingly gave up his claim to the title of Dragon Lord, stating that he was unworthy of carrying it. Instead, he swore an oath to become Spike’s manservant as well as to abide by his new master’s teachings. Spike was, of course, flustered over the whole affair. The young man didn’t feel that Garble owed him a life-debt, but the guard stubbornly insisted upon his own honor that he was obligated to serve the one who had saved his life.

Much as Spike had expected, the summit of the mountain was, in reality, an active volcanic crater. As the two of them stepped closer to the edge, they immediately felt waves of heat wash over their bare skin. The stench of sulfur was present in the air, but it was not overpowering. Sitting cross-legged atop a boulder, looking into the crater was none other than Lord Torch. The giant of a man slowly opened his eyes and turned towards Garble and Spike.

“I was hoping that I’d see you here, Spike.”

Spike’s jaw dropped. “Sir, if I may ask: what are you doing here?!”

“When a Dragon Lord hosts the Gauntlet of Fire, he must test any challengers who would seek to claim the title. It’s to see if you’re worthy of ruling all Wyvertii, lad. Don’t worry; we aren’t going to fight to the death. I just want to see how strong you’ve become.”

Spike tensed his muscles. “I understand. I guess… I’m ready when you are, sir.”

“Not quite yet. There’s something I want to teach you first. Come, stand next to me.”

During the course of his life, Spike had been exposed to all sorts of magic. He easily recognized the signs of an experienced sorcerer gathering power to execute a complex spell. This time was no different. It wasn’t something he could put into exact words, but the air felt… more electrified. The ground shook ever so slightly as well.

Not but a few moments later, Torch stood in front of him. However, the Dragon Lord’s appearance had changed drastically. His skin had suddenly sprouted scales, his teeth became sharper and more dagger like, and his fingers and toes extended slightly to become claws. When he finally spoke, his voice had a deep, rumbling timbre to it.

“You’re frightened by my appearance right now, aren’t you?”

Spike swallowed a lump forming in his throat. “I’m s-sorry sir, but… yes, I am.”

“Don’t be sorry, lad. This transformation is not a technique that I use very often. I imagine that even my own daughter would be frightened if she saw me like this. Only the most skilled Wyvertii sorcerers can utilize such powerful magic.”

“What did you do… exactly?”

Torch stroked his chin. “I channeled my inner magic to emulate the goddess, Delmira. We are all her children, so it stands to reason that we may become dragon-like if we concentrate hard enough.”

“O-ok, but what does it meant to become dragon-like?”

Torch dipped his hand into the lava. “My strength, stamina, and endurance are greatly enhanced with the transformation. It also increases my resistance to heat. So much so, that I can touch molten lava without fear of injury.

“However, this transformation does not come without consequences! The longer one stays in this form, the more magic it consumes. Ultimately, if the spell exhausts your magic reservoir, it will drain energy directly from your body.”

Spike’s face paled. “But that’s extremely dangerous! Why would any—”

“Aye, it is very dangerous, which is why you need to be an experienced magic user to even attempt it. We will fight one another in this form, but it shall be brief. Otherwise, we would die from exhaustion. Are you ready to learn how to use it?”

“I suppose so, sir.”

Torch nodded. “Not exactly a confident answer, but I understand your trepidation. Close your eyes and concentrate on the magic inside you. Let it pool in your belly until the heat becomes unbearable. And then… let it explode!”

Spike followed Torch’s instructions word for word and felt the transformation take hold of him in a powerful burst of magic. In the blink of an eye, he felt like he was invincible! The ecstasy that followed when the primal power of dragons flooded his body was just as much sexual as it was animalistic.

He looked down at his hands to find that they had become claws. The skin along his arms and stomach became coated in thick, purple scales. He very nearly was about to giggle with glee… until he looked down at his now fully erect penis. Despite how good this new power felt, Spike’s entire face burned with embarrassment.

Torch laughed. “Ah, I should have warned you about that. It takes a bit of practice to umm—control the baser urges the transformation tends to accentuate. We shall start the fight when your manhood becomes flaccid again.”

The mortified young man stared down at the bubbling pool of magma, trying desperately not to make eye contact with anyone present. Here he was, in the Gauntlet of Fire, trying to face the current Dragon Lord in a contest to prove his worth and he had a raging hard-on. Why did these sorts of things always have to happen to him?

Garble patted him on the back. “Don’t feel too bad, Master Spike. All things considered, your transformation looks really—ermm—impressive?”

“Please don’t tell me you were gawking at my junk, Garble.”

“Believe me; you’ve got nothing to be ashamed of! I mean, it’s pretty much impossible to ignore someone’s dick when it’s so ridiculously hard like that. By the goddess, now I understand why Ember wanted to fu—”

Spike blushed and glared at Garble. “Alright, I get it! Lesson number one when trying to make new friends: know the appropriate time when to keep your mouth shut!”

Sorry… I’ll keep that in mind for next time.”

Luckily, it didn’t take very long for Spike to calm down. The initial rush of euphoria he experienced had now faded, but he could still feel the immense amount of magical power flowing through his body. Torch stood across from him with a satisfied grin on his face. Spike cracked his knuckles and took a few deep breaths. It was time to fight and both men knew it.

The Dragon Lord charged towards Spike at a speed that should have been impossible for a man of his side. Since Spike was not expecting it, Torch managed to land a heavy blow to the young man’s side with his shoulder. Spike tumbled across ground, but quickly recovered and delivered a sweeping kick right behind Torch’s knee.

Due to the awkward positioning, Spike was unable to put much power behind the kick, but it did unbalance Torch enough to give him the time he needed to get back on his own feet. Taking the initiative, Spike sprinted towards Torch and threw several; rapid punches to the Dragon Lord’s torso and face.

The concussive force of the punches was so great, that when they connected, it sounded like someone was splitting a log with a an axe. Garble involuntarily winced when he heard the noises, certain that Torch and Spike had broken some bones in the exchange.

Yet, this was not the case. Both men continued to grapple with one another as if nothing had happened. Garble silently muttered his thanks to Delmira that he wasn’t the one currently fighting the Dragon Lord.

Torch let out a loud grunt as he ripped a giant chunk of rock from the ground. He hurled the massive projectile towards Spike with all of his might, making it fly through the air like it was nothing more than a dodgeball. One would think that stepping out of the way of such a large object would be easy. As Spike found out a few seconds later, this was certainly not the case.

The boulder slammed into Spike, imbedding him in a portion of the crater wall. Had he not been in his dragon form, the impact would have squashed his body like a bug underneath someone’s boot. The thick scales that now coated his body prevented him from sustaining any deep lacerations, but they only did so much.

Spike gingerly rubbed his clawed fingers over a long, albeit shallow cut that now ran across the length of his chest. Everything hurt, no matter what part of his body he tried to move. But there was no time to rest, Torch wouldn’t allow it.

Spike summoned fire to his palms once more and blasted the boulder towards Torch. The rock was split into a dozen pieces, but the remaining chunks were sufficiently large enough to strike the Dragon Lord with considerable force.

After getting up, Torch wiped a trail of blood from his mouth. “It has been a long time since I’ve fought against such a strong opponent. Onyx and Ember have taught you well.”

“And you’re ridiculously strong for someone who is sixteen hundred years old.”

Torch chuckled. “Age is but a number, lad. Hah… since our bodies are near their limit, why don’t we settle this little contest with a magic duel?”

“Yeah, that’s probably for the best. I can barely stand right now…”

“Aye, my vision is starting to get a bit blurry too.”

With little more than a slight nod towards one another, Torch and Spike took their positions and began building fireballs in their palms. Unlike earlier, the fire they unleashed came in a constant stream rather than a single bolt. This particular technique took far more skill to control and often consumed twice the amount of magic to maintain.

A mighty roar echoed within the crater when the two streams of fire clashed. The vibrant emerald hue of Spike’s flame mixed with the intense yellow-orange flame that surged from Torch’s hands. The heat from their flames colliding was so intense that it distorted the air around the impact point like a mirage in the desert. Garble made sure to keep his distance from the two. He had no desire to be roasted alive.

Spike could feel his energy waning. His magic reservoir was nearly empty at this point, and it would be dangerous to continue for much longer. He looked over at Torch and for the first time, the Dragon Lord looked every bit the age he claimed to be.

Over the past few months, Torch had become a surrogate father to him. Though he had never said it directly, the young man had come to love Torch just as much as Ember or Winter Silk. Therefore, Spike took no pleasure hurting him, nor did he wish to push the Dragon Lord beyond the point of exhaustion.

With a fierce look of determination, Spike channeled the remaining dregs of his magic and blasted it strait at Torch. The surge of power was more than enough to overwhelm the stream his opponent was casting, and it ended up throwing the Dragon Lord into the rock wall behind him. After the final wisps of flame died out in his palm, Spike reverted back to his normal form and collapsed on the ground.

Spike awoke feeling like he’d been run over by a bulldozer. Much to his relief, he found that Torch was sitting next to him with a grin on his face. But after taking a quick glance at the myriad of cuts and bruises adorning the Dragon Lord’s body, Spike couldn’t help but frown. Noticing his expression, Torch gently patted Spike on the leg.

“There’s no need to feel that way, lad. You fought me with all of the strength you could muster, and ended up defeating me. It was a spectacular contest, and I’m proud to call you my successor.”

“Are you sure you’re alright? I didn’t really want to hurt you too badly.”

Torch grunted softly. “To be honest, I feel like shit right now. But that’s beyond the point. Given time and rest, I’ll recover soon enough. If nothing else, you’ve given me the opportunity to get pampered by Onyx for a while.”

“So… I’m the Dragon Lord now?”

“Not quite yet. You still need to enter Delmira’s chamber and retrieve the Bloodstone Blade.”

Spike rubbed his neck. “Wow, this is a lot to take in. I’m not sure if I’m ready to be the Dragon Lord. Are you certain that I’m worthy?”

“It’s not something anyone can ever truly be prepared for. But aye, I believe you are. And I imagine Garble thinks you’d make an excellent Dragon Lord as well. You saved his life and stuck by him even though you didn’t have to. That’s the makings of a great leader if ever I saw one.”

Spike blushed. “I-I was only doing the right thing…”

“Indeed! Many of the other contestants would have left him to die, so they could have all of the power and prestige to themselves. Go, Lord Spike. Claim your reward.”

Even though every step Spike took hurt like Tartarus, the young man slowly made his way to an unassuming cave hewn from the side of the crater. Once he headed down the craggy path, he immediately realized that this was a sacred place to the Wyvertii.

The walls were decorated with beautiful gemstone frescos that bore the likeness of Delmira and various mythical figures throughout Brimstone’s history. At the very end of the path there was a large, open chamber which housed the Bloodstone Blade. It stood atop a granite pedestal, and the jewel in the center of its hilt bathed the room in an eerie red glow. Spike was about to place his hand on the hilt, when he noticed someone familiar standing behind the blade.

“Greetings, Master Spike~ I take it that you passed Lord Torch’s test?”

Spike nearly stumbled. “Winter Silk? What are you doing here?!”

“It is only proper that I be here in person to give you my blade.”

“Your… blade? Wha—”

Winter placed her finger on Spike’s lips. “Please, allow me to explain. I am Delmira. What you see before you is merely my mortal construct. It is the best way for me to watch over my children without arousing suspicion.”

“B-b-but… that’s…”

Winter sighed. “I know that it’s hard to believe. Perhaps… a visual demonstration of my power is in order. But before I do, I want you to promise me something.”

“O-ok. What do you want?”

Winter gently grasped his hand. “Promise me that you won’t run away in fear, no matter what happens.”

“I promise. There’s no way I could ever be afraid of you.”

Winter adopted a sad smile. “You’re always a gentleman no matter the situation, Master Spike. Very well, I will reward your trust with my own. Please stand back.”

Winter Silk’s lithe body was engulfed in rose colored flames until the blaze became too bright for Spike to continue watching. When the flames finally died down, an entirely different creature emerged before the new Dragon Lord. A massive snow-white dragoness covered in smooth, shiny scales looked down at him with a pair of mischievous, yet benevolent pink eyes.

When the two of them stood before one another, Spike knew that deep down; this magnificent beast was still Winter Silk. As if she were reading his mind, Delmira lowered her snout and nuzzled Spike’s chest as gently as she could. For a brief moment, the young man tensed up. It was difficult not to when a divine dragoness was literally in your face.

But he kept his promise. He would not be afraid nor would he run away in fear. To reassure her, he ran his fingers along her spines and kissed her snout. The dragoness let out a relieved sigh and smiled (or at least as well as a dragon could without being completely terrifying). Delmira then wrapped Spike in one of her leathery wings and guided him towards the Bloodstone Blade.

“Thank you, Lord Spike. It means the world to me that you didn’t cower in fear from my true form.”

Spike chuckled. “You’re welcome. But for what it’s worth: my mom, sister, and aunt are crazy powerful magic beings. I guess I’m just used to it by now.

“Winter, everything that happened between us, was it… genuine? Or was all of that just acting on your part? Please, I need to know!”

Delmira licked Spike’s chest. “My dearest Spike, I cherished every moment we spent together. I may have been in disguise, but I never once concealed my true personality or feelings from you.”

“Thanks, I appreciate your straightforwardness. Umm… is it weird that we had sex? Because you said something about children earlier and—”

Delmira giggled. “No, you needn’t worry about that. We aren’t physically related in any way. What I meant was that all Wyvertii share my magical essence. The ability to cast the mystic flame was my gift to the first Wyvertii who settled here.”

“Who else knows about this?”

“Torch is the only other mortal to know of my true identity. Do not blame him for not telling you. Once I reveal myself, I place all Dragon Lords under a geas to ensure that my secret is preserved.”

Spike nervously shuffled his feet. “Oh, I guess that makes sense. Before I take the blade and become the new Dragon Lord, could you p-possibly turn back into your mortal form?”

“If I transformed into a mortal once more, it would take most of my magic away. Why do you wish me to do that?”

“Because… I want to see the woman I love one last time.”

Delmira’s eyes widened. “The woman you loved? Lord Spike, you don’t mean—”

I’M SORRY!” Spike wailed.

“I know you were only trying to help me develop a relationship with Ember, b-but I still… ended up falling in love with you. Now, I have no idea what to do! It’s not as simple as just forgetting about all the time we spent together and moving on. I want to share my life with you too!”

Upon hearing Spike’s heartfelt declaration, Delmira used her magic to transform back into her mortal from. When the last of the pink flames died out, Spike ran over to her and embraced the goddess as tightly as he could. The two of them simply stood in each other’s embrace for a time, neither able to work up the courage to do anything more. Finally, Spike broke their embrace and pressed his lips against her forehead.

“I love you, Winter Silk. Goddess or not, nothing will change that.”

Delmira felt hot tears roll down her cheek. “I told myself that I wasn’t going to get too attached to you but… damn it all! Goddesses aren’t supposed to fall in love with mortals, yet here I am.”

“Winter, you really did have fee—”

Delmira silenced Spike by mashing her lips against his. “Yes, and now you’re going to have to live with the consequences. I will not reveal my true identity to Ember, but you must tell her about the relationship we share. I love her too, but she must approve of us… sharing you as a mate.”

“Oh, umm—yeah that’s a pretty big deal. Wait, you said you love her? Did you two ever, you know, h-have sex?”

Delmira smiled. “Oh my, Lord Spike~ Are you fantasizing what a threesome between us would look like already?”

“Hey! That’s not—you didn’t answer my question!”

Delmira playfully fondled his balls. “No, I never had sex with her but I’m more than willing to give it a try. I just hope these little guys are up to the task of satisfying both a princess and a goddess at the same time~”

Spike was far too exhausted to feel aroused by her ministrations, but he did have enough energy to pull her in for one final kiss. Much to his satisfaction, Delmira returned the kiss with just as much passion. When Spike finally managed to pull away, she mewled in disappointment but the goddess was nonetheless happy at how things had turned out.

Finally, Spike grabbed the Bloodstone Blade from its pedestal and took a moment to simply admire its craftsmanship. After waving it around a few times, realization dawned on him. He was now the Dragon Lord. Little old Spike from Ponyville was now the ruler of all Wyvertii! Even though his life was bound to become more hectic and unpredictable than ever, he wouldn’t have traded it for all the riches in the world.

The Realization

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Chapter 14

The Grand Bath, Hall of Flames

The sun had barely crept over the horizon when Delmira decided to head directly to the Grand Bath from the mountains. While it was true that Spike’s home had a perfectly decent bath of its own, she wanted some time alone in order to sort out her thoughts from what had happened during the Gauntlet of Fire. More specifically, she needed to reflect upon Spike’s confession and her own feelings towards the young man.

When Spike had first arrived in Brimstone, she agreed to look after him and attend to his basic needs. Cooking, cleaning, and the general upkeep of his home were activities that she didn’t mind performing. If nothing else, it was something to keep an ageless goddess such as herself occupied. Plus, she vigorously agreed with Lord Torch that Spike deserved a warm reception from his own people.

The occasional bouts of casual sex with him had been an idea that she and Torch concocted together. It was something that they felt would help ease Spike’s stress. That and despite being a goddess, she enjoyed the pleasures of sex just as much as any mortal. It truly was a win-win situation for the both of them, in her opinion. However, as time wore on, their love-making became less casual and increasingly more… intimate.

Delmira really tired her best to separate her feelings from the act. She knew just how much Spike cared for Ember, so she focused her efforts on helping him become a more adept lover. At first, they simply fucked because it felt good and Delmira gladly taught Spike everything she knew about turning a woman into a quivering ball of ecstasy.

She wasn’t sure exactly when it happened. But their relationship started to change as they became more familiar with one another. The two of them would still fuck just as frequently as before, yet… there was far more intimacy behind the act and immediately thereafter. One of the things she cherished the most was when they would simply lay in bed and snuggle after they were done making love.

There was nothing inherently erotic about it. The mere sensation of having your bare skin pressed up against someone you cared for was indescribably satisfying. It made her feel safe, warm, needed, and loved. Spike, bless his heart, would often insist on peppering her body with gentle, affectionate kisses. After he finished, they would both descend into a fit of giggles and embrace one other as tightly as they dared.

Delmira clenched her fist and sighed. She had promised herself not to get too involved with Spike for Ember’s sake, yet she still ended up developing feelings for him anyway. Even though she had lived for countless eons, she was still a woman at heart.

Pushing her complicated jumble of thoughts aside, Delmira slipped into the steaming pool of water and tried to relax. After spending so much time inside what the Wyvertii considered her inner sanctum, she was positively covered in sweat, dirt, and soot. Her draconic transformation, while extremely powerful, did nothing to keep her body clean. Ergo, bathing was still very much a necessity for the goddess.

She grabbed a sponge and began to languidly scrub her skin. It helped to relieve some of the tension she was feeling in her muscles, but only a little. Once all the grime and sweat had been washed away, the forlorn goddess slid deeper into the bath until everything except her head was submerged underneath the waterline.

For what felt like an eternity, Delmira stared at the beautiful carvings adorning the walls. Ironically, she noted, a few of them depicted her as a mighty dragon, flying majestically through the skies. It never ceases to amaze me how these mortals think I’m some omnipresent being of pure perfection. Ha, if only that were true

The goddess was so wrapped up in her own thoughts that she failed to notice someone else enter the bath. Her reverie was only broken when her fellow bather decided to clear his throat. She yelped in surprise and flailed like a drowning cat. Once she gained her composure, she heard the man bellow with laughter.

“Apologies, your grace. I assumed you knew I was here.”

Delmira’s cheeks flushed from more than just the water. “Lord Torch, you know I hate being called that! In any case, I was a bit lost in thought. Sorry.”

“Aye, that’s more like the goddess I know! If I may ask, what’s bothering you?”

Delmira stared at her feet. “It’s Spike. Something… unexpected happened when I presented him with the Bloodstone Blade.”


When Torch didn’t elaborate any further, Delmira grit her teeth in frustration. She really didn’t want to get into all of the details, but there was nothing to be gained by keeping all of her feelings bottled up. Furthermore, Torch was one of the few beings that she implicitly trusted. With a heavy sigh, she pulled her legs in towards her chest and propped her head in the crook formed by her knees.

“In my experience, every other Dragon Lord has been either awed or frightened by my true form. I expected Spike to do the same, but he reacted in a way I never could have predicted. He just walked up to me and embraced my head. There was no fear, just affection and acceptance.”

Torch nodded. “I expected as much. The two of you have been living with each other for some time now. Did you truly believe that Spike would be afraid of you, even if he knew you were a dragoness?”

“I-I just don’t know anymore! I’ve never felt so strongly about a mortal before. What about Ember’s affection for him? If I continue to act upon my own desires and feelings, it will only complicate matters for the both of them.”

Torch rubbed his chin. “Aye, for a time it will. That’s true of any relationship between multiple partners. Let me ask you this: do you love my daughter?”

“Well, of course I do! I’ve known her since she was a child.”

“Ah, but are you capable of loving her as a woman?”

Delmira chuckled. “You know, I’ve teased her relentlessly over the years, but I’d be a fool not to see how beautiful she’s become. I don’t think I’d mind treating her as a lover. That is, if she’s willing to see me that way too.”

“I think, in part, she already has. Ember wouldn’t have agreed to let you to fuck Spike if she didn’t trust you. To my knowledge, she has never expressed any interest in bedding another woman though.”

Delmira frowned. “No, she hasn’t…”

“I wouldn’t lose heart just yet, Winter Silk. My daughter can be stubborn and jealous at times, but given enough time I think she’ll eventually come to enjoy making love to the both of you.”

“Forgive me, Torch but you make it all sound so easy. How can I possibly go about this without hurting her feelings? You have to understand, it was never my intention to steal Spike away from her! I just wanted to help—”

Torch gently placed his finger on her lips. “That’s enough. The fact of the matter is: you both care deeply for Spike. Just be honest and forthright about your feelings with her as you have been with me. Ember will probably get upset, but I don’t imagine she could ever hate you for loving Spike.”

The ancient goddess relaxed her shoulders and nodded mutely. It wasn’t as if Torch was wrong in his thinking. After all, he was quite possibly the foremost expert on Ember considering that she was his own flesh and blood. But that still didn’t make sharing her feelings with the tomboy any easier to swallow.

Delmira chuckled to herself. Here she was, a powerful dragon goddess, and she was scared out of her wits at the mere thought of talking to a mortal woman. Life truly was stranger than fiction. After steeling her resolve, she blew out a puff of air and leaned up against the rim of the bath.

“When you were fighting Spike, you held back… didn’t you?”

Torch cracked his neck. “Aye, I only used about half of my strength. There was any number of ways I could have beaten the boy into a bloody smear, but that wasn’t the point. The rest of the Gauntlet tested his mettle sufficiently. I just wanted to see how far he had come with his training.”

“Were you impressed?”

“Mhmm. He’s quite strong for someone so young. I’m sure he’ll make a fine Dragon Lord.”

Delmira smiled. “Yeah, I think so too. Is he aware of what is to happen next?”

“Ahhh, well… I was going to tell him about his journey of knowledge today, now that you mention it.”

Delmira’s eyes widened in surprise. “Seriously?! You didn’t bother to tell him about one of the most important initiation rites of becoming a Dragon Lord after the two of you were done sparring on top of the volcano?”

“Forgive me, great goddess. We were both tired and injured. It slipped my—”

Torch let out a pained yelp as Delmira gave his nipple a hard twist. She made sure not to go overboard with it though; she didn’t want to cause him too much pain. After a few moments of Torch whimpering pathetically, she relented and kissed his chest to make it feel better.

“I’m sorry. I probably shouldn’t have done that.”

Torch sighed softly. “Nay, I am just as much to blame. Spike deserved to know what kind of responsibilities he now bears. However, you do realize that he will want to take both you and Ember along with him on his journey.”

“Yes, I considered the possibility. Is it selfish of me to be excited to go with him?”

“Perhaps it is. But no one deserves a change of pace more so than you, Winter Silk. How long has it been since you’ve left the valley?”

Delmira wiggled her toes. “Stars above, it’s been a few thousand years at least…”

“Well, there you have it. Go out and see the world, have fun, and most importantly: enjoy the time you have with Ember and Spike.”

“My powers will be severely limited if I leave the continent. I won’t be able to help Spike and Ember very much if they get into any sort of trouble. What about the rest of you? I’d be a terrible goddess if I abandoned my own children.”

Torch waved his hand. “The Wyvertii are a hardy folk, we are more than capable of taking care of ourselves in your absence. And I’m certain that Ember and Spike will be able to handle themselves just fine, should any conflicts arise.”

“Still, I—”

“Don’t think of it as abandoning us, your grace. Every being, no matter how powerful or ageless, is entitled to some measure of happiness in their life. I will continue to take care of running things in Brimstone, as I have for the past twelve hundred years.”

Delmira sighed. “Alright, I shall accompany them on their journey. Besides, I imagine the both of them could really use further instruction on how to pleasure more than one partner properly.”

“That’s the sprit! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a very important letter to compose.”

Delmira’s brow furrowed. “Are you mad? It would be ruined by all the moisture in here!”

“Aye, if it were a normal letter. I’m using enchanted paper for this one. It’s for the best, honestly. This is going to be an official declaration to the Equestrian Diarchy, after all.”

“I suppose that makes sense. But why would you need to communicate with the princesses?”

Torch chuckled. “Oh, it’s not for my sake. I need to inform Spike’s kin of his new title and all of the privileges that come with it. Is it not common sense that he would want to visit Equestria first?”

“Ah, right. How foolish of me. I nearly forgot that he wasn’t raised as a Wyvertii.”

“I’ve done my best to look out for your boy, Viridian and Elm. I only wish you two could have seen him grow into the man he’s become,” Torch whispered, “Ehem—yes, I often forget that he was raised by Outlanders too.”

Delmira smiled and pretended that she hadn’t heard Torch’s sentimental whispering. She felt much the same way, although she had not been quite as well acquainted with Spike’s parents as Torch was. It was always tragic to see a child become orphaned at such a young age, but Spike couldn’t have asked for a better foster mother than Celestia.

Maybe that was what made him so attractive to Delmira. He was vastly different from any of the Wyvertii she had met over her countless centuries of existence. The young Dragon Lord was kinder, gentler, and overall more affectionate than any man she had ever encountered before.

Delmira laughed to herself. Such traits weren’t exactly seen in the most positive light when it came to the Wyvertii definition of masculinity. But she honestly didn’t care. It was what made Spike so easy to love in the first place. And she was just as proud as ever to have had the honor of claiming his virginity.

After spending about another twenty minutes soaking, she got out of the bath and stretched out like a cat. The goddess was anything but bothered by the heat, but she still needed to put food in her belly. Torch quickly followed suit, the growling in his stomach being far louder and more apparent. The giant actually blushed, but Delmira chose to ignore it and loop her arm around his.

“There’s no need to feel embarrassed, Torch. I’m just as hungry as you are. Do you think Sepia would mind frying up some toast, eggs, and boar bacon? It’s still rather early…”

Torch rolled his eyes. “That depends entirely on if she’s still nursing Garble back to health.”

“Wait, what?”

Torch sighed. “Believe me; I’m just as flabbergasted as you are. Apparently, the two of them really hit it off during the celebration. Ever since he returned from the Gauntlet, the two of them have stuck together like tree sap. It does make a certain amount of sense though. Garble nearly died from his injuries. They’re simply… celebrating life, I suppose.”

“That’s one way to put it, not that I have any right to judge.”

“Indeed. If worse comes to worse, I can always have Onyx do it. She’s actually quite adept at cooking. It’s not something she openly advertises, but from time to time she volunteers to make meals.”

Delmira gave him a half-lidded stare. “You know I can cook too, right?”

“Yes, Spike has often told me how delicious your meals are!”

“So, what’s the problem?”

Torch rubbed his neck. “It’s rather inappropriate to ask a goddess to cook my breakfast…”

“Don’t you dare give me that look! I’m feeling extra generous today. We’re heading to the kitchen whether you like it or not!”

Torch had no desire to deny his goddess. Like any reasonable person in his position, he allowed the diminutive albino woman drag him around by the arm. Many of the cleaning maids gave the two of them odd looks, but no one bothered to question what was going on.

Sure enough, Delmira didn’t waste any time when they arrived in the kitchen. In two shakes of a lamb’s tail, she was slicing up the bacon and frying it along with the eggs. Torch felt slightly guilty, so he tried to offer a hand but was immediately shooed away. With nothing better to do, he sat cross-legged on the floor and enjoyed the tantalizing scent of frying food.

Spike’s House, Brimstone

A single ray of sunlight filtered through the window and fell upon Spike’s face. Although not the worst way to wake up, Spike will still quite tired from his ordeals during the Gauntlet of Fire. And unlike Twilight, he was very much a light sleeper. Once he was awake, it was nearly impossible for him to drift back to sleep.

The young dragon lord shrugged off his bedsheets and clambered over towards the window. Most of his body screamed at him, telling Spike to rest once more, but he ignored the pain and took a moment to admire the thin sheen of dew coating all of the trees just outside the window.

After scratching his stomach and yawning, he decided that at the very least he should take a bath. He was in sore need of one, and the hot water would do wonders to sooth his aching muscles. Despite the haze of pain and grogginess muddling his mind, Spike immediately noticed something was off.

As he drew closer to the bathroom, he heard strange noises emanating from within. His blood coursed with adrenaline, making him more alert than before. Even though Brimstone was considered far more primitive than Equestria, crime was exceedingly rare amongst the Wyvertii.

Ember had chalked it up to the simple fact that crime carried a heavy social stigma, and punishments were often quite draconian. One tended to be discouraged from stealing if the punishment was getting your cheek branded with a hot iron.

Spike cracked open the door, trying his best not to make too much noise. The last thing he wanted was to alert his would-be intruder. After taking a deep breath, he tip toed across the elaborate fresco tiles and towards the bath proper.

The sight that greeted the young dragon lord was not at all what he had been expecting. He blinked his eyes several times just to make sure he wasn’t hallucinating. The intruder was… not actually an intruder at all, but none other than Ember. And she happened to be on her hands and knees.

Her body was positioned in such a way that it gave Spike a generous view of her divinely sculpted derriere and a portion of her feminine folds all at once. Logically, he understood that Ember wasn’t trying to be seductive on purpose. In fact, she was merely stoking the firewood to heat up the bath water, which required her to be on her hands and knees.

Unfortunately, Spike’s other head was doing the thinking instead of the one on his shoulders. The Gauntlet of Fire had lasted three weeks. He hadn’t seen or spoken to Ember since the night of the celebration. Ergo, that was three weeks’ worth of hardship, isolation, and pent up sexual frustration.

Much to his embarrassment, it only took about thirty seconds before his erect penis throbbed with burning desire. Part of him wanted to throw civility out the window and plow Ember senselessly right on the spot. But… he knew that she deserved much better than that.

After clenching his fists, Spike walked over to Ember and tapped her on the shoulder. She gasped in surprise at first, but once she realized it was him, she threw her arms around his shoulders in a bone crushing hug.

Even though his muscles ached, it felt wonderful to finally get to hold her again. The warm, tingling sensation of her skin pressed against his, the flowery aroma of her hair, all of it threatened to overwhelm him. He released his grasp on her and planted a gentle kiss upon her forehead.

“You have no idea how much I missed you.”

Ember didn’t respond immediately. Instead, she grabbed both sides of his head and pulled him towards her lips. Spike was slightly surprised, but he didn’t hesitate to return her passionate kiss. They continued to explore each other’s mouths for a minute or so, until Ember pulled away gasping for air.

“As much as I enjoyed our kiss, you still have morning breath. And I know for a fact that I felt your penis rubbing up against my stomach. How can you be this hard so early in the morning?”

“Well, when I-I saw you bent over like that I couldn’t help but stare…”

Ember’s face turned beet red. “For Delmira’s sake! This is the first time I’ve seen you since the Gauntlet began and you’re already thinking about sex?! Do you have any idea how worried I was about you?”

“I’m sorry! It’s just been so long since—”

Ember nuzzled her cheek against his shoulder. “Don’t get me wrong: I’m really happy that my body excites you so easily, but… would it have killed you to show some tact?”

Spike was about to argue that he had, in fact, showed some tact but decided to keep quiet. The only thing that he would receive after confessing his restraint would be a swift punch to the face. Instead, he chose to rub Ember’s back. Her anger quickly evaporated when she let out a contented sigh.

“I wasn’t kidding when I said I was worried. My father assured me that you would make it through the Gauntlet in one piece but I couldn’t help but think of all the horrible things that could happen. B-because I… love you.”

Spike ran his fingers through her hair. “There were times during the Gauntlet when I wanted nothing more than run back to Brimstone and hold you close to me. But I made you a promise, and I had to keep it no matter what.”

Ember expressed her gratitude by pressing her body tightly against his chest and planting a few sloppy kisses along his neck. He gasped in surprise when he felt her fingers wrap around his shaft. With a throaty giggle, Ember gently fondled his penis as she continued to kiss every part of Spike’s chest she could get her lips on. When she started to use her thumb to play with his head, he whimpered softly as a single bead of pre-cum oozed out.

Spike moved his lips along Ember’s neck and shoulders, making her shudder every time he stopped to swirl his tongue along her skin. Not satisfied to stop there, he cupped one of her breasts and began to knead it with his fingers. He then lowered his head towards the other and began to suck on her erect nipple.

Spike let out a pained yelp when he felt Ember shove him onto the cool floor tiles. He was about to ask why she would do such a thing… until he felt her warm, soft lips engulf half of his penis. Her ministrations were decidedly more frantic and hungry than when they had made love near the lake.

The lewd slurping noises coming from her lips as she slid up and down his shaft did something that Spike hadn’t realized was possible: his penis got even harder, almost to the point where it was painful. But it didn’t stop there. Ember took the initiative and swallowed his cock all the way down to the base, and lovingly fondled his balls.

The young man was amazed that he had enough stamina to last this long, but the inevitable tightening sensation of an oncoming orgasm threatened to make him blow his load. As gently as he could, he placed his hands on Ember’s head and stroked her hair.

“I don’t think I can hold back much longer....”

Ember abruptly stopped sucking. “Wait! Not yet! I need you inside me, NOW!”

Spike was slightly disappointed when she stopped, but he understood why. However, his disappointment very quickly turned into pure delight as Ember straddled her legs atop his waist like a cowgirl mounting a saddle. She grasped his shaft and positioned it directly below her glistening lips.

In a single, swift motion she impaled herself onto his penis. Both of them gasped due to how sudden it was. Yet, it was not entirely unwelcome. Even though they had yet to move, Spike could already feel Ember constricting his dick for all it was worth. On the other hand, Ember moaned happily after she enveloped Spike’s thick manhood to the root.

Ember slowly began to move hips in an up and down motion. The tomboy quickly began to pick up the pace as waves of pleasure shot through her entire body. After a time, she was riding Spike hard enough that the sound of their slapping flesh echoed throughout the bathroom.

Spike was so consumed by the hot, wet confines of Ember’s pussy that he could do little more than grasp her buttocks while she continued to have her way with him. In some distant part of his mind, he marveled at how delectably firm her ass was. He was certain that many Equestrian women would have killed to have such a beautiful athletic figure as hers.

Ember slowed down for a moment and bent forward to press her lips against his. The kiss they shared was incredibly sloppy and there was a short bout of tongue wrestling, but it was still full of love and affection nonetheless. After they separated, Ember grasped Spike’s hands and began moving her hips a bit faster.

“I can… feel it. I’m close.”

Spike felt like his penis was going to melt. “Me too. Is it safe to—”

“Shut up and fill me with your seed! Don’t you dare let a single drop spill onto the floor!”

The young dragon lord didn’t need any further convincing. With a loud grunt he shot his thick, sticky load into Ember as hard as he dared. In fact, it had been so long since he last had sex that his orgasm occurred in several, intense waves.

Ember reached her climax shortly thereafter, letting out a pleasured scream that would have normally mortified the headstrong tomboy, if she’d had the wherewithal to care. Once they finished riding the high of their respective orgasms, the two lovers collapsed into sweaty, quivering pile of limbs and flesh.

Once he summoned enough energy to move, Spike languidly removed his slick, flaccid penis from inside Ember. He looked down and let out an annoyed groan. The young man immediately recognized the sensation of having leftover semen still inside his shaft.

Ember seemed to notice this too. Because she slowly rolled over and began to eagerly lick off anything that still coated his dick. She even went so far as to slurp up the thick glob of cum that remained lodged inside his shaft. Although he was thoroughly spent, Spike felt his manhood begin to rise once more.

Spike shuddered. “Do y-you have any idea how sexy that is?”

“Mhmm. I told you that I didn’t want to see a single drop of your seed wasted.”

Spike blushed. “Does my—umm—stuff really taste that good?”

“Oh, goddess no! It’s salty and has a strong, bitter aftertaste. But… I enjoy swallowing it because it came from you. And I know you like it.”

Spike pulled her in for a deep kiss, despite that fact that he could taste himself on her lips. She moaned happily and grabbed his butt cheeks, hoisting the both of them into a standing position. A bizarre mixture of arousal, panic, and surprise assaulted Spike’s poor brain. He had temporarily forgotten just how strong his lover actually was.

With a throaty giggle, she carried him princess style straight into the bath. Once they were inside, she gently put Spike down and allowed him to submerge his body into the steaming water. Soon thereafter, she sat down directly behind him, pressing her breasts against his back. After wrapping her arms and legs around him, she placed her chin on his shoulder.

“It’s a good thing I started heating up the bath. I can’t imagine how awful we must smell right now…”

Spike kissed her neck. “No doubt. But I had fun getting messy. Besides, there’s nothing better than relaxing and cuddling in the bath right after you’ve had sex.”

“Mhmm. Wait… you’re still sore from the Gauntlet, aren’t you? Delmira’s scales! I didn’t even think about—”

“Don’t worry about it,” Spike soothed, “I’ll probably be in pain for a little while longer than I’d planned, but I wouldn’t have changed a damn thing. You have nothing to be sorry for, Ember.”

“Just so long as you let me work out some of the kinks in your shoulder. I can feel how tense they are. And—look that ugly bruise! Did my father give that to you?”

“Umm, I think so? It was probably when he punched me into that boulder…”

Ember growled. “That clumsy oaf! He’s never been very good at holding back his strength.”

“You mean… he didn’t use his full strength against me?”

Ember snorted. “Well, of course not! He’s had over a thousand years to hone his skills. There was no way you could have beaten him, even if you are exceptionally strong for your age. My father knew that. He was simply testing you.”

“Then why does he want to stop being the Dragon Lord? If he’s that powerful, surely no one could possibly stand in his way! It just doesn’t make any sense!”

Wyvertii tradition states that only males can become Dragon Lord. Plus, my father has wanted to retire for quite some time now. He’s getting old, Spike. I think he just wants to settle down and marry Onyx while he still can.”

“Aren’t they basically married already? I don’t think I’ve ever seen him with any other woman than her. Why would relinquishing his title change that?”

Ember sighed. “The answer to that is… complicated. You see, in our society it’s against the law for Dragon Lords to formally marry their servants. Such a situation would compromise—”

“—the Dragon Lord’s authority and create rampant favoritism,” Spike finished, “Yeah, I know. My sister taught me about stuff like that during Equestrian history lessons. If you ask me, the law still sounds a bit extreme.”

“Unfortunately, it has some precedence. About two thousand years ago, a servant convinced Lord Topaz to marry her. They seemed genuinely in love at first, but it turned out that the servant was just using Lord Topaz to get rid of people she didn’t like. But he eventually caught onto her scheme. He had her body tied down with a boulder and thrown into the sea as punishment.”

Spike felt his stomach churn. “I—uhh—guess I understand? Well, not really… but what happens now?”

“For starters, we relax and enjoy the rest of our bath.”

After copious amounts of snuggling, cuddling, and scrubbing, the two lovers made their way towards the kitchen for some much needed breakfast. Since Winter Silk wasn’t currently in the house, Ember took it upon herself to cook for the pair.

The tomboyish princess burst into laughter when she heard Spike try to vouch for his own culinary skills. As a result, he sat cross-legged on one of the floor cushions with a sour expression on his face while she scrambled some eggs.

“I’m completely serious, Ember! I cooked Twilight’s meals for years! Why is that so hard to believe?”

“Trust me; it’s not that I don’t believe you. It’s just that—hahahhaha—performing such a domestic task completely suits your personality. Maybe if this whole Dragon Lord thing doesn’t work out, you could become a handmaiden instead!”

Spike’s face turned red. “Cooking is totally manly. There’re plenty of male chefs in Equestria…”

“There are plenty of Wyvertii male chefs too. It is considered an honorable profession. No, you are more like a handmaiden for fretting over your sister’s needs like a mother hen.”

“I’m nothing like a mo—”

Ember pointed her wooden spatula at him. “As I recall: you told me how you used cut her sandwiches into triangles and trim off the crust. That is fretting, Spike.”

“It’s not my fault that she happens to like her sandwiches made that way! And, you know, she’s kind of picky about how her coffee needs to be brewed too. Otherwise, she gets cranky in the morning.”

Ember shook her head. “If that’s how you want to justify it, be my guest. Don’t worry; I still love you just the same. Even if you can be unmanly at times…”

Taking Ember’s haughty tone as a challenge, Spike got up from his cushion and crept over to where she was cooking the eggs. Without so much as a warning, he suddenly grabbed her butt cheek and used his index finger to trace a line up her back. She squealed in surprise and whacked his head with the spatula.

“Spike, I’m still trying to cook breakfast!”

Undeterred, he slid his hand from her butt cheek and started going lower. After hesitating for a brief moment, he began to massage the bottom edge of her labia with the tip of his finger. Since she didn’t seem to offer any resistance, he went ahead and inserted two of his fingers into her pussy as deep as they could go. With gentle care, he began sliding his finger back and forth to make her feel good.

Ember whimpered. “Geez, didn’t you get enough while we were in the bath? I swear you’re insatiable!”

“I wanted to prove—,” Spike whispered while tweaking her nipple, “—just how manly I can be. But calling me the insatiable one? That’s a load of horse apples. You seem to be enjoying this just as much as I am.”

“Shut up a-and take responsibility for what you started, idiot…”

The two lovers got so caught up in their heavy make-out session that they failed to notice a third person enter the room. Ember was the first one to notice their uninvited guest and immediately froze like a statue with her eyes wide as saucers. Spike was slightly confused when his partner abruptly stopped kissing him… until he noticed Winter Silk standing in the doorway.

“You don’t have to stop on my account. I enjoy watching people fuck. Especially when it happens to be people I know intimately. The two of you are just so… passionate. To be honest, it’s getting me all hot and bothered~”

Ember practically shoved Spike away and scrambled to a floor cushion as quickly as she could. Spike was a bit dejected, but he could understand why Ember was so embarrassed. Physical intimacy was still very new to her, and she simply wasn’t used to others seeing her in such a state.

While it was true that he was now sporting a full-blown erection, Spike just smiled sheepishly and gave Delmira a friendly wave. After all, the two of them certainly weren’t strangers when it came to making love. The lust that still clouded his mind evaporated instantly when he happened to notice an elaborate scroll bearing Luna’s official seal clutched in Delmira’s hand.

The disguised goddess took a seat next to Spike. “I’m afraid there is much we need to discuss. Mistress Ember, you might want to brew some tea. This may take a while…”

The Return To Equestria (I)

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Chapter 15

Spike’s Home, Brimstone

Winter Silk handed the newly anointed Dragon Lord the very scroll that Torch had received earlier that morning. Spike recognized the seal immediately. There was no doubt in his mind that it belonged to Princess Luna. For a brief moment, he scratched his head in confusion as to why his mother hadn’t sent a scroll.

Until… he remembered that the capital of Equestria was a considerable distance away. As a consequence, Brimstone was about nine hours ahead of Canterlot Standard Time. It was still technically night-time there, so it made sense that Luna was holding night court. After taking a deep breath, Spike carefully removed the wax seal and unfurled the scroll.

Dearest Nephew,

Congratulations on becoming the new Dragon Lord! Lord Torch informed me that you displayed great courage and skill during the Gauntlet of Fire. Trust me when I say this: such an accomplishment is no mean feat. Your mother and I are very proud of you, Spike. That being said, there are a few things we must discuss.

Under Equestrian law, you are now considered a foreign dignitary. Henceforth, you are granted full diplomatic immunity. By royal decree, I took the liberty of declaring that all Wyvertii customs are to be tolerated and respected. Neither you, nor any of your companions will be harassed for practicing them under any circumstances.

I am also keenly aware of your people’s preference of living in the nude. Rest assured, you may continue to do so for as long as you desire. Personally, I am not bothered by it in the slightest. However, I feel that I must warn you that your mother is rather prudish when it comes to nudity. She was not always that way, but I suppose her mindset changed during the thousand years I was… gone.

In any case, please be patient with her when you arrive in Canterlot. She’ll probably throw a bit of tantrum at first, but I know for a fact that she misses you. The same sentiment applies to the rest of the Element Bearers and your sister. All I ask is that you take their reactions to your new lifestyle in stride.

My personal vessel, the HMS Silver Shadow, shall arrive at the outpost within the next two days. While on board, feel free to make yourself at home. My staff will see to your needs. I eagerly await your arrival in Canterlot.

With warmest sentiments,

-Aunt Luna

The first emotion that ran through Spike’s mind was confusion. From the way Luna had phrased her letter, it seemed as though she was expecting him to visit Canterlot in the near future. But considering the fact that he was now the de facto ruler of all Wyvertii, it seemed a bit… odd that Torch hadn’t summoned him to the Hall of Flames to undergo any formal ceremonies or the like.

Seeing the confused look on Spike’s face, Delmira audibly cleared her throat to signal that she had anticipated his response and was ready to offer an explanation. Ember let out a clipped sigh and shook her head. It was clear that she had some idea as to what was going on, but she remained silent on the matter.

“Lord Torch forgot to mention a very important initiation right when a new Dragon Lord is chosen. It is formally known as: Regierschpringe or the Journey to Rule. Essentially, you travel to different lands in order to cultivate a better understanding as to how you’re going to rule your own people.”

Spike slowly nodded. “That… actually makes a lot of sense, now that I think about it. But if I’m going to be traveling, who’s going to stay here and keep everything running?”

“Lord Torch will remain the transitional ruler until your Regierschpringe has ended. You still have the title and all of the rights that come with it, of course, but it will be quite some time until you are considered fit to rule.”

“Huh. You guys have really thought this out, haven’t you?”

Delmira snorted. “Of course we have! Granted, we’re not as advanced as our neighbors when it comes to technology, but we know a thing or two about politics and transition of power.”

“Winter Silk, I didn’t mean to imply that—”

Delmira held up her finger. “Please, there’s no need to apologize. It’s just that many of the cultures around the world still perceive us as nothing more than a bunch of primitive, spear-chucking savages. I hope—no—I know that you’ll change that once you start your journey.”

“Well, umm… thanks for the vote of confidence. I’ll try my best to become a good Dragon Lord, but I’m really just an average guy.”

Delmira smiled. “That’s exactly why I think you’ll become a great Dragon Lord. You aren’t the type who takes power just for the sake of it. And you’re always mindful of everyone around you. Humility and empathy go a long way when it comes to influencing people, Spike.”

Ember scooted a bit closer to Spike and gave him a quick, but loving kiss on his cheek to further emphasize that she whole-heartedly agreed with what Delmira was saying. In response, he blushed and chuckled awkwardly.

A knot formed in the pit of Delmira’s stomach. She had no desire to ruin such a touching moment, but she had no choice. If she wanted to progress her relationship with the two of them, she had to make her intentions clear. It also meant that, for the first time in eons, she’d have to reveal her true identity to someone other than a Dragon Lord. After taking a deep breath, she looked directly into Ember’s eyes.

“Ember, there’s a few important things I need to tell you. But before I do, I want you to know that I’ve always considered you my family. I love you, and I always will… no matter what.”

Ember blushed. “I-I know I don’t always say it, but I love you too, ok? You were closest thing I had to a sister when I was growing up. So—umm—whatever you have to say, I promise I won’t get upset or whatever. Ugh! I’m still not very good at talking about emotional stuff!”

“That’s ok. I know you’re being sincere. Stars above, how do I even begin? You see, when I agreed to look after Spike, I never thought that I would end up developing feelings for him.

“It wasn’t something that happened right away, of course. At first, when we fucked it was all about having fun and scratching an itch we both had. But as the days went by, our love-making became more passionate, more emotional, and more... personal.

“Believe me; I’ve had countless partners over the centuries. Yet, after Spike and I began to get to know each other better, our bouts of sex evolved beyond mere self-gratification. I craved the feeling of his body pressed against mine, savored the manly scent of his skin, and felt safe when he held me in his arms.

“Despite all of that, it took me a while to admit to myself that I had feelings for him. I think I finally realized it while the two of you were out in the woods. I wanted the both of you to be happy together, but as I was lying in bed… I still felt lonely and heart broken, as if something precious had been taken away from me.

“I cried myself to sleep that night. But I continued to maintain a brave face from that point on, even though I was worried sick about Spike and knew that I would never get the chance to tell him how I truly felt.”

Ember clenched her fist. “Winny, I never knew you felt that way about… him.”

“That’s not the only thing you need to know. The whole reason I admitted my feelings to Spike in the first place was because I was there to bestow the Bloodstone Blade unto him. He told me that he loved me, shortly thereafter.”

“But how could you have been there? Only the goddess is allowed to—”

With a flash of pink fire, Delmira’s hand morphed into a scaly claw. “Technically, I’m not supposed to reveal my true identity to anyone other than Dragon Lords. But I’m an immortal goddess, so I get to fudge the rules when I feel like it!”

“I can’t—this is a lot to take in. What d-do you want from me?”

Delmira gently grasped Ember’s hand. “Well, I was hoping that we could deepen the bond between the three of us. Would you… be willing to take that step?”

“I don’t know! This is all so sudden! How am I supposed to feel about this whole situation?! First of all, you tell me that you’re a literal goddess. And if that wasn’t enough, you admit that you have feelings for the only man I’ve ever opened my heart to.”

Delmira felt the blood drain from her face. “Ember, I’m telling you all of this because you deserve to know the truth. It was never my intention to steal Spike away from you! Our relationship just… sort of happened. I may be a goddess, but I am still a woman all the same. I couldn’t help but fall in love with him.”

Ember stood up and stared at Delmira. Her expression was a volatile concoction of anger, fear, pain, and confusion. When Delmira tried to reach for Ember’s hand, she quickly swatted it away and began to walk towards the door. For a brief moment, the princess turned around.

“I can’t… deal with this right now,” Ember croaked. “I need some time alone to think.”

Delmira started to get up to try and stop Ember, but Spike placed his hand on her shoulder and shook his head. The entire conversation had gone about as well as she had expected. Even so, it did little to ease the pain that welled up in her chest. After a few moments of stoic silence, the dam finally broke. She crumpled to the floor and sobbed into Spike’s waiting arms.

Spike gently stroked her hair. “Don’t be so hard on yourself. I’m just as much a part of this as you are. But don’t think for a second that I regret a single moment we spent together! I know for a fact that I love the both of you, but… it’s just… in different ways.”

“I knew she would take the news of our relationship poorly. Even when she was a child, Ember had a difficult time controlling her emotions, particularly when it came to anger and jealousy.

“She trusted me enough to live with you, even though she knew we would be having sex on a regular basis. And what did I do to reward that trust? I went ahead and fell in love with the very same man she had her eyes on.”

Spike was at a complete lost for finding a sensible solution to their current predicament, so he simply held Delmira against his chest and continued to rub her back. At least her sobbing had abated somewhat, but every so often she would let out the occasional sniffle or hiccup. Nearly two hours passed before she felt collected enough to separate from Spike and go about her business.

After the two of them enjoyed a cup of coffee, a messenger from the Hall of Flames knocked on the door and informed them that the Silver Shadow had arrived. Delmira still looked a bit downtrodden, but Spike wrapped his arm around her waist and insisted that she come along, even though the whole situation with Ember hadn’t quite been resolved yet.

Equestrian Naval Outpost Sigma, HMS Silver Shadow

Spike and Delmira arrived at the dock within a few hours of receiving the message. Most of that time was spent trekking through the wilds of the Ebonwood Forest. The young Dragon Lord chuckled to himself when he realized just how little they had brought with them. Other than the Bloodstone Blade strapped across his back, and a small satchel full of provisions that Delmira brought along, the two of them wore nothing else.

If the Royal Equestrian Navy sailors were shocked by their nudity, they certainly didn’t show it. All branches of the Equestrian military were consummate professionals, and they prided themselves on focusing on their duty no matter the circumstances. Spike gave a crisp salute (like Shining had taught him) to the officer that greeted them on the gangplank.

“Greetings, Lord Spike. I am Captain Storm Rider, the commanding officer of this fine vessel. Although we all belong to the REN, the HMS Silver Shadow is considered Princess Luna’s personal transport. Her majesty instructed us to cater to any needs you or your companions should have during the journey.”

Spike nodded. “Thank you, Captain. Did you happen to see anyone else arrive before us?”

“Indeed, I do recall another passenger. I believe she said her name was Ember. She arrived about two hours before you did. She didn’t appear to be carrying anything with her except a wooden staff and small rucksack.”

Spike sighed in relief. “Good. I was worried that she stayed behind. Did she indicate where she was staying?”

“I’m sorry? We only have a single luxury cabin available. Her majesty made it sound as though the three of you were—ah—comfortable sharing sleeping accommodations. Am I to assume that is not the case?”

Spike shook his head. “No, no it’s fine, really. I was just curious as to where she is right now.”

“The young lady inquired as to if we had a gymnasium when she first arrived. I informed her that we have a state of the art training room below deck. REN sailors do require some exercise every now and then.”

“Yeah, that’s completely understandable. But umm… have you seen her since?”

Captain Storm Rider rubbed his chin. “I can’t say I have. In any case, feel free to board when you’re ready. I’ll have the kitchen staff send a platter of assorted fruit and cheese to your cabin in case you’re feeling peckish. Have a pleasant day.”

Spike was so used to walking on dirt and smooth stone that he felt uncomfortable walking barefoot on the metal plates that comprised the ship’s upper deck. Delmira seemed to be experiencing the same amount of discomfort, for she practically hobbled her way below deck. It didn’t help matters that the stairs were made of grated steel that dug into the soles of their feet.

Thankfully, the cabin wasn’t very far away from the stairs. After rubbing their aching feet for a few moments, the two of them decided to enjoy a few pieces of fruit and cheese from the platter that was left on the table.

The bed inside the cabin was big enough to easily accommodate half a dozen people, let alone three. It was lavishly furnished with the finest dark wood Equestria could provide. Spike took a moment to wrap his body in the dark blue silk sheets. He sighed happily. Nothing quite compared to the feeling of having soft silk pressed against your bare skin.

Delmira noticed him practically purring like a cat, and for the first time that day, she actually giggled. She joined Spike a few moments later and indulged in rubbing her body up against the silky sheets. When the goddess finally had her fill, she scooted closer to Spike and began to affectionately rub her foot against his leg.

He returned her affection by massaging her thigh in a smooth, up and down motion. Spike’s breath caught in his throat when he felt her begin to gently fondle his penis. True to Delmira’s experience and skill, she made her lover become erect in no time at all.

Spike shuddered when he felt her thumb massage the portion of his shaft just below the head. It was one the most sensitive parts of his penis, and Delmira always seemed to notice this whenever they made love. Within seconds, a tiny bead of pre-cum oozed from his head and Delmira took the opportunity to lick it up.

“Spike, I want you to fuck me.”

Alarm bells went off in Spike’s mind. He had no idea where Ember was, nor had the three of them resolved their relationship issues. Yet… here he was, in a luxurious bed, with a beautiful goddess who was practically begging him to have sex with her. He wanted to say no, but it became increasingly difficult to resist Delmira’s request. Especially with how amazing it felt while she sloppily sucked on his balls.

“Delmira… I-I don’t think this is—ahhhhhhh—good idea!”

Delmira peppered his shaft with kisses. “What’s there to think about?”

“What about Ember? Aren’t you worried about her?”

Delmira rubbed his head between her fingers, causing him to gasp. “I need this, Spike! The two of us to are going to make, slow, passionate love. Right here, right now!”

“Couldn’t we at least wait until we find out what Ember’s doing first? I’m really worried that she—”

Tears formed in her eyes. “I’m worried about her too! But do you have any idea how much I missed you during the Gauntlet? I… slept around a bit while you were gone just to try and take my mind off of things, but it simply wasn’t the same as when I was with you!”

“I didn’t realize—”

Delmira sniffed. “I felt excited whenever our skin touched, I felt safe whenever you held me in your arms, I felt loved whenever you kissed me. All the countless centuries of loneliness I endured seemed to fade away whenever you and I joined together as one.

“Yes, I realize that Ember and I need to come to terms with how things are going to be between the three of us. But please… just do me this one favor and make love to me like we’re the only people left on the entire planet.”

As worried as he was about Ember, Spike knew that he couldn’t very well ignore Delmira’s heart felt plea. For a fleeting moment, he attempted to talk some sense into her… but his resolve quickly crumbled when she lay on her back and spread her legs.

Spike bit his lip when he witnessed Delmira begin to trace her fingers along the delicate folds her of slit. It became obvious to Spike that she was incredibly aroused because her fingers glistened when she pulled them away. With a practiced ease, the goddess sat up slightly and stuck her fingers into Spike’s mouth.

The young Dragon Lord was surprised, but didn’t offer any resistance. He savored the sweet, yet slightly spicy flavor of Delmira’s juices and felt his manhood twitch in response. After removing her fingers from his mouth, Delmira gazed at his twitching penis with a loving expression, and pressed her lips against the tip.

“I need you inside of me.” she begged.

Spike got onto his knees and grabbed hold of his shaft. He began to rub it along the outside of her lips, in order to lubricate himself properly. Once everything was nice and slick, his manhood easily slid into her, unit balls pressed up against her adorable, pink pucker.

Delmira let out a happy moan and wrapped her legs around his back. She then ran both of her hands along his shoulder blades, relishing the feeling of his taut muscles underneath her fingers. Spike slowly began to thrust back and forth, making sure to be as gentle as possible.

Normally, whenever the two of them had sex, they both preferred to be a bit more aggressive with their movements and overall pace. But today was all about enjoying every pleasurable sensation possible without worrying about who happened to cum first.

Spike took a brief moment to pause his thrusts. Delmira whimpered in disappointment, until he cupped her cheeks in his hands and kissed her upon the lips. She responded by wrestling Spike’s tongue with her own and taking short breaths of air whenever she could.

When they finally broke away, a thin strand of saliva formed between their mouths. When Spike looked into Delmira’s eyes, they were glassy and unfocused, as if she were lost in a haze of passionate bliss. This, however, didn’t stop Spike from planting a trail of kisses along her neck all the way to her breast.

Her nipples had already become quite stiff with arousal, so he made sure to suck on them gently. Once he wrapped his lips around one of them, Spike swirled his tongue around her areola, which made Delmira gasp and tighten her legs around his back. With his other hand, he fondled her opposite breast and lightly pinched her nipple between his fingers.

When he felt Delmira began to grind her hips, he stopped playing with her breasts and started thrusting into her again. By this point, Spike could a surge of cum building up in his shaft. Instead of releasing himself, he slowed down until the sensation subsided.

While he was by no means an expert on sex, he knew that his eventual orgasm would be even more intense if he took himself to the edge, stopped, and kept going. Ironically, it was something that Delmira had mentioned while they were out shopping for fruit one day. He just hadn’t thought to implement the technique until that very moment.

Spike could feel the muscles inside Delmira’s hot, slippery pussy trying to milk his penis for all it was worth. But he continued to resist the growing urge to empty himself inside of her. After riding the wave of her second orgasm, Delmira practically begged him to cum. He nodded in affirmation and quickened his pace.

Spike’s thrusts became more frantic with each passing moment. The rhythmic sound of his balls gently slapping up against Delmira’s ass echoed throughout the room. With one final push, Spike buried his cock into her as deeply as it could go, and grunted loudly while he shot a thick glob of cum into Delmira’s quivering depths.

Satisfied and utterly spent, Spike slowly rolled over in order to extract his now thoroughly slick manhood. Delmira snuggled up against his side and lazily ran her fingers through his hair. When her chest pressed up against his body, he could feel the steady rhythm of her heart beat. She then planted a sloppy kiss directly on his chest.

“Stars above… that was incredible. You have no idea how much I needed that.”

Spike returned the goddess’s affection by tweaking her nipple. “It was just my way of showing you how much I love you.”

Ahhnnghh—stop playing with nipples, Spike! They’re really sensitive right now!”

Spike laughed while he continued to fondle her breast. “You know, Ember’s nipples are pretty sensitive too. But I think that’s just because she’s so lean.”

“Are you calling me fat?”

“No, you just don’t have as much muscle definition as she does. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though. Heh, with how light your skin is it makes your breasts look and feel like big marshmallows.”

Delmira slid her hand in between Spike’s legs and began to play with his balls. “Two can play at that game, Lord Spike.”

Despite having blown his load mere moments before, Spike’s penis slowly stirred to life while Delmira continued her ministrations. Her massage felt entirely too good to ask her to stop, so he allowed his lover to do as she pleased. Besides, he wasn’t about to argue with a goddess who literally had him by the balls.

Just as he started to become tumescent, Delmira crawled in between his legs and used her remaining hand to softly stroke his inner thigh. She licked her lips in anticipation when she saw Spike’s penis twitch ever so slightly and with a single fluid motion, she swallowed it down to the root. If Spike wasn’t completely hard before, he certainly was after Delmira bobbed her head up and down his shaft a few times.

Spike knew that he wouldn’t be able to cum again for a little while, but that didn’t stop him from enjoying Delmira’s expert-level fellatio. This was one of those instances where Spike noticed a vast difference between the two women he loved.

Ember always did her best to make him feel good, and Spike admired that about her. But even her best efforts simply couldn’t compare to the centuries worth of sexual experience that Delmira possessed. It wasn’t as though he believed making love to Ember was any less enjoyable, the two of them were on completely different levels as far as technique was concerned.

The young Dragon Lord was just about to close his eyes when he heard the cabin door creak open. In the door way stood a visibly flustered Ember. It was clear to him that she had been exercising the entire time because her hair was slightly matted and her body glistened with sweat. Spike’s felt a lump form in his throat when their eyes met.

She padded over towards the bathroom, but paused when she couldn’t seem to find the will to turn the doorknob. Never in his entire life had Spike ever felt so utterly naked than at that very moment. Delmira, meanwhile, seemed to sense his flagging erection and doubled her efforts to make him hard once more.

He desperately wanted to explain what was going on to his other lover, but the pleasure he was experiencing clouded his mind in a tingling haze of lust. To make matters worse, the lewd slurping and sucking noises Delmira was making became far louder due to her increased effort. Oddly enough, Ember didn’t appear to be angry but… aroused instead, if her flushed cheeks was any indication.

Spike curled his toes as he felt the familiar tightening sensation begin to build deep inside his balls. He was genuinely surprised that he had any semen left to squeeze out, but he instantly recognized the signs of an impending orgasm. Judging by how long Delmira had been milking him, it was going to be an incredibly intense one.

The young Dragon Lord moaned loudly as he squirted his seed into Delmira’s mouth. As he expected, his cum was a bit thin and watery… but the orgasm he experienced was indescribable. He felt as though he was pouring out his entire essence through the tip of his dick.

Delmira eagerly drank his seed, despite how thin it was. She hadn’t really expected Spike to have anything left, but she savored every last drop nonetheless. Once she was certain that he was finished, the goddess gave Spike’s penis a good licking to clean it up, and then planted a gentle kiss on the tip of his head.

“In all of my eons of existence, I don’t think I’ve ever met a man who’s had as much stamina as you do. Ember and I are incredibly lucky to have you as a lover. Well, I’m going to take a quick bath. Feel free to join me, if you wish.”

When Delmira finally hopped off of the bed to use the bathroom, her eyes widened in shock when she saw Ember standing there. The most surprising thing of all was the expression on the tomboy’s face. Rather than anger or sadness, she appeared to be something in between aroused and nervous.

“How long have you been here?”

Ember awkwardly shuffled her feet. “Oh—ermm—I didn’t mean to barge in on you two. But it was definitely long enough to see you sucking on Spike’s p-penis.”

“I… see. Did you enjoy watching us?”

Ember’s entire face turned red. “Well, umm… yeah. Is there any way you could teach me how to do that? I-I mean, I just want to make Spike feel g-good… you know.”

“I’d be more than happy to show you. But when you ran off this morning, you seemed really upset about my relationship with Spike. I honestly do love him, but I’m willing to let that go if—”

Ember wrapped Delmira in a tight hug. “No! I couldn’t ever ask you to do that! It’s just… difficult coming to terms with having to share him. And even though I love you too, I don’t know if I’m comfortable with the idea of having sex with you yet.”

“Oh, Ember….”

The princess began to cry on her shoulder. “I’m sorry! This is all so new to me. I don’t know what to do anymore! Please, d-don’t hate me…”

“Spike and I could never hate you. It’s only natural for you to be confused about our relationship. Believe me, I want nothing more than for all three of us to love each other equally, but… it will take some time before that happens.”

As if to affirm Delmira’s point, Spike ambled over towards the two women and wrapped his arms around both of them. For a few precious moments, they huddled near the door and simply enjoyed the warmth of each other’s skin. When they finally broke their three-way hug, Spike gently rubbed Ember’s shoulders and kissed her neck.

“Why don’t we take a nice, hot bath together? I think we all need one pretty bad at this point.”

Ember blushed slightly, but still managed to giggle. “Delmira’s teats! I completely forgot how sweaty I was.”

“Excuse me,” Delmira shouted while puffing out her chest, “but I’d prefer that you not use my breasts as an expletive! Wait until I’m out of the room, at least.”

“Damn it all! I keep forgetting that you’re a goddess. I promise that I’ll be more careful about what I say around you from now on, Winny.”

Delmira giggled. “It’s ok, Ember. I wasn’t being serious. But by all means, feel free to admire my beautiful breasts whenever you wish. It’s only fair because Spike alwa—mmmpffhh!”

In a move that surprised all three of them, Ember grabbed ahold of Delmira’s waist and planted a soft kiss on her lips. While it was neither passionate nor long-lasting, there was plenty of affection and love behind it. It signaled that Ember was willing to try and make their relationship work.

Though it may have been a small step, the significance of the kiss was not lost on Delmira. The goddess returned Ember’s affection in kind, but reluctantly stopped herself from taking things any further. She had no desire to make her newest partner uncomfortable.

And so, the three exhausted lovers slipped into the steaming waters of Luna’s personal bath. Spike sat in the middle, and the two women snuggled up against his sides. Each of them closed their eyes and sighed. Today was the beginning of a new chapter in their lives, and they would all face it together.

The Return To Equestria (II)

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Chapter 16

Twilight’s Old Room, The Royal Palace

Spike rubbed the crust from his eyes as he slowly rose from bed. Delmira was still fast asleep beside him, snoring softly as she often did. He took a moment to appreciate just how adorable she looked all tangled up in the bed sheets. The serene smile on her face indicated that she was enjoying whatever dream she was having: the topic of which Spike could only hazard a guess.

The young dragon lord shivered slightly when he placed his bare feet upon the marble floor and left the warm, welcoming confines of his luxurious bed. Despite his acclimation to living completely in the nude for many months, he still felt a noticeable chill in the early morning air.

Part of the reason was that Canterlot was nowhere near as far south of the planet’s equator as Brimstone. As such, the climate, while still pleasantly warm, lacked the heat and humidity that Spike was accustomed to. The other reason was that it was still early enough in the morning that the sun was just beginning to rise.

While the three of them had indeed gone to bed together, Spike immediately noticed Ember’s absence. Such behavior was not at all unusual for the princess: she had always been an early riser. In fact, more often than not, he was as well. The two of them preferred to train at dawn, bathe, and then eat breakfast once they were finished. Early morning calisthenics helped to get the blood flowing and awakened the mind, amongst other things.

Spike took a moment to stretch his muscles and crack any bones that had become stiff overnight. After feeling his back loosen up with a satisfying pop, he padded over to the bathroom to wash his face and empty his bladder. A few splashes later, he wiped his face on a monogramed towel and took a moment to look around the room. It had been several years since the last time he’d seen the inside of it.

The room had originally been set aside as living quarters for both he and Twilight while she was attending Celestia’s Academy for Gifted Youngsters. Back then, there had been two twin-sized beds instead of single king sized one but otherwise; the room remained exactly how he’d remembered it.

Twilight firmly insisted on having separate beds the very first day they arrived. It wasn’t because the two of them didn’t get along; it was simply due to the fact that his sister had deeply ingrained habits and rituals when it came to her personal space. Nowadays, Spike didn’t mind sharing a bed at all… because it meant that he had the privilege of being sandwiched between two beautiful naked women.

While the room was fairly spacious, it wasn’t nearly large enough to accommodate the intense physical training that Ember preferred without disturbing the other occupants. Considering that he couldn’t hear anything else other than Delmira snoring, it was pretty safe to assume that Ember had gone elsewhere for her morning exercises. Her absence was only made even more alarming due to the fact that they had only just arrived at the palace by rail the night prior.

With a heavy sigh, Spike clambered out of the room in order to search for Ember’s whereabouts. As he rounded the corner, he felt someone bump into him with a soft thud. The poor maid cried out in pain as she fell flat on her ass onto the marble floor below. Spike winced as he cursed his inattentiveness. He hoped that whoever he ran into wasn’t hurt too badly.

The maid in question was Silver Platter, who also happened to be the older cousin of Silver Spoon. Her gunmetal grey hair was tied up in a neat little bun that ended just above her neck. She was short, slender, and had a beautiful pair of amber eyes that lit up whenever she got excited.

“Are you ok?” Spike asked.

Silver was about to grasp his hand… until she noticed his rather obvious state of undress. Her cheeks flushed with embarrassment as she froze in place. Time seemed to come to a screeching during that agonizingly awkward moment. She had no idea what to do next.

Like the rest of the palace staff, Silver had been informed about Lord Spike and his entourage several days before they arrived at the palace. However, within that very same announcement, Princess Luna (some would say whimsically) proclaimed that it was customary for their Wyvertii guests to live completely in the nude. The nocturnal princess had also made it abundantly clear that the three of them were not to be harassed about their lifestyle under any circumstances.

For Silver, it was one thing to be told about such a… disconcerting cultural practice, and quite another to see with her own eyes. As luck would have it, she just so happened to have fallen upon her rump. This meant that she was staring straight at the thing dangling in-between Spike’s legs. After biting her lip, she scrambled to her feet and desperately tried to look anywhere else.

Spike rubbed the back of his neck. “Hey—umm—good morning! I’m really sorry about running into you like that. I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going. Do you need any help cleaning up?”

“Ah… n-no, it’s fine! I-I can take care of it!”

“Are you sure? I feel pretty lousy making you do all of the work, especially when it was my fault in the first place.”

Silver breathed heavily while her eyes drank in the contours of Spike’s well-muscled, bronzed skin. Were it not for the pain from her fall, she would have sworn that she had been transported into one of those smutty adventure novels where a handsome (if a bit forceful) jungle man tears off the clothes of the unsuspecting heroine and—

A lecherous grin began to form on Silver’s lips as her imagination ran wild. It certainly wasn’t every day that a real life jungle man visited the palace. Well, not exactly. He was still Princess Celestia’s adopted son, after all. But he was damn near close enough to being one! And as an added bonus: he wasn’t wearing one of those stupid loin cloths~

Before she could do anything to stop it, her nose began to bleed like a faucet. After letting out something between a gurgle, a snort, and a gasp, she jammed her palm over her nostrils in a frantic attempt to stop all the blood from dripping onto her clothes and the floor. At that point, she just wanted to curl up into a ball and die. It was, quite possibly, the lamest way to act in front a guest… even if he was naked… and good-looking.

Thinking fast, Spike tore a strip a cloth from her apron and fashioned a makeshift tissue. Silver hesitated to remove her hand from her nose for a moment, but relented when she realized that blood was inevitably starting to stain her clothing. With a reassuring smile, Spike gently pressed the rag over her nose and applied a little bit of healing magic to help staunch the bleeding.

“There we go. Take it nice and easy. How are you feeling?”

Silver cleared her throat. “I-I think the bleeding has stopped. But I feel really light headed all the sudden.”

“Well, then I don’t think you should be moving around yet. Where do you need to go?”

“I was heading towards the guard barracks so I could—EEEP!”

Without a moment’s hesitation, Spike scooped up Silver in his arms and held her princess style. Her body tensed for a moment and she very nearly told him to put her down. But she kept her mouth shut because that wasn’t what she really wanted. Plus, she was still woozy, which meant that she could potentially pass out if she tried to walk on her own. That was a decent enough excuse to be carried around… right?

“Just try to relax, ok? I’ll carry you to the barracks in no time at all. Who knows? Maybe I’ll find the person I’m looking for there too.”

Silver hummed her affirmation and took the opportunity to rest her head against Spike’s shoulder. “If I may ask: who are you looking for so early in the morning, Master Spike?”

“Huh? I didn’t realize you knew who I was.”

“Well, I’ve never met you personally. But everyone on the palace staff knows of you.”

Spike chuckled. “I see that the old palace gossip mill is still alive and well.”

“Maybe, but that’s not the main reason! Princess Luna informed us of your arrival a few days ago. That and… umm you’re the only man here who’s—”

“Roaming the halls butt naked? Yeah, I guess it’s pretty obvious when you put it that way.”

Silver frowned. “I wouldn’t have phrased it so bluntly, but yes.”

“Don’t sweat it. I appreciate your honesty. Although, Aunt Luna did give us her blessing to practice whatever customs we saw fit. Aww crap! I never thought to ask if my—ah—lack of clothing bothered you.”

Silver giggled as a slight blush colored her cheeks. “Not to worry, you’ve been nothing but a perfect gentleman so far. And trust me; you have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. I’m just having a difficult time keeping my eyes from drifting towards certain places…”

Spike chose to completely ignore her flirtatious comment. In all honestly, he couldn’t blame her for checking out the goods. He hadn’t exactly made any attempt to cover up any part of his body. And he didn’t want to either. It had taken months of intense training to sculpt the warrior-like physique he now possessed. The young man was, for the first time in his life, proud to let the world bear witness to fruits of his labor.

The lingering sense of self-pride he felt quickly morphed into trepidation when he realized that Ember and Delmira were eventually going to have to be introduced to both his family and friends. While his own people treated nudity as blasé, Equestrians most certainly did not.

That reason alone would make their initial meeting extremely awkward to say the least. Not to mention the fact that he would have to explain that he was currently engaged in what amounted to a polygamous relationship. He sincerely hoped that everyone would keep an open mind about the drastic changes in his life over the past few months.

Spike’s reverie was abruptly broken when he felt Silver poke his chest. With a sheepish grin, he gently lowered her onto the ground so that she could properly gain her bearings. Before he could apologize for spacing out, Silver leaned over and gave him a quick peck on the cheek.

“Thanks for carrying me to the barracks and stopping my nosebleed. I’d say that you were my knight in shining armor but that’s not exactly the case, is it?”

Spike chuckled and rubbed the back of his neck. “Yeah, I guess it’s kind of hard to be knight when you aren’t wearing armor. But I’m glad that I was able to help.”

Silver smiled. “You know what? I think I prefer the ancient Pegolopian heroes anyway. Well, I’d better get going. The palace guards tend to get cranky if their breakfast orders aren’t placed in a timely manner.”

Spike politely waved goodbye to Silver and made his way towards the training area. Sure enough, even at this unholy hour of the morning, he could immediately tell it was bustling with activity. The distinct sound of people fighting and using practice weapons echoed off the walls even before he arrived at the staging area.

About a dozen palace guards were currently occupying the room; all clad in their dark grey P.T. sweats. That in of itself was not unusual. The palace guard took morning P.T. quite seriously and never scoffed at the opportunity to improve their melee and hand to hand combat skills.

What made this particular session unusual was the naked woman currently standing in the center of the training circle. Her short, sapphire hair was mussed at wild angles and her skin glistened with sweat in the early morning light.

Every muscle of her lithe frame was taught and poised to respond to whatever attack her opponent threw at her. She eyed her opponent with a confident grin, despite the scratches and bruises that covered her body. At that moment, Ember was the fierce embodiment of a dragoness.

It took every ounce of Spike’s willpower to curb the arousal stirring in his loins. Even during the earliest stages of their relationship, the young Dragon Lord had a difficult time keeping his thoughts on training instead of imagining what it would be like to mount her against the nearest tree.

In the past, he had always preferred women who exemplified feminine beauty and grace. But after living with the Wyvertii, he came to realize that there was something undeniably attractive about women who were at the pinnacle of physical fitness and strength.

Of course, as soon as he managed to get his lust under control, he happened to notice that nearly all of the guards in the room were also men. And they too seemed interested in watching Ember’s body for exactly the same reasons he did. Spike knew that he couldn’t blame the guards for looking at what was right in front of them, but that didn’t mean he had to like it.

His presence in the training room had not gone unnoticed by the other guards. The sour expression on his face had not either. The sergeant, who was currently sparring with Ember, was far too preoccupied with his opponent to notice the Dragon Lord’s arrival. After a brief appraisal, Spike determined that he was fairly talented in hand to hand combat.

They fought for a few minutes, each of them exchanging various attacks and counter attacks. Ember seemed a bit more winded, but that was only because this was her sixth match in a row. It seemed as though Ember was about to lose when she took a nasty blow to the stomach, but Spike knew better. She had allowed the sergeant to hit her in order to lure him closer to her without arousing suspicion.

The princess quickly took hold of his arm and used his shoulder as a pivot point. In a fraction of a second, he was slammed onto the mat below with a meaty thud. By the time he figured out which way was up, Ember was already straddling his stomach, elbow poised to strike his skull. The sergeant’s cheeks flushed with embarrassment as he slapped his hand against the mat to indicate his submission.

Ember grinned wickedly and sprang to her feet with the grace of puma. She even went so far as to help the defeated guard get back up again. After a pair of guards ushered the sergeant towards the locker room, the rest of the guards congratulated her and conversed amongst themselves. One of them offered her a towel, which she gladly accepted and began to wipe her face with.

Spike cocked his brow. “So, this is where you’ve been all morning?”

“You know I don’t like to skip training. Plus, you and Winny were still asleep and I didn’t want to disturb you. Do you have a problem with me sparring here?”

Spike twiddled his fingers. “No, I mean—ugh—it’s complicated!”

“How is it complicated? It seems simple enough to me.”

“Well, umm… it’s just that I happened to notice that a lot of the guards were checking you out. None of them tried to do anything inappropriate to you, did they?”

Ember narrowed her eyes. “Are you seriously that clueless? I would’ve beaten the shit out of them if they had. And why is it such a problem that they looked at me? I have every right to be proud of my body!”

“Look, it’s just that I felt a little uncomfortable when—”

Before Spike had the chance to finish his sentence, Ember stepped forward, grabbed his face, and forcefully pressed her lips against his. For a brief moment, he froze in place with a stupefied expression, until Ember pulled away and pinched his cheeks.

“Hurry up and grab my butt, then start kissing me properly! It’s no fun when you just stand there like a gaping fish.”


Ember bit her lip. “If you want everyone here to know that we’re a couple, then you need to make it obvious. Just… grab me already b-before I lose my nerve!”

Spike obliged her request, albeit hesitantly. However, after a few seconds, he quickly got caught up in the heat of the moment and dug his fingers into Ember’s delectably firm ass cheeks. She moaned softly at her lover’s sudden aggression, and responded by squishing her breasts against his chest. Afterwards, she turned her head and addressed the remaining guards.

“I know for a fact that many of you were ogling me, so listen up! Spike is MY mate. And he’s the only man who’s allowed to touch me like this, got it?”

While there were some guards who vocalized their disappointment, the vast majority of them silently nodded in agreement. They were sufficiently cowed by the combination of Ember’s overt display of affection and combat skills that none of them wanted to press the issue any further. Spike, meanwhile, felt like his heart was going to explode… amongst other things. Ember’s declaration was, quite possibly, one of the sexiest things he’d ever seen!

“That was—” Spike panted, “—I can’t believe you actually did that!”

Ember suddenly found her toes extremely interesting. “It couldn’t be helped, so you’d better not expect a repeat performance! But what I said was one hundred percent true. You’re the only man who’ll ever get to touch me like that.”


Ember’s cheeks flushed. “C’mon, there’s no need to get all mushy. You already know I love you and all that good stuff. So… how about we take a little tour? You’re Princess Celestia’s son, right? You should know all about the palace.”

“Oh, yeah… sure. That sounds like a decent enough idea. What do you want to see first?”

Ember’s eyes lit up. “How about the throne room? I’ve heard many tales that say it’s one of the grandest places in all of Equestria!”

“I guess so. But I don’t think it any more or less grand than the one in Brimstone.”

“Are you kidding me?! Sure, my father’s throne room is grand enough I suppose. But it isn’t covered in gold and white marble. And what about the stained glass windows? I’ve heard that they’re breathtaking when the light shines through them in just the right way.”

Spike chuckled. “Wow, I had no idea you appreciated Canterlotian architecture so much.”

“I do happen to have a feminine side, in case you’ve forgotten.” Ember huffed, “I’m allowed to like fancy, frou-frou stuff. That’s part of being a princess.”

“And there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m just a little… surprised? I mean, you marched straight into the barracks and sparred instead of checking out any of the tapestries, statues, or even the baths.”

Ember crossed her arms and pouted. “Whatever! Just shut up and take me to the throne room. I wanna see it.”

The throne room wasn’t located very far from the barracks. A short walk down the hall was all it took to arrive at the massive wooden doors that barred the entrance. They were supposedly crafted from a handful of the giant oak trees that were said to exist only in the deepest parts of the Everfree Forest. Before his journey to the Valley of Wyver, Spike had dismissed such a claim as nothing more than an exaggerated tall tale. But after encountering trees the size of buildings on a regular basis, he had to admit that there may have been some truth to the rumor.

Two royal guards dutifully stood at attention on either side. Their expressions remained stoic even when confronted by the pair of sky clad Wyvertii in front of them. The young Dragon Lord gave them a crisp salute, which they returned, and promptly allowed the couple to enter the inner sanctum.

The doors creaked and groaned as they moved on their hinges. After a few moments, a deep, resonating thud finally signaled that they had been closed shut. Since it was so early in the morning, they had the entire throne room to themselves.

Spike was genuinely surprised that Ember hadn’t hesitated to hold his hand while they walked along the halls at a leisurely pace. She was still fairly reserved about showing him any kind of physical affection while there were others around, Delmira notwithstanding.

Of course, the simple act of holding hands was banal compared to the stunt she pulled back at the barracks. Was it pride, fear, or anxiety that drove her actions? Spike couldn’t truly be certain, at least… not without asking her about it directly.

Suddenly, the distinct sensation of Ember’s breast occasionally brushing up against the side of his arm tore the Dragon Lord away from his thoughts. At some point, Ember had decided to loop her arm around his while they were walking. Her subtle gesture of affection had not gone unnoticed.

“Wow, it’s a lot more beautiful than I imagined.”

Spike looked around the room, desperate to search for something that would distract him from the hardened nipple that was currently poking his bicep. He finally found it when he spotted the stained glass window in which he was depicted as “Spike the Brave and Glorious: Savoir of the Crystal Empire”. It wasn’t what he’d hoped for, but it certainly was distracting.

“Oh goddess! That’s supposed to be you, isn’t it? Pbbff—bwahahahaha!”

Spike’s face turned beet red. “C’mon, Ember. The citizens of the empire spent a lot of money to have that commissioned…”

“It makes you look so heroic; oh Spike the Brave and Glorious! Especially that giant sparkly, pink heart you’re thrusting into the air. The only thing this masterpiece lacks is a pile of adorable baby animals at your feet. Oh, and maybe a few rainbows in the background.”

“Don’t be ridiculous! That’s not how it really happened. The only thing I did was carry the Crystal Heart back to its pedestal. I mean, yeah you could argue that my actions saved everyone but—”

Ember spun around and playfully pinned Spike against the opposing wall. “Believe me; I’ve seen enough heroic carvings to know when something’s being exaggerated. I was only teasing you. Although, I still can’t help but feel that this window lacks a certain… aesthetic.”

“What do you mean?”

Ember slid her hand along his chest all the way down to his waist. For a brief moment, she hesitated, uncertain whether she should continue or not. Emboldened by Spike’s lack of resistance, she stroked the shaft of his penis with one hand while she used the other to gently fondle his balls.

“I think it needs to be anatomically correct, down to every last detail.” Ember whispered as she felt his manhood stiffen in her grasp.

Within the scope of a few breaths, Spike was almost painfully hard. In the back of his mind, he knew that what they were doing could get them into a heap of trouble, but he couldn’t summon the willpower to resist his lover’s ministrations. As if to reaffirm her dominance, Ember got on her knees and started to lick his cock like a big, fleshy lollipop.

Spike shuddered. “Ember, I-I don’t think this is such a good idea…”

“Well, I’ve been horny ever since we left the barracks, so you’re just going to have to deal with it! Besides, good idea or not, it’s obvious that you want this as much as I do. Your penis is way too hard right now for me to take your protest seriously.”

“You were never interested in seeing the throne room, were you?”

The tomboy sighed. “No, and I’m sorry that I lied to you. I thought that it would help me take my mind off of doing… naughty stuff. But as you can see, my plan failed miserably. So quit arguing and just let me have my way with you.”

Spike silently nodded and allowed her to continue. And even though he wasn’t used to Ember’s dominant attitude when it came to sex, he honestly couldn’t say that the disliked it. In fact, it was incredibly sexy watching her be so aggressive. That and she had clearly been taking pointers on fellatio techniques from Delmira.

The sensation of Ember’s soft lips as they slid up and down his dick sent electric tingles of pure pleasure coursing through his spine. Had there been anyone else with them, they would have easily been able to hear the lewd slurping noises she was making from at least halfway across the room. Spike affectionately ran his fingers through her hair while she continued to suck, not caring in the least that it was still dampened with sweat.

Spike tensed his muscles when he felt a glob of semen begin to build up within his throbbing shaft. It had felt like hours since Ember started, but in reality he knew it had only been a minute or two at most. Without so much as a warning, the Dragon Lord cried out in pure ecstasy as he filled Ember’s throat with his seed. To her credit, she didn’t cry out, nor did she slow her pace. She simply continued to milk his cock until every last drop could be teased out.

Spike leaned back against the wall and let out a happy sigh. Despite his breech of decorum, Ember looked pleased with how everything turned out. After rising to her feet, Spike wrapped his arms around her waist, pulled her in close, and kissed her deeply. The taste of his own cum was still quite strong in her mouth, but he didn’t care. Spike needed to make sure that she knew how much he loved her.

Ember flicked his nose. “It’s extremely rude not to warn a lady when you’re about to cum. You’re lucky I didn’t choke!”

“Please forgive me; I didn’t want you to stop…”

Ember crossed her arms. “Fine. I suppose I’ll take that as a compliment. But I have to say: your penis smelled really musky while I was… down there.”

“Maybe that’s because I haven’t taken a shower yet? You’re one to talk though!”

Ember hesitantly sniffed herself. “The odor of my sweat isn’t that offending, is it?”

“Well, not exactly offending. But it is pretty pungent.”

Ember punched his arm. “WHAT?!!”

“Ow! I didn’t necessarily mean that in a bad way.”

“Then what exactly did you mean by it?”

Spike blushed. “Your scent is kind of… earthy with an undertone of flowers. Every time I breathe it in, it makes me want you even more. Does that make sense?”

“Duh. It’s loaded with pheromones.”

Spike blinked owlishly. “Huh. That makes a lot of sense now that I think about it. I imagine Twi will want to look into that because pheromones aren’t particularly strong in regards to Equestrian biology. Umm… does my sweat do the same thing to you?”


Ember focused her attention on the floor and shuffled her feet. It was one of the many tell-tale tics she had whenever she was embarrassed about admitting something. Spike’s heart melted when she bit her lip and began to anxiously rub her thighs together. In that moment, he knew that he needed to return the pleasure that she had so eagerly given him. After letting out a playful growl, he slung Ember over his shoulder and carried her around like a triumphant caveman.

Ember flailed her arms and legs. “What are you doing? Put me down, you jerk!”

After carrying her across the room, Spike carefully laid the struggling tomboy onto a large, ornate sofa. It had been personally gifted to Celestia by Sultan Zanib II as a token of gratitude that symbolized the continued friendship between Equestria and Saddle Arabia. The Sultan proudly boasted that it had been handcrafted from cotton, wood, and silk of the highest quality.

But the bright orange fabric and intricate gold stitching was more suited to a sultan’s harem rather than the throne room. His mother had always complained about how tacky it looked, but she swore that it was most comfortable couch she’d ever had the pleasure to own. Spike supposed that was the only reason she never placed it in storage. Now that he was currently laying on it with Ember underneath him, he completely agreed with his mother’s assessment.

Spike leaned down and peppered her neck with a flurry of kisses, making her giggle in the process. Not satisfied to stop there, he cupped her breast in his hand and began to gently massage it in slow, deliberate circles. As soon as her nipple became nice and stiff, Spike rolled it between his finger and thumb, making sure only to apply only a little bit of pressure. He was well aware that Ember’s nipples were extremely sensitive, so he didn’t want to accidentally cause her any pain.

With his other hand, Spike cupped her remaining breast and enclosed his lips around her areola, suckling it like a newborn babe. He could clearly feel Ember’s body squirming and shifting against him; making it plainly obvious that she was enjoying his ministrations. However, the tomboy kept her lips sealed tight in thin line. For whatever reason, she stubbornly refused to vocalize her pleasure.

Spike had to admit that he was slightly discouraged by Ember’s behavior. Although he was quite cognizant of the fact that she was still developing her own sense of sexuality, the way she was holding herself back hurt him in a way he could scarcely begin describe. It was as though she didn’t trust him enough not to make fun of her. Spike immediately ceased his ministrations, and brushed his palm against Ember’s cheek.

“What’s wrong? Am I doing something you don’t like?”

Ember bit her lip. “No, what you’ve done so far feels really good. I’m just… a little embarrassed, ok?”


“You’ll think it’s stupid.”

“Something’s obviously not stupid if it’s bothering you. C’mon, you know you can trust me. Just go ahead and say it.”

Ember’s cheeks flushed. “Ok, fine! Look, I know that Winny’s not shy about—ermm—moaning while having sex, but it’s really embarrassing for me! I don’t think I can bring myself to do it…”

“Is that all?”

“What do you mean is that all?!” Ember huffed, “It’s a really big deal to me. I don’t want to sound like some bitch in heat!”

Spike cupped both of her cheeks and looked her straight in the eyes. “Trust me, there isn’t a man alive who doesn’t enjoy hearing the woman he loves cry out in pleasure. It’s how I know that I’m making you feel good. And it’s… really sexy too.”

“Are you sure?”

Spike nodded. “Mhmm. From this point forward, do whatever feels natural to you. I want to hear every little squeak and moan.”

Thus mollified, Ember relaxed and allowed Spike to continue. Instead of focusing on her breasts as he had before, the Dragon Lord had a far more interesting idea in mind. A mischievous grin spread across his face as he traced his finger along Ember’s stomach. She shuddered briefly, until Spike started kissing every nook and cranny of the rippling muscles that composed her abdomen.

As Spike expected, her skin tasted quite salty. It was the unavoidable consequence of sweating so profusely in such a short period of time. But that was not to say he didn’t appreciate the flavor, even if it was fairly strong. He also took immense enjoyment from hearing her child-like peals of laughter as he continued to pepper her tummy with butterfly kisses.

Spike decided that the time for teasing was over. While the princess was still trying to catch her breath, he spread apart her lips as gently as possible; in order to expose the smooth, salmon-colored flesh inside. Ember immediately gasped, but made no attempt to hinder him in any way.

The strong scent of her arousal was intoxicating. It clouded his mind with lust, and ultimately drove him to bury his face in-between Ember’s legs. Spike’s tongue writhed inside her like a dancing cobra, causing the tomboy to cry out and tightly clamp her thighs around his head. It was times like these that the Dragon Lord was reminded just how incredibly strong his lover was.

“Umm… would you mind loosening your grip a bit? My face is kind of being crushed here.”

“SORRY!” Ember squeaked, “I-I’ll try to be more careful.”

For a moment, Spike contemplated whether or not he wanted to continue eating her out. There was no question in his mind that she deserved more, but he also had to contend with his own growing arousal. Then, as if to answer the question for him, Ember spread her legs apart and propped her back up against one of the pillows. The lusty, come-hither expression on her face while she slowly rubbed her clit sent a shiver of excitement down his spine.

“Please… I need you inside of me.” Ember pleaded.

Not one to keep a lady waiting, Spike gripped his shaft and rubbed it along the folds of her moistened lips. Once he was thoroughly coated in Ember’s juices, he lifted her leg over his shoulder and carefully guided the tip towards its intended destination. He tried his best to enter her slowly, but the entire length of his penis was practically sucked into the hot, quivering confines of Ember’s pussy within a single breath.

Both of them gasped as they quickly became one. Neither partner spoke or moved for what felt like an eternity because they hadn’t expected this to happen. Spike eventually found the wherewithal to start thrusting his hips back and forth, in an attempt to find a good pace.

Ember had become so wet that Spike discovered it took very little effort to slide in and out of her depths. As a consequence, he began thrusting harder and faster with each passing moment. Eventually, the pair started fucking at a pace that would have put even the horniest rabbits to shame.

They continued to become further and further absorbed in their carnal ballet, ignoring anything and everything around them except each other. The sounds of pleasured grunts, a creaking sofa, and flesh slapping against flesh blended together into a cacophony of passion, not heard within the throne room since before the days of Nightmare Moon.

Suddenly, Ember arched her back, dug her fingers into the cushions, and let out a throaty moan. Spike could feel her walls trying to milk his penis for all it was worth. While Ember was riding the waves of her own orgasm, Spike felt an intense amount of pressure begin to build in shaft. It had taken longer than he’d expected, but that was only because he’d cum one before. With one final thrust, Spike buried his cock into Ember as deeply as it could go. A moment later, he cried out, and shot a load of thick, sticky cum inside her.

Utterly spent and satisfied on all accounts, Spike collapsed atop Ember in a sweaty, exhausted heap. The two lovers were just about ready to start a relaxing, post-coital cuddling session… until an indignant squawk echoed across the throne room.

Out of curiosity, Spike turned his head towards the sound, only to find Princess Celestia and Empress Cadence standing a few paces behind the sofa. His face immediately erupted in a deep, crimson blush when he realized that his own mother had just witnessed him making passionate love to a woman she hadn’t even been introduced to yet. Ember mirrored his reaction and desperately tried to bury her face in a cushion.

“Spike, what is the meaning of this?!” Celestia roared.


Cadence gently placed her hand on Celestia’s shoulder. “C’mon auntie, cut them a little slack. Can’t you see that they’re young and in love?”

“Yes, and I can also see that they decided to ruin a priceless Saddle Arabian sofa. Not only that, but they were openly fornicating IN THE MIDDLE OF THE THRONE ROOM!”

Cadence chuckled nervously. “Ah, well… you know how teenagers are. Their brains are all hopped up on hormones and… they don’t always think things through?”

“I knew that Luna’s decree was a terrible idea from its inception! But, like a good mother, I wanted to exercise tolerance and allow my son to practice his people’s customs. So, I acquiesced. It is now abundantly clear to me that I should have been more vocal about my dissent.”

“He still can… but—umm—maybe you could set up a few more ground rules. Such as: no having sex out in the open. Totally sounds fair to me…”

Celestia let out a heavy sigh and massaged her temples. “Perhaps, we should discuss this once my temper has had some time to settle.”

“Mom, I—”

“Not another word, Spike. The two of you are going to march straight to the baths and get cleaned up. Breakfast shall be served at the dining hall in a half hour. Once you’ve made yourselves… presentable, I expect to see the both of you there so that we may catch up, amongst other things.”

Ember and Spike bathed quickly to make certain that they did not keep their host waiting. When they finally arrived at the dining hall, a veritable buffet of decadent breakfast delights were laid out upon a massive, polished oak table.

Cadence had already decided to dig into a pair of Belgian waffles, topped with a mountain of whipped cream and strawberries. Celestia, on the other hand, was enjoying a far simpler meal. It consisted of eggs benedict, home fries, and a cup of hot tea.

The young couple sighed in relief when they pulled out a pair of chairs and found that they were cushioned. After all, sitting on a hard wooden surface with nothing but your bare bottom as padding wasn’t exactly comfortable. Once they got situated, Ember didn’t hesitate to load her plate full of bacon, sausage, eggs and just about every meat she could get her hands on. In Ember’s case, hands on was quite literal because she didn’t bother using any utensils.

Spike did his best to offer an apologetic shrug on Ember’s behalf while he nibbled on a bite of pancake. Although, that didn’t stop the tomboy from stuffing a few greasy strips of bacon into her maw and devouring them like a ravenous grizzly bear. If Celestia was disturbed by Ember’s utter lack of table manners, her face certainly didn’t show it. After daintily wiping her mouth with a napkin, Celestia cleared her throat.

“I don’t believe we’ve had the chance to properly introduce ourselves. I am Princess Celestia, co-ruler of Equestria and Spike’s mother. What might your name be, young lady?”

Ember washed down her bacon with a big gulp of apple juice. “Princess Ember, your highness. But you can just call me Ember. I’m… not really a big fan of titles.”

“Neither am I, to be honest. Please, I insist that you call me Celestia. If my memory serves me correctly, you are Dragon Lord Torch’s daughter, correct?”

“Yes, your high—err—I mean Celestia.”

“Spike has sent me numerous letters over the past few months detailing his adventures in Brimstone, but I’d like to hear your side of the story. Tell me: how did my son manage to win the heart of such a beautiful princess?”

Ember blushed while she grasped Spike’s hand underneath the table. “At first, I thought he was just a clumsy, hopeless, perverted idiot. But after we started spending more time together, I realized that he wasn’t quite so useless, and that maybe—just maybe—I had feelings for him.”

The Crystal Empress squealed and bounced up and down in her seat. “Awwww that’s so sweet~ Auntie, how can you possibly stay mad at them after hearing such a heartfelt confession? The love they share is so strong that I can see the magic radiating off of them! I mean, I could tell that just by how hard they were going at it but—”

Celestia coughed loudly. “Be that as it may, I refuse to condone such reckless behavior. Ember, Spike, listen to me: I want you to know that I am willing, however reluctantly, to support your decision to live according to Wyvertii customs. And I’m also very happy to see that you’ve managed to form an intimate bond with one another.

“However, Equestria and Brimstone do not share the same moral values. The two of you must exercise greater restraint concerning your lustful urges. I understand that such a thing is difficult for young couples, especially when your constant state of undress makes initiating sex far more… convenient. But any further acts of public fornication shall not be tolerated. Have I made myself clear?”

Both Ember and Spike nodded, sheepish smiles on their lips. They were both fully aware that their little throne room romp was simply a onetime occurrence. Yet, despite their mutually shared embarrassment, neither of them could honestly say that they regretted doing it. Thus mollified, Celestia took another sip of her tea and began reading the latest of issue of The Canterlot Inquirer. Spike and Ember were just about to continue eating their own breakfast, until they heard a loud yawn behind them.

Everyone at the table sat in stunned silence while a fair-skinned woman lazily stretched out her limbs, much like Rarity’s cat, Opalescence, would do upon awakening from a long nap. Every bit as prideful and nude as her feline counterpart, she confidently strode towards the table, allowing everyone present ample opportunity to admire her svelte form.

The albino woman somehow managed to gracefully wedge herself in-between Spike and Ember. She then cupped her hands under both of their chins and took turns giving each of them a deep, passionate kiss. Once she was finished, she smacked her lips and grinned.

“I don’t know about you, but I love waking up to the taste of bacon and pancakes. By the maker, is that… PRENCH TOAST?!! Why, I haven’t enjoyed such a delicacy in centuries! Especially the kind topped with fruit and bursting with cream filling~”

She too ate her breakfast with the same amount of gusto as Ember, and ended up smearing raspberry preserves all over her face. Spike was thoroughly amused by her antics… until he felt an errant glob of cream cheese land right on his thigh. With a mischievous glint in her eye, Delmira ducked under the table and deliberately licked the spot clean as slowly as possible.

“Mmmm sweet and salty, just the way I like it! Ember, could you please pass the bac—”

Celestia raised her eyebrow at the newcomer. “Excuse me, but what do you think you’re doing?”

“I’m trying to enjoy some breakfast for starters.”

“I suppose I should clarify: What in the world are you doing here, Delmira?”

Delmira sighed. “I guess there’s no pulling the wool over your eyes. Is my human form truly that obvious?”

“No. But the vast amount of primal magic you possess, even while greatly suppressed, radiates a distinct aura. That and I vividly remember what you looked like the last time you visited Equestria, even if it has been nearly two thousand years.”

“Oh, so you remember huh?” The Goddess purred, “Well, it must be because I have such a sexy, unforgettable body~”

Celestia groaned. “Please don’t start your antics with me. You know for a fact that I prefer the company of men.”

“When was the last time you actually enjoyed the company of a man: decades, centuries, or perhaps an entire millennium ago? Why, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were stories floating around about how your crotch is haunted.Tell me, when you open your legs, do banshees come flying out?”

Celestia’s entire face flushed a deep crimson (whether it was more from anger or embarrassment was up for debate). “I-I beg your pardon?! You have a lot nerve speaking to me in such a crude and disrespectful manner. And in front of my son, no less!”

“Heavens above! After all these years, you still can’t take a joke. That's why I like your sister better. She at least has a sense of humor. Look, I’m just being honest with you because your subjects aren't going to be. Let's face it, Celestia. Being pent up all the time clearly isn't healthy. Having a good fuck every once and a while will help you relax and loosen up a bit.”

Celestia let out a long hissing breath through her teeth. “Let us… focus on something other than sex, shall we? Am I to assume that you are the caretaker Spike mentioned?”

“Guilty as charged. Whatever Torch might tell you, I volunteered to look after him because I believed that he deserved a little guidance, amongst other things. That and I thought it would be interesting. I can’t say I was disappointed~”

“In what capacity are you acting now? You’ll have to forgive me, but I find it difficult to believe that such a powerful goddess would willingly continue to pose as a mere servant.”

Delmira pulled Spike and Ember into a three-way hug. “Why else? I love my mates too much to allow them to go on such a long journey without me!”

Whatever goodwill and forgiveness Spike had earned previously, evaporated into thin air the very moment Delmira finished speaking. The horrified look on his mother’s face simultaneously made his balls try to shrink back into his stomach and gave him the strong urge to vomit all at the same time. Of course, his mother couldn’t entirely be blamed for how she reacted. Spike hadn’t exactly worked up the nerve to mention, in any of his letters, that he was engaged in a polyamorous relationship between a goddess and a princess.

Spike laughed nervously. “Umm… surprise?”

The Homecoming

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Chapter 17

Dining Hall, The Royal Palace

White hot fury radiated from Celestia’s eyes. The intensity of her glare was so great that Spike felt a prickling heat wash over his entire body. In fact, due to her powerful connection with the sun, he believed that his mother was, in all likelihood, entirely capable of immolating someone just by staring at them. He chugged down half a glass of water in an attempt to relieve the sudden dryness in his throat, but it didn’t help much.

“Did you just refer to them as your mates?”

Delmira nodded and slid her arms around their shoulders. “Yep, that’s right.”

“Given the fact that my son is now a Dragon Lord, it isn’t my place to tell him how many partners he may take. However, I can’t sit idly by and ignore your self-proclaimed inclusion into their relationship. Do they have any idea what you really are?”

Delmira’s expression soured. “What sort of villain do you take me for, Celestia? I’ll admit that can be impish at times, but I would never be so irresponsible! I revealed my true form to Spike once he completed the Gauntlet of Fire and was christened the new Dragon Lord. As for Ember, I told her about it shortly thereafter.

“Tell me: is it really so farfetched for a goddess to desire love? I’m not talking about all the usual adoration and worship but intimate, personal love. Indeed, beings such as ourselves must constantly maintain a visage of power and control… but aren’t there times when just you want to be treated like a woman?”

The princess of the sun took a deep breath as she reflected upon Delmira’s words. If she were being completely honest, there were countless times that she yearned to be an ordinary woman. Particularly during the first century of her sister’s banishment, she had occasionally donned the guise of Sunny Days in order to mingle with the common folk.

Celestia’s flaxen-haired, barmaid persona helped take her mind off of the crippling sorrow, loneliness, and anger she felt from Luna’s protracted absence. She would dance, shamelessly flirt with patrons, chug down tankards of ale, and occasionally invite willing partners (sometimes more than one) to her bedchamber for some late night fun. The trysts were often wild and passionate but they seldom lasted more than a day or two.

Unfortunately, the burden of ruling as the sole monarch of Equestria consumed nearly all of her being as the years marched ever onward. As a result, her alter-ego antics became less and less frequent until they stopped entirely. Loathe as she was to admit, approximately nine hundred years ago was, in fact, the last time anyone had warmed her bed.

As Celestia took a moment to observe her son and his partners, she felt a tremendous pang of guilt grip her chest. There was no denying it. The serene, affectionate smile spread upon Delmira’s lips made it plainly obvious that she cared for her partners without hesitation or condition. It made Celestia realize, despite her misgivings, that she was being unfairly harsh in her judgement.

“I’m afraid I know all too well what that is like.”

Delmira gently grasped Celestia’s hand. “I swear to you, upon my pride as a goddess, that I love Spike and Ember with all of my heart. Mortals though they may be, they’re more precious to me than all the gold in Brimstone. If it is within my power, I will protect and cherish them for as long as I draw breath.”

“Your declaration has done much to ease my mind, Delmira. However, it still concerns me how the dynamics of your shared relationship will progress from this point forward.”

“I don’t imagine that’ll be a problem,” The dragon goddess mused, “Ember and I have unanimously agreed that Spike is our alpha. And while the three of us have yet to consummate our relationship together, I’m quite confident his stamina is up to the task~”

Celestia’s cheeks reddened when she subconsciously shifted her attention towards Spike’s lap. “My apologies, but I’m going to have to stop the conversation there. I have no desire to discuss my son’s sexual prowess any further.”

The Dragon Lord rubbed the back of his neck. “Yeah, that’s definitely not something my mom needs to know about…”

“Spike, my dear, I do believe it’s a little too late for that.”

Cadence’s melodious giggles filled the room after she heard Celestia’s sharp retort. Ember and Spike suddenly found the floor to be most fascinating thing in the room while their faces erupted in a crimson blush once more. Completely unaware as to what was going on, Delmira blinked owlishly in confusion.

“Did I… miss something?”

“Oh, we just caught the two of them having a bit of early morning nookie in the throne room. Auntie Celestia got pretty upset over it, but I thought it was romantic.” Cadence explained.

“We had a giant, luxurious bed to fool around in and the two you decided to sneak off and have fun without me?!!”

Ember nervously rubbed her feet together. “I got up early to practice and Spike somehow managed to find me in the training room. The other guards were making me feel really uncomfortable; s-so I asked him to… show them that I was his mate.”

“Oh ho~ Pray tell, how exactly did he show them?”

“You know, like kissing and stuff.” Ember mumbled.

“Indeed, men can be rather slow on the uptake at times. Details, Ember. Don’t forget the details!”

“F-fine! There might have been some fondling involved too. You have to understand: I sometimes get… a little excited after a good workout. Don’t ask me to explain it! I just do, ok!”

Delmira chuckled. “Ah, that certainly explains why Celestia was so mortified. She caught the both of you right in the middle of the act, didn’t she? Such a pity. I would have loved to have seen that.”

“Sorry, I-I couldn’t help myself. One thing just sort of… led to another.”

“Not to worry, Ember. I wasn’t being serious. However, I may just consider accompanying the both of you during your training sessions from now on.”


Delmira playfully nibbled on the edge of her ear. “You know how the old saying goes: When you’re hot and sweaty, you’re nice and ready~”

Ember’s face became an even darker shad of red, yet she made no attempt to resist the goddess or the ongoing ear nibbles. Thus encouraged, Delmira crawled atop Ember’s lap, cupped her cheeks, and then slid her tongue into the surprised tomboy’s mouth. After what seemed like an eternity, Delmira eventually broke away with a lecherous grin and smacked her lips in satisfaction.

“You know what I think,” Delmira whispered while fondling Ember’s breast, “The three of us should spend an entire day doing nothing but making love at our leisure. Mark my words, Ember: it shall happen. For the time being though, I think we ought to behave ourselves.”

Spike coughed abruptly, trying desperately to ignore what was going on beside him. “So… Cadence, I’ve been curious about something. How’s come you’re in Canerlot?”

“Well, I get a lot of good press coverage whenever I come here to personally endorse trade agreements… even though they’re mostly a formality at this point. Plus, it gives me the opportunity to visit the rest of my friends and family. A win/win situation for all involved, wouldn’t you say?”

“Sure, I can understand that. But where’s everybody else?”

“Shiny had to stay behind and supervise training for the Imperial Guard. I think he mentioned that it had something to do with new equipment? As for Flurry, she’s still not very fond of long train rides. She—ah—tends to vaporize things whenever she gets cranky.”

“Is she really that dangerous?”

Cadence nodded sadly. “I’m afraid so. But at least we have Sunburst to help control the surges and teach her basic spell-casting skills. Otherwise, things would be a lot worse. You know, now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure she gets most of her raw magical power from Shiny’s side of the family.”

“Ha, tell me about it! One time, Twi accidentally blew up a jar of pickles just because she couldn’t open it with her fingers. She’s crazy strong with magic… but I still think she needs to get out and exercise more. I mean, come on, twisting off a lid isn’t that difficult.”

Cadence rubbed her chin in thought. “I think you might be onto something. Maybe all Twilight needs is a little extra motivation to get her exercise regimen started. Do you think a nice, handsome soldier would do the trick?”

“I’m probably not the best person to ask that….”

“Don’t be silly,” Cadence admonished, “Look at how much muscle you’ve put on in the last few months. Seriously, Spike. You look great! I think it just goes to show that with the right trainer, anyone can get in shape!”

“Thanks. But most of credit goes to Ember. Without her help, I never would have gotten this far.”

Cadence grinned like a Cheshire cat, but responded telepathically with her magic. “Are you sure that getting an eyeful of Ember’s rockin’ hot naked body every day was, in no way, part of your motivation?”

Spike nearly choked on his own spit when he heard Cadence’s voice echo within his mind. To the untrained, telepathy would seem like a fairly simple spell to cast and maintain. However, the Dragon Lord knew from personal experience that it was anything but.

Twilight had learned to do it, of course, but that was only because she had studied and practiced the technique extensively for several years. And even though Cadence was a powerful spell-caster in her own right, Spike was legitimately surprised and impressed that she could utilize it so fluidly.

Hold on. You thinkEmber’s hot?”

Cadence snickered. “Spike, I’m the Princess of Love. You should know by now that I don’t judge sexiness based solely on gender. But sweet Faust! She’s got one seriously toned tushie! I can only imagine how wonderful it must feel to give those perky little buns a good squeeze.”

Well—umm—that’s to be expected!”

I’m so proud of you, Spike! You’ve come such a long way since your days as a bachelor in Ponyville. You know, there are a lot of men out there who’d be intimidated by Ember’s brawn. But it’s great to see that you’re the type of guy who genuinely appreciates her physique. Don’t worry; I feel the same way about Shiny’s hiney.”

Spike groaned mentally. “That’s… not exactly what I meant, but you’re right. I love the both of them exactly how they are and wouldn’t change a thing.

Delmira daintily crossed her legs and took sip from her coffee cup. “Do the two of you intend to keep conversing telepathically, or are the rest of us going to be included at some point?”

Before Cadence or Spike could so much as sputter out an apology, Princess Luna stormed into the room. Her heavy footfalls caused the jackboots she was wearing to echo loudly against the marble floor. After grunting in a very un-princess like manner, she summoned a mug full of steaming hot coffee into her hand and chugged it down as if it were water.

As soon as she finished her first cup, Luna plopped next to her sister and started chewing on a bagel, not caring in the least that her lips were getting smeared with cream cheese. It was obvious to everyone sitting at the table that she was very tired, if the dark circles under her eyes were any indication. Even so, the Preußen blue admiral’s uniform she typically donned during Night Court and martial functions was still presentable.

Celestia gently rubbed Luna’s shoulder in an effort to calm her. “Lulu, what’s wrong?”

“Be at peace, sister mine. I am… simply exhausted from a situation that arose last night,” Luna’s bloodshot eyes widened in surprise when she finally looked across the table, “My apologies! In my sleep-deprived stupor, I’m afraid that I neglected to notice the presence of our most esteemed guests.”

“Don’t sweat it, Aunt Luna. It’s great to finally see you again.”

Luna gently patted his arm. “You as well, Spike. It seems that you have decided to take full advantage of my decree, hmm? Most excellent! The people of Equestria need to broaden their cultural horizons every so often, lest they become narrow-minded bigots.”

“I’ll admit that adjusting to Wyvertii customs was pretty difficult in the beginning. But once I got used to living like they did, it felt like the most natural thing in the world. And if I’m being honest, this the first time I’ve ever felt so comfortable in my own skin. So, I don’t imagine I’ll be going back to wearing clothes. Especially with those two around…”

Luna smiled. “Tis heartening to see how well you’ve taken to your people’s way of life. Although, I suspect that your companions may need to assert their claims on you during your travels.”

“Huh? Why’s that?”

“Oh Spike, it never ceases to amaze me how adorably naïve you can be sometimes! Have you looked upon your own reflection in the mirror lately?”

Spike scratched his head. “Just about as often as anyone, I guess. What’s the big deal?”

“The big deal, as you put it, is that you’re a handsome young Dragon Lord in peak physical condition, who unabashedly bares his body for all to see. My advice is thus: be prepared for lingering gazes and constant flirtation in your future, my dear nephew.”

Spike’s face began to flush. “I—umm—hadn’t even taken that into consideration. Sure, I’m proud of all the hard work I put into my training… but do I really look that good?”

Luna simply gestured towards the two women beside him. Both of them eagerly nodded their heads in agreement without a moment’s hesitation. When they noticed that Spike was blushing even harder from their earnest praise, Ember and Delmira leaned over together and planted an affectionate kiss on both of sides of his cheeks.

“I think this goes without saying but your companions shall, in all likelihood, be viewed as exotic specimens of the female form no matter where you travel. And loathe as I am to admit it, their state of undress will undoubtedly garner attention as well. You must be prepared to defend their honor and dignity from unsavory characters whenever necessary.”

Spike grinned sheepishly. “Ember already ran into that problem with some guards earlier this morning. But it really isn’t a big deal! Everything turned out alright in the end.”

“That honestly does not surprise me. However, I would caution you not injure any offenders too severely, even if you feel justified in doing so.”

Celestia let out a theatrical sigh. “Alas, the same cannot be said for how my poor, defenseless Saddle Arabian sofa was treated!”

“I beg your pardon, Tia?”

Celestia waved her hand dismissively. “Pay it no mind, Lulu. It’s just a little inside joke between my son and I. Now, what’s this I hear about you having a situation?”

“Ah, foul business that is. According to the latest reports, a rouge passel of Buloke Boars have been prowling the outskirts of Ponyville for the past few days. Trying to ensure the safety of the local populace has been quite... taxing.”

An icy-cold knot of fear formed in the pit of Spike’s stomach as soon as Princess Luna finished speaking. Not a single citizen of Equestria doubted the capability of the Element Bearers during dangerous situations, but that didn’t stop him from worrying about them or the others he cared about in his home town.

“Is everyone ok?!” Spike blurted.

“While I shall admit that it is quite unusual for them to be seen outside of the Everfree, rest assured that no harm has befallen any who reside in Ponyville.”

The Dragon Lord’s anxiety was significantly lessened by the news, yet he couldn’t help but wonder why the creatures were foraging so close to Ponyville. Buloke Boars behaved like wild animals but are actually composed of magically infused wooden material. However, unlike Timber Wolves, the bark that sheathed their bodies matched the strength and resiliency of tempered steel.

While they weren’t a usually direct threat to people, the boars were highly aggressive when provoked, territorial, and notoriously difficult to kill with any implement, be it firearms or magic. Especially the Alpha Boars that accumulated decade’s worth of layers to their thick hides. It was actually quite similar to the rings of a tree.

“I’m happy that everyone’s safe and all, but why are they so close to town? Don’t Buloke Boars typically live deep inside the Everfee?”

Luna nodded solemnly. “Indeed. Hopefully, this was just a one-time occurrence but if there truly is something disturbing the denizens of the forest, I fear that we may need to send in some rangers to investigate.”

“Ember and I are used to trekking through dense forests and dealing with dangerous wildlife on a pretty regular basis. We’d be more than happy to help—”

Luna slammed her palm against the table. “Nay, Spike! It is my sovereign duty, as commander and chief of the armed forces, to protect the well-being of Equestria’s citizenry.”

Noticing her son’s stricken expression, Celestia gently squeezed Luna’s shoulder, signaling to the co-monarch that it was in her best interest to remain silent. Since Celestia technically had a thousand years more experience with ruling a country, she was unquestionably more skilled at diplomacy than her martially minded little sister.

“What Luna meant to say is: we sincerely appreciate your offer but as the de jure Dragon Lord, your primary citizenship status is that of a leader from a foreign nation. I’m afraid that if we officially accepted your assistance, it would give our neighbors the impression that Equestria cannot handle its own domestic issues competently.”

“Am I not an Equestrian citizen anymore?” Spike asked.

“Of course you are, sweetheart! It’s just—look, I realize that what I’m saying might sound completely ridiculous, but I assure you that it is simply the nature of modern politics. The three of you should focus on enjoying your time here instead. Let Luna and I worry about protecting Equestria, ok?”

Spike huffed in frustration. “I guess it can’t be helped then. But we won’t hesitate to help out ‘unofficially’ if things start to get dicey. Mom, you have to understand that I consider Ponyville to be just as much my home as Brimstone now. And I’ll be damned if I allow something as stupid as politics to stop me from protecting everyone I care about.”

Luna loudly cleared her throat in an attempt to break the awkward silence. “Pray tell, are the three of you interested in traveling to Ponyville in style?”

“How we get there doesn’t really matter that much to me. I’d be fine with just taking a train.”

Luna clapped her hands. “Then it is settled! I shall make the necessary arrangements for the Royal Auto-Carriage to transport you there.”

Auto-carriages were a relatively recent invention in Equestria. They achieved locomotion through a sophisticated steam compression engine that ran entirely without the aid of magic. Due to the complexity of the technology and lack of trained mechanics, the vehicles were quite expensive to repair and maintain. All of the models currently available on the market were therefore only purchased by the more affluent tiers of Equestrian society.

Driving around in a luxury model was tantamount to having a giant sign plastered over your head that screamed: “Look at how insanely rich I am!” Son of the princess or not, Spike wasn’t too keen on openly flaunting his wealth and status, even though many of Equestria’s Elite enjoyed doing so as if it were a national sport. In his opinion, such behavior only served to perpetuate an endless cycle of envy, jealousy, and reckless expenditure.

Spike bit his lip. “I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but isn’t going around in the Royal Auto-Carriage a little much? We’d be fine with just taking the Equestrian Expre—”

“Spike, this is something that Luna and I have to insist upon,” Celestia explained, “We need to let everyone in Equestria know how serious we are about establishing friendly relations with the Wyvertii. Over the years, I’ve found that the best way to demonstrate your sincerity to the general public is with a bit of carefully crafted showmanship.”

The young Dragon Lord couldn’t help but feel slightly uncomfortable while he observed the two women currently occupying the backseat of the Royal Auto-Carriage along with him. Both of them had openly gawked at the vehicle when it pulled up to the courtyard. Their reaction was entirely reasonable given the circumstances.

After all, who wouldn’t be taken aback by the sheer opulence of something that was bedecked in a glittering coat of mother of pearl and gold stenciling? Granted, Spike understood that neither of them had seen anything like an auto-carriage before but what the two of them were currently doing was, quite frankly, a little embarrassing to watch.

Delmira lay sprawled out along the seat cushion, giggling madly while she squirmed about. Apparently, she felt that the sensation of velvet rubbing up against her bare skin was simply the cat’s meow. The goddess’s jovial, fang-filled grin only served to make Spike question whether she was a more of a divine feline rather than a dragon. Her behavior was fairly amusing at first… until she started commenting on how stiff her nipples had become.

Ember, on the other hand, seemed particularly fascinated with all the modern amenities that came included with a deluxe package auto-carriage. In particular, she took great pleasure in playing with the retractable ash tray that was built into the center of the armrest. Spike wasn’t sure if she understood why the tray was there in the first place or if the Wyvertii even knew what cigarettes were.

During his entire time in Brimstone he couldn’t recall seeing anyone using pipes or even chewing tobacco. Maybe it was some kind of cultural taboo? Before Spike could contemplate the matter any further, he noticed that Ember’s face had become deathly pale.

“I don’t *urk* feel so good…”

“What’s wrong?”

Ember grimaced and cupped her hand over her mouth. “Ngghhh… something doesn’t seem to be agreeing with my stom—”

Because he happened to be sitting next to her, Spike was spared the indignity of being sprayed by the half-digested remnants of this morning’s breakfast. However, Delmira was not quite so lucky. She looked down at herself, utterly disgusted by the vomit that now coated her body. While she was genuinely concerned for mate’s wellbeing, the goddess couldn’t help but feel rather annoyed by the situation.

“Ember, why did have to wolf down so much damned bacon?! You know how sensitive your tummy is when it comes to greasy foods. Bah! I hope it won’t take too much longer to reach Princess Twilight’s castle because I’m in serious need of a bath.”

Spike gently rubbed Ember’s back. “Don’t worry; we’ve just arrived at the front gate. I’ll show you guys where the nearest bathroom is once we get inside. It’s pretty easy to get lost if you don’t know where you’re going. Heck, I still managed to get lost sometimes and I’m the one who’s lived there for a couple of years…”

“I’m really sorry that I puked all over you, Winny. I swear that I’ll make it up to you later.” Ember muttered.

“Don’t worry; it’s nothing a nice, long soak can’t fix. Just try to take it easy on the bacon next time, ok? And before you even think about arguing, I must insist that you hold onto my arm while we head to the bathroom. I don’t want you to fall down and crack open your skull just because you wouldn’t tell anyone how weak you were feeling.”

“Yeah, it’s probably not a very good idea for me to be walking around by myself right now.” Ember hesitantly admitted.

After a curt nod, Delmira helped Ember out of the auto-carriage and led her towards the doorway. The Castle of Friendship boasted at least half a dozen different luxury bathrooms throughout, so Spike had little trouble showing his mates where the nearest one was located. Before they set off on their own, Spike gave them a quick crash course on how modern plumbing worked.

The last thing anyone needed to deal with right now was a flooded bathroom. He already felt guilty enough about having to inform the driver about how Ember lost her cookies all over the expensive upholstery. His mother probably wouldn’t be too happy about it, but at least this was a genuine accident and a seat cover was something that could be replaced with relative ease.

With nothing better to do but wait until the girls were finished, Spike headed to the kitchen in order to fix himself something to drink. Princess Twilight was a self-proclaimed coffee aficionado, so she kept her pantry stocked with the finest varieties of beans available. The Dragon Lord himself had brewed the magical caffeinated elixir for his sister enough times that his skills were comparable to some of most seasoned baristas in Equestria.

In no time at all, Spike was enjoying a steaming hot cup of Zebrican café au late. Before he could begin to savor the peace and quiet of the kitchen, the young man heard someone yawn quite loudly while they shuffled their feet across the floor. Out of the corner of his eye, he spotted Trixie hobbling her way over to the coffee pot. Presumably, she too was there to enjoy a cup as well.

Her silvery-white hair was slightly disheveled and the only thing she was currently wearing was a thin, powder blue nightie and a pair of matching fuzzy slippers. The garment must have been made of silk because it left very little to the imagination while it hugged her petite form. Spike took a long, contemplative swig from his cup. The bombastic magician was often a pain in the ass to deal with personality wise, so Spike rarely brought up the topic of how pretty he thought she was. It would have only caused her to tease him and inflate her already larger than life ego.

After gulping down half of her cup, Trixie’s eyes gravitated towards Spike. “Trixie was unaware that an exotic entertainer was hired for her birthday celebration. You even went to the trouble of making her favorite coffee. What a pleasant surprise indeed! Although, Trixie must admit that it is a tad unorthodox for an entertainer to be nude upon arrival but she has absolutely no objections to this. Especially when you have such a scrumptious body ~”

“Uhh… Trixie, don’t you recognize me?”

Trixie sauntered over to Spike and ran her fingers along his abs. “Oooooh what fabulous muscles you have! And your scent is so… intoxicating~ Trixie doesn’t often say this, but you are one fine specimen of the male physique.”

“Look, I-I think you’re misunderstanding the situation here. I’m not a—”

Trixie silenced Spike with a kiss to the lips while she pressed herself against his chest. If he wasn’t certain of it before, it was glaringly obvious at this point that she wasn’t wearing anything underneath her nightie. Trixie then slid her arms around his neck and stood on her tiptoes so that she could get close to his ear.

“Would you, perhaps, be interested in having a little late morning fun?” Trixie whispered suggestively.


Luckily for Spike, Starlight Glimmer arrived at the opportune moment to save him from Trixie’s antics. The Dragon Lord let out a quiet sigh of relief because he honestly wasn’t sure that he could have resisted Trixie’s offer had things gone on any longer.

“If you must know, Trixie is simply making the most of her birthday present.”

Starlight’s brow furrowed in confusion. “What are you talking about?”

“It is against Trixie’s code of ethics to have sex with an unwilling partner. However, as you can so plainly see, his prodigious girth stands erect with desire due to the unparalleled beauty and womanly charm of the Great and Powerful Trrrrixe!”

Starlight felt her cheeks redden when she directed her attention towards Spike’s waist to see what her friend was going on about. The young Dragon Lord blushed profusely in kind when he finally glanced down and became acutely aware of his excitement. Seeing little point in covering up, Spike let out an awkward chuckle and tried his best to act nonchalant about it.

“Trixie, no one hired any exotic entertainers for your birthday.”

The magician blinked owlishly. “They… didn’t?”

“NO! Don’t you recognize Spike? He’s been living with Twilight for years.”

Trixie rubbed her chin in thought. “Oh! You mean that lanky whelp of a manservant who followed Princess Twilight around all the time, doing her busy work?”

“C’mon, I wasn’t that bad…”

Starlight sighed. “That’s not a very polite way of remembering him, but essentially yes.”

“You must be mistaken, Glimmy. There’s no way in Tartarus that those two could possibly be the same person!”

Starlight rolled her eyes. “Well, that’s because he went off to the Lost Continent for a few months to reconnect with his people. Isn’t that right, Spike?”

“Yeah, most of the muscle I put on was from all the training I did in preparation for the Gauntlet of Fire. It’s essentially a contest that determines who becomes the next ruler of the Wyvertii. I managed to win the contest, so that makes me the new Dragon Lord.”

Trixie performed an elegant curtsy. “Lord Spike, Trixie sincerely apologizes for any disrespect she may have shown you earlier. She was simply unaware of your grand and noble status!”

“Seriously, don’t sweat it. I might be a ruler now, but you don’t need to go out of your way with the titles and all of that formal stuff. I prefer being treated like a regular guy.”

“Is that so,” Trixie mused before gesturing her hand towards his waist, “Well, Trixie is absolutely certain of one thing: she is more than willing to prostrate herself before your majesty and beg that she be thoroughly subjugated by your mighty specter. What say you, Milord?”

Unbeknownst to the trio residing in the kitchen, Ember and Delmira had just finished their bath and were in the process of drying themselves off when they happened to come upon the scene. Both of the girls immediately noticed their mate’s obvious erection but instead of assessing what was going on first, Ember reacted by angrily ripping her towel in half.

“What is he doing with that woman?! We leave him alone for twenty minutes and—”

“Now, now don’t go jumping conclusions just yet. I know what it looks like, but please try to give Spike the benefit of the doubt. Men at his age tend to have a difficult time controlling their arousal when they’re approached by an attractive female. You, of all people, should know that firsthand.”

“I know,” Ember huffed, “But I can’t help feeling pissed off! How’s come you aren’t upset about it?”

“Well, that’s simple. I’ve had thousands of years to practice dealing with my emotions.”

“Great. Are you implying that I need to control my temper too?”

Delmira put her arm around Ember’s shoulder. “Feeling jealous or angry over seeing someone you love cavorting with an attractive stranger is natural. Whether you allow those feelings to cloud your judgement is another matter entirely. Just take a deep breath, calm down, and see how things turn out. Then you can decide how to handle the situation.”

Ember inhaled deeply and let out a shuddering breath through her nose. “O-ok, I think that might have helped a little bit. Wait a second. It looks like he’s turning her down…”

“See, what did I tell you? I know it can be difficult at times, but you have to be willing to place your trust in Spike. We all have our flaws, Ember. But I sincerely believe that he’s trying his best to stay faithful to us. Although, I can’t say that I blame him for getting excited. She looks like she’d be quite the frisky little minx in bed~”

Ember rolled her eyes. “C’mon let’s go introduce ourselves.”

The Explanation

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Chapter 18

Castle of Friendship, Ponyville

Trixie tried her best to ignore the tightening sensation in her throat as a roiling mass of anger, frustration, and bitter disappointment rose from her chest and threatened to bring tears to her eyes. Just who did this supposed “Dragon Lord” think he was fooling? It was one thing to politely refuse a woman’s earnest proposition for the sake of propriety, but another matter entirely when the other party involved happened to be a paragon of pure manliness whose stiffened member had made his interest obvious to everyone in the room.

The fact that he didn’t seem to be the least bit ashamed of his nudity (with a scrumptious body like that, he had no reason to be, in Trixie’s not so humble opinion) or that he made no attempt to conceal his arousal, only served to infuriate her further. Trixie’s inner conscience practically begged her to take what Glimmy had said into context before jumping to any wild conclusions. Unfortunately, the magician’s fiery temper put a quick end to any such notions.

“Trixie has never experienced such a ridiculous contradiction in her entire life! Is this all some elaborate joke designed to mock her? Trixie will have you know that it has been ages since her itch was properly scratched and she desperately NEEDS satisfaction! Are you refusing Trixie’s offer because you still hate her for what she did to Ponyville and your friends? Is it because you enjoy watching her suffer?!”

Spike let out a long sigh and gently placed his hand on her shoulder. “Trixie, I forgave you for what happened in Ponyville a long time ago. And as for your offer, I’ve always considered you an attractive woman, so I’m definitely interested. But… I’m in a committed relationship now and I don’t want to betray the trust my mates have placed in me by having sex with someone behind their backs.”

Trixie didn’t immediately respond because she was too busy looking over Spike’s shoulder at the pair of naked women who had just entered the room. It only took a moment for Trixie to connect the dots and realize that they had to be the “mates” Spike was referring to. Their reptilian eyes, pointed ears, and fangs were strikingly similar to Spike’s, which cast aside any doubt that they were all of the same race.

The magician felt an icy lump of fear form in her gut when she finally managed to get a good look at the blue haired one. With her piercing gaze, bronzed flesh, and muscle-hardened body, the young woman fit the part of a savage jungle warrior perfectly. It was almost as if she had been ripped straight from the pages of a Daring Do novel. The white haired one’s body was trim but punctuated by the soft, feminine curves that men wrote poems about and fought wars over. But Trixie wasn’t fooled by her alluring appearance.

As a practitioner of the arcane arts, Trixie was able to sense a subdued but unmistakable aura of mystic power undulating around the pale-skinned woman’s body like a pool of molten lava. The only time Trixie recalled ever experiencing this particular sensation before was when she had traveled to Manehatten to see Princess Celestia raise the sun during the Summer Sun Celebration a decade prior.

What little knowledge Trixie had regarding the reclusive dragon folk came mostly from myths and rumors, but the accounts consistently mentioned that their lifespans were measured in centuries, not decades. If that was true, the white haired one had to be much older than she appeared. It was the only way her body could emit the same ancient magics that Princess Luna and Celestia had at their disposal.

It was at this point that Trixie let out a defeated sigh. Despite her intense craving, she didn’t want to push the issue any further and invite the wrath of the exotic and potentially dangerous dragon women. Particularly, the blue haired one. She already seemed irritated and eliminated any doubt of the fact when she ripped apart a towel as if it were nothing more than tissue paper.

“Trixie understands. However, she cannot help but feel a lingering sense of disappointment.”

Spike chuckled awkwardly. “Again, I’m really sorry if I gave you the wrong impression. Ever since I stopped wearing clothes, it’s become a lot more difficult for me to notice when I’ve started getting an—ermm—erection. You know, because it usually rubs up against—”

“Yes, yes. There is no need to explain any further. Trixie is familiar with how the male reproductive organ works from personal experience. Unlike a certain book-obsessed virgin princess who shall not be named.”

“Umm… right.”

“What a wasted opportunity,” Trixie lamented while staring longingly at Spike’s crotch, “You’ve got some serious heft in-between your legs there. When combined with your chiseled body and endearingly dorky personality, well… let’s just say that you’ll probably end up being quite the heartbreaker despite a lack of intent on your part.”

Without even turning around, Spike knew that his mates were standing right behind him because he heard the pitter-patter of their bare feet making contact with the tiled floor. Delmira made her presence known by latching onto Spike’s left arm and affectionately nuzzling her cheek against his shoulder. Meanwhile, Ember took her place next to Spike’s right side but opted to keep her arms crossed underneath her breasts. The expression she wore was decidedly more hostile than her fair-skinned companion.

Trixie nearly let out a terrified squeak when it became apparent that she was the target of Ember’s angry glare but offered a friendly handshake instead. “The two of you must be the mates Spike was referring to earlier. The Great and—ahem—my name is Trixie. With whom does Trixie have the pleasure of speaking with?”

The tomboy merely stared at Trixie’s outstretched hand and snorted. “Ember.”

“Ah, what a lovely name. It certainly suits you.”

“My father chose it for me when I was born.” Ember intoned.

“Right, of course he did. Umm… would it bother you if Trixie asked a fairly personal question?”

“I guess not.”

The traveling magician nervously twiddled her fingers. “Trixie couldn’t help but notice that the three of you seem to prefer being naked. Is that common amongst your kind?”

“You’re mistaken to call it a matter of preference; the Wyvertii don’t consider themselves to be any more ‘naked’ than the rest of the creatures living in the wild. We’ve never had any need to clothe ourselves because the sun, along with our fire magic, has always provided us with an abundance of warmth.”

“That may very well be the case on the Lost Continent, but you’re in Equestria now. Surely, the three of you don’t intend to remain unclothed for the entire duration of your journey? If so, everyone will think that you’re just a bunch of sava—”

Starlight gently tapped Trixie’s shoulder. “No offense, Trix. But I think it’s in your best interest to stop talking now.”

“Why? Trixie is asking a legitimate question!”

Starlight rubbed the bridge of her nose and sighed. “If you’d have actually bothered to read the newspaper lately, you’d know that they’re Equestria’s first official visitors from the Lost Continent. Princess Luna even issued a royal decree that protects their right to observe whatever native customs they see fit.”

“You mean to tell Trixie that it’s not only legal, but socially acceptable for them to go about their business like that?!”

“Yes! That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you the entire time! But, as usual, you just went ahead and jumped to your own conclusions without fully understanding the situation.” Starlight huffed.

The silver-haired magician bowed towards the trio. “Trixie sincerely apologizes for any trouble that she may have caused you. Any acts of seduction or insults on Trixie’s part were made purely out of ignorance rather than malign intent. Seriously, Trixie had no idea that Lord Spike was already spoken for...”

“It’s all water under the bridge, Trixie. I came to terms with my people’s culture and their way of life a long time ago. And even though I’m perfectly happy living this way, there’s always going to be people out there who’ll have a hard time accepting the changes I’ve gone through.”

“♫ I spy with my little eye, something else that’s long and hard ~♫” Delmira sang after giving the tip of Spike’s dick a playful boop.

“Stop doing that! I’m having enough trouble as it is trying to get this thing to calm down. You don’t need to make it any worse!”

“Well, if you don’t feel like letting it calm down, I’d be more than happy to help you get rid of that erection the fun way. There’s plenty of uninhabited rooms in the castle we could scamper off to for some private time…”

“No, that’s not how I want—” Spike sputtered.

“Oh my! How bold of you, Lord Spike! Exhibitionism typically isn’t my goblet of wine, but I wouldn’t be opposed to the idea of giving everyone here a good show. There’s no need to feel ashamed. Plenty of people enjoy the thrill of fucking their partner in front of a captive audience.”

Spike’s entire face erupted in a crimson blush. “Can we please not talk about this right now? My sister could show up any minute now and it’s gonna be awkward enough just trying to explain my new lifestyle to her. We don’t need to make the situation worse by repeating what happened in the throne room.”

“Awww~ You’re so cute when you’re flustered.”

“Damn it, Delmira! I’m being serious!”

The albino goddess ruffled his hair and laughed. “Yes, I know you are. And that’s part of the problem. I was only teasing you to help lighten the mood. Learn to loosen up a little, ok?”

“I… I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have snapped at you like that. It’s just that I’m angry at myself for not having more self-control. On the other hand, I feel like it’s practically impossible to stop myself from getting turned on by other women sometimes. It goes without saying that I think you girls are incredibly beautiful but—”

Delmira silenced Spike with a kiss and then proceeded to boop his nose. “I’ll hear no more of that kind of talk. From the moment we first met, you impressed me with your maturity and level-headedness, despite being so young. But that doesn’t change the fact that you’re still in the process of becoming a man.

“Arousal is as much a natural process of life as breathing or eating. And trying to stop it from happening can sometimes prove to be an exercise in futility. I assure you that there’s really no reason to feel guilty about it because women experience it just as often as men do.”

“I suppose that’s true.” Spike muttered.

“Would you like me to let you in on a little secret?”

“Uh… I guess so?”

“Ember and I are very proud of the way you handled the situation regarding Trixie. It takes a considerable amount of willpower to resist the wiles of a minx like her. Had I been placed in your position, I’m not so sure that I could have done the same.” Delmira quietly admitted.

“Believe me, I was tempted. Yet, I knew how much pain it would have caused the two of you if I’d have caved in and taken Trixie up on her offer. Ugh… this is gonna sound really corny, but the bond we share is precious to me and maintaining it is way more important than acting out one of my teenage fantasies. That and I just wanted to let you girls know how much I love you.”

Spike suddenly found himself looking up at the ceiling as his mates tackled him to the floor. Before he could even make any sense of the pile of limbs that he was currently entangled in, both Delmira and Ember pressed their bodies tightly against his own and smothered their chosen mate with a flurry of passionate kisses and affectionate snuggles.

When he finally got the chance to look around, Spike noticed that Trixie and Starlight shared the same blissful expression that Rarity adopted whenever she witnessed something heartwarming or romantic. That alone was embarrassing enough, if not for the additional presence of one other person in the room. There, standing in the doorway, was none other than Twilight Sparkle.

The large paper bag the princess held dropped unceremoniously to the floor as she gawked, slack-jawed, at the scene before her. Without having any context to properly assess the situation, she immediately jumped to the foregone conclusion that she was witnessing an unspeakably lewd act. In her defense, it was a perfectly reasonable thing to assume because what else would a trio of disheveled, naked people be doing in the middle of the floor?

“Hey, Twi. Erm—long time no see?” Spike squeaked.


“I-I swear, it’s not what it looks like!”

“Oh really? Then why does it ‘look like’ you decided to have an impromptu orgy on the floor of my kitchen?! That’s just so—ugh—unsanitary! And why are Trixie and Starlight just standing there watching? I know everyone has their kinks, but I didn’t think the two of you were such dedicated… voyeurs.”

Starlight’s face turned beet red. “We’re not into that kind of stuff!”

“Speak for yourself, Glimmy. Trixie doesn’t necessarily mind watching other people while—”

“NOT! HELPING! Twilight, I know things look pretty bad from your perspective… but there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for all of this.”

“Very well,” Twilight huffed, “I suppose I can give everyone the benefit of the doubt for the time being. However, I want Spike to be the one that explains the situation to me.”

For the sake of comfort, everyone agreed that it would be best to take the conversation from the kitchen and into the main parlor. Despite being a rather large room, it was designed to feel warm, cozy, and welcoming to any guests or dignitaries that Princess Twilight might decide to host. A platter full of assorted cheeses, meats, pickles, and biscuits had been laid out on one of the coffee tables just in case anyone was feeling peckish.

After grabbing a little snack for himself, Spike hopped onto the enormous, plush couch situated in-between the fireplace and the coffee table. Delmira and Ember were soon to follow, happily munching on handfuls of meat and cheese while they made themselves comfortable and cuddled up against him.

Starlight and Twilight sat across from them on a pair of ottomans, both nursing a mug of coffee and trying their best to act causal… despite the tense atmosphere. Trixie, still clad in her nightie and fuzzy slippers, declined to join in on the discussion. The only explanation she gave for her absence was that she was in desperate need of some Trixie Time™ in order to prepare herself for the remainder of the day.

Starlight rolled her eyes as she watched Trixie saunter off towards the bathroom. She knew damn well that her BFF didn’t have anything planned for the remainder of the day other than lazing about. The magician simply preferred to spend her days off that way. Trixie Time™ was merely a polite euphemism for: “taking a long, hot soak in one of Princess Twilight’s luxurious bathtubs while indulging in peanut butter crackers and hard cider.” A slightly odd combination to be sure, but it was one of Trixie’s favorite leisure activities.

Spike wasn’t at all surprised to see Twilight’s left eye twitching when he glanced over at her. After living with her for so many years, he was intimately familiar with his sister’s obsessive-compulsive habits when it came cleanliness and sanitation. He could easily tell that she disapproved of the bare-bottomed heathens currently defiling her furniture and getting bits of foodstuff everywhere.

Even though the Dragon Lord knew for a fact that all Wyvertii had very high standards when it came to personal hygiene, he nonetheless made a mental note to try and find one of the castle’s maids later, so that he could put in a request to have the couch dry cleaned. If only to ease his sister’s concerns.

Regardless of how uncouth they acted, Twilight wanted to show her guests that she was still willing to be a polite host and listen to what they had to say. Plus, the scholarly side of her was eager to learn more about the near-mythical race of dragon folk who were practically unknown beyond the borders of the Lost Continent.

She enjoyed reading her brother’s letters when they arrived and appreciated how frequent they were, but he had always been so infuriatingly vague when describing Wyvertii customs. Twilight hoped that one of his companions might be more willing to share some details. A firsthand account transcribed from the perspective of actual natives would be invaluable for future research! But that could wait. The Princess of Friendship was far more interested in hearing an explanation as to what had been going on in the kitchen earlier.

“Princess Luna briefed me on what to expect when you finally decided to return to Equestria. Even so, I was still shocked to learn how quickly you adapted to a culture where social nudity is even more prevalent than in ancient Pegalopolis! But the longer I thought about it, the more I came to realize how important it must have been for you to reconnect with your native heritage and establish your own identity as an adult.

“I’m your sister and I love you, Spike. That’s why I will always support your decisions, even though I might not be entirely comfortable with them. However, that doesn’t give you the right to copulate whenever and wherever the mood strikes you. Such behavior is not only irresponsible, but extremely disruptive as well. You completely crossed the line today!”

The Dragon Lord withered under the harsh admonishment of his older sister. “Like I was trying to say earlier: that’s not exactly what happened…”

“Then how do you explain your… e-erection and the state of your companions? They certainly didn’t become that disheveled just from walking around the kitchen.”

“That’s because Trixie was trying seduce me earlier. But it wasn’t entirely her fault! She had no idea that I was already in a relationship.”

Twilight furrowed her brow in confusion. “Then why didn’t you inform her of that the first place? Wait a second… you still have a crush on her, don’t you?!”

“Look, I tried my best to politely decline her advances but she wouldn’t take the hint and kept trying to flirt with me. Then, to make matters worse, when she started pressing her body up against me, I realized that she wasn’t wearing anything underneath her nightie. It was super thin and made of silk, Twilight. SILK! Any red-blood man with a pulse would have gotten excited from that!”

A slight blush formed on Twilight’s cheeks as she attempted to clear her throat. “I-I suppose that it’s possible for arousal to occur during an exchange of intimate physical contact between two adults who, as best as I can surmise, share mutual feelings of sexual attraction towards one another.”

Spike was sorely tempted to face-palm at his sister’s response but decided to continue his explanation instead. “After the whole… situation with Trixie, I wanted to reassure the girls of my continued commitment to them. What you saw in the kitchen was pretty much their version of a makeup session. Sure, we snuggled and kissed, but we weren’t having sex at any point. My people simply have a different set of standards when it comes to public displays of affection. I don’t think it’s very fair of you to judge us only by what’s considered appropriate in Equestria.”

“Well, I don’t think it’s ‘very fair’ of you to assume that I can just conveniently ignore years’ worth of etiquette lessons and societal imprinting in a single instant either. I’m not proud of the way I reacted earlier, but from my point of view, it appeared as though the three of you were engaged in some manner of unscrupulous behavior. All I’m asking is that you please be patient with me, Spike. It’s going to take a while before I become acclimated with all of the changes you’ve gone through.”

Spike got up from couch and walked over to where Twilight was sitting. “I’m sorry, Twi. It was wrong of me to try and force you into seeing things my way. But that doesn’t change the fact that I’ve never truly felt like I belonged in Equestria. Because no matter where our adventures took us, there were always people who would stare at me like I was some kind of freak.”

“Spike, we’ve never considered you to be—”

The Dragon Lord interrupted his sister with a frustrated huff. “That might very well be the case for you, the girls, our family, and the people of the Crystal Empire but the constant whispering and suspicious looks still hurt all the same. You have to understand that it wasn’t like that in Brimstone. The Wyvertii welcomed me to their village with open arms and hospitality from the very first moment I arrived. Even Torch treated me like I was his own son.”

“Technically, you’ve always been one of their kinsmen. It’s only natural that they would be eager to assimilate one of their ‘lost sheep’ back into the herd, so to speak.”

Spike let out an exasperated sigh. “Maybe, but that’s beside the point. The other problem I always had around here was that everyone saw me as the slightly awkward, easy-going little brother of Twilight Sparkle. The impression must have stuck because no one ever seemed to take me seriously no matter how mature I tried to act. Especially Rarity. At first, I enjoyed being called Spikey-Wikey but as I got older, I started to resent the nickname she gave me. It was as if she hadn’t even realized that I wasn’t a kid anymore.”

Twilight felt a pang of guilt begin to well up in her chest when she saw the saddened expression on her little brother’s face. Neither she nor the rest of the girls had ever intended to hurt his feelings in such a manner, but rather, they just hadn’t done a good enough job of acknowledging the signs of Spike’s inevitable transition into adulthood.

The Princess of Friendship fully understood the sheer awkwardness that came with initiating any kind of physical contact with her bare-naked brother, but she sensed that he was in desperate need of some reassurance at the moment. After taking a deep breath, Twilight rose from her seat, carefully wrapped her arms around his back, and pulled him in for a hug.

Spike stiffened his posture for a brief moment, clearly surprised that his sister would be willing to do such a thing while he wasn’t wearing any clothing. But it didn’t take long for him to collect his wits. Once he did, Spike didn’t hesitate to embrace his sister in kind and nuzzle his cheek against her hair, so that he could breath in the familiar scent of her favorite lilac shampoo. A powerful wave of nostalgia hit Spike like a freight train when he felt Twilight use her fingers to gently massage the space in-between his shoulder blades. It was a technique that she’d used countless times before in order to calm him down whenever he got upset or needed some comforting.

The sensation of Twilight’s warm tears as they slowly rolled down his chest finally burst the dam of emotions that the young man had forced himself to hold back for all of those long years. It was a much-needed moment of catharsis for the two siblings. They both came to appreciate just how precious the bond they shared truly was. After wiping away a few drops of liquid pride that had mysteriously started leaking out of his eyes, Spike kissed his sister’s forehead and laughed.

“I think we both needed that.”

“Mhmm. I really missed having you around.” Twilight whispered.

“Are you sure?”

“Of course, you big doofus,” Twilight assured her brother after giving him a playful shove, “But in all seriousness, I promise that the girls and I will do our very best to respect your new lifestyle and treat you like an adult from now on. I’m sorry that we didn’t recognize it sooner… but I think we were all just having a difficult time coping with the fact that were finally growing up.”

“Thanks Twi, that means a lot to me. But I’m partly to blame as well. I probably should’ve told everyone how I was feeling instead of bottling it up. I can’t believe how stupid I was…”

Twilight patted Spike on the shoulder and smiled. “Don’t beat yourself up too hard over it. Teenagers aren’t exactly known for their ability to make sound, rational decisions.”

The tension that had previously hung in the room like a dark, noxious cloud lifted as everyone in the room shared a knowing laugh. With the notable exception of Ember, who was immediately reminded of the not-so rational decisions she’d made recently. The tomboyish princess made a valiant effort to try and conceal her rose-hued face behind a pillow, but Spike managed to pounce onto the couch and snatch it away from her before she was able to do so.

Just as she was about to whack her traitorous mate upside the head for his insolence, Spike quickly grabbed hold of her wrists and blew a big, wet raspberry along her exposed stomach. Much to the amusement of everyone present, Ember started squealing and giggling in a surprisingly girlish manner while she flailed about. Once Spike was satisfied that Ember was sufficiently cowed, he let go of her wrists and planted a tender kiss directly on her lips.

“You looked like you were in need of a distraction.”

Ember blushed once more and crossed her arms. “S-Shut up! And stop being so smug! You’re only making things worse by embarrassing me even more than I was before.”

Twilight and Starlight both smiled while they observed Spike teasing his girlfriend. It looked like she was just as stubborn about acting ‘mushy’ in front of others as Rainbow Dash, but her lack of resistance indicated that she enjoyed being on the receiving end of Spike’s affection. Both spellcasters were happy for the young couple and silently agreed that they looked positively adorable together.

Delmira cleared her throat. “Your highness, if I may interject?”

“Huh—err—I mean, you may. But there’s really no need to be so formal around me. Just Twilight is fine.”

“Very well, Twilight. If we aren’t going to be using titles, then I must insist that you refer to me as Delmira.”

Twilight straightened her sweater vest took a moment to compose herself. “Is that so? Pardon my ignorance, Miss Delmira but I don’t ever recall Spike mentioning you in any of his letters.”

“Beings as long-lived as I tend to forget some of the aliases we’ve accumulated over the centuries. I imagine that Spike probably referred to me as Wintersilk in his correspondences with you. Does that name happen to ring a bell?”

“Yes, but… you mentioned using a title earlier. Spike told me that Ember is technically a princess by virtue of her father being Dragon Lord, but he never said anything about you being part of the ruling class. Something’s inconsistent here and I don’t like it.”

Delmira shrugged her shoulders. “Alas, it seems as though I’m not able to deceive any of Equestria’s Princesses. Whatever shall I do with myself?”

“Choose your next words carefully, Miss Delmira,” Twilight warned while she summoned a magenta-hued bolt of magic in her palm, “I don’t take kindly to acts of deception. Especially when they concern the wellbeing of my little brother.”

“Upon my honor, I swear to you that I have no ill intent towards anyone present. I merely wish to be forthright about my true identity.”

“True… identity?”

Delmira nodded. “Indeed. I’m sure that you and your friend have sensed my aura by now. Are you not curious to know more about it?”

Starlight shifted in her chair. “Yeah! I could tell right away that you were radiating some seriously powerful Grade S magic. I’m pretty sure that it’s old too, but it feels—I dunno—muted somehow? Like you’re suppressing it on purpose.”

“An astute observation. And entirely correct.”

“How so?”

“My natural form has always been that of a dragon, but from time to time I choose to become human because it enables me to interact with my children on a much more personal level. However, this vessel is incapable of withstanding the immense strain of containing and casting the full extent of my ancient magic. The vast majority of my power remains sealed within a sacred cave atop the highest peak.” Delmira explained.

Twilight rubbed her chin in thought. “How fascinating! Now that you mention it, I do recall Starswirl making reference to a white-scaled, draconic deity in the second volume of his: Compendium of Legendary Creatures. Your albinism is also astonishingly similar to his description of—Sweet Celestia—you’re the actual goddess, aren’t you?!”

Delmira put her hands on her hips and puffed out her chest with pride. “Present and in the flesh!”

“Your story does sound an awful lot like some of the older creation myths I’ve read. But, I’m far more curious as to how you managed to keep a straight face after your response. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone embody that phrase quite so literally before.” Starlight quipped.

“Say what you will, magus. It is my divine right as a goddess to appear in whatever manner I see fit. That being said, it makes no difference to me if my preference to remain nude offends your narrow-minded definition of morality. Furthermore, I have the utmost confidence that Ember and Spike find my body desirable, so there’s absolutely no reason for me to cover it up!”

Twilight coughed loudly. “Be that as it may… I think we ought to get back to the topic at hand.”

“Fine by me. What else do you wish to know?”

“You mentioned that your current form isn’t capable of handling the magic that you would normally have at your disposal. I’m not sure I entirely understand the implications.”

Rather than answering the question directly, Delmira strode towards the chair and unceremoniously plopped onto Twilight’s lap. The goddess ignored her indignant squawk of surprise and proceeded to take hold of bookworm’s wrist. With the greatest of care, she guided Twilight’s hand towards her breast and invited the princess to fondle it at her leisure.

“C’mon, don’t be shy! I want you to feel how soft and squishy I am~”

“You c-could’ve just explained that to me verbally!” Twilight squeaked.

“Perhaps, but I’ve always found that kinesthetic learning is much more beneficial when one desires to leave a lasting impression.”

“I swear, you’re almost as bad as Discord…” Twilight grumbled under her breath.

“Now, for all intents and purposes, I’m bound to this human construct while outside the confines of what you Equestrians call ‘The Lost Continent’. Don’t get me wrong: I’m still immune to disease and age, but the resilience of my current body pales in comparison to my real one. I’m afraid that makes me as vulnerable to injury and death as any other mortal.”

Twilight frowned. “I didn’t realize that deities were even capable of dying.”

“Well, not in the traditional sense anyway. My immortal spirit would eventually reconnect with the rest of my magic and I’d probably end up reforming in my original body at some point.”

“No offence, but it doesn’t sound as though you’ve actually tested your theory…”

Delmira shrugged. “Eh, none taken. I’m definitely more of a lover than a fighter, so I typically avoid confrontations and putting myself in peril if I can help it. Besides, I have two young, strapping mates that are more than capable of protecting me. Why take the risk?”

Twilight mumbled in half agreement while she mulled over the ramifications of what transformed goddess had just said. After dealing with Pinkie Pie and Discord’s zany antics over the years, Twilight knew that it was a fruitless endeavor to try and apply any sort of logic to the whims and wants of reality warping beings. Instead, she focused on levitating the brown paper bag over to her side that she’d dropped on the kitchen floor earlier.

“I was hoping that we could all head over to Sweet Apple Acres later this afternoon for lunch. Applejack said that she wanted to show all three of you, and I quote: ‘Somegood ole’ fashioned Apple Family hospitality’. It would also be a good opportunity to catch up with everyone else.”

Spike looked towards his mates to see if they were on board with the plan, and when neither them seemed to object, he gave his sister a nod of agreement. “Do you think we could just walk there? The Acres aren’t very far and I think the girls would enjoy touring the rest of Ponyville.”

“I honestly don’t think that’s such a good idea, Spike.”

Spike scoffed. “C’mon, Twi. This is Ponyville we’re talking about! The townsfolk have dealt with way crazier things than the likes of us. Plus, we can’t exactly go sightseeing if we’re all cooped up in a carriage.”

Twilight sighed. “Alright, but don’t say that I didn’t try to warn you.”

The Bureaucrat

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Chapter 19

Main Square, Ponyville

The citizens of Ponyville had long grown accustomed to unexpected, and often chaotic events that seemed to occur on an alarmingly regular basis. Bugbear attacks, egomaniacal magicians influenced by forbidden artifacts, Breezie migrations, corrupted princesses, and cotton candy clouds to name a few. Therefore, when it was announced that a foreign leader was going to visit their sleepy little town, most people took the news in stride and went about their daily lives.

Having known Princess Twilight’s number one assistant for many years, the townsfolk were surprised to hear of Spike’s ascension to Dragon Lord and welcomed his return with jubilation. Everyone was also eager to meet his companions because they came from an isolated, near-mythical culture that had remained an enigma to Equestrian scholars for centuries.

Like the rest of the nation, they were well aware of Princess Luna’s royal decree, and just assumed that it was meant to foster good will and establish diplomatic relations between the Wyvertii and Equestria. This was because the decree did not specifically state what cultural practices and customs were under its protection.

Upon reading the document for the first time, Princess Celestia had immediately thrown it into the nearest waste basket. This was because she recognized all of the hallmarks of her sister’s particular brand of humor interjected within the decree. Luna had purposely kept the terms vague as practical joke of sorts, but it appeared as though she was serious about keeping Spike’s best interests at heart.

After taking some time to read Spike’s most recent correspondence, she reluctantly uncrumpled the decree and pondered on the matter further. He had discovered a greater purpose for himself and a place where he felt that he truly belonged. There was no doubt that Celestia was quite proud of her son for taking on the mantle of Dragon Lord. And even though he often expressed doubt over whether or not he was worthy of serving his people, she had the utmost confidence that Spike would eventually mature into the wise and benevolent leader he strived to be.

Despite her misgivings, the solar princess wanted nothing more than to protect her son’s happiness. She knew full well that his decision to embrace his people’s traditional way of life would cause an uproar amongst the nobility and the more conservative elements of the populace. But approving the decree would be the best course of action towards achieving her goal. With a quick flick of her pen, the degree officially became law.

If nothing else, the it would put the principals of tolerance, friendship, and respect that Equestria had been founded on to the test. And Celestia was curious to see if her subjects held those values in as high a regard as they claimed they did. Unfortunately, this meant that the vast majority of Equestria’s citizenry still remained ignorant of the fact that the concept of ‘nakedness’ was entirely alien to the Wyvertii. Their society had developed and prospered without the need of textiles for thousands of years and would likely continue to do so well into the future.

The Wyvertii found nothing inherently shameful about their bodies, so the thought of covering up never even crossed their minds. Nudity was as natural to them as a Manehattenite taking a stroll through Central Park. But no matter how many times Princess Twilight attempted to explain that to each passerby, most were either too shocked or embarrassed to try and strike up a conversation with the sky-clad entourage.

Spike kicked a pebble across the cobblestones while they made their way towards the market stalls. “You can say ‘I told you so’.”

“I beg your pardon?”

“C’mon, Twi. You know exactly what I’m talking about! With Aunt Luna’s decree, it shouldn’t be a big deal if the three of us continue to live the same way we did back in Brimstone but it turns out that you were right. I just thought that everyone in town would be—I dunno—be a bit more open-minded?”

Twilight offered her brother a sympathetic smile. “Spike, you have to understand that it’s not every day that your average citizen comes across such a… unique group of people hailing from a foreign land. Especially when they’re being escorted by the likes of a Princess.”

“I’m considered a foreigner now, huh? Well, that’s just fantastic! I guess living in Ponyville for most of my life and helping to save Equestria on numerous occasions counts for nothing then.” Spike bitterly complained.

Before Twilight reassure her brother, a middle-aged woman dressed in an expensive pantsuit marched right up to Spike, placed her hands on her hips, and practically jabbed her pointy nose into his face. The sudden invasion of his personal space caught Spike off-guard and caused him to stumble backwards onto the hard cobblestones below.

Spike grunted in pain as he stood up and brushed off the grit from his poor, bruised bottom. When he finally managed to regain his bearings, he happened to notice a very flustered Diamond Tiara standing directly behind the irate woman. Only then did he connect the dots and realize that he was dealing with Ponyville’s undisputed alpha bitch, Spoiled Rich.

“What in Celestia’s name do you think you’re doing?!”

“Councilwoman Rich, I assure you that—” Twilight began to explain before being cut off.

“With all due respect your Highness, I would prefer to hear your adoptive brother speak for himself and his concubines regarding this matter.”

Spike closed his eyes and took in a deep breath through his nostrils. Even though he counted to ten just like Cadence taught him, it did little to quell the growing sense of irritation he felt towards Diamond’s mother. Given everyone’s less than encouraging reactions thus far, he knew for certain that an entitled elitist like her would have a difficult time coming to terms with certain aspects of Wyvertii culture. But he had to at least try.

Unfortunately, Ember was still very much a work in progress when it came to keeping her more passionate emotions in check. When she overheard Spoiled refer to her as a concubine, the huntress’s muscles tensed and she let out a low growl that wouldn’t have sounded out of place had it come from the throat of a panther.

“Please excuse us for a moment, Councilwoman Rich.” Spike said while he pulled his mate aside.

Ember’s growl was frightening enough that Spike felt his scrotum involuntarily shrink towards his stomach as it tried to avoid the perceived threat. But he had enough wherewithal to recognize that he needed to diffuse the situation quickly and delicately, lest it become violent. After screwing up his courage, he gently took hold of her shoulders, and looked directly into her eyes.

“Ember, you really shouldn’t let your temper get the best of you.”

The tomboy stomped her foot in frustration. “I trying my best, alright! I’ve even been doing all those stupid breathing exercises you taught me too. Do you know how degrading it is to be referred to as a concubine? And that arrogant tone she was using just—ARRAGH!”

“What she said may have been a bit… insensitive, but you can’t blame her for not understanding how a three-way relationship works. Equestrians aren’t familiar with how we do things back in Brimstone, so it’s important for us to make a good impression and educate them. Do you think you can do that for me?”

Even though Ember was still very upset about being labeling as one of the Dragon Lord’s personal whores, she begrudgingly nodded her head in agreement. Now satisfied that Ember wasn’t going to punch anyone’s teeth out, Spike gave his lover a quick peck to the lips and led her back to where Spoiled Rich and Diamond Tiara were standing.

“My apologies, Councilwoman Rich. I had to clear up a slight misunderstanding with my mate.”

Spoiled tilted her head slightly. “Your ‘mate’, you say?”

“Yes, ma’am. Her name is Ember, and she’s the daughter of Dragon Lord Torch. The woman with white hair you see standing beside her is Delmira. The three of us are in a relationship together.”

The Councilwoman crinkled her nose in disgust. “It would seem that polygyny is as endemic amongst the Wyvertii as it is with the Zebricans. I must say that I am not all surprised to hear of this development.”

“What makes you say that?”

Spoiled began filing her fingernails. “Based on what I have witnessed thus far, it is quite clear to me that your kind lack even the slightest modicum of decency. And yes, if you must know, I do realize that the Crown has permitted you to practice your… native customs openly. Allow me be perfectly frank with you, young man. I cannot bring myself to condone wanton displays of public nudity even if it is in the spirit of fostering foreign relations.”

“I’m sorry, but I’m not sure I understand exactly what the problem is. It’s not like we’re not doing anything indecent.”

Spoiled sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose. “Very well then. If it is an explanation you desire, then I shall just have to spell it out for you. All of that time you spent living amongst the savages has clearly caused you to forget what it means to be civilized. Please take a moment to observe my daughter, Lord Spike. Tell me what you see.”

Spike was slightly confused at the sudden change in the Councilwoman’s tone, but he obliged her request and shifted his attention towards Diamond Tiara. The poor teenager’s face was visibly flushed and her entire body squirmed with nervous excitement now that she was the sole focus of the Dragon Lord’s attention.

Like most men, Spike’s ability to pick up on female body language was sometimes hit or miss, even though he’d been surrounded by them his entire life. Yet, a sudden sense of déjà vu swept over him while he glanced over at Diamond Tiara. It took a few moments for his brain to process everything, but Spike eventually realized that her reaction was strikingly similar to what he had experienced during the early days of his tenure in Brimstone.

The Dragon Lord silently cursed himself for not appreciating how difficult the whole situation must be for Diamond. He strongly suspected that this was the first time she’d ever witnessed certain parts of the male anatomy in the flesh before. And to make matters worse, she also happened to be good friends with the male whom the anatomy belonged to.

Being a teenager himself, Spike empathized with Diamond’s plight. He knew all too well how overwhelming and confusing the influence of hormones could be sometimes. Spike didn’t want to cause her any further discomfort or embarrassment, but he knew that if he didn’t provide some kind of an answer soon, things could quickly get out of hand.

“I think she’s trying her best to remain polite during, shall we say, unusual circumstances?” Spike hesitantly offered.

“Hmph! You and I both know that’s a festering pile of horse manure, young man. Try again.”

“Mother, can’t you see that you’re making him uncomfortable?”

Spoiled’s jaw dropped in disbelief. “Excuse me? I’m the one making HIM uncomfortable?! No, my dear. Those three must be made to understand that their decision to walk around in public without properly covering themselves is entirely inappropriate.”

“Fine. I’ll admit that our reunion’s been awkward and more than a little distracting because of Spike’s willingness to go full native. But I’m more upset that you just immediately assumed the worst of him because of it! Why must you always insist on being difficult with people who don’t share your narrow-mined view of the world?”

Time seemed to slow down to a crawl as Spike watched the councilwoman begin to raise her arm. He could practically sense Spoiled’s aggression as she drew back her hand and prepared to strike her daughter across the face. Whether or not Diamond’s perceived offence against her mother’s sensibilities warranted such a violent response was irrelevant to Spike.

He had no intention of allowing anyone to harm his friends. Especially, now that he possessed the power and strength to protect them on his own. With reflexes honed from many months of unarmed combat training, he quickly positioned himself between the two of them and grabbed hold of the older woman’s wrist joint before she could complete the blow.

Spoiled let out an indignant squawk as she struggled in vain to break Spike’s grip. “Unhand me this instant, you uncivilized brute!”

“Only if you promise me that you won’t ever try to hurt Diamond like that again.” Spike warned.

“You would dare lecture me on how to appropriately discipline my own child?! By Celestia’s grace, I swear that today’s youth have become little more than a rabble of unappreciative, disrespectful ingrates! Princess Twilight, you speak with the full authority of the Crown, do you not? Command him to release me!”

Twilight shook her head. “I’m afraid that I can’t compel him to do anything, Councilwoman Rich. Dragon Lord Spike has been officially recognized as the sovereign leader of the Wyvertii. Technically speaking, he’s not obligated to adhere to any of our laws or customs if he doesn’t want to.”

This only seemed to incense Spoiled Rich even further. She shrieked in frustration and began to repeatedly pound her remaining fist against Spike’s chest. The Dragon Lord wasn’t so much concerned about the blows he was receiving, they barely registered as a minor discomfort to him. No, he was more worried at how much of a scene Spoiled was causing and didn’t want everyone to get the wrong impression. Or worse yet, have the town gendarme summoned to intervene on her behalf.

Luckily, Twilight sensed how quickly the situation was deteriorating and took immediate action to calm things down. With a wave her hand, she cast a wave of raspberry-hued magic over Spoiled’s entire body. The woman’s movements became increasingly more sluggish as the seconds passed by, until she finally slumped into Spike’s arms, fast asleep.

“The tranquilizer spell shouldn’t last any more than three hours. However, make sure to give her some aspirin once she wakes up because the spell’s notorious for causing nasty headaches once it wears off.”

Spike carefully laid the unconscious woman on a nearby bench and frowned. “I’m sorry, Diamond. I didn’t mean for things to wind up like this. But there was no way in Tartarus I was going to just stand by and allow you to get hurt! Especially when this whole mess probably started because of us in the first place.”

Diamond let out a frustrated sigh. “I appreciate the apology, Spike but my mother really should have known better than to treat the three of you like that. Even if she disapproved of how blasé you all are about baring your bodies in public.”

“I thought she was acting that way because she considered us backwards and uncultured?”

“Yes, her attitude towards other cultures certainly needs to be adre—oh who am I kidding? Mother can be a real bitch sometimes. Still… she loves me and I don't think she’s too keen on the idea of her only daughter looking at potential 'suitors' just yet. Certainly not ones attired such as yourself,”

Coughing into her hand, Diamond leaned towards Spike and whispered, "So tell me, Spike. Is it true that your people are more comfortable expressing themselves intimately in public?"

Spike rubbed the back of his neck. “Well, I wouldn’t necessarily say that’s untrue but it’s not like we’re going at it ‘round the clock like a bunch of horny rabbits…”

Given her lack of participation in the drama that had ensued earlier, Delmira decided it was high time to contribute towards the discussion. Especially, when the topic at hand concerned one of her favorite pastimes. This Spoiled Rich character was loud, haughty, and painfully ignorant about a great many things but Delmira noticed that the shrew was at least perceptive enough to recognize her daughter’s infatuation with Spike.

The signs were fairly subtle, but identifiable if one took the time to observe them. The ever-present blush coloring her cheeks, the way she nervously twiddled her fingers while speaking, or how she would furtively sneak a glance at his manhood whenever she thought he wasn’t paying attention.

The goddess chuckled to herself in amusement. She could certainly understand why the girl was so interested in her mate. Spike was a strong, healthy male in the prime of his virility. The potent cocktail of pheromones that intermingled with his naturally pleasant-smelling scent practically screamed: “come get your fill of my delicious baby batter!” to any interested female who happened to catch wind of it.

Were it not for Celestia’s stern warning and her mates’ bashfulness when it came to ‘preforming’ in front of an audience, Delmira might have enjoyed having a bit of naughty fun with the two of them right then and there, in the middle of the town square. Unfortunately, it was out of the question at this point. She would simply have to put off scratching that particular itch until she scoped out a location that could provide the level of privacy they preferred.

Instead, she refocused her attention back towards Spike’s affluent acquaintance. Why not teach this girl what genuine Wyvertii intimacy was all about? Grinning like a wolf on the prowl, Delmira sauntered over towards her unsuspecting mate and wrapped her arms around Spike’s waist. Once she had him firmly in her grasp, the temptress playfully nibbled on his ear and whispered: “Even underneath all of those clothes, I can tell that your friend cuts a fine figure. And she’s been checking you out ever since we began our grand tour of your old stomping grounds. Trust me, Ember and I can tell when other females have taken an interest in our man~”

Spike rolled his eyes. “What exactly are you getting at, Delmira?”

“If she were to voluntarily offer herself to you, would you fuck her?”

“W-what?! No! I couldn’t possibly take away her virginity! Di should experience her first time with someone special that she loves.” Spike hissed.

“What makes you think that she hasn’t considered YOU as a contender, hmm?”

“We’ve been close friends for a couple of years and there’s a mutual sense of trust shared between us, but our relationship has never… crossed that line.”

“I fail to understand why you’re being so cagey about this if the two of you trust one another. I’m sure that you’d be gentle, attentive, and make her cum just as hard as we do~”

Spike let out an exasperated sigh. “Look, it’s not as though I dislike the idea of having Diamond or Sweetie Belle as my partner. They’re both really fun to hang out with, intelligent, and well…. I happen to find them attractive. But it would be completely inappropriate for me to have sex with either of them, even if it was consensual. They’re just not… old enough yet.”

Delmira and Ember exchanged a confused look with their mate. “Not old enough? It is quite typical for many of our younglings to start exploring their preferences by the time they reach their eleventh summer. Are you telling me that Equestrian females take longer to mature?”

Spike realized that neither of them had a clear understanding of what he had been referring to. It had little to do with whether or not the minors in question were biologically capable of having sex. Any lewd activities willingly shared between adults and minors in Equestria was not only against the law but considered an extreme social taboo.

The Dragon Lord found himself at a loss for words. He just couldn’t find a suitable way to explain the Equestrian concept of what a ‘legal adult’ was to his mates. The Wyvertii tended to classify adulthood more along the lines of physical development and a person’s responsibilities within the tribe, rather than what age they had reached. Unfortunately for Spike, Delmira interpreted his silent ruminations as a confirmation of her proposed theory.

“Ah, so that’s how it is,” Delmira mused. She then slipped her hand underneath the crook of Spike’s legs and began teasing the delicate orbs that hung in-between. “These poor little fellas must’ve been aching for relief with all of that pent-up cum trapped inside! Not to worry though, my most handsome and noble Lord. Ember and I are more than happy to help you with that from now on~”

What had been intended to be a private conversation shared amongst mates, quickly morphed into an embarrassing public spectacle due to Delmira’s apparent disregard for everyone else present. Even though the Dragon Lord had long grown accustom to her antics, he wasn’t particularly pleased with the way she was behaving in front of Twilight and Diamond.

Spike felt his skin flush with heat as a cacophony of emotions assaulted his beleaguered brain all at once: frustration, anger, embarrassment, and even a slight amount of arousal. He was still a teenaged male, after all. It was practically impossible for him not to feel some level of excitement when he could feel every curve of Delmira’s svelte form while she was pressed up against him.

As the seconds ticked by, it became increasingly difficult for Spike to stay upset with his mate. Mostly because he recognized the folly of provoking the ire a goddess who, at the moment, quite literally had him by the balls. Not… that he didn’t enjoy all the attention they were currently receiving. Her ministrations went a long way towards dissipating any tension that remained.

Twilight frantically teleported herself in front of Diamond, hoping against all hope that the teenager hadn’t noticed what Spike’s girlfriend was up to. “I don’t know about you, but I sure could go for a nice, refreshing beverage right about now! How’s about we get a couple of Sugar Cube Corner’s famous malted milkshakes? My treat.”

“I… suppose so. But what about my mother?”

Twilight waved her hand dismissively. “Pshaw, she’ll be fine! It’s not like she’ll be going anywhere for the next two hours. The worst thing that’ll happen is she’ll wake up with a headache and some soreness.”

“Perhaps we could also buy some aspirin while we’re—”

Twilight grabbed Diamond by the wrist and started hurrying her along before the poor girl could even finish her sentence. “Great! Nowletsgetgoing!”

Spike eventually concluded that it wasn’t fair to scold Delmira for not knowing what Equestrians considered appropriate social etiquette. She had spent the vast majority of her millennia-long existence living within the borders of the Lost Continent. Leaving the comforts of her homeland behind just to learn about how other societies functioned wasn’t something that the dragoness had ever deemed a priority before. Until she fell in love with an aspirant Dragon Lord, that is.

Even so, it still bothered him that she hadn’t shown any interest in literature related to Equestrian culture like Ember had during their long voyage aboard the HMS Silver Shadow. Of course, that was assuming Delmira already knew how to read Equestrian text in the first place. If she didn’t, it certainly would explain why she always clammed up during their evening reading sessions.

The sound of the Apple Family’s cart clattering against the cobblestone street instantly broke Spike out of his reverie. Applejack and Big Mac were still in the process of securing their remaining stock of apple whiskey before heading back to the Acres, but they couldn’t help taking a gander at the motely group assembled before them.

AJ approached the trio and tipped her Stetson. “Howdy, y’all! It’s great ta see ya again, Spike. But if it ain’t too much trouble, do ya mind explainin’ what the heck is goin’ on here?”

“Nice to see you too, AJ. It’s kind of a long story, actually.”

The farmer arched her brow. “Really? Well, it just so happens that Mac and Ah finished meetin’ our sales quota fer the day, so I’ve got plenty o’ time ta chew the fat.”

“I’m not sure where I should start.”

AJ gestured towards the unconscious body of Spoiled Rich. “Ah reckon the good Councilwoman didn’t just suddenly wake up this mornin’ and git the inklin’ ta become a vagabond. It ain’t normal fer a highfalutin gal like her ta be sleepin’ on a park bench. Why don’t ya start there?”

Spike managed to give a brief summary of the confrontation that had occurred earlier but when he finally finished talking, Applejack merely shook her head and scoffed. Clearly expecting his friend to say more, he patiently waited for Applejack to offer some colorful remarks on the matter, until she walked over to the cart and took a few gulps of water from a canteen instead.

“I’ve gotta be honest with you, AJ: I thought you were going to have much a stronger reaction to this whole situation and the three of us, for that matter.”

Applejack shrugged her shoulders. “Nah. With all the crazy stuff that goes on ‘round this town, a posse o’ buck-nekkid foreigners droppin’ by fer a tour ain’t somethin’ worth gettin’ riled up over. ‘Sides, Mrs. Rich reacted to y’all exactly the way Ah would’ve expected her to. Uhh… no offence.”

“None taken. I know that our nudity can be a bit jarring for some people. Creator knows, I had a rough time getting used to whole village worth of it when I first started living in Brimstone…”

Applejack slapped her knee and laughed. “Well, butter mah biscuits! Ya sure don’t seem all that bothered by it right now. Iffn’ that pretty little lady fiddlin’ with yer twig n’ berries is anythin’ ta go by.”

It was only then that Spike realized, or rather felt, what Delmira was doing. She had shifted her attention from his balls to his now tumescent manhood, which she was casually massaging with the tips of her fingers. Spike’s eyes widened in horror. The last thing he wanted right now was to humiliate himself yet again by getting a full-fledged erection in front of his friends. To that effect, he tugged on the corner of Delmira’s ear hard enough to get her to stop.

“Ow! What was that for?! I thought you liked having your cock massaged.”

Spike nearly choked on his own spit. “Normally, I do but—ugh—just not right at the moment! Can’t you see that I’m trying to have a conversation here?”

“So? Who says we can’t do a little multitasking?”

“You never read a single one of those books on Equestrian social etiquette, did you?”

Delmira promptly humphed “For your information, I never lear—neeeh—I mean, they were entirely too boring! Yeah, that’s it! I don’t know how either of you could stand reading them. The authors should’ve at least included a few pictures to break up the monotony...”

“Liar,” Spike muttered while shaking his head, “You always rub your big toes together whenever you’re not telling the truth. I know you have your pride as a goddess, but there’s no shame in admitting that you don’t know how to do something. I’m sure that my sister would be more than happy to teach you how to read Equestrian if you asked her nicely enough.”

Delmira blushed so hard that the rosy hue colored her cheeks all the way down to the top of her breasts. Which was made all the more apparent due to the creamy-white complexion of her skin. Her embarrassment was only further compounded by a loud gurgling noise that arose from her tummy, reminding the goddess that she was long overdue for a lunch break. Spike and Ember’s stomachs echoed in kind with the exact same sentiment shortly thereafter.

Applejack chuckled after she observed the trio’s sheepish expressions. “Why don’t y’all come join us fer some good ole-fashioned BBQ back at the Acres? Apple Bloom put a couple o’ hogs in the roastin’ pit early this mornin’. Ah guarantee that the meat’ll be so tender and juicy that you’ll barely even have ta chew it. Whaddya say, y’all?”

Their embarrassment from only a moment ago quickly forgotten, the girls crowded in front of Spike and stared at him with the most pathetic, puppy-dog eyes that they could possibly muster. The two of them even went so far as to strategically position his shoulders in the crook of their cleavage while they begged. Just in case their mate needed a little bit of extra persuasion.

Even without the distinct pleasure of being sandwiched in-between four mounds of pillowy soft female flesh, Spike knew it would be downright foolish to refuse the legendary hospitality of the Apple Family. The Wyvertii also considered pork to be somewhat of a delicacy, since it was more difficult to come by on the Lost Continent. It therefore made perfect sense why the girls were so eager to satisfy their carnivorous cravings.

Spike nodded. “The girls and I would love to take you up on your offer, AJ. But—ah—what about Spoiled? We can’t just leave her on the bench…”

“Hey, Mac! Do ya mind stickin’ around fer Twi and Diamond while Ah take the cart and our distinguished guests back ta the Acres?”

“Eenope. Y’all go on ahead.”

Applejack cracked her knuckles. “Welp, it looks like mah brother’s got things pretty well taken care of on this end. Let’s get movin’!”

Delmira and Ember were practically drooling by the time everyone arrived at the front gate of Sweet Apple Acres. Not that Spike could honestly blame them. The smoky-sweet tang of BBQ pork that pervaded the air smelled absolutely divine, along with the rest of the country-style fixings. Out of the corner of his eye, Spike spotted Apple Bloom tending one of the firepits where the beans and cornbread were being prepared.

It was summertime in Equestria, so it made perfect sense that she would be dressed in accordance to what the temperature was like outside. Doubly so because she had to contend with the extra heat generated by the cooking fire. She wore a bandana that kept her ruby-red hair tied back, a pair of tattered daisy dukes, khaki work boots, and one of Big Mac’s old flannel shirts tied loosely around her breasts to serve as a top. Otherwise, the rest of her tanned, freckled skin was bare.

Apple Bloom was covered from head to toe in soot and sweat but that didn’t detract from her beauty whatsoever. Spike could easily tell that she had transformed from a gangly teenager into a burgeoning young woman during the time he was gone. It wouldn’t be much longer until the rest of her figure filled in, making Apple Bloom into near spitting image of her older sister. Which probably made her family quite wary of any potential male suitors who happened to look her way. While Delmira and Ember scampered off to explore the farmhouse, Applejack wrapped her arm around Spike’s shoulder and drew him close.

“Don’t think fer a second that Ah didn’t notice ya eye-ballin’ mah little sister.”

Spike felt his throat go dry. “I swear, I wasn’t trying to cause any trouble!”

“Confound it, Spike! Ya don’t have ta go and apologize just fer lookin’ at her! ‘Bloom’s practically an adult now. It’s only natural fer a gal her age ta be receivin’ that sort o’ attention. Heck, Ah know fer certain that she’ll have a hard time tryin’ not ta stare at the magnum barrel hanging’ in-between yer legs too.”

Spike coughed awkwardly. “Uh… do you really think my—"

“Don’t git me wrong, I’m glad that ya ain’t full o’ yerself over it. But the heat yer packin’ there is pretty darned impressive if Ah do say so mahself! Mind ya, that’s just the polite way o’ referrin’ ta it. Ah typically call ‘em ‘peckers’ or ‘twangers’. Never been one fer flowery words though. That’s more Twilight’s thing.”


Applejack blinked owlishly. “What? That there’s the honest truth. If ya weren’t already spoken fer, Ah would’ve gladly snogged ya the first chance Ah got. Ermm… with yer consent o’ course. Celestia knows Ah could sure use some proper stress relief. Do you know how tough it is ta get a half-decent orgasm started up when yer plum-tuckered from workin’ on the farm all day long?

“Sorry, Ah went on a bit o’ a tangent there. All I’m sayin’ is: try yer best to be considerate towards the Crusaders. They’re still in the process of figurin’ out what they fancy and dealin’ with all o’ them teenage hormones n’ whatnot.”

Spike slowly nodded in agreement, despite the awkward atmosphere that Applejack had inadvertently created between them. The young Dragon Lord took the lessons he’d learned from dealing with Diamond Tiara earlier to heart, and had no desire to repeat the same disastrous scenario all over again with Apple Bloom or any of the other Crusaders.

“I’ll be frank with ya, Spike: havin’ a good-lookin’ fella such as yerself traipsin’ ‘round town wearin’ nothin’ but a smile is bound ta tempt the gals somethin’ fierce. Yet… Ah know you’ve got a good heart nestled in that burly chest o’ yers, so Ah trust that ya won’t take advantage of their attempts ta flirt with ya.”

Spike gave Applejack a big hug, which she returned in kind without a shred of hesitation. “Thanks, AJ. It means a lot that you’ve placed so much trust in me. I promise that I’ll do my best to live up to it.”

“Yer welcome, sugarcube. Now let’s quit dwellin’ on all o’ this sappy stuff and git some grub!”

Within twenty minutes, Big Mac and Twilight finally arrived at the farmstead and seated themselves across from Spike and his mates. A quick blessing of thanks was said and everyone promptly dug into the feast arrayed before them. The biggest surprise came not from the girls’ appetite for Apple Family cooking, but Delmira’s affection for Winona. Spike never pegged her as a dog person, yet she was more than happy to spoil the border collie with nuzzles, scratches, belly rubs, and the occasional table scrap.

Ember belched loudly after finishing the last bite of her apple rhubarb pie slice ala mode. “That was some of the best pie I’ve ever tasted! My complements to the chef!”

Apple Bloom smiled at the praise. “Thank ya kindly, Miss Ember. I’ve been workin’ real hard on perfectin’ the recipe with mah granny fer the last month or so. Glad ta hear that ya enjoyed it so much. Umm… Ah hope Ah don’t sound rude fer askin’ but how’s come y’all are prancin’ ‘round without a stitch o’ clothin’ on?”

“Because the Wyvertii simply have no need for them. Bah! I’m getting sick and tired of having to justify our traditional way of life to practically every person we meet in this land! Do YOU have a problem with us choosing to remain as we were born? If so, speak your piece.”

Apple Bloom’s cheeks flushed while she fidgeted with her bandana. “N-No! Ah don’t have anythin’ against how y’all wanna go ‘bout yer daily lives. It’s just that I’ve never seen anybody act so comfortable with bein’ nekkid all the time before. Ah dunno if Ah quite understand how y’all can get used ta such a thing…”

Sensing the growing tension at the picnic table, Delmira rose from her seat and plopped Winona onto Ember’s lap. The collie looked up at her new companion with a bright, cheerful expression, clearly expecting some kind of attention to be lavished upon her. Unable to resist Winona’s adorable puppy-dog eyes, Ember quickly dismissed the irritation she felt with Apple Bloom and started scratching behind the dog’s ears. To which the canine responded with a single, appreciative bark and started tickling Ember’s legs while her tail wagged back and forth.

Delmira stood behind Apple Bloom’s chair and gently rubbed her shoulders. “If you truly wish to gain a better understanding of how we live, then why not start by trying it out for yourself?”

“Ah umm—that’s not exactly what Ah meant…”

Big Mac took a long swig of cider from his mug. “What Ms. Delmira is suggestin’ seems pretty straightforward ta me, ‘Bloom.”

“C’mon, Applejack! Tell Mac what he’s sayin’ is ridiculous. Y’all can’t expect me ta just walk ‘round the farm in mah birthday suit. It ain’t right!”

“Is it though? We’ve all gone skinny dippin’ down by the creek plenty o’ times before, so it’s not like we’re gonna be seein’ anythin’ we haven’t seen already at this point. Besides, ya know as well as Ah do that the Acres is private property. Ain’t like we’ve got a bunch o’ perverts hidin’ in the bushes waitin’ ta jump ya the first chance they git.”

Apple Bloom’s gaze shifted over to Spike. “All o’ that might very well be true, but Ah ain’t too keen on the idea of—”

Applejack clicked her tongue. “Yer embarrassed ‘bout Spike gettin’ ta see everythin’, aren’t ya? Although, the way Ah see it, fair’s fair. Half o’ the people sittin’ at this here table are already nekkid. Addin’ one more ta the fray ain’t gonna hurt nothin’.”

“F-Fine! But y’all better not laugh or say anythin’ mean or I’ll—I’ll start throwin’ punches or somethin’…”

Apple Bloom rose from her chair, untied her work boots, and kicked them off into the grass. While she was loosening the knot that held her shirt in place, she mentally thanked Celestia that Granny Smith was currently in Las Pegasus with the Golden Girls. As much as she loved her grandmother, the Apple Family Matriarch was exceptionally raunchy for an eighty-five-year-old woman and often spoke at length about a variety of topics relating to sex. Which included a lifetime’s worth of sordid tales recollected from her youth that her grandchildren never wanted or needed to learn about.

Apple Bloom resisted the urge to cover up her chest as her breasts slipped free of their flannel prison. If both of Spike’s girlfriends could be that self-assured about their own bodies, then why couldn’t she be too? The teenager was all too aware that her… assets were noticeably fuller than most of the girls around her age, a fact that was not lost on the folks in town.

As Applejack put it: ‘These puppies came from the finest genes the Apple Family has ta offer. Always hold yer head high with pride and shake what yer momma gave ya, lil’ sister!’. Still… it was one thing to say that you had confidence, but another matter entirely to feel confident enough to willingly expose your bare breasts in front of others.

She hesitated a moment before unbuttoning the fly of her daisy dukes. The single article of work-worn, tattered denim was the only thing preserving her modesty. A lot of girls tended to wear panties and bras to make themselves feel… well, girly. But Apple Bloom, just like her tomboyish sister, had long grown accustomed to going without them.

Undergarments just weren’t very practical for life on the farm, since they quickly became uncomfortable once soaked with sweat. They were delicate too. Not exactly a desirable trait for clothing while you were out performing physical labor for a good part of the day.

Apple Bloom swallowed her hesitation and decided to remove her pants in a single, swift motion. After tossing the garment onto the pile of clothes stacked nearby, she stood before everyone naked as the day she was born. Delmira circled around the teenager a few times with a thoughtful expression on her face. She carefully scrutinized every nook and cranny of Apple Bloom’s bare flesh, humming in approval from time to time. Once she finished her impromptu inspection, Delmira gave Apple Bloom a playful swat on the behind and grinned.

“Now doesn’t it feel a whole lot better to get out of those stuffy clothes? Especially, on such a beautiful summer day like today.”

“Hey w-watch it where yer puttin’ yer hands!” Apple Bloom warned.

“Oh, I’m definitely watching where my hands are going~ I must admit, you have quite an exquisite figure. Firm, bountiful breasts, wide hips, a cute little tuft of hair, and toned legs that go on for days! It’s a wonder that you don’t have all of the males in town slobbering at your feet. Well, there’s at least one male in the room who is.”

Apple Bloom nervously rubbed her legs together. “Really? Ah didn’t think Ah looked particularly girly…”

“Girly? No, my dear. You most assuredly possess the shape and form of a woman. If you require any further evidence, just take a look at how your body has affected Spike.”

Even while seated, Apple Bloom could easily see the tip of Spike’s erection poking out from underneath the picnic table. The poor teenager’s face flushed with embarrassment while her siblings rocked back in their chairs and howled with laughter. Since the preverbal cat was already out of the bag, Apple Bloom didn’t see much point in covering herself up, so she crossed her arms underneath her breasts and hoped that everyone would settle down soon.

Delmira wrapped her arm around Apple Bloom’s shoulder. “That, right there, is the sincerest form of flattery a man can possibly give a woman to let her know that she’s sexy. Don’t you ever forget it.”

“I-I’ll be sure ta keep that in mind from now on, Miss Delmira.”

The goddess smiled sweetly at her mate. “Spike, dearest, would you like me to take care of that erection for you?”

“Delmira, I already told you earlier that we can’t have sex in public!”

Delmira cocked her head innocently. “I seem to recall Applejack mentioning that Sweet Apple Acres was private property. Therefore, we are currently NOT in public at the moment. Am I mistaken about my interpretation?”

“Technically, you’re correct but—”

Delmira skipped over to Spike and grabbed him by the arm. “The matter is settled then! Apple Family, we all appreciate your hospitality but may I ask one teensy, tiny favor?”

Applejack chuckled. “Go on.”

“Do Spike and I have your permission to utilize the barn for the next half hour or so?”

“Don’t see why not. Just make sure ta clean up after yer done utilizin’. Otherwise, y’all go on and have fun.”

The goddess bowed to express her gratitude and before Spike could even mutter a single word of protest, she began dragging him off towards the barn, his erection bobbing along the way. It was apparent to everyone present that Spike wasn’t trying very hard to resist.

Ember sighed and continued ruffling Winona’s coat. “Sorry about that. Between the two of them, I’m not really sure who has less self-control at this point.”

“Nothin’ ta be sorry ‘bout, sugarcube. Creator knows, we’ve used that barn on more than one occasion fer the same exact purpose.”

Big Mac nodded emphatically. “Eeyup.”

True to her word, the goddess showed up at the picnic table with her mate in tow about forty-five minutes later. Numerous hickeys dotted Spike’s neck all the way down to his chest and the head of his penis was shiny and somewhat red. Delmira’s hair was rough, disheveled and covered in stray bits of hay. Her privates looked equally as sore as her partner’s. Yet, the satisfied expressions on their faces clearly indicated that they were still very much enjoying the after-sex glow.

Delmira pulled Spike in and gave him a long, sloppy kiss. “Stars above… you’re going to have to fuck me doggy style more often. You were an absolute ANIMAL! I lost count… how many orgasms I had. Oh… did I say that out loud?”

Everyone nodded in agreement.

Apple Bloom crinkled her nose in disgust when she caught a whiff of the odor coming off of Spike and Delmira. “Welp, Ah might as well offer y’all a tour of the southern orchard. Then we can head on over ta the pond for a swim. Ah reckon it’s as good a time as any for skinny-dippin’, seein’ as we’re already nekkid and the weather’s so nice. Besides, I’m sure the two of ya’ll probably wanna freshen up a bit too...”

The Everfree Amazon (I)

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Chapter 20

Sweet Apple Acres, Ponyville

Ember sat cross-legged in the grass and munched on a fresh apple that she’d picked on the way out to the pond earlier. She’d already had her fill of swimming and decided to take advantage of the mid-afternoon sun to dry herself off naturally while Apple Bloom, Spike, and Delmira continued to frolic in the water. By all accounts, she should have been content and relaxed. Yet… her deeply ingrained instincts as a huntress cautioned her to remain wary of potential threats.

She hadn’t said anything while they were still at the palace out of respect for Princess Luna, but the report about dangerous beasts straying from their natural habitat in the Everfree Forest and encroaching upon populated areas had made Ember feel uneasy. Especially now, since the very pond they were currently using happened to be right up against the edge of said forest.

Ember directed her attention towards the forest when she heard the distinct rapport of gunfire. A flock of startled birds took flight from treetops nearby, immediately followed by a resonating, guttural howl that sent a shiver down Ember’s spine. It was unlike anything she’d ever heard before. Some bizarre amalgamation of an owl’s hoot and a bear’s snarl. Without a second thought, Ember sprinted over to the edge of the pond and urged everyone to stop what they were doing.

“Hold on a second! What’s goin’ on? What was that sound Ah just heard?!”

Ember splayed her feet in a defensive posture. “I’ve never actually seen one in person, but I believe that call might have come from an owl-bear. I remember reading about them in one of father’s bestiary encyclopedias.”

“Ya can’t be serious! Owl-Bears only live in the deepest parts o’ the Everfree. None of ‘em should even be this far outside of the forest!”

“Not unless something or… someone disturbed it.”

Spike waded over to Apple Bloom and stood in front of her protectively. “I agree. Regulations on hunting within the Everfree are nearly non-existent since it’s such a dangerous, and largely unexplored place. And judging by how loud the shots were, whoever is out there has to be toting some high-caliber rifles. I hate to admit it, but there’s a pretty good chance that they’re poachers too.”

Delmira bit her lip. “Are we in any danger of being—”

Ember barely had enough time to brace herself as an angry, tawny-furred owl-bear came barreling out of the woods and straight towards her. Thinking quickly, she concentrated as much magical power as she could into enhancing the toughness of her skin, muscle, and bone. It was a physically demanding Wyvertii combat technique that took years of practice to master, but Ember was confident that her body would be able to handle the strain. Besides, it wasn’t as if she had much of a choice. Without an atlatl, spear, or sling at hand, her own appendages were the only weapons she could rely upon at the moment.

The owl-bear swiped his massive paw at the aggressive-looking female who’s ilk dared to startle him with their flashing thunder sticks while he was busy foraging away from the den. There would be no mercy shown to this intruder. He intended to kill the furless biped with a single blow, so that he could go back to finding some food to bring back to his mate and cubs.

However, Ember was prepared for the strike, so she jerked her head back, slid in-between his legs, and delivered a swift kick to the beast’s dangling scrotum. The avian hybrid roared in pain and slumped to the ground while he clutched his crotch. Clearly, the owl-bear was shocked that any creature would have the unmitigated gall to attack him there.

Spike winced when he saw the owl-bear curl up into the fetal position. He knew from first-hand experience how much strength was compacted into Ember’s legs. But his sympathy for the creature only lasted a moment. Ensuring the safety of the other two women present was a far more pressing matter that occupied his attention.

Apple Bloom shot the Dragon Lord a concerned look while he ushered her away from the pond. “Is Ember gonna be alright? That owl-bear sure looks like he means business…”

“Don’t worry, Ember’s about as tough as they come. She’s also had plenty of experience dealing with big predators like him. And even if things start to get hairy, I’ll be here to keep you safe.”

Apple Bloom nodded and hugged Spike’s arm tightly. “O-ok. Ah hope ya don’t mind if Ah stick close to ya. I’d rather we not get separated—ya know—just in case somethin’ bad does happen.”

The young Dragon Lord normally would have been far more reluctant about allowing another woman to press her bare flesh up against his own in such an intimate manner. But the fear he saw reflected in Apple Bloom’s eyes served to quell his reservations. Awkward feelings of attraction towards his (unquestionably matured) childhood friend aside, Spike shifted his focus on summoning enough magic to protect both of the girls from the enraged beast that was hell-bent on tearing them all to shreds.

Sensing an opportunity to end the fight quickly, Ember grabbed a jagged, fist-sized chunk of rock from the dirt and raised it above the owl-bear’s head. Her intent was to kill the creature with a single, decisive strike to the skull… until she was caught unawares by the bear smacking her in the stomach with the back of his paw. The blow had enough force behind it to send her careening into the trunk of a nearby oak tree.

Ember cried out in agony while she struggled to get back up onto her feet again. Even though her augmentation spell had effectively dampened the worst of the damage, it did not make her invulnerable. She could already tell that her entire backside was covered in dozens of cuts, bruises, abrasions, and possibly even a few splinters. She was not looking forward to dealing with all of that once her mana pool finally ran dry. There would be time to take stock of her injuries later. At the moment, Ember had more immediate concerns. Like how to stop a ton of feathered fury from goring her to death with its beak and claws.

The owl-bear snapped his mighty beak at the female’s face. He was surprised at how strong and resilient she was for a biped. Regardless, he planned to distract her just long enough to move in and crush her fragile windpipe. Then he would head straight back to the den where he would make sure that his loved ones were, hopefully, still safe. It would not do any good remain at this place while her furless kin lingered nearby. The risk was far too great, even though he currently had nothing to show for all of the time he had spent foraging.

Rather than be intimidated by the owl-bear’s fearsome attack, Ember dug her feet into the dirt, wrapped her arms around his neck, and put him into a tight choke hold. The creature let out a long, snarling hoot while he thrashed around, trying desperately to break away. Even though it was becoming increasingly difficult to keep him in place with each passing second, Ember held tight and slammed the owl-bear into the ground, knocking the wind out of him instantly.

Panting and exhausted, Ember picked up the rock she had dropped earlier and held it above the owl-bear’s head. “I won’t let you to… harm my mates…. or anyone else… ever again!”

Before she could bring the owl-bear’s life to an end, Ember paused and looked over her shoulder when she heard someone scream.


Strangely enough, it was a dainty-looking woman with long, pink-colored hair wearing a yellow sun dress and carrying a wicker basket full of what appeared to be an assortment of berries. What confused Ember even further was when the woman placed herself between them, and started affectionately petting the owl-bear’s feathery head.

“Shhh. It’s ok, Albert. I’m sure this all just one, big misunderstanding.”

Ember stood up and put her hands on her hips. “Excuse me, but what the ACTUAL FUCK do you think you’re doing?! That thing just tried to kill all of us!”

“Oh… um—sorry, miss. Albert didn’t mean to attack you. He got frightened by the gunfire and was trying to protect his family. Owl-Bears aren’t very good at distinguishing one person from another, I’m afraid. I hope you understand.”

“Never mind that. What possible reason do you have to be out here?”

The pink-haired woman pointed to her basket. “Well, I was picking some wild berries for my animal friends to enjoy. I could ask the same thing of—Spike, is that you?”

“Hey, Fluttershy! It’s nice to see you again. Although, I wish it were under more pleasant circumstances...”

Fluttershy nodded in agreement. “Now that Albert’s had a chance to calm down, I believe he recognizes that all of you aren’t the same people who were trying to shoot at him before. He says he’s sorry for attacking you, and hopes that you can find it in your hearts to forgive him.”

Ember squeaked in surprise when she felt Albert begin to nuzzle her as an owl-bear form of apology. While she appreciated the gesture, it was incredibly awkward because he was inadvertently tickling her privates with his feathers. The huntress stoically endured the sensation for a few more moments, but was forced to push Albert’s head away when he started licking a shallow cut she had received along her inner thigh. Ember was not about to subject herself to the indignity of experiencing accidental cunnilingus by an overzealous owl-bear.

“Ahaaaaaha—take it easy with the tongue, big guy! I think you’ve done more than enough to show me that you’re sorry. Apology accepted.”

Fluttershy giggled. “Owl-Bears can be quite affectionate once you’ve gained their trust. But—um—they aren’t entirely aware of how sensitive to the touch exposed skin can be. You know, since most of their bodies are covered in feathers and fur.”

“It’s ok. I know he meant well. I’m just glad that we don’t have to fight each other anymore.”

“Me too. And to think: this whole unfortunate misunderstanding could have all been avoided if those darned treasure hunters had just been more considerate towards the animals of the Everfree, instead of shooting first and asking questions later.”

Spike cocked his head. “Treasure hunters?”

“Technically, they called themselves ‘Adventure Capitalists’. Their leader, Dr. Caballeron, might have been ruggedly handsome a-and very charming, BUT… none of them had me fooled for a second! The only thing those… jerks cared about was turning a profit, not preserving historical artifacts or respecting the local wildlife. Oh, I’m so peeved right now that I could just scream!”

Spike rubbed his chin in thought. “You don’t think these guys are responsible for causing all of the disturbances that have been happening around town recently, do you?”

“I would bet all of the bits I have on it, Spike. Not only have I personally heard the gunshots myself on several occasions, but many of my animal friends have complained about them too. Particularly, the birds. The poor dears are already naturally skittish and the noises scare them so much that they can’t get any sleep. It’s terrible!”

“I should probably just let mom send out a detachment of the Equestrian Rangers but… who knows how long it’d take her to get them organized and supplied. Ember and I are quite capable of handling ourselves out in the wild, so I think we should be the ones to go into the Everfree and investigate what’s going on.”

Fluttershy poked Spike’s chest. “Not like that you aren’t, mister! Um… Ember, was it? She’s clearly still injured from her tussle with Albert. I know that minor cuts and abrasions might not seem like a big deal, but they can easily become infected if they aren’t cleaned properly. Please, at the very least, come back to my cottage and allow me treat her wounds before the two of you head out into the forest. You may even take some of my supplies with you... if you think it’ll help.”

Delmira whimpered and bit her lip. She knew that she was practically useless in a fight so long as her spirit was bound to this soft, fleshy vessel. To make matters worse, she couldn’t even tap into the divine power she naturally possessed while in her draconic form. Basic casting and healing were about the only types of spells she could effectively make use of right now. It went without saying that her physical strength was greatly diminished as well. Such was the price the goddess had to pay if she wanted to continue enjoying the intimacy she shared with her beloved mates.

Sure, the time she’d spent ravishing Spike in the barn had been every bit as sweaty and satisfying as she could have possibly hoped for. But it didn’t change the fact that Delmira had put her own selfish desires ahead of everyone else’s. What made the goddess feel even worse was how brave Spike and Ember had been when the pair protected her and Apple Bloom from the threat of the owl-bear. They’d selflessly placed themselves in harm’s way without so much as a second thought.

On top of all that, she was starting to feel guilty over how dismissive she’d been towards Spike’s adoptive culture, now that she’d had some time to reflect back upon her behavior. It wasn’t easy for a goddess to suddenly get in the habit of observing a particular set of mortal standards when she’d always followed her own standards (or lack thereof) for the past few thousand years.

And as much as Delmira hated admitting it (even to herself), she recognized her utter lack of tact when it came to understanding Equestrian society’s concepts of modesty, morality, and sexuality. It was really quite simple: she needed some help empathizing with their point of view. Even if it meant asking Princess Twilight to teach her about such painfully boring topics as: reading, writing, and culture.

Apple Bloom let out a tired sigh. “Ah think I’ve had mah fair share of excitement fer the day. If it’s all the same ta y’all, Ah think I’m gonna head on back ta the farmhouse now.”

“I believe I shall accompany Apple Bloom back to the farm. The two of you are much better off exploring the forest without me. I’d only end up… weighing you down if I tagged along. Roughing it in the wild just isn’t very appealing to a pampered goddess such as myself~” Delmira confessed with a forced laugh.

Apple Bloom wrapped her arm around Delmira’s shoulder in a half hug. “I’m glad ya decided ta come with me, Miss Delmira. Ta be honest… I’m still a bit shook up from what happened earlier. Ah reckon that havin’ some company along the way’ll help put mah mind at ease.”

“Oh—ah—think nothing of it. The pleasure is all mine. Perhaps we could even indulge in some more of your family’s delicious apple cider upon our return?”

“Darn tootin’! Wouldn’t mind havin’ a mug or two mahself. An’ don’t cha worry ‘bout findin’ a place ta rest in the meantime. Yer more than welcome ta stay in our guest room if ya like.”

A light blush colored Delmira’s cheeks while she shuffled her feet in the grass. “There are a few… urgent matters that I must discuss with Princess Twilight personally, so I accept your offer. You have my gratitude, young Apple Bloom. If there’s anything I can do to repay your kindness, please don’t hesitate to ask.”

“Aw shucks, ya don’t have ta get all formal ‘bout it. Any friend—err—girlfriend o’ Spike’s is a friend o’ the Apples. C’mon, let’s get a move on! Ah reckon that mah siblings are already workin’ on gettin’ supper ready. Ya can help us prepare some o’ it if you’d like.”

Ember was slightly perturbed that Spike had insisted on carrying her around piggy-back style, but she honestly couldn’t say that she completely disliked her current mode of transport either. Truth be told, the aftermath of the fight had drained her mana reserves and left the huntress utterly exhausted, causing her body to divert the meager energy it had left towards healing all of cuts and bruises that she’d received along her backside. Practicality aside, Ember actually enjoyed being pressed up against the reassuring warmth of her mate and wasn’t in any hurry to be placed upon her feet again.

While she rested her head in the crook of Spike’s shoulder, the heady scent of his pheromone-rich sweat flooded her nostrils. Despite her fatigue, Ember still managed to feel the heated glow of excitement gradually begin to build within her loins. Spike had done an admirable job carrying her as gently as he possibly could thus far, but the uneven terrain they were walking on caused his back to constantly rub up against her mound.

Ember clamped her mouth tightly as she desperately tried to stifle a mewl of pleasure from escaping her lips. Ever since her body had matured into womanhood nearly seven summers ago, the teenager recognized that her genitals were highly sensitive to any kind of stimulation. Even the slightest whisper of a touch could, in fact, cause her to become aroused.

When she finally worked up enough courage to broach the embarrassing topic with her father (she adamantly refused to discuss it with anyone else at the time), he chuckled and fondly recalled that Ember’s late mother was exactly the same way. Torch had even gone so far as to reassure his little girl that she was fortunate to possess such a trait, as it would allow her to climax faster and with greater ease than most women. Supposedly, he added, it would make sex a far more intense and satisfying experience for her as well.

For a hot-headed tomboy like Ember, her “mother’s gift” always seemed like it was more of an annoying hinderance than an advantage during the course of her teenaged existence. Her status as the Dragon Lord’s only daughter, short temper, and muscled physique tended to prevent any romantic interest from sparking between her and any potential male suitors in Brimstone. Until a certain spiky-haired doofus managed to work his way into her heart, that is. Ember was extremely grateful that she’d finally met a man (her father notwithstanding) who loved and accepted her unconditionally. That and she appreciated all of the effort he went through to ensure she felt comfortable and fully satisfied whenever they made love together.

Ember shook her head violently, trying to focus her mind on anything other than the tingling heat building between her legs… but her efforts only offered a momentary distraction. She sincerely hoped that Fluttershy’s cottage wasn’t too much further or else she might very well end up soaking Spike’s back if their little trek continued any longer.

Spike’s pupils shrank to pinpricks as he felt a droplet of incredibly warm liquid begin to trickle its way down his spine. In the back of his mind, he suspected that a substance as viscous as that couldn’t possibly be just sweat. Ember wasn’t one to randomly lose control of her bladder either, even when she was pushed to the brink of exhaustion.

The Dragon Lord’s suspicions were confirmed mere seconds later when his nostrils caught wind of the sweet, musky odor of Ember’s arousal. Spike spared a downward glance at his waist and realized (much to his chagrin) that he was already ¾ of the way to getting a hard-on. It was times like this that made him question if ‘Spike Jr ®’ truly had a mind of its own.

The influence of Wyvertii pheromones was not be discounted either. They were some of most potent aphrodisiacs that Spike had ever encountered during his short life. It worried the young man that some primitive concoction of chemicals could have such a profound effect on both his body and mind. From a purely biological standpoint, he understood the logic behind the function of pheromones. It was simply nature’s way of encouraging procreation between healthy pairs of males and females. Unfortunately, they did so with about the same level of subtlety as a sledgehammer.

“Spike!” Ember hissed, “How much further is it to… the cottage?”

“Umm… honestly, I don’t exactly know. Would you like me ask Flut—”

NO! And before you ask: Yes, that wet spot on your back is exactly what you think it is. You’d better not mention a word of it to Fluttershy either or I’ll… bite your shoulder or something, got it?” Ember whispered harshly.

“Aww geez… that’s—how?”

Ember’s face flushed beet red. “Goddess you can be so incredibly dense sometimes! Everything down there is extremely sensitive to any kind of stimulation. I can’t help it, alright?! I inherited it from my mother.”

“Wow, that—ah—actually explains a lot. So… you’ve basically been humping my back this entire time? Why didn’t you say something earlier? I would’ve gladly offered to carry you a different way if I’d have known that going piggy-back was making you uncomfortable…”

Ember let out a frustrated huff. “Because I was… I was too tired, you idiot! Don’t you dare lie and try to convince me that the smell isn’t obvious either!”

“Fine, then. I won’t lie. You do tend to give off a pretty distinct smell whenever you get excited, but not necessarily in a bad way. I happen to think it suits you.”

Ember hungrily eyed Spike’s now fully erect manhood and witnessed a tiny bead of precum already beginning to form at the tip. “Seriously? You’re critiquing my bodily functions when you’ve got a big, fat boner like that?! I swear, you think with your dick more than your brain sometimes…”

Ironically enough, at that very moment, Fluttershy timidly announced that they had arrived at the cottage. She hadn’t really been paying close attention to Spike and Ember’s conversation or what they’d been up to for most of the journey, so she was completely shocked to discover the sordid state they were in when she decided to turn around to check up on the young couple.

Now standing on her own two feet, Ember reached around and rolled the head of Spike’s penis in-between her fingers in order to encourage a little bit more of his natural lubricant to come out. Once she felt satisfied that her fingers were sufficiently coated, Ember gently grasped her mate’s shaft and began pumping her hand up and down his length repeatedly in a slow, steady motion. When she heard Spike utter a muffled groan of pleasure, Ember pressed her entire body up against him and planted several tender kisses along his neck.

“Now you know exactly how frustrated I’m feeling right now.” Ember whispered while she nibbled on his ear.

“Look… Ember, I’m really sorry, o-ok? I know I probably should’ve have been pa—aaah—ying closer attention to you earlier, but I-I honestly didn’t know because you never told me how you were feeling! Please, just let me know how I can make it up to you…”

Ember used her index finger to massage the patch of skin located just underneath Spike’s head. She knew for a fact that this particular spot was extremely sensitive and it drove her mate wild whenever she licked or caressed it. Today was no different. Ember could feel Spike clenching the muscles of his butt cheeks together against her belly while she continued to rub his cock. It was a sure sign that he was on the verge of cumming right then and there.

Unwilling to allow her mate to waste his precious seed on the grass below, Ember abruptly ceased her hand job, laid down on her stomach, and lifted her rump ever so slightly into the air. Once she was confident that she had Spike’s undivided attention, Ember began to spread her legs apart, finally revealing the glistening folds of salmon-pink flesh nestled between them.

Even though Ember had spent nearly every day of the past eighteen years living amongst her people without so much as a stitch of clothing, the tomboy still felt intensely self-conscious about exposing herself to anyone she didn’t trust while she was in such an obvious state of arousal. However, it was the most comfortable position she could manage without further aggravating the injuries to her backside.

She was also acutely aware of the fact that Fluttershy (a virtual stranger to her) was standing only a few steps away and would easily be able to see her and Spike making love to one another. It was hardly the ideal time or place for intimacy but… Ember knew that she didn’t have enough willpower left to resist the satisfaction she so desperately craved for even a moment longer.

“What the fuck are you waiting for… a written invitation? Get your ass over here and start mounting me already!” Ember groused.

Although Spike was slightly taken aback by the bluntness of his mate’s request, he certainly didn’t need to be told twice. Within seconds, the Dragon Lord was already on his knees and scooting across the grass to attend to Ember’s needs. Spike grasped the base of his shaft and slowly started to tilt it forward, so that he could properly insert himself into Ember. However, after several failed attempts, his rigid member stubbornly refused to be manipulated from its upright position without causing him a considerable amount of pain and discomfort.

Spike vented his frustration by violently slamming his fist into the ground. Just when he’d reached the point in his life where he was beginning to feel like he’d finally found his place as an adult, a stupid problem like this had to rear its ugly head at the most inopportune moment and make him start second guessing everything. Loathe as he was to admit it, this was not the first time he’d struggled with this particular issue.

During the early stages of his adolescence, Spike discovered that his privates were noticeably more… developed than any of the other boys his age and his penis seemed to behave differently whenever he got excited. These revelations only served to make the young Wyvertii feel even more isolated from the rest of his Equestrian classmates because he hadn’t been able to get a straight answer from either Twilight or Celestia when he’d asked them why his body was so different from everyone else’s.

Fortunately for Spike, both Delmira and Ember understood how sensitive he was about the nature of his erections and always tried their best to be encouraging, accommodating, and supportive of their mate. Especially since they knew how much embarrassment it caused him whenever complications arose during sex.

“Are you alright back there?” Ember asked with concern.

“Well—uh—yes and no. Just… hang tight for a second, I’ll find a way to make this work somehow. I promise.”

Tears began to well in Ember’s eyes. “Oh, Goddess! This is all my fault, isn’t it? I-I was in the heat of the moment and I wanted to get you excited, b-but I ended up ruining the mood by making you feel uncomfortable instead. Spike, I’m so sorry! I shouldn’t have even tried to—”

Ember didn’t get the chance to finish her sentence. Before she could even utter a single word of protest, she felt her mate’s thick, throbbing cock slide into her all the way down to the root. She involuntarily cried out in ecstasy; the sensation of being filled so suddenly and completely was indescribably satisfying after holding back for so long.

Spike sighed contentedly as the velvety soft walls of Ember’s pussy enveloped his manhood in its entirety. Although he was quite pleased to have found a position that allowed him to penetrate her with relative ease, it came at the cost of not being able to move as quickly he would have preferred. This was because he had to concentrate a considerable amount of effort on maintaining the balance between his hands and knees, as he had to prop himself up in a push-up like stance to distribute his weight evenly.

After some experimentation, the Dragon Lord eventually fine-tuned the rhythm of his thrusts to better accommodate the needs of both himself and his mate. Strange as it was, Spike no longer felt the urgent need to cum as he had before. Whether or not it was due to the deliberately slow pace of their love-making, or the copious amount of semen that Delmira had managed to squeeze out of him during their wild romp in the barn earlier, he honestly couldn’t say. Regardless of the reason, he wasn’t in any hurry to do so and wanted to enjoy pleasuring Ember for as long as possibly he could.

Even while in the throes of her third consecutive orgasm, Ember noticed how eerily quiet the surrounding forest was around them. In her limited experience, the tomboy came to learn that sex was always a noisy, messy affair, no matter where it happened or how hard you tried to make it otherwise. This time, of course, was no exception. Two things stood out to her though: Spike’s rhythmic panting and the occasional, soft slapping sound his balls made whenever they lapped up against her ass.

“Ember, I don’t think I can… last too much longer. Gonna… cum soon.” Spike rasped, the strain evident in his voice.

With what little strength she had left, Ember squeezed her legs together, tightening the grip she had around Spike’s cock. She then began pumping her hips back and forth as quickly as she could, providing further encouragement for her mate to pour his seed into her down to the very last drop. Her efforts paid off almost immediately, when she heard him cry out and felt a familiar warmth fill her belly.

Utterly spent, Spike carefully extracted himself from Ember and rolled over onto his back, taking a moment to catch his breath. He was sweaty, stinky, and covered in bits of grass where grass had absolutely no business being… but he did not regret making love to his mate. An adorable giggle escaped Ember’s lips while she cuddled up next to him. Such a wonderful sound could only mean that she shared the same sentiment.

“Spike, I’m sorry if I put you in an awkward position… but I seriously needed that.” Ember admitted while she ran her fingers through his pubic hair.

“Yeah, I know. And you don’t have to apologize, by the way. Part of my responsibility as your mate is to make sure that I’m paying attention to how you feel about certain things. Clearly, I’m at fault for not recognizing your frustration. I’m the one who should be saying sor—”

Ember leaned over and silenced Spike with a kiss to his lips. “Sure, you can be a real bonehead sometimes, but don’t think for a second that means you haven’t been a good mate to me. I’m still getting used to this whole relationship thing and dealing with all of the complicated, emotional stuff that comes with it. So, let’s just consider this a learning experience and move on, ok?”

“Uh… sure. I think I can live with that.”

A tomato-faced Fluttershy shuffled over to the reclining couple and cleared her throat. “Um… excuse me, Ember. I hate to interrupt such a tender moment but… I really think you should have those wounds tended to. Sooner rather than later. I’ll even draw up a nice, hot bath and help you get cleaned up. So… if it’s not too much trouble, could you please follow me inside?”

Ember idly poked at the rubber duckie floating in-between her legs. She stared at its cheerful expression for what felt like an eternity, somehow expecting the toy to give her advice as to how she was supposed to strike up a normal conversation with the pink-haired woman sitting across from her in the bathtub. What kind of explanation could you give to the person who’d just witnessed you getting rutted like an animal, right out in the open, and all without showing the slightest hint of regret in doing so? Certainly not a reasonable one. Ember knew that for damn sure.

To make matters worse, Fluttershy possessed the kind of beauty and grace that few women could ever hope to match. Long, slender legs, curvaceous hips, skin smoother than freshly skimmed milk, and a pair of bountiful, bouncing breasts. Everything about her screamed that she was a paragon of femininity, the ideal woman to satisfy a man’s desires and bear his children. The tomboy gnashed her teeth and swatted the duck until it bobbed underwater.

Ember hated herself for the feelings of angry and jealousy she held towards her host. Especially when Fluttershy had done nothing to earn either of them. If anything, the timid woman deserved her gratitude and respect. The wounds on her backside had been healed with such expert care that they hadn’t even stung when she sank her body into the soothing, hot water. By now, Ember had practically forgotten that they’d existed in the first place.

Ember rubbed the back of her neck and sighed. “Ok, so… I think we might have gotten off on the wrong foot. What happened out there—umm—well… I don’t want you to get the impression that the Wyvertii are all just a bunch of wild, sex-crazed savages.”

“Oh, I didn’t get that impression at all.”

“I know it’s hard to believe based on—wait, you don’t?”

Fluttershy shook her head. “Calling people savages just because they choose not to wear clothing or have a different set of societal values isn’t very neighborly. In fact, it’s downright hurtful. I don’t think it’s fair to assume things about someone without getting to know them first.”

“You have no idea how refreshing it is to meet someone who doesn’t get all judgmental over our customs! Not that I’m complaining, but… you seem to be a lot more open-mined than most of the people around here. Is that why you didn’t immediately freak out when you—uhh—saw us?”

Fluttershy giggled. “Yes, that’s one of the reasons. Twilight briefed all of us on what to expect when she found out that Spike was coming back for a visit. Of course, one of my best friends also happens to be an avid nudist and I’m… not particularly fond of wearing pajamas to bed myself. I guess what I’m trying to say is: I understand the appeal of your lifestyle.”

“What are puhjaamahs? I’ve never heard of that term before.”

“It’s something you wear when you go to sleep. They’re usually made of soft, flexible fabric like cotton or silk. Pajamas are designed to be comfortable and keep you warm.”

Ember furrowed her brow. “I don’t get it. Isn’t that what bedsheets are for?”

“When you put it that way, pajamas do sound kind of pointless. Umm… some people just prefer wearing them, I suppose. I’m sorry, Ember. Fashion trends aren’t really my strong suit. You’d probably be better off asking Rarity about that kind of stuff.”

“Still doesn’t make any sense to me, but whatever. Who’s Rarity though? I don’t think I’ve ever heard Spike mention anyone by the name before.”

Fluttershy blushed and started twirling a strand of her hair. “She’s umm… oh ponyfeathers! Me and my big mouth! Spike really should be the one to tell you about her, not me.”

“Why?! What’s the big deal? How’s come you can’t tell me?”

Fluttershy bit her lip. “Oh, well… it’s not that I can’t tell you, per say. But—umm—more like it would be presumptuous of me to do so without giving Spike a chance to tell you first. Let’s just say that the two of them have a complicated relationship and leave it at that.”

Fluttershy’s unwillingness to elaborate further on the matter created yet another long stretch of awkward silence between the bathers. Ember tried her best to remain calm and not jump to any conclusions, but the way Fluttershy had phrased “relationship” made her begin to wonder if Spike was hiding something. It only took a little more than a minute until her (extremely limited) reservoir of patience finally became depleted, then Ember suddenly rose out of the water, gripped the edges of the tub and stared down balefully at her hostess.

“Complicated relationship my ass! What’s that even supposed to mean, huh?”

Fluttershy sunk deeper into the water, clearly intimated by Ember’s gruff demeanor. “Please calm down, if… you don’t mind that is. Honestly, I wasn’t trying to upset you. When I said relationship, I didn’t mean to imply that Rarity and Spike are romantically involved with each other. It’s just that—umm—well… Spike’s always had a special place in his heart for her.”

“This… woman, what is she like? I want to know why Spike thinks so highly of her.”

Fluttershy pointed towards a picture frame sitting on the counter. “Rarity and I had that taken about two months ago. Aloe and Lotus were offering free commemorative portraits to all of their customers that day to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the spa’s grand opening. I think the photo turned out quite lovely.”

The first thing Ember noticed about Rarity was the air of sophistication she exuded. The clothing she wore looked (from what Ember could tell) expensive and was probably tailored from the finest materials available on the market. Her violet locks were impeccably coiffed in a style similar to those Ember had seen from the pages of a high-end fashion magazine she’d perused while aboard the HMS Silver Shadow.

Not that Ember was particularly interested in putting the slightest modicum of effort into styling her hair, dressing up in fancy clothes, or smearing her face with all of those itchy, irritating cosmetics like the Equestrian models did. She just happened to be bored at the time and the fashion magazine was something she found lying around to help pass the time. The tomboy reluctantly admitted, at least to herself, that she had also been somewhat curious about how women in Equestria typically presented themselves, and what they considered attractive.

Even if one stripped away all the layers of clothing, jewelry, accessories, and cosmetics, Ember could easily tell that Rarity was a natural born beauty. Her proportions weren’t quite so curvaceous as Fluttershy’s but her physique, nonetheless, radiated a certain aura of delicate femininity and grace. Ember’s stomach churned as she found herself feeling jealous of yet another woman all over again. It was an ugly emotion that Ember wanted to bury deep within herself and never let it see the light of day… but one that was nearly impossible to ignore.

“She’s something else, alright.” Ember choked out.

“Ember, what’s wrong? You sound like you’re about to cry. If you’d like to talk about what’s bothering you, I’d more than happy to lis—”

“How could you possibly know what I’m feeling right now?!” Ember spat.

“Well, I-I’m not sure since you haven’t told me yet. But… maybe if we discuss what exactly it is that you’re feeling right now, it’ll help you sort things out. Umm… o-only if you want to, that is…”

Ember slid back down in the tub and sniffed. “Fluttershy, I’m… sorry. I shouldn’t have snapped at you like that. Especially when you’ve shown me nothing but kindness since the very first moment we met. What did I do to repay that kindness? Act like a complete asshole the whole time. Ugh! I don’t even know where to start.”

“At the beginning is usually a good place.”

“You’re gonna think it sounds stupid…” Ember mumbled.

“Whatever’s on your mind can’t possibly be stupid if it’s effecting you this much. I promise I won’t laugh or make light of your situation. Go on, take as long as you need to explain it.”

Ember took in a deep breath through her nostrils. “I’m extremely jealous of you and Rarity.”

“Umm… I don’t mean to be rude but whatever for?”

“Because you two epitomize the traits men look for when they’re searching for a good mate to settle down with. Both in terms of physical beauty and temperament. I’ve never met Rarity before but she looks like she’d be well-mannered… or am I way-off the mark?”

“No, you’re correct. In fact, Rarity is one of most generous and polite people I know. I’m sorry… but I still don’t quite understand what it is you’re jealous of. Could you try being a bit more specific?”

Ember let out an exasperated sigh. “Your breasts! Your butt! Your hips! Nearly every part of you is eye-catching and perfectly suited for childbirth! And don’t even get me started on that submissive personality of yours. I’m sure most of the male population around these parts are practically tripping over their own dicks to claim you as their mate.”

Fluttershy’s cheeks flushed a deep crimson. “Oh my goodness…”

“Me though? I’m anything but ideal. I’m better at hunting than making small-talk, I have a short temper, I lack feminine charm, and it’s difficult for me to get along with most people. My body isn’t all soft and curvy like yours either. I mean, it’s not as though I’m ashamed of how I look, but I just… find it hard to compete with women like you. Goddess, I sound pathetic, don’t I?”

Fluttershy grasped Ember’s hand and smiled. “No, I don’t think you sound pathetic at all.”

“You… don’t?”

Fluttershy shook her head. “To be honest, I’ve always felt that I look a little bit too chubby.”

“What?! No! That’s not true at all. You’re gorgeous!”

“For what it’s worth, thank you for the compliment. My friends often tell me the same thing, but I still have a hard time believing it. I suppose the old adage is true: Everyone is their own harshest critic.”

“Yeah, ain’t that the truth…”

Fluttershy gently placed her hands upon Ember’s shoulders. “I want you to know that I think you’re beautiful too, Ember. Although, not… exactly in the traditional sense. Oh, dear! That didn’t quite come out right. What I’m trying to say is: beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. It’s a bit cliché, I know but still a good thing to keep in mind during your travels.”

“What makes you say that?”

Fluttershy chuckled awkwardly and blushed. “Well, I’m not exactly what you’d call expert on intimacy but… there’s no way Spike would have made love to you so passionately if he didn’t find your body desirable. That’s just my opinion though, based on what I saw…”

“Did you—I mean—how much did you see?!”

“Everything from the moment you began rubbing Spike’s penis. Believe me, I tried to be polite at first… but my curiosity got the better of me, and then I started watching you two—umm—go at it in earnest. I also might have gotten a bit excited myself at one point.”

Ember uttered a noise that was not dissimilar to a squeaky-toy being crushed.

Fluttershy waved her hands frantically. “Oh dear! Now I sound like some creepy, voyeuristic pervert! I-I swear, I wasn’t trying to invade your privacy or anything! It’s just that the both of you were right there and I couldn’t help—”

“Fluttershy, you don’t have to apologize,” Ember interrupted, “Granted, I’m not completely comfortable with the idea of you getting off to us, but… it’s water under the bridge, I guess.”

I’m such a terrible, shameless woman.”

Ember’s cheeks reddened while she let out a frustrated huff. “Enough already! I get it! You feel bad about watching the two of us fuck. Now, can you please stop demeaning yourself and give me a chance to explain the situation properly?”

Fluttershy nodded meekly.

“Spike and I—well, we might have gotten a teensy bit caught up in the heat of the moment. It—uh—goes without saying that we weren’t thinking rationally at the time and became… preoccupied with satisfying our needs. It’s kind of a Wyvertii thing, ya know? Erm… the pheromones, I mean. Not the rutting like animals with reckless abandon part.”

“Oh, my goodness! I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for your people to resist such a powerful temptation. Especially, since it’s so deeply rooted in your biology. But I am confused about one thing: I don’t recall Spike ever acting that way while he was still living in Ponyville.”

Ember rubbed the back of her neck. “I guess you could say that. As for Spike: I think it’s because there weren’t any female Wyvertii around to affect him that way. Not… that you Equestrians don’t have any pheromones of your own, they’re just not as potent.”

“Mhmm. I understand completely. Pheromones play an important role in the reproductive process of many different species. My animal friends go through the same thing during their heat cycle. Umm… pardon me for asking such a rude question, but do the Wyvertii go through heat?”

“Not really,” Ember clarified, “We can make babies pretty much whenever we want, but motherhood is a commitment that my people take very seriously. That’s why a lot of women use a special heating spell to prevent themselves from getting pregnant when—Goddess, are we seriously having a conversation about the birds & the bees right now?”

“That’s alight. You don’t have to explain it to me any further if it’s an uncomfortable subject for you. I’m quite aware of how sexual intercourse works. Although, I have to say: that contraceptive spell of yours does sound pretty convenient.”

Ember nodded in agreement. “Yeah, it really is.”

“Have you ever considered becoming a mother at some point?”

Ember blushed. “Between you and me, I don’t think I’d mind starting a family. Not right now, of course! But… maybe after the three of us are done traveling and we’ve gotten a chance to settle down back in Brimstone. I’m sure my father would love to have a grandbaby to spoil rotten.”

“See? That just proves the strength of the bond you two share together. I know how difficult it can be to feel confident about yourself sometimes but after watching the two of you make love, I’m absolutely certain that Spike adores you, both body and mind.”

“Sure, I’ll—uh—try to be a bit more confident. Thanks, Fluttershy. I’m glad we had this talk.”

Fluttershy scooted across the tub and gave her new friend a firm hug. “You’re quite welcome, Ember. Let’s go ahead and get ourselves dried off so we head back out to the living room. I imagine Spike could use some company right about now, don’t you think?”

The Everfree Amazon (II)

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Chapter 21

Fluttershy’s Cottage, Edge of the Everfree Forest

Spike lounged on the couch, idly running his fingers through Angel Bunny’s fur every so often whilst the fuzzy little imp napped on his chest. To say that his earlier conversation with Fluttershy had been awkward was a vast understatement. Granted, it wasn’t quite as bad as getting caught having sex right in the middle of the throne room by bonified Equestrian royalty… but it was still plenty embarrassing to been seen by a close friend that you’d known since childhood.

Fluttershy had been surprisingly understanding about the whole situation, attributing the young couple’s passionate romp to a combination of pheromones and the strong sense of commitment they shared. She’d even offered to help Ember clean up in the bathroom despite the two women being both polar opposites, personality wise, and virtual strangers to one another. Truly, his longtime friend had indeed lived up to her title as bearer of the Element of Kindness.

Spike let out a deep sigh as he stared at the animal-themed wallpaper that adorned the walls of Fluttershy’s living room. From a purely logical standpoint, the Dragon Lord was cognizant of the fact that he alone was ultimately responsible for his amorous behavior… and perhaps just a little bit of the blame could, in some small part, be attributed to the sheer disparity between Spike’s native culture and his adopted one.

Like his mother had warned earlier: it was not a simple task for a trio of Wyvertii lovers (especially when two of them were still growing teenagers) to resist the temptations of the flesh when said flesh was always on full display and readily accessible. For a brief moment, Spike yearned for the days when his life was much simpler. Back when he didn’t have to constantly deal with pheromones, awkward erections, and two beautiful women vying for his attention.

Upon further reflection, Spike came to the conclusion that despite all of the craziness he endured on a daily basis, he wouldn’t trade his new life for all the riches in the world. The young man quietly admitted to himself that he had a lot more growing up to do before he could call himself a proper Dragon Lord or even a responsible adult for that matter.

Spike’s ruminations were momentarily interrupted when both Fluttershy and Ember finally emerged from the bathroom and made their presence known. The former was wearing a fuzzy yellow robe along with a pair of slippers, the later… nothing more than an affectionate smile.

Fluttershy giggled. “It certainly appears that Angel is enjoying himself. I hope he didn’t cause you too much trouble while we were bathing.”

“Not really. I just gave him a carrot or two, started petting him, and we ended up having an understanding? I dunno; he must enjoy the warmth of my body heat or something.”

“I’m sure he does. In fact, Angel loves to snuggle me whenever I’m nude too. Particularly, in-between my breasts for some reason. But! That’s not important right now. I’m pleased to report that Ember’s wounds have been successfully treated and she’s as clean as can be.”

Spike carefully lifted the sleeping rabbit off his chest and placed him onto a nearby pillow. “Excellent! That’s great news. Some of those bruises looked pretty wicked.”

Ember placed her hands on her hips and scowled. “Hey! I’m not some dainty little flower that falls apart when you touch it! You know damn well that I’m more than tough enough to take a few hits.”

“Yes, I know you are. But that doesn’t make any difference to me. I’m still going to worry about my mates whenever they get hurt. Regardless of how minor or major their injuries may be.”

Throwing all caution (and potential embarrassment) to the wind, Ember pattered across the floor and embraced Spike with all of her might. An embrace that Spike returned enthusiastically, if a bit slowly at first. The heavenly aroma of shampoo and body soap mixed with her natural scent filled his nostrils as he placed a soft kiss atop Ember’s head. The tomboy, in turn, pressed her cheek against his bare chest, relishing the warmth of her mate’s skin.

“Awww,” Fluttershy cooed, “You two are just so adorable together! That settles it! I know I made the right decision in allowing a passionate, young couple to make love on my front lawn! Even though it probably wasn’t the most appropriate one …in hindsight. Oh, I hope that doesn’t make me sound like I’m some perverted voyeur who gets off watching other people while they’re having—”

Ember blushed fiercely but didn’t make any attempt to break away. “For fuck’s sake, Fluttershy! We’ve been over this already! Just let bygones be bygones, ok? A-anyway, I’m still not too good at dealing with or talking about my feelings yet. So, uh here goes: Am I doing this whole relationship thing right? Am I being a good mate?”

Spike laughed while he gently ruffled her hair. “Like I said before: I love you exactly the way you are, Ember. You don’t have to change anything about yourself to please me. If you’re ever feeling scared or unsure about something, you’re more than welcome to come talk to me about it. I promise that I’ll try my best to help you work out whatever it is that’s bothering you.”

After a heated make-out session with her beloved mate, Ember reluctantly broke away and took a few breaths to compose herself. This time, she wouldn’t lose control and give into her lustful urges. Spike followed suit and took a deep breath of his own to try and calm himself down. However, unlike Ember, the telltale signs of male arousal were far more difficult to conceal. His already half tumescent penis was proof enough of this.

Thinking quickly, Ember rushed into the kitchen and filled a glass to the brim with ice water. When she finally came back into the living room, Ember proceeded to dump the freezing cold liquid directly onto Spike’s crotch without a moment’s hesitation or any warning whatsoever.

EEEEEEEUUUGGGHHHH!” Spike howled in what he would later describe as a ‘manly’ fashion.

Alarmed by the “manly” scream, Fluttershy immediately stopped packing her friends’ supplies and ran out into the living room to see what was the matter. What she found was a wet, and thoroughly embarrassed Spike doing his best not to get too upset with Ember. Fluttershy tried not to laugh but it was impossible not to when she could clearly see what the ice water had done.

“Oh, my goodness,” Fluttershy snorted, “Spike, are you—bwahahaha—ok?”

Spike’s face turned an even deeper shade of crimson. “Go on get it out of your system.”

“Are you sure you won’t *snicker* need a heating pad or something?”

Ember looked like she was about to cry. “I’m so sorry! I was just trying to help. Honest!”

“Yeah, I know. But ice water? Seriously, Ember? That’s like shrinkage to the extreme! It would’ve gone down by itself after a while given some ti—”

Before Spike had the chance to argue his case any further, Ember was already on her knees, busy massaging his entire manhood. Although a decidedly a pleasant sensation, Spike could immediately tell that something was different. Her hands felt significantly warmer than usual. It was only then that he noticed the sapphire aura of Ember’s fire magic surrounding them.

Ember looked up and noticed Spike’s expression of concern. “Don’t worry! I promise that my magic won’t hurt you. Just relax and let me warm you up. A little bit of heat and some massaging will help get the blood flowing down there again.”

“That’s,” Spike shuddered as Ember rubbed her fingers over a particularly sensitive patch of skin right underneath his head, “…e-exactly what I’m afraid of.”

It wasn’t too long before Spike was sporting a stiff hard-on once more. Realizing that her well-intentioned massage was just making the situation worse for her mate, Ember backed away, dove onto the couch headfirst, and buried her face into one of the pillows. Whatever irritation Spike felt beforehand instantly drained away as soon as he heard Ember’s muffled sobs. Fluttershy gently squeezed his shoulder before he could attempt to comfort his distraught mate.

“It’s probably best for you let Ember alone for a while. She just needs some time to sort things out on her own. C’mon, you can help me pack the rest of the supplies in the meantime.”

Spike mechanically tossed around some ground venison and berries together in a large, porcelain bowl while Fluttershy stirred a pot of spiced broth right next to him. Given the nature of his erections, it took a considerable amount of time before his penis naturally reverted back to its flaccid state. A trait that neither of his mates seemed to have any qualms about during sex. It was, however, rather annoying to deal with when you were just trying to go about your business.

The young Dragon Lord was also quite aware that Fluttershy had been sneaking furtive glances below his waist, but he knew that she was far too polite to express her opinion aloud. At least… not without a little bit of encouragement first. After rolling his eyes, Spike subtly thrust his hips forward just enough to make it seem as though he’d accidentally brushed his manhood against an exposed portion of her thigh. Much to his amusement, she immediately let out a high-pitched squeak of surprise.

“Ah ha! I knew it!”

Fluttershy’s face turned beet red. “I-I’m sure I have no idea what you’re talking about!”

“Shy, I know you’ve been trying to stare at my crotch practically the whole time we’ve been out here. And I want you know that I’m not upset. Quite frankly, I’ve pretty much gotten used to people checking me out at this point.”

Fluttershy bit her lip. “Oh dear! I didn’t mean to be so obvious about it.”

“Well, it is pretty hard to miss.”

Fluttershy nudged Spike’s side with her elbow. “Stop being such an awful tease! Oooooh I know I shouldn’t be saying this about one of my dearest friends… but after getting a good look at your—um—thing up close, I completely understand why Ember was so eager.”

Spike glanced towards the living room and frowned. “Yeah…”

Umm just so you know: I’m not wearing anything underneath my robe at the moment. I-I mean, that is to say, I wouldn’t be opposed to you joining me for some tension relieving exercises on top of the kitchen table…o-only if you’re ok with me being your partner, that is.” Fluttershy mumbled.

“Huh? I’m sorry, did you something, Shy?”

“Nothing! I-I was just thinking out loud is all.”

Spike shrugged his shoulders. “Alright then. So… do you think Ember’s had enough time to sort things out yet? I feel like I should at least pop in and check up on her.”

“Don’t bother, I’m here.” Ember supplied.

“Oh… uhh that’s good. How are you feeling?”

“I’ve been crying my fucking eyes out for the past twenty minutes, Spike. How do you think?”

Spike chuckled awkwardly. “Right. Stupid question.”

“Look, I know what you’re trying to do. Trust me, the last thing I need right now is to be coddled like some child who had their candy taken away from them. Even if it is well-intentioned. Just let me say what I need to say and let’s move on with our lives, alright?”

“Sure. That seems fair. What’s on your mind?”

Ember took in a deep breath and wrung her hands together nervously. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s ok, I’ve already forgiv—”

Ember suddenly kicked Spike’s shin. “Shut up for a second and let me finish.”

“Ow! Fine, I’ll just be quiet now…”

Ember placed her hand on his cheek, stroking it affectionately. “Spike, I’m proud to say that I love you with all of my heart. And because I love you so much, I want to make you as happy as I possibly can. But sometimes, I get ahead of myself and wind up making a ton of mistakes.

“I may not be girly like Fluttershy, super smart like your sister, or crazy good at sex like Delmira, but I am trying my best to be a mate worthy of a Dragon Lord. Worthy of… you. With all of that in mind, I suppose what I’m trying to say is: I am who I am and I’m going to make you happy on my own terms and nobody else’s. Got it?”

Spike gently embraced his mate. “Mhmm. I sure do. Back when we first met in the forest, I fell in love with the girl standing right in front of me, not someone else. I’m just glad that you’ve finally decided to accept yourself for who you are.”

“Goddess, I can’t believe how fucking hard it was to admit all of that! It feels like my stomach is still trying to jump out of my throat! Uhh—sorry I didn’t mean to ruin the moment…”

Spike laughed and gave her a quick boop to the nose. “Nah, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

After a tear-filled goodbye from Fluttershy, the young couple set off on the first leg of their journey to the Castle of the Two Sisters laden with supplies aplenty. In terms of equipment, neither of them carried anything more than the satchels holding their edibles and an old surveyor’s map of the Everfree. Between Spike’s skills in magic and Ember’s expertise in unarmed combat, the two Wyvertii warriors were confident that they could handle just about anything the forest could throw at them for the time being, until they had a chance to make camp and fashion some weapons from stone and wood.

Even though it was only mid-afternoon, the forest canopy was thick enough to make it seem like it was already late evening, progressing into night. While no gunshots were to be heard, the cacophony of fauna, insects, and birds made more than enough noise to make up for it. A certain sense of nostalgia hit Spike while he walked beside his mate. It conjured up fond memories of the days he’d spent training with Ember, learning how to survive, and getting to know her better: both as a friend and a lover.

Before long, the pair came across a moderately sized stream. Given that they’d been walking for what Spike estimated to be around three hours or so, both of them decided that it was as good a time as any to take a quick rest, eat something, and wash off all of the excess sweat and grime that had accumulated during their trek.

While she was cleaning the mud off of her feet, Ember happened to notice a large cavern in the distance. By her own estimate it wasn’t terribly far way, perhaps a kilometer or so. In her experience as a huntress, she had come to learn that caverns of that size were rarely unoccupied. Especially, if they were located near a source of fresh water. Now that she took a moment to listen, the tomboy realized that it was far too quiet in this particular spot of the forest. Her hackles raised, Ember immediately turned around to warn her mate.

“Spike, I’m not so sure it was a good idea to rest here.”

“Hmm? Why do you say that?”

Ember began scanning the nearby tree line for threats. “Do you see that cavern over there? It’s pretty damn big. I might be wrong, but those usually have something living inside of them. We could be intruding on a large predator’s territory. I think we sssshould…pack up… and—”

In a matter of seconds, Ember collapsed bonelessly onto the ground. Rushing over to see what was wrong, Spike shook her several times, eliciting no response. Having wrapped his arm around her neck, he suddenly felt something sharp poking at his skin. Right below her ear was a poison dart. Spike prayed that it wasn’t the fatal kind, but he had to worry about his own safety at the moment. He was now facing the deadliest predator of all: another person.

By sheer chance alone, he happened to be looking towards the crown of a gnarled oak tree. Crouched atop one of the branches was a woman, covered head to toe in what Spike could only assume was some kind of sooty, green-grey body paint. The woman’s shoulder-length dreadlocks hung loosely around her frame while she loomed over Spike. From what he could tell, tiny strips of leather near the ends kept them wound together. What surprised him the most, however, was the fact that she was stark naked save for the bow and quiver strapped onto her back.

Spotting the other intruder in her territory, the wild huntress lunged from her perch and tackled Spike to the ground with a meaty thud. In the ensuing tussle, Spike found out that not only was her body rippling with taught muscle but she was exceptionally tall as well. The woman was likely pushing two meters by his own rough estimate.

Despite the danger to his life, Spike had a difficult time ignoring the large, shapely pair of breasts that currently dangled right above his face. The woman seemed to notice his distraction, for she took the opportunity to viciously headbutt Spike right in the nose accordingly.

Stars filled the young man’s vision, as he tried his best to cope with what he hoped wasn’t a broken nose. Working through the pain and blood now running into his mouth, Spike grabbed hold of the woman’s shoulder joint and used it as a fulcrum to flip her towards the stream bed. She crashed into the stream with a splash, spraying water and pebbles everywhere. Now that her she was face down in the silt, Spike took a moment to summon a fireball into his right palm. He didn’t want to kill her, but he had no idea if the woman intended to use her bow against him or not. Spike simply couldn’t take the chance.

After willing his fire to not to harm living beings, Spike shot a few volleys in quick succession towards the prone woman. Once she regained her senses, the huntress screamed in frustration as her weapons were reduced to ashes almost instantly. The woman charged at Spike, delivering a heavy spinning kick to his chest. Unfortunately, Spike was prepared for her this time. He caught her leg and flipped her onto the ground once again.

The woman tried to scramble back onto her feet in order to counterattack, but Spike beat her to the punch, driving his elbow directly in between her shoulder blades. Dazed and in a fair amount of pain, the wildling accepted her fate as she felt the intruder hobble her arms against her back.

“Please,” Spike gasped, “Stop this. We don’t have to fight each other anymore.”

“You’re right. We don’t. But you’re forgetting one important detail.”

Spike eyes widened in surprise as he saw the woman’s hand begin to glow like red-hot plasma. An instant later, he felt something sharp jab into the meat of his thigh and quickly began to lose consciousness.

“You were so focused on getting rid of my bow that you neglected to destroy my poison darts. Oh well. I guess you’ll just have to learn that lesson the hard way.”

Spike groaned as he slowly returned to the land of the living. The pain in his nose seemed to have subsided for the most part, but his entire body felt stiff and sore. After gathering enough strength to prop himself up, he noticed that at some point, he’d been put to rest on a bed made of deer hide and stuffed with various plant fibers. Out of the corner of his eye, he spotted the telltale flicker of a fire pit and there, sitting cross-legged in front of it was Spike’s assailant.

Except she looked entirely different from before. That is to say, she’d washed off all the body paint from earlier. Spike was surprised to find out how brightly colored her hair actually was. Her dreadlocks were a massive swirl of crimson and gold twisted together in what Spike could honestly say reminded him somewhat of bacon.

While he rested against the cavern wall, Spike was treated to a very generous view of her nethers, due in part to her lack of attire and the position she’d chosen to sit in. Having grown accustomed to seeing nearly hairless Wyvertii females most of the time, he’d almost forgotten what a woman with a full bush of pubic hair looked like. And as the old saying went: the carpet most certainly matched the drapes in her case.

Much like anyone who spent copious amounts of time outdoors, the woman’s skin was completely tanned to a shade of light bronze. As she rose to her feet, Spike noted the various scars that adorned her body: a ragged set of claw marks along her abdomen and a long, thin line that ran from her ankle up to the midpoint of her calf muscle. With a cocky grin, the woman padded over to where Spike was resting and offered him a skin full of water.

“Good to see that you’re finally awake. Can’t say the same for your friend over there though.”

Spike took a few gulps and cleared this throat. “The poison you used, it’s not deadly… is it?”

The woman shook her head. “Nah. It’s made from the venom of Spotted Tree Peepers. A heavy-duty sedative in and of itself but nothing more. She’ll wake up soon enough.”

“Good. I was worried that she might—ah—you know… die.”

The woman rubbed the back of her neck. “Yeah, I’m really sorry about that. I was only trying to protect the den from intruders, not kill anyone. Oh my gosh! How rude of me! I suppose introductions are in order. The name’s Sunset Shimmer but you can call me Sunny if you’d like.”

“I’m Spike and the girl lying over there is Ember. She and I are mates. As for the reason we’re out here: it’s to investigate all the recent disturbances that’ve been getting all of the animals riled up. We have reason to believe that it’s being caused by a group of treasure hunters.”

“Mates, huh? Guess that explains why you two were so chummy. In any case, it’s pretty clear to me now that neither of you are a threat. No offense, but your typical treasure hunter doesn’t go traipsing around the Everfree Forest buck naked and unarmed…”

Spike raised his eyebrow. “Hey! You’re one to talk! I don’t see you wearing any clothes either.”

“Nope. Haven’t for the past eight years, and I don’t intend to ever again.”

Now that Spike had gotten the chance to get a good look at Sunset’s facial features, he immediately realized that her aqua-colored eyes had the distinct draconic slits endemic to the entire Wyvertii population. Upon closer inspection, he even spotted a tiny pair of fangs protruding from her lips. Everything suddenly began to make sense! This girl must’ve have been some kind of long, lost Wyvertii!

“Sunset, you’re one of us! Why didn’t you say anything before?”

Sunset blinked in confusion. “Uhh… what? I’m afraid I don’t follow.”

“You’re a Wyvertii, like Ember and I! Torch told me that some people occasionally decide to move outside the Continent, but it’s exceedingly rare. What are the odds? How long have you been living out here?”

Sunset cocked her head. “What exactly is a Wyvertii anyway? I don’t recall reading about them in any books. Well, at least not any that the school had access to. All I know is that I’ve always been different from everybody else. Because of my looks, people treated me like I was some kind of sub-human, a monster! I chose to come live out here, so I could be with my own kind and away from them.”

“Wait… so you really don’t know what you are?”

Sunset shook her head. “I’ve been an orphan for most of my life, Spike. The only thing I ever knew about my biological mother was that she was part of the Equestrian Navy at some point. She left one of her patches with me when she dropped me off at the orphanage. That bitch clearly didn’t want to keep me 'cause I was a freak, so I’m not gonna waste my time crying over what could have been. That’s why I live by one simple motto: My past is not today.”

“For what it’s worth, I’m sorry you had to go through all of that. If it’s any consolation, I know exactly where you’re coming from. You see, I never really knew my parents because they both died when I was only a baby. I ended up getting adopted but I never really fit in with Equestrian society either.

“That’s why I’ve decided to embrace the Wyvertii way of life and live by their customs. About a year ago, I traveled to our people’s ancestral homeland and discovered everything that I had been missing out on while I was growing up in Equestria. I felt like I’d finally found a place where I truly belonged. A place where I could walk around freely as my own man and not be judged merely by the way I looked. Do you want that, Sunset?”

Sunset rubbed her chin in thought. “Normally, I’d find a story like that hard to believe but based on how you look, there’s no doubt in my mind that you’re telling me the truth. So yeah. I think I’d like to learn more about these Wyvertii.

“Hey—umm—do you think we might be able to… become friends? I know that’s asking a lot considering that I attacked the both of you but it’s been such a long time since I’ve had other people to talk about stuff with. IF you don’t want to, I’d totally understand…”

“Sure, I’d be more than happy to call you my friend. Ember will probably take a little bit more convincing but she’ll come around once we explain the situation properly. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be able teach the two of a few things too.”

Spike yelped in surprise as he was tackle-hugged onto the bed by a very happy and very naked, Sunset Shimmer. The forest dweller’s sudden skin to skin contact left no doubt in Spike’s mind as to whether or not her exquisitely shaped breasts were more voluminous than either of his mates’. Not only that, but they managed to achieve the perfect balance between softness and firmness as they squished against his chest.

Spike just assumed that Sunset probably wasn’t the most pleasant-smelling person to be around, considering where she lived and her lack of access to modern hygiene products. Yet, this was decidedly not the case. As she nuzzled her cheek against the Dragon Lord’s neck, the smoky-sweet scent of cinnamon and woodfire assaulted his senses.

Suffice to say, her sweat was also heavily laced with pheromones. Try as he might, Spike was powerless to stop his over-eager member from rising to the occasion. It really was the only logical outcome. These things tended to happen when you got smothered by a busty amazon.

Sunset gasped when she felt something hot and stiff press up against her stomach. “Is that… what I think it is?!”

“Umm,” Spike chuckled awkwardly, “it’s exactly what you think it is? Aww jeez! I’m sorry, Sunset. It’s kind of my—ah—body’s natural reaction to being hugged by pretty naked girls. I hope you understand…”

Sunset blushed furiously and slowly backed away from Spike. “Oh, no worries! I should have asked if it was ok to hug you in the first place. My apologies for being improper. I can be a bit impulsive with expressing my feelings on occasion.”

“No, I can totally understand where you’re coming from! Heck, Ember can be like that too sometimes. Can we please just… pretend this never happened and move on?”

Sunset sat cross-legged on the extra doeskin next to Spike. “Fine by me. So… if you and I going to be friends from now on, it’s only fair that I tell you a bit more about myself and how I wound up living out here. I gotta warn you though: it’s long, difficult, and complicated story.”

“Sunset, if it makes you uncomfortable to tell it, you don’t have to.”

Sunset ran her fingers through her hair and sighed. “No, this is something I want to do. You opened up to me about your past and trusted me enough to offer your friendship unconditionally. This is the least I can do to reciprocate that trust. I suppose it all started on my thirteenth birthday…”

8 Years Ago

Celestia’s School for Gifted Mages, Girl’s Dormitory

Sunset laid in her bed, quietly staring out the window as a stray beam of moonlight shone through and illuminated her bedsheets. Today was her thirteenth birthday… or at least that’s what Mother Charity Rose had told her back when she was still living at the orphanage. Since her mother had abandoned her as an infant, no one could ever truly be sure of when Sunset had actually been born.

Like most of her life up to this point, the fiery-haired teenager was often the victim of teasing, bullying, and intense scrutiny from her peers and in some cases, even adults. Sunset had long since come to terms with the fact that she was different from everybody else. But it didn’t make their harsh words and insults hurt any less.

Demonic Freak, The Beastly Bookworm, Lizard Girl, to name a few. Some of the names she’d been called over the years had been far worse, and it caused Sunset too much pain to dare repeat any of them aloud again. That’s why she always strove to excel, both academically and magically. If for no other reason than to prove everyone wrong. To prove, once and for all, that she could be better than them, regardless of the way she looked.

The young teen levitated an adorable stuffed bear that she had received as a birthday present from her best friend in the whole wide world, Moondancer, off of the dresser and into her arms. Moondancer was one of the few people in her life that she could genuinely say she loved. Her surrogate sister was just as nerdy and eager to absorb knowledge as she was and had never once judged Sunset simply for the way she had been born.

Sunset wrapped the teddy bear in a tight hug. “Not sure how I’m gonna sleep tonight. I’m just so nervous, Mr. Grizzby! What if I have another magic surge and fail my exam? I’ve come way too far to be kicked out of the school now…”

The stuffed creature didn’t give a response. Sunset honestly didn’t expect him to, but voicing her concerns aloud was cathartic and helped her to manage all of the stress and anxiety she’d been feeling lately. As talented and intelligent as Sunset was, she still had difficulty controlling her magic sometimes. Particularly, when she got emotional.

Every professor she’d ever discussed the matter with hadn’t been able to provide her with a straight answer as to why her magic was so volatile. On more than one occasion, she’d accidentally caught things on fire while she was just trying to perform a simple levitation spell. It was almost as if her magic behaved more like plasma, rather than regular mana. To that end, Sunset spent long hours refining her technique and took extra care to exercise as much control over her magic as she possibly could.

“Guess there’s no sense in getting all worked up about it. G’night, Mr. Grizzby.” Sunset muttered as she slowly drifted off to sleep.

Sunset awoke from her night terror drenched in sweat, heart nearly beating out of her chest. It took her a few moments to regain her composure and come back to reality. She’d dreamt that the entire lecture hall and everyone inside it had been burnt to a crisp when one of her spells failed spectacularly. She could still see the looks of horror on their charred faces, hear their wails of agony as they were cooked alive.

It was no use. Sunset just couldn’t calm down. Much to her horror, the teenager noticed that part of her bed had actually caught fire somehow. When she looked down at her hands, they were glowing with the red-hot pulse of her magic. The poor girl panicked, and in her emotionally unstable state, her magic was only made stronger. A crimson aura enveloped her entire body and erupted outwards, engulfing the entire room in a raging inferno.

Everything burned. Her bed, her clothes, all of her belongings. Nothing was spared from the wrath of the mystical flames that now surrounded her. She could hear the shrill blare of the fire alarm as it went off, and the shouts of other students as they evacuated the dorm. A terrified Sunset Shimmer burst through the dorm’s rapidly disintegrating wall and fled towards the Everfree Forest, not daring to look back at the destruction she had caused.

Sunset ran. She ran harder and faster than she’d ever had in her entire life. Sunset wanted nothing to do with Celestia’s School or Equestria, for that matter, ever again. Should she return, everyone would surely label her as a dangerous abomination, a creature unfit to exist in civilized society. That’s why Sunset decided it was best for her to live out the remainder of her natural life in the Everfree, a fitting place for monsters like her.

Determined or not, Sunset was still accustomed to living with all of the comforts and conveniences of the modern world. Like shoes and clothing for instance. That being said: an inquisitive-minded individual such as Sunset found it more than a little baffling as to how she’d managed to stay warm up to this point, despite being completely exposed to the elements. It was almost as if her body was naturally designed to compensate for temperature variations. Even so, running through a dark, spooky forest barefoot and naked was still an alien experience for her.

Panting heavily, Sunset found a relatively clear spot in the grass to sit down on and massaged her sore, aching feet. Now that her adrenaline high was begging to ebb, Sunset began to feel the numerous cuts and bruises that she had accumulated during her flight into the depths of the forest. Without a significant source of water, it was practically impossible for her to clean off the layer of ashen-gray soot that had now caked onto her skin. It was extremely uncomfortable and made her itchy all over, but the miserable teenager resisted the temptation to scratch herself (particularly around her cuts), knowing that it might cause her to get an infection if she did.

Thirsty, sweaty, and covered head to toe in soot, Sunset cried out in joy when she happened to stumble upon a rather sizeable stream after several hours of ambling about in the wilderness. The water probably wasn’t the safest to drink, but she didn’t care.

Sunset crouched by the stream bed and took in several greedy gulps of life-giving water. She thanked whatever higher powers she could think of for finally being given the chance to soothe her parched throat. Once she’d had her fill, the teenager laid down in the grass nearby, a satisfied smile stretched across lips.

Before Sunset had the chance to relax, she heard a twig snap behind her, followed by a deep growl. Her heart caught in her throat as she turned around and saw a massive, brindle-coated Dire Wolf glaring back at her with its yellow eyes. Thinking quickly, the young woman grabbed the biggest rock she could find and hurled it at the beast’s face.

Given her weakened state, the impact did little more than irritate the wolf. The enraged canine lunged towards her, sharpened claws ready to tear her limb from limb. Out of pure instinct alone, Sunset summoned a red-hot bolt of plasma in her palm and blasted the wolf straight in the chest.

Although the beast was injured by her attack this time, it was still very much alive and capable of killing her. The smell of singed fur filled Sunset’s nostrils as she attempted to scramble to her feet and run for dear life. Her legs burned while she ran, but Sunset knew that if she stopped, death would be certain. By a stroke a sheer bad luck, the teenager managed to trip over a tree root and stumbled along ground.

As the Dire Wolf loomed over her, poised to rip the poor girl to shreds, Sunset felt a heat like a thousand suns fill her entire being. Soon, her body was glowing with a crimson aura as it had before in the dorm… except this time, she knew exactly where to direct it. With a primal scream, she channeled her fury at the Dire Wolf, immolating the beast in the blink of an eye.

Utterly spent, Sunset managed to shuffle her way back to the stream and promptly collapsed onto the ground soon after. Before she even had the chance to catch her breath, Sunset witnessed an even larger creature walk up beside her and take a drink from the stream.

Based on the books she’d read, Sunset was positive it was an adult Ursa Major, judging by both its sheer size and the constellations that covered its body. Knowing full well that she was in no condition to do much of anything at the moment, Sunset wet herself in fear, and proceed to curl up into a ball.

“P-please don’t kill me,” Sunset sobbed, “I just came here to rest and get a drink!”

The Ursa regarded Sunset with a snort. “Calm yourself, young one. I have come here to quench my own thirst as well. I shall not bring any harm to youyet.”

Sunset hiccupped. “What? H-how are you talking like that?!”

We have always been a sapient race capable of telepathy for many eons. However, we do not normally trust your kind with such knowledge.”

“Why trust me, though?”

The Ursa narrowed its eyes. “It is not a matter of trust, little cub. It is because you are such a unique specimen for your kind. You exhibited powers that I have never seen before and it intrigues me. Besides, you hardly pose a threat to me in your current condition. Am I mistaken to assume so or is the urine I smell merely a ploy to discourage me from eating you?

Sunset’s cheeks burned with embarrassment. “O-ok, fine! I’ll admit that I’m scared out of my mind right now and on the brink of passing out from exhaustion. What more do you expect from me? I’m just a pathetic, little orphan girl who’s hit rock bottom and has nowhere else to go…”

The Ursa let out a deep, rumbling laugh. “Indeed! However, you confuse my words for an insult. What I meant was that you are both physically and magically different from all of the other two-legs I have seen over the centuries. More… predator like, I would say. That is why I have decided to show you compassion this day. Come. Let us wash off the grime that coats your hide and fill your belly with sustenance.”

Now that she’d had a chance to bathe and get something to eat, Sunset was beginning to feel significantly more relaxed than she had before. It was more than a little strange to be sharing a cave with a pair of Ursas (the big one’s name was Cassiopeia, and her cub, Mensa) but Sunset found their company to be far more pleasant than people. Plus, it didn’t hurt that it felt wonderful to snuggle her entire body against their, soft, warm fur.

“Cassiopeia, I wanted to thank you for taking me in. I’m not sure how I can ever repay you… but you can’t imagine how much this means to me.”

The Ursa nuzzled Sunset with her cheek. “You are quite welcome, young one. I appreciate your gratitude and humility. Other two-legs could learn a thing or two from your example. Now, rest and regain your strength. If you intend to live with us from now on, then you shall have to earn your keep by learning how to hunt and forage. That lesson, however, shall come another day.”

Present Day

Sunset's Cavern, Everfree Forest

Ember slowly cracked opened her eyes only to be greeted by a skull-splitting headache, the likes of which could put even the nastiest hangover to shame. Her memory of the past few hours was still a bit hazy but she recalled getting hit in the neck with some kind of dart. As she made an effort to prop herself up, Ember noted that she had somehow been placed on a bed fashioned from deer hide and stuffed with what she could only assume was hay or some kind of dried plants. She was surprised to see her mate crouched beside the bed, waterskin in hand.

“Nnngh. Spike, are we in a… cave? How the hell did we wind up in here?”

Spike rubbed the back of his neck. “Ah, a funny story that is.”

“There’s no way the two of us just magically floated onto these beds. We were unconscious, for Goddess’s sake! Something or someone had to have put us here.”

Sunset chose that very moment to walk up to the bed carrying a roasted rabbit on a skewer. “Hey, I know it’s not much but this should help Ember get her energy back—”

Sunset didn’t even get the chance to finish her sentence before the enraged tomboy punched her square in the face. Although plenty tough in her own right, Sunset was caught completely off guard and stumbled onto the cave floor with a pained grunt. Not satisfied that she and her mate were out of harm’s way yet, Ember ran over to where the woman had fallen, poised to deliver a few strikes to their would-be assailant.

What Ember didn’t expect was for the amazon to immediately punch her right back. In her half-dazed state, Ember had a difficult time telling up from down and promptly fell straight on her ass. Realizing that the situation was quickly getting out of hand, Spike scrambled towards the two women and placed himself between them.

“Girls, STOP! This is all just a big misunderstanding!”

Sunset massaged her aching jaw. “Damn, your girlfriend has one seriously mean right hook. But I can’t really blame her for hitting me ‘cause it’s mostly my fault anyway. I should’ve waited until you explained everything first before coming in here unannounced…”

“Alright, Spike. What the actual fuck is going on here? Do you know this woman?”

Spike knelt down next to Ember and rubbed her back. “Mhmm, that’s right. Although, we only met a little over an hour ago. Her name’s Sunset Shimmer and she’s been living out here in the Everfree for the past eight years. I thought that we could help her learn about—”

“By the Goddess, she’s one of us!”

“Based on what she told me, I think Sunset’s technically a half-breed. But! She’s still just as much of a Wyvertii as us as far as I’m concerned! That being said: I think it would be a good idea for us to teach Sunset about our customs and how to control her magic better. I know you’re probably still upset about her attacking us, but I’d really like to help her out.”

Ember shrugged. “Eh, why not? I trust you, Spike. If you say she’s not a threat to us, then I’m inclined to believe you. Besides, I’ve always wondered what it’d be like to have a sister.”


Ember pouted. “Ok. Fine. Big sister. But only because she’s so freakin’ tall. I know way more about being a Wyvertii than her, so I get to be the one who gives out sisterly advice n’ stuff. Got it?”

Sunset sauntered over to Ember and proudly displayed her ample bust. “Emphasis on the ‘BIG’ part. As I’m sure Spike could tell you~”

“Oh? Why might that be, my dearest mate?”

Spike began to work up a nervous sweat while he tried to conjure up a reasonable excuse. Finding none, the young Dragon Lord came to the conclusion that honesty was the best policy in this particular situation and resigned himself to suffer Ember’s wrath.

“Ember, you can’t possibly expect a red-blooded man like me to simply ignore an amazing pair of breasts like those. I’m sorry. If you want to hit me, go ahead…”

The tomboy shook her head. “Franky, I can’t say I’m surprised. I mean, she does have really nice tits. For now, your punishment shall be to… feed me that grilled rabbit over there. I’m starving, so you’d better get to it while I’m still feeling merciful!”

“Of course! I’ll be right back!”

Sunset blushed at the unexpected praise of her womanly assets (she was mostly joking around) and sat down next to Ember. “Look, I just wanna clear the air and say that I wasn’t trying to steal your boyfriend away from you or anything like that. If it’s alright with you, I’d like us to start over with a clean slate.”

“Never said you were. But whatever. It’s all water under the bridge now, I suppose.”

Sunset let out a sigh of relief. “Oh, thank goodness! For a second there, I thought you seriously hated my guts. So… uh—Spike told me that you guys are going after a group of trouble-making treasure hunters? I don’t mean to brag, but I’m fairly certain that I know the layout of the forest way better than you two do.”

“Yeah, and your point is?”

Sunset began to twiddle her fingers. “Well, if you’re not opposed to it, I think it would be a good idea for us to travel to the Castle of the Two Sisters together. With all the shortcuts I know, it would only take about three hours tops. Plus, I’m not too keen on letting a bunch of trigger-happy morons shoot up the forest and put my family in danger.”

“Your family? What family?”

Ember’s jaw dropped when she saw a massive, constellation-studded bear emerge from the bowels of the cavern and make itself comfortable in front of the fire. With surprising tenderness, the creature craned its neck and nuzzled Sunset’s entire body. She responded in kind by hugging the bear around its neck.

“Ember, Spike. I’d like the the two of you to meet my mother, Cassiopeia.”

The Confrontation

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Chapter 22

Sunset’s Cavern, Everfree Forest

Ember and Spike sat huddled together, completely dumbfounded by what they were seeing. The apex predator of the Everfee Forest was nuzzling Sunset as if she were the creature’s own cub. Not only that, but Sunset seemed perfectly content to return the massive beast’s affection in kind. It was surreal to say the least. When the Ursa finally noticed their horrified expressions, it padded over to where the young couple was sitting and flashed its canines in a predatory grin.

You know, it’s rather rude to stare at your host in such a blatant manner. Especially, when I have been gracious enough to allow the two of you to rest in my den.”

“Mom! Stop antagonizing our guests! Spike and Ember probably haven’t ever seen a live Ursa before. Cut them a little slack, ok?”

Cassiopeia let out a deep, rumbling laugh. “Be at peace, dearest daughter. What I said was merely in jest. A way to break the ice, if you will. I take it these are the intruders you attacked earlier?”

Sunset rubbed the back of her neck. “Yeah, well… I was only trying to protect the den. Trust me, I checked them out already and they’re not bad people. In fact, I’m pretty sure we all want the same thing: to find those treasure hunters and stop them from causing any more trouble.”

Indeed,” Cassiopeia murmured while she inspected her guests, “Most intriguing. It appears that both the male and the female share your physical traits. Hmm. And they carry a similar scent as well. Do you believe that they may have originated from the same clan of two-legs as you?”

“I’m not entirely sure, but it seems that way. They say I’m Wyvertii. Do you happen to know what that is?”

I am afraid not, Sunset. Even for one as long-lived as I, there are still plenty of things about this world that I have yet to gain knowledge of. Given time, and a bit of persuasion on your part, they might be willing to share their insights with you. If nothing else, it shall serve as an opportunity to interact with other two-legs again.”

Sunset shuffled her feet. “I… guess so. Mom, it’s been nearly a decade since I’ve seen other people, let alone interact with them on regular basis! You know how I feel about Equestrians.”

All too well,” the Ursa agreed then continued in a tone that only Sunset could hear, “However, I think it would be in your best interest to move out of the den and finally live with your own kind. Take the opportunity to do so while you are still young and fertile. Who knows? Perhaps you can even persuade them to allow you to join their pack. The male certainly seems amenable enough to your company, if his arousal was anything to go by.”

Sunset blushed fiercely, purposely avoiding eye contact with Spike. “How did you know about that?! I-I thought you were resting…”

And who ever said that resting always entails closing one’s eyes? To answer your question: yes, I witnessed the entire interaction between the three of you. It was quite amusing, if I do say so myself. Hence, the reason why I chose to reveal myself only after it had all concluded.”

Ember cautiously raised her hand. “Hello, Ms. Cassiopeia. Spike and I—we didn’t mean to intrude upon your den. And I’m really sorry about punching your… daughter? I wasn’t completely aware of what was going on at the time. I hope you can find in your heart to forgive the both of us.”

There is nothing to forgive, two-leg. Ember, was it? Quite frankly, I would have behaved in a similar manner had I been placed in the same scenario. I often tell Sunset this, but I believe it bears repeating: always protect those whom you hold dear. It is a particularly important duty for alpha females such as ourselves. Wouldn’t you agree?”

Ember chuckled bashfully. “Oh, I wouldn’t exactly call myself an alpha female. Spike would have done the same for me had our positions been reversed.”

Polite and humble! Do wonders ever cease? In any case, it is good to see that the two of you care for each other so deeply and without reservation. My sincerest wish is that you would extend the same courtesy towards my daughter. That is, if your mate agrees to it.”

Spike stood up and met the Ursa’s gaze. “As I told Sunset before, she’s more than welcome to join us. It would be our pleasure to teach her more about what it means to be a Wyvertii and help her gain better control over her magic.”

Sunset, is this what you desire? To travel with them?”

Sunset grew quiet for a moment, absently twirling a strand of her hair while she pondered her decision. “I… don’t know. I’m not sure if I’m ready to go back to civilization.”

Cassiopeia gently nuzzled her daughter. “Though I did not give birth to you, I cherish the years we have spent together and consider you to be my own flesh and blood. Let none dispute this. That is why, even with a heavy heart, I must agree with Spike on this matter.”

“But what if I’m not able to—”

The Ursa stomped her paw against the cavern floor. “Enough! Self-doubt is unbecoming of you, my daughter. Yes, it shall be difficult for you to adjust at first, but you have Spike and Ember to rely upon this time. You know as well as I do that the Everfree is hardly the ideal place for two-legs. Please, Sunset. I implore you! Go with them. Experience everything that life has to offer beyond the confines of the forest.

“You know what? You’re right! I shouldn’t be acting like a scared little kid anymore. I’m a grown woman now! I just have to… keep my chin up, and take things one day at a time. Oh Gods! Mom, I’m really gonna miss you…”

Fear and sorrow are a natural part of life, my daughter. Just remember that you can always reach out to me whenever you are feeling lonely. So long as I draw breath, I promise that I shall always answer your call.”

Sunset hugged her adoptive mother as tightly as she could, staining the bear’s coat with her tears. “Don’t worry; I will. I love you, mom.”

And I you, little cub.”

After taking a moment to compose herself, Sunset grabbed the spare bow & quiver laying against the wall and looked outside with a determined expression on her face. “Alright. I guess we ought to get going while it’s still light outside.”

Before the three of you set off on your journey together, I would like to bestow a gift.”

Ember and Spike stood in awe of the Ursa as her entire coat began to glow like the nighttime sky. A strange, yet not entirely unpleasant tingling sensation washed over their bodies as they were enveloped in a midnight blue aura. After a few moments, the pair swore the cave smelled a bit fruiter, somewhat like fresh blueberries mixed with ozone perhaps? It was a scent that they couldn’t quite put their finger on.

I have marked all three of you with my essence. Creatures big and small will know to avoid you, lest they wish to contend with my wrath. However, I must caution you: it is merely a temporary measure. The spell will gradually fade over time. Go now, young ones. Be safe in your travels and keep your wits about you.”

True to her word, Sunset strode through the dense underbrush of the Everfree Forest with an air of confidence born from years of experience. Yet, Spike and Ember could clearly tell that her mind was elsewhere. The fiery-haired woman had barely uttered a single word over the past two hours, preferring instead to communicate with simple nods and hand gestures. In a rare display of empathy, Ember walked beside her newest traveling companion and awkwardly wrapped her arm around the older woman’s shoulders. Sunset stood stock still but didn’t try to pull away. Thus emboldened, Ember then proceeded to run her fingers along Sunset’s arm.

“I never knew my mother, but it wasn’t easy for me to say goodbye to my father and leave Brimstone behind either. I’d spent my entire life there, after all. So… don’t feel like you have to suffer alone. You can talk to us whenever you want.”

Sunset felt unshed tears begin to well in her eyes. “I—thanks. That means a lot to me, Ember. Aww geez! You guys probably think I’m some big, fat crybaby now. I’m sorry…”

Spike gently rubbed her back. “Hey, there’s absolutely no reason you should ever be sorry about expressing how you feel. It’s not healthy to keep everything bottled up all the time. Trust me, I’m speaking from personal experience.”


Spike chuckled. “Yeah, back in Ponyville I had an ugly little episode when I was younger. Suffice to say: I was really jealous of a guy who’d been hitting on Rarity and I thought that… well, I thought it was a good idea to scare him a bit.”

“What’d you do?”

Spike blushed lightly and scratched the back of his neck. “I—uh—I might have tried to light his pants on fire with my magic. Turns out, treated cotton is extremely flammable. Who knew? Anyway, I ended up giving the poor guy a few burns and trip to the hospital. Once my mom found out, she was positively furious with me!

“After making a public apology and being told that I was on Royal Guard barracks latrine cleaning duty for the next six months, I finally decided to tell her why I did it. Mom was still pretty upset with me because I had been so reckless, but she was proud that I chose to tell her about how I truly felt about the whole situation.”

Sunset let out a heavy sigh. “I’ve had to go to extreme lengths just to survive out here: both physically and emotionally. Don’t get me wrong; you guys have been incredibly supportive so far. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I appreciate that. But it’s still… going to take me a while before I get used to the idea of letting my guard down around other people, ya know?”

The words in Ember’s mouth died out in a quiet gasp as the trio happened to stumble upon their intended destination. Spike, likewise, found it difficult to process what he was witnessing. Having accompanied the Elements Bearers on their first adventure together when they vanquished Nightmare Moon, Spike was intimately familiar with the ruins of the castle, but they seemed different this time around. More ominous, if that was even possible.

As Ember, Spike, and Sunset carefully crept closer towards the main chamber, an oily black cloud of miasma swirled about the castle ruins, hugging the ground like an unnatural fog. It seemed to slither around their legs like a serpent in the grass, sending a forboding sense of dread straight down their spines.

Due to his experience fighting King Sombra in the Crystal Empire, Spike recognized that it had to be some form of dark magic. The young Dragon Lord grit his teeth in determination. He knew that whoever or whatever had created the fog was a far bigger threat to Equestria, than a mere band of treasure seeking mercenaries.

It didn’t take long before the three Wyvertii managed to navigate their way through the ruins proper. Spike knew what to expect, given that he’d actually been in the castle before. Worn tapestries, rusted armor, faded oil-paintings, and sigils from noble houses long forgotten to the annals of time. The girls observed the scenery laid out before them with an air of cautious interest. Unfortunately, what finally awaited the trio when they finally arrived at the throne room was nothing short of horrifying.

Strewn about the marbled tiles were the grey, shriveled husks of what had once been a dozen men, their expressions locked in an eternal scream of terror. Ember and Sunset immediately cupped their hands over their mouths in a desperate attempt to prevent themselves from puking all over the floor when they witnessed two treasure hunters being levitated above the throne, and getting the life sucked out of them like a pair of human-shaped raisins.

The pained, watery gurgling sounds the men uttered nearly made Spike want to puke as well, but he knew that he had to keep himself composed at all costs. After all, everyone’s life might very well depend on it. Before he could even attempt to reassure Sunset and Ember, an amused, otherworldly chuckle echoed throughout the chamber. There, seated upon Luna’s Throne, sat Dr. Caballeron, his mouth twisted in a bemused grin. As soon as he noticed that there were three other people in the room, he cast aside the pair of desiccated corpses with an air of indifference.

“Ah, what’s this? It would seem that I have some unexpected guests. Don’t be shy, come forward and let me get a good look at all of you.”

Spike stepped forward first, in an effort to protect the girls and potentially diffuse the situation. Now that he’d gotten a better look at the doctor, something was definitely off about him. His heavy Maragonian accent was still there, of course, but it sounded as though there was another voice speaking with him at the same time. Spike nearly choked on his own spit when he saw that Caballeron’s eyes no longer had any pupils. Instead, they simply glowed with same eldritch power that surrounded the rest of the ruins, completely devoid of light.

“State your intentions, boy.”

Spike licked his lips and hoped that he didn’t sound as frightened as he felt. “My name is Spike and the other two are my traveling companions. We came here to investigate some recent… disturbances that have been upsetting the local wildlife. You wouldn’t happen to know anything about that, would you?”

“I might. Although, you’re hardly in a position to be demanding answers from me.”

“Would it help if I said please?”

Caballeron bellowed with laughter. “How droll! Three naked adventurers come traipsing into my throne room and their leader has the unmitigated gall to ask me to explain myself? HA! Well, you’ve certainly got a sturdy pair of stones dangling betwixt your legs, don’t you? Literally and figuratively! Very well then. I suppose I could take a few moments to indulge your curiosity, since you asked so politely.”

“Well, umm… that’s very generous of you. By all means, take your time.”

The entity inhabiting Caballeron’s body grinned. “Not to worry, master Spike. I shan’t waste too much of your precious time. Hmm. Where should I even begin? Ah yes! I imagine you’re familiar with the tragic tale of Princess Luna and her fall to the Elements of Harmony?”

“Uh—sure, I’ve heard of it.”

Caballeron stood up and took hold of a plainly decorated, yet deadly-looking ebony mace that had been resting against the throne. “Good, then I don’t have to waste my breath explaining it to you. Suffice to say: the fair princess imbued a great deal of mystical power into this weapon during her tenure as Nightmare Moon.

“Ah… that look of horrified comprehension on your face. You’ve dealt with dark magic before, haven’t you? Rare for menfolk in this age, but not entirely unheard of. Surely, you must understand what makes this artifact so special?”

Spike took a deep breath and chose his next words carefully. “Yeah, I did once. But I honestly don’t consider myself to be an expert on either subject.”

“Allow me to enlighten you then. I am what you might consider a… fragment of Nightmare Moon’s essence. However, I am also a distinct being in my own right. Even though my powers were derived from hand of my mistress, they have developed and grown stronger over the course of the past thousand years. You may address me as: Erebus, scion of darkness, champion of the void.”

The wheels in Spike’s mind spun furiously in a desperate attempt to process everything that Erebus had told him so far. If this abomination was what it truly claimed to be, then it would probably take the combined effort of all seven Elements of Harmony working at full power to defeat the malevolent spirit housed within the mace. Even then, Spike wasn’t entirely certain that they would work against Erebus. He’d witnessed a lot of wild and crazy things during his eighteen years of life, but an evil, sapient war relic was definitely something he’d never encountered before.

Spike felt his stomach twist into an icy knot. “I take it we can’t just pretend this never happened and go our separate ways?”

“An interesting offer, but no. You three, however unusual your appearance may be, are of use to me. I require more magic to break free of this place and assume my rightful place as this world’s one, true sovereign ruler. To that end, I shall drain those two of their lifeforce and claim you as my new host.”

“Let’s n-not be hasty. I’m sure we can work something out.”

Erebus shot a bolt of dark energy directly into the ceiling, causing chunks of masonry to crash onto the floor below. “SILENCE! Again, you presume that you have a choice in the matter!”

The Dragon Lord quickly shut his mouth, lest he anger the dark entity further. After a few moments of tense silence, Erebus was satisfied that Spike had been sufficiently cowed by the display of power. Thus, he calmly procedued with the rest of his explanation.

“The vessel I currently inhabit is that of an ordinary man. Weak and pitiful. But you, my young friend, are strong and magically gifted. I can sense it. There is so much potential to be had! Listen carefully, for I shall only make this offer once. Surrender yourself to me now and I will allow your female companions to leave the castle unharmed. What say you?”

Spike was quickly running out of options. Stalling the spirit hadn’t really done much in the way of coming up with an effective strategy to defeat him. And even with Ember and Sunset’s help, he was under no illusion that Erebus was way out of their league in terms of magical power.

He took a moment to glance over at the girls. Neither of them seemed like they believed a word Erebus was saying. That was encouraging because Spike felt much the same way. Both his aunt and mother often warned him that practitioners of dark magic were never to be trusted, no matter how dire the circumstances may be.

Spike kept his eyes trained on Erebus while he concentrated on condensing as much mystical fire into his palms as he could. With a slight nod, he prompted the girls to do the same. There would only be a very brief window of opportunity for their attack to succeed. Spike hoped that it would at least distract Erebus long enough so that he could go into “dragon mode” and maybe… just maybe have a fighting chance.

The young Dragon Lord didn’t even bother answering the question. Without a moment’s hesitation, all three Wyvertii thrusted their palms forward and unleashed a gout of multi-hued flames against the creature of darkness. After about thirty seconds or so, the trio ceased their assault and stood back to observe the damage.

Doctor Caballeron (or what was left of him) stood in the exact same position as before. Except, he bore more of a resemblance to a giant steaming lump of charcoal instead of a person. The trio was about to breath a collective sigh of relief… until he started moving again. Much to their horror, skin, hair, muscle, and organs alike began reforming and stitching themselves back together almost immediately. In mere moments, Dr. Caballeron’s body appeared as good as new and without so much as a scratch.

Erebus rubbed his temples in frustration and sighed. “What a pity. This always happens whenever I try to negotiate with heroic types. Why can’t you just give up and accept your fate, like good little mortals? No matter. It shall make breaking the three of you that much more satisfying!”

Sunset was the first to strike. Despite her lack of formal combat training, the spinning back kick she aimed at the abomination’s head was both powerful and swift. It may very well have worked had she been up against an ordinary opponent. Unfortunately, this was not the case with Erebus. With unnatural precision, the dark specter grabbed hold of Sunset’s ankle right before the ball of her foot had a chance to connect and tossed her like a ragdoll against one of the marble columns nearby. She crumpled onto the floor in a boneless heap, rendered unconscious by the impact.

Ember quickly followed suit, her fists glowing sapphire blue as she delivered a series of lightning fast, fire-fueled punches to wherever she could find an opening. Erebus merely stood his ground and allowed her ferocious onslaught to continue unabated. Hit after hit landed successfully without fail, but each time Ember wounded him, Erebus would simply heal the damaged flesh as if nothing had happened.

“Is that all you’ve got? If so, I must say that I’m rather disappointed. With that impressive build of yours, I was expecting you to put up much more of a fight. Not to worry though. Your lifeforce will still be of use to me.”

After letting out an angry snarl, Ember channeled enough magic into her fists to make them resemble a pair of twin stars, each glowing with the energy of the cosmos. Not wanting to waste her time slinging petty insults, the tomboy stepped forward and delivered a powerful uppercut to Erebus’s jaw. The resulting impact nearly vaporized his skull, but did not stop the dark entity from returning a few savage blows of his own.

Ember barely had enough time to put up her guard as she was struck from seemly every angle imaginable by a half dozen tentacle-like appendages that had sprouted out of Erebus’s back. Even though she’d trained her body to withstand such punishment, it was taking every ounce of willpower she had just to maintain the augmentation spell. If her magic reserves ran out or her concentration was, at any point, broken, Ember was certain that she wouldn’t be able to survive any more than a few seconds.

Battered, bruised and exhausted, the edges of Ember’s vision began to blur as time wore on. Then, suddenly, out of the corner of her eye, she spotted a massive green and purple blur come up behind her assailant and ram him into the wall with a resounding crunch. Unable to maintain her concentration any longer, Ember’s legs quickly gave out and she collapsed onto the floor.

A tiny smile spread across her lips as she watched Spike combat the dark entity. Ember had heard her father mention a rare technique where one took on the aspects of the goddess, but she’d never actually seen the transformation in practice before. Spike was… well, he looked confident, heroic, strong, and powerful. Everything a proper Dragon Lord should be.

Were it not for her injuries, Ember would have run over to her mate and showered him with gratitude for saving her life. Unfortunately, as it was, Ember could barely move her body without feeling immense pain and she found it difficult to even breathe properly. It was a sure sign that she probably had a few bruised, if not outright broken, ribs. A wave of guilt washed over her. She desperately wanted to help, but all the tomboy could do was place her faith in Spike and hope that he was strong enough to defeat Erebus on his own.

With a thundering crack, Erebus was slammed into the wall, causing errant chunks of masonry to fly about the room. He was momentarily caught off guard by the sheer ferocity of the attack. It was like getting hit with the full force of a steam locomotive. Although now covered head to toe in purple and green scales (and significantly more robust), Erebus could tell that the dragon-like goliath standing before him was none other than the young man from before.

Erebus reached out his hand and summoned the mace. “An interesting little trick. But it won’t save you, boy!”

The dark entity swung his weapon around with the skill and grace of ballet dancer. Spike wasn’t terribly surprised by this; the mace was essentially part of Erebus. Even so, the blows that managed to connect were quite painful… despite the extra protection the Dragon Lord’s hardened scales offered. Having grown tired of his opponent’s antics, Spike clamped his foreclaw around Erebus’s wielding arm, tore it off in a single, swift motion, and flung the severed appendage towards the entrance of the throne room.

Spike’s eyes widened in shock as another arm, made from pure dark magic, formed out of the wound and punched him right in the snout. While he was distracted, Erebus wrapped his tentacles around Spike’s ankles and slammed him against the floor, back and forth repeatedly. Once the Dragon Lord had a chance to regain his senses, he dug his feet into the marble floor, and breathed a torrent of emerald flames towards his opponent’s legs.

Erebus’s flesh ignited quickly, and within a matter of seconds his entire body was alight in an eerie green glow. Not wanting to waste the opening that had been presented to him, Spike took the initiative and savagely tore apart the demon with his bare claws. He gave into his primitive, animalistic instincts, allowing his rage to take over. It was not a thing of beauty, nor could he claim that there was any sort of technique behind his attacks, but it got the job done.

Once Erebus stopped moving, Spike took a moment to rest. He was exhausted, panting heavily, and in a considerable amount of pain but he made sure to keep his eyes trained on Erebus’s mangled body the entire time. His draconic form granted him powers well beyond that of a normal man, but he was not so foolish to let his guard down.

Especially, when he saw how quickly the dark abomination could heal Caballeron’s injuries, no matter how grievous they appeared to be. That and the Dragon Lord knew all too well that he could not maintain his draconic form indefinitely. By his own rough estimation, Spike figured that he had about another minute left before the transformation would completely expire.

It all happened in the blink of an eye. Before Spike could so much as utter a gasp, Erebus wrapped his tentacles around Spike’s ankles, wrists, and neck, effectively immobilizing him. As Spike was hoisted into the air, he screamed in agony as he felt dark magic course through his entire being, slowly making him weaker and weaker by the second. With a bright green flash, he instantly reverted back to being plain, old Spike.

He slowly cracked open his eyes. More out of surprise than anything else because the pain seemed to stop suddenly. Through blurred vision, he saw Erebus, fully healed and sporting an arrogant grin, looking back at him. He couldn’t help it. His body was going into shock. Spike proceed to puke all over the floor and himself.

Erebus shook his head. “Look at you. Quivering in fear and covered in your own vomit. How pathetic. Yet, I was not mistaken about your potential. Cease this foolish charade and surrender yourself to me. Think, boy! Think of how powerful the two us could be together! No one would be able to stop us. Not even the avatars of the sun, moon, love, magic, and Element Bearers combined. All would bow down to our might!”

“Burn… in… Tartarus,” Spike rasped.

“A stubborn one, aren’t you? Perhaps you don’t think I understand how you feel. But I do. I most certainly do. You’re young and still trying to find your proper place in the world. You want everyone to respect you, to accept you for all that you have become with open arms and open hearts, unconditionally.

“A noble sentiment, if a bit naïve. You know as well as I do that menfolk are often narrow-minded and judgmental. Sometimes, they must be coerced into accepting the way of things. Either through fear, violence, bribery or a combination thereof. Join me, Spike. And you’ll never have to worry about people casting their judgment upon you ever again. All it takes is yes.”

In his entire life, Spike had never hated himself more than at that very moment. What Erebus said was true to a certain extent. He craved respect. He craved acceptance. It made his skin crawl just knowing that he’d even entertained such thoughts. But on the other hand, Spike had no desire to give up his own humanity or bring harm to those he cared about in order to gain either of those things. Otherwise, he would no longer be himself. He would become the very monster he sought to destroy.

What else could he do though? Spike felt utterly helpless. Ember was propped up against the wall, barely conscious, bloody and bruised. Sunset hadn’t so much as moved a muscle since she was slammed into the column. Spike knew it was possible that she could still be alive, but he wasn’t one hundred percent certain. Everyone was depending on him to defeat Erebus and he barely had the strength to keep his eyes open. History would remember him as the weakest and possibly shortest reigning Dragon Lord of all time. The thought was enough to make him want to sob right then and there. But he knew it wouldn’t serve any purpose if he did. The situation truly seemed hopeless.

Just as he was about to give up hope, a voice called out to him. Well, maybe not exactly a voice but more like a feeling, a strong emotional presence, if you will. Spike couldn’t exactly explain it, yet knew what he had to do. The voice told him so. It encouraged him to focus on his hand. To imagine that hand wielding a sword, a weapon that could smite the demon before him. And so, he did.

What happened next was nothing short of a miracle. In a brilliant flash of crimson light, The Bloodstone Blade suddenly appeared in his hand as if it had been summoned. Given its mythical origins, Spike had very little reason to doubt that the sword may have developed some level of sapience over the centuries. As if to answer his question, the ruby red crystal on the blade’s pommel thrummed with power, casting a pleasant warmth though his body.

Spike now understood what needed to be done. He closed his eyes, gathered all the remaining strength he had left, and thrust the sword forward. The blade pierced Erebus’s chest like a hot knife through butter but curiously enough, it did not cause him to bleed. Instead, the wound oozed pure darkness that continuously trickled down the length of the sword and until it was absorbed by the crystal. The tendrils that had once been wrapped around him, gradually began to dissipate and in no time at all, Spike was finally rid of them and stood upon on his own two feet once again.

He glanced down at Dr. Caballeron’s lifeless corpse and sighed. Spike hadn’t intended to kill the man, but it was the unfortunate result of a dark entity constantly repairing a multitude of severe wounds over a short period of time. The poor doctor’s body simply couldn’t handle the strain once he was disconnected from Erebus. In hindsight, Spike realized, it was probably for the best. Had Caballeron survived the ordeal, it was unlikely that he would have remained sane.

The blade thrummed once more, notifying its master that Erebus was not entirely defeated yet. Spike gripped the hilt tightly and voiced his gratitude. He knew that an artifact of such evil power would need to be destroyed completely, lest it fall into the hands of another hapless treasure seeker.

Spike slowly walked towards to the entrance of the throne room, and sure enough, the mace was lying exactly where he’d thrown it earlier. As he got closer to the weapon, he heard a voice whisper in his ear, imploring him to reconsider. Erebus promised him power, strength, respect, and riches beyond his wildest dreams once again. But Spike wouldn’t have it. Disgusted by the dark entity’s feeble attempt to seduce him, the Dragon Lord raised the Bloodstone Blade and brought it down on the mace as hard as he could.

The weapon shattered into a thousand tiny fragments as a banshee-like wail echoed through the halls. Erring on the side of caution, Spike willed mystic fire into the blade and used it to immolate the remaining fragments. With his task finally complete, the sword thrummed its approval and disappeared in a flash of crimson light, returning from whence it came.

Now that the threat was gone, Spike scrambled over to Sunset and placed his fingers on her neck. Much to his relief, he could feel a pulse although it was somewhat weak. Given his own injuries and battle fatigue, it was quite difficult to carry an unconscious woman of Sunset’s size piggy-back style… but managed it well enough.

Ember hobbled over to the pair and grinned. “There were a few moments where I thought we were goners for sure but despite long odds, you managed to kill that bastard anyway.”

“Are you sure you should even be walking around like that? No offense, but you look like you’re in pretty bad shape…”

Ember scrunched her eyebrows. “Speak for yourself. We all look like shit. I used a bit of healing magic on myself, so it should last long enough until we get some proper medical treatment. Is Sunset ok? I wasn’t sure if she—uh—hit her head too hard on that column or not.”

“Yeah, she’s still alive. But I imagine she’ll have the mother of all headaches when she finally wakes up. Honestly, I’m surprised she didn’t break any bones.”

Ember let out a raspy chuckle. “Probably ‘cause those enormous tits of hers took the brunt of the impact. All joking aside, I really do hope she didn’t break anything. Not so sure about me though. Nggh! Fuck! I think I’ve got at least a couple bruised ribs. Hurts just to breathe.”

“I’ve never done it with people before but I could try to use the same teleportation spell I used to send letters with. I mean, look at us. We’re barely able to stand, let alone go hiking around the Everfree Forest. I know exactly where PGH is, so I think it might be worth the risk.”

Ember winced when she thought about all the ways the spell could go wrong, but nodded in agreement. “Don’t suppose we have much choice at this point. Alright. Give it a whirl and see what happens.”

Ponyville General Hospital, Ponyville

Spike felt as though he was floating on cloud nine with nary a care in the world. It was difficult for him to focus on anything because his thoughts were fuzzy and unorganized. But he did recognize the sound of someone humming. The only thing Spike knew for certain was that the voice belonged to a woman. With all of the females who had become involved in Spike’s life, he couldn’t possibly guess which one of them it could be just by humming alone. Even though his body urged him to continue sleeping, his curiosity won out in the end.

Spike slowly cracked open his eyes. “Mrgghh. Wuh. Where am I?”

“Ponyville Hospital, darling.”

There was no mistaking that elegant, Canterlotian accent. Sitting on a chair across from Spike’s hospital bed was none other than Rarity Belle. She was dressed in a white, silk blouse and her favorite pair of turtle shell glasses sat perched upon the bridge of her nose. Given that she was sitting cross legged and Spike could clearly see her stockings, he assumed that she must have been wearing a skirt of some kind. She immediately closed her sketchbook and shifted her position so that she could converse with Spike face to face.

“Ugh… my head. Everything’s still kind of fuzzy. When did I get here?”

Rarity smiled. “That would be the painkillers, I’m afraid. From what Nurse Redheart told me, you apparently teleported yourself and two other women right into the middle of the lobby. Quite an impressive feat! Especially, when you consider the extent of your injuries. That was about… eighteen hours ago, I believe?”

“The girls! Are they ok? I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea to—”

Rarity placed her hand on Spike’s shoulder and rubbed it gently. “Shhh. Relax, darling. I assure you that they’re receiving the best medical care possible. You can rest easy knowing that they’re in good hands.”

“I-I know but… I’m still worried about them. Did the doctors give you any updates on how they’re doing?”

“Not directly, no. But from what I understand, both of them are slated for a full recovery. Out of the three of you, the blue-haired woman seemed to be in the worst shape. The poor dear had all sorts of cuts and bruises. Last I saw her, she was covered in bandages and in quite a bit of pain.”

Spike frowned. “That would be Ember. She’s… my mate. Not that Sunset isn’t important, of course! But—umm—you know how it is with relationships. I just wish I’d been able to help Ember and Sunset out sooner. Then they wouldn’t have gotten hurt so—”

Rarity poked Spike’s chest. “Now, you listen here mister! I don’t know all the details of what transpired in the Everfree Forest, but I do that you are one of the bravest, most kind-hearted people I’ve ever had the pleasure of being acquainted with. I’m sure you did everything you possibly could, given the difficult circumstances you had to face. Your—erm— female companions are bound to be aware of that as well, I’d wager.”

“I suppose you’re right. Maybe I should stop worrying about it so much”

Rarity threw back her head and laughed. “No two bits about it! Of course, I’m right! In any case, I’m happy to see that you’ve finally managed to find someone special to share your life with.”

“Uhh… well, the thing is… she’s not the only one.”

Rarity gasped. “Spikey-Wikey, you sly dog! Making fair maidens in foreign lands swoon wherever you step foot~”

Spike’s face turned beet red. “Rarity! It’s not like that…”

“Oh, don’t be so put out, darling! I meant that as a compliment. You’re polite, handsome, in excellent shape, and delightfully charming. I dare say, all the qualities that women the world over hold dear. Have a bit more confidence in yourself, hmm?”

“I’ll… try to keep that mind. So, why are you in Ponyville? I thought you moved your main shop to Canterlot permanently a few months ago.”

Rarity nodded. “I did indeed. However, once I heard about what happened from Twilight, I came to PGH as quickly as I could. Between Coco and Sassy, I’m confident that the Boutique will run like a well-oiled machine even if I’m not there for a little while. Why do you ask? Am I not allowed to visit one of my most cherished friends while they’re injured?”

“No! I mean—GAH—that’s not what I meant! Stupid painkillers.”

Rarity giggled. “Not to worry, Spike. I’m only teasing you.”

“Yeah well, I still feel bad for asking such a dumb question. Seriously, though. I really do appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to come visit me. I missed you.”

Rarity kissed Spike on the cheek. “As did I, darling.”

Sunset stood in the doorway of Spike’s room, clad in only a hospital gown, with an uncertain expression on her face. A very beautiful, very posh, Canterlot socialite was sitting on the chair next to his bed, giving him an affectionate kiss on the cheek like it was the most casual thing in the world. Seeing as the two occupants in the room had already noticed her, Sunset decided that there simply wasn’t any point in going back to her own room. Even if it was pretty awkward.

“Oh, hey. Just thought I’d drop by and check up on you. If you’re busy, I can always come back later…”

Rarity got up from her seat and gave Sunset a quick hug. “Ah! You must be Sunset Shimmer! A pleasure to meet you, darling!”

“Uhh… likewise?”

“Oh, my goodness! Where are my manners today? I nearly forgot to introduce myself! My name is Rarity Belle. An old friend of Spike’s and the proprietor of Carousel Boutique. Is there something wrong, dear? You seem somewhat… out of sorts. I hope I didn’t make you feel uncomfortable with my hug. My sincerest apologies if it did.”

Sunset rubbed her neck and chuckled. “No, it’s cool. I’m not bothered by hugs. Honestly, I just feel like I’m a little bit out my element here.”

“Perish the thought! One can never truly feel like they’re ‘in the zone’ while wearing one of those hideous hospital gowns. For Celestia’s sake, they should at least be a more natural color than that awful shade of LIME GREEN!”

Sunset sighed in frustration. “No, I meant—you know what? Nevermind. How’s Spike doing?”

“Like I could sleep for a thousand years. But other than that, a little sore. Nothing too serious. How are you?” Spike replied.

“The doc said I suffered a mild concussion and some bruising to my boobs. Believe it or not, he said that they prevented me from getting any broken bones. I mean, they’re a little tender right now but I’ve put up with worse.”

Spike giggle snorted. “I can’t believe it!”

“What? What’s so damn funny?!”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to laugh at your injuries. You just reminded me of a joke Ember said earlier. Anyway, I’m glad you’re ok. I was worried that you’d seriously hurt yourself.”

Sunset suddenly found the floor tiles to be the most interesting thing in the room. “Oh—erm—that’s very thoughtful of you, Spike. Come to think of it, no one’s really taken an interest in my wellbeing since I ran away from the school. Well, other people, at any rate. It makes me happy that you care about me so much already, even though we only just became friends.”

“Uh—sure, don’t mention it.”

Rarity pinched Spike’s cheeks. “That’s my Spikey-Wikey! A gentleman of the finest caliber!”

The seamstress nearly wet herself with laughter as she witnessed a Dragon Lord blush like a school girl while he tried to preserve his dignity underneath a thin cotton blanket. Even though he’d become noticeably manlier since last they met, Spike was still just as modest and easy to tease as before. Rarity almost felt bad about embarrassing him in front of his new lady friend.

An unanswered question lingered in the back of Rarity’s mind as she began to compose herself once more. Like everyone else in Equestria, she’d heard about the controversial royal declaration made by Princess Luna and endorsed by the remaining three monarchs. Granted, a hospital was hardly the place to judge anyone for their choice of attire… but Rarity had to know if the rumors surrounding Spike and his mysterious “Wyvertii” companions were, in fact, true.

“Pardon my frankness, darling. But there’s question I’ve been meaning to ask you.”

“Sure, Rarity. Go ahead and ask. I don’t mind.”

Rarity bit her lip. “Is it true that you’ve chosen to embrace your native heritage and live in the nude as they do? Not that I’m judging you, of course! Far from it! I think it’s rather refreshing to see someone who’s willing to defy the stodgy constraints set by modern society.”

“To be honest, it wasn’t a decision that I felt completely comfortable with at first but I don’t regret making it. If I had to explain it, I’d say that being nude all the time has become second nature to me now. Like this is how I was always meant to live. Suffice to say, mom and Twi weren’t exactly thrilled about my newly adopted lifestyle. Even with a royal decree, Equestrians don’t just change their minds overnight. Especially when it comes to centuries old, deeply-ingrained social taboos like public nudity. Some people have been very supportive of us so far, but the girls and I have also run into our fair share of hecklers as well.”

Rarity sighed. “Unfortunately, such mixed reactions are to be expected from the general populace. I may be a clothing designer, but I believe that it is imperative for people to be able to feel confident in their own skin, just as much as any piece of attire. If only there was some way to promote a healthier attitude regarding—IDEAAAAA~~!”

“Uh oh. I know that look. What are you scheming in that pretty little head of yours?”

Rarity clicked her tongue and waggled her finger. “I’d hardly call it ‘scheming’. More like an opportunity, if you will. As luck would have it, Lord Fancy Pants will be hosting his annual charity ball in three days’ time. Coco and I, of course, shall be attending but we’ve yet to decide on our plus two for the evening. What do you say, Spike? Would you and one of your companions like to come along as our distinguished guests?”

“I’m sorry, Rares. I don’t feel comfortable just leaving Ember here all by herself while I go out partying. It wouldn’t be right. She needs my support now more than ever…”

Before Rarity could answer him, Apple Bloom gently knocked on the door. Directly in front of her, seated in a wheelchair, was a very glum-looking Ember. It took a Spike a moment to recognize his mate, as she was covered in bandages and clad in the same, ugly hospital gown that he and Sunset were also wearing. Since he was still too woozy from all the painkillers, Spike didn’t think it was good idea to get out of bed just yet, so he simply waved at his mate.

Ember gave a weak smile. “Hey. Just wanted to let everyone know that I’m still alive.”

“Gods, you look terrible!” Sunset whispered.

“Yeah, well I feel like crap too. Doctors said I have three cracked ribs and a bruised liver. It’s gonna take a while before they heal, so I guess I’m stuck here for the time being.”

Spike frowned. “I’m so sorry....”

“Don’t you dare start beating yourself up over what happened! I’m a big girl, Spike. I knew what I was getting myself into. If I had to get a bit roughed up to make that disgusting freak disappear, then that’s the price I’m willing to pay. It might suck for a little while, but I’ll eventually be back to my old self. I promise.”

“Fair enough. But you can’t blame me for worrying about the woman I love.”

Ember’s cheeks flushed pink. “O-ok, I get it! There’s no need to get all sappy! As far as this whole ball thing is concerned, you can go if you want. Apple Bloom already promised to check up on me from time to time. Maybe I can even convince Delmira to come visit as well. Don’t worry; I’ll be well taken care of while you’re gone.”

“Are you sure?”

Ember let out an irritated huff. “Yes! And why don’t you take Sunset with you while you’re at it? She looks like she could use a little bit of fun and relaxation. If nothing else, it’ll help her get used to being around people again. Isn’t that a good thing?”

“Me? Going to some upscale ball in Canterlot and schmoozing with a bunch of rich socialites? I’m not so sure that’s such a good idea. I mean, look at me! I’m hardly what you’d call a proper lady…” Sunset reluctantly admitted.

“That’s precisely why I think you should go, darling. With few exceptions, the vast majority of Equestria’s upper class are a selfish lot. Oftentimes, they view the world and those who live in it, through a ridiculously narrow and unrealistic set of standards. Your presence there would undoubtedly turn quite a few heads and shake up the establishment! It’s also a good opportunity for Spike to solidify his status as the new Dragon Lord during a public event.”

Sunset put her hands on her hips. “Let’s say, hypothetically, that we both agree to go to this thing. What the heck would we wear? In case you haven’t noticed, it’s not like either us have any bits to pay for some fancy duds.”

“Why, that’s the best part about my plan. Neither of you will have to worry about what to wear because you won’t be wearing anything at all! Expect for scented oils and perhaps a bit of body paint here and there. Ooooh I can’t wait to see the scandalized looks on their faces!”

Sunset scrunched her eyebrows in confusion. “Hold on a second. I may have been living in the Everfree for the past eight years, but since when has it been socially acceptable to just show up at parties butt naked? That’ll get us arrested for public indecency… right?”

“Ah, well… normally it would. But I have special legal privileges since I’m the Dragon Lord. Wyvertii cultural practices are officially protected by Equestrian law now. That includes our choice of attire… or lack thereof in this case.”

“Wait, so you mean to tell me that I don’t have to start wearing clothes again? Like ever?” Sunset asked.

“Not if you don’t want to. I might be the ruler of all Wyvertii but I would never force you to do something that you weren’t comf—”

Sunset immediately ripped off her hospital gown and glared at Spike. “When were you planning on telling me about this, huh?!”

“Look, I’m sorry, Sunset. I kind of… forgot about it while we were talking in the cave. It wasn’t intentional, I swear!”

Sunset’s expression softened. “Yeah, you’re right. You obviously had more important things on your mind at the time. I’m sorry; I shouldn’t have snapped at you like that. This God’s awful headache is making me a bit short-tempered today…”

“Totally understandable. I’m sure I’ll be pretty cranky once these painkillers wear off.”

Rarity daintily cleared her throat. “Now that we’re all back on the same page again, have the two of you given any more thought towards my offer?”

“I’m ok with it as long as Sunset is.”

Sunset slowly nodded her head in agreement.

“Ah, excellent! You’re more than welcome to stay with me at my condominium for the next few days, if you’d like. Although, I’m afraid I only have one guest room available. You two will either have to share the bed or draw straws as to who will be sleeping on the couch. Oh, and if there’s time, we might even be able to squeeze in a spa date and do some shopping! Doesn’t that sound exciting?”

The Preparation

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Chapter 23

Sapphire Square Garden, Canterlot

The train ride from Ponyville to Canterlot had been short and relatively uneventful. That is… until the trio disembarked at Grand Celestial Station, the busiest locomotive hub in all Equestria. Even with Rarity as their guide and the supposed “Royal Decree” in full effect, Sunset had never felt more out of place in her entire life.

Back in the hospital, Sunset had promised herself that she’d never wear so much as a stitch of clothing ever again if she could help it. But now that she was actually out in public, amongst the populace of Equestria, years of stringent social conditioning suddenly came flooding back all at once. For the first time in nearly a decade, she felt completely naked.

Sunset let out a shuddering breath. “Damn it all! I didn’t think this would be so difficult.”

“Sunset, what’s wrong? You’re shaking.”

Sunset hugged Spike’s arm and drew him closer. “You’re gonna think it’s stupid…”

“No, I won’t. C’mon, you know you can trust me. What’s bothering you?”

Sunset looked down at the ground and blushed. “Well, you see, I thought that being nude in public would be a piece cake because I’d lived that way for years. But that was back in the forest where there weren’t any other people around. This is a totally different situation! I dunno, I guess I’m feeling really self-conscious all the sudden? Like people are constantly eyeing me up and judging me…”

Spike knew for certain that people were staring at them. Some out of curiosity, some out of utter contempt, and some… out of undisguised lust. It came with the territory. Equestrians were generally conservative and tended to wear clothing while they were out in public, so it was highly unusual to see anyone casually strolling around town in their birthday suits. The simple fact of the matter was: as Wyvertii, they were bound to attract attention no matter where they went. Even so, Spike did his best to reassure Sunset that she had nothing to be ashamed of.

“I’ll be honest with you, Sunset. People are always gonna stare at us no matter where we go. Mostly because we stick out like a sore thumb in modern society. But! You shouldn’t let it bother you. It’s all about attitude, you see.”


Spike nodded. “Mhmm. You’ve got to embrace your body for what it is: all the scars, all the imperfections, and, of course, all of the things that make you feel good about yourself too. Sure, anybody can wear the same clothes, shoes, makeup, and jewelry as you but no one else can compare to Sunset Shimmer in her natural state.”

“Arrgh! You make it sound like it’s so damn easy! I can’t—it’s not that simple for me, Spike! I’ve never considered myself to be particularly attractive or even girly for that matter. And let’s face it: I’m severely lacking in the social skills department too. I spent eight years living in a cave for Celestia’s sake!"

Spike wrapped his arm around her shoulder. “Hey now, don’t be so hard on yourself. I never said that adjusting to your new life was gonna be quick or easy. Heck, I’ve lost count of how many times I was put into situations where I was unsure of myself. But you know what? I’m here for you, Sunset. We’ll work though whatever’s troubling you together. I promise.”

“Is everything alright back there, darlings? You two have been awfully quiet since we left the train terminal.”

“Yeah, we’re fine! Sunset’s having a bit of trouble adjusting to the sights and sounds of civilization. She’s—uh—not accustomed to being surrounded by so many people all at once. We’ll catch up with you in just a second!”

Sunset felt like she was going to die of embarrassment. “Great. Now, she probably thinks I’m some knuckle-dragging Neanderthal with an irrational fear of anything that isn’t make of sticks and stones. I might as well go running around shouting OOGA BOOGA while I’m at it! Oh, and let’s throw in my crippling social anxiety just for kicks and giggles! Way to make a lasting first impression, Sunset!”

Spike knew that Rarity would never judge Sunset so harshly, but he decided that it was best to keep his mouth shut and allow his companion to vent her frustration. He’d lived through enough of Twilight’s episodes to understand that Sunset wasn’t in the right state of mind to listen to reason at the moment.

Instead, he opted to use a tried and true technique that always seemed to calm down his sister. Spike placed his hand on Sunset’s back and massaged it in a gentle, circular motion. Within moments, he felt the tension in her muscles slowly melt away. It was a good indication that she was finally starting to calm down. Spike smiled when he heard her let out a contended sigh.

Although she still seemed somewhat nervous, Spike noticed that Sunset had relaxed enough to start walking at a regular pace once more. She even went so far as to comment on a few of the store displays they’d passed by. In particular, she was quite smitten with an adorable stuffed teddy bear that had been sitting in the front window of a toy shop. At some point, Spike mused, he would get around to buying her one. That is… once he remembered to start bringing his satchel along while he traveled with the girls.

The pair nearly rammed right into Rarity’s backside when she abruptly stopped in front of a white-colored building. Given Canterlot’s flair for modern architecture, it was strange to see a storefront adorned with classic Doric columns and a triangular, red-tiled roof done in the ancient Pegalopian style. Spike was under the impression that they were heading straight for Rarity’s condo to get settled in and perhaps rest a bit, but it was not meant to be.

“Good news, everyone! We’ve finally arrived at our destination~ It is my distinct pleasure to introduce the both of you to my favorite spa in all of Canterlot. Luxuria Maxmia!”

“Umm… what?” Spike and Sunset uttered simultaneously.

The main lobby of Luxuria Maxima was dimly lit using brass oil lamps suspended on chains or hung along the walls in specially designed sconces. While the interior décor wasn’t quite as garish as the outside had been, it stayed true to its ancient Pegalopian theme, featuring: marble floors, a wide array of colorful frescos, and statutes depicting both men & woman in various poses whilst nude. The irony of the situation was not lost on either of Rarity’s guests.

An impossibly large mountain of a man, wearing a red and white toga, stood behind the reception counter. His blonde hair was cut short in the style that the military typically preferred, and he wore a stern, unyielding expression. Oddly enough though, as soon as Rarity approached him, he smiled at her and gave the fashionista a hug.


“Good afternoon, Mr. Biceps. A pleasure as always to see you!”


“They are. I wanted to ensure that they received the absolute highest quality treatment available. After all, one must look one’s best while attending a charity ball.”


Spike and Sunset quietly thanked their host, but were utterly dumbfounded by the entire exchange. When Rarity noticed the confused expression on their faces, she urged them to follow her into one of the adjoining rooms that had a steaming water symbol above it. Once inside, Rarity immediately began to disrobe and deposited her clothing into a nearby cubby. After she retrieved a fresh set of towels, the fashionista turned around and offered a pair to her guests.

“Just remember: not matter how temping it may be to soak in the baths for the remainder of the day, we mustn’t stay in there for too long. You don’t want to get your skin all pruny before the ball. That and we’re scheduled to have a deep tissue massage done afterwards, as well.”

For many years, Spike had often fantasized about Rarity’s body and what she really looked like underneath all of her clothes. Now that he’d actually been given the opportunity to transform that fantasy into reality, the young Dragon Lord wasn’t quite sure how he felt about it. Rarity was every bit as beautiful as he’d imagined. She had blemish-free, cream colored skin, long, slender legs, and a toned physique that suggested she put a considerable amount of effort into maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Her teardrop shaped breasts were modestly sized, firm, and perky. They were capped by a surprisingly large, almost wine-colored set of areolae. Despite his desire to remain polite and not openly gawk at his longtime friend, Spike’s gaze inevitably crept downward towards her neatly trimmed strip of violet pubic hair, and the diamond-stud clitoral piercing located right below it. The very sight of her naked form made his mouth dry and left him with a big lump in his throat that he just couldn’t seem to swallow.

When Spike finally summoned the courage to look up at Rarity’s face, she was visibly flustered, her light complexion making the deep, crimson blush that spread all the way down to her chest stand out even more than usual. Had she noticed him staring at her?

Unsure how else to proceed, Spike attempted to retrieve the towel that Rarity had offered to him… only to feel the head of his penis brush up against his stomach. His eyes widened in horror as he looked down at his crotch. It was already embarrassing enough that he’d somehow gotten an erection right in front of Rarity, but what made the situation even worse was the shiny bead of precum that had already begun to ooze from the tip.

Rarity coughed awkwardly. “My goodness, I hadn’t realized how much you’d grown! You’re—erm—unquestionably a healthy, young man now. That’s for sure! In hindsight, I suppose I shouldn’t be terribly surprised at your excitement. Old habits die hard and whatnot.”

“Rarity, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make things… weird.” Spike mumbled.

“No need to apologize, dear. In all honesty, I’m actually quite flattered that I was still able to elicit such a strong reaction from you after all this time. I work diligently every day to keep my body in tip-top shape, so it’s nice to know that someone earnestly appreciates my efforts.”

Spike slowly nodded. “Yeah, it really shows. You look amazing.”

“Thank you, darling. I should mention that Mr. Biceps always keeps a wide variety of toiletries in stock, in order to cater to his client’s needs. I believe there are even a few bottles of hand lotion available should you feel the need to—ahem—relieve yourself, as it were.”

Spike bit his lip and blushed. “Uhh… that’s probably a good idea. I don’t think the staff or the other patrons would appreciate me walking around like this.”

“Ah, well you don’t have to worry about other patrons. I reserved the entire spa just for the three of us today. Sunset, darling~ Why don’t we head off to the baths and give Spike some privacy, hmm?”

Sunset blinked owlishly and grabbed her towel. “Sure. Let’s get to it then. And Spike? There’s no rush or anything. Take as much time as you need. I guess… we’ll see you later then.”

“Yeah. See ya later…”

Spike made his way towards the baths at a languid pace. Since there wasn’t anyone else around, the only sounds that filled the air were his bare feet pattering against the marble floor and the constant rhythm of flowing water. As he got closer, he could hear the girls chatting softly, but it wasn’t distinct enough that he could make out what they were saying specifically. Spike stood in the entranceway and took deep breath to steel his nerves.

It had taken a lot longer than he’d anticipated to “relieve” himself, though not for lack of effort. More so due to the fact that he hadn’t had an opportunity to release any of the excess semen that had built up in his balls over the course of the past few days. Suffice to say: Spike experienced an absolutely mind-numbing orgasm as a result, but at the cost of making a big, sticky mess all over the bathroom floor. Even through the haze of post-orgasmic bliss, the young man felt incredibly guilty about leaving his… “mess” behind for some poor staff member to clean up afterwards, so he took it upon himself to tidy things up as best he could.

Both of the girls immediately clammed up as soon as he arrived. With as much dignity as he could muster, Spike slid into the water next to Sunset and tried to act casual. All the while, he pretended that everything was normal and the embarrassing events that had occurred earlier were well behind him. Unfortunately for Spike, neither of his female companions seemed inclined to follow his line of thinking.

Rarity cocked her head. “Are you alright, Spike? You were gone for quite some time. We were beginning to get worried that something had happened to you.”

“No, I’m fine. It took longer to… clean up than I thought. That’s all.”

Sunset lifted her foot out of the water and wiggled her toes. “Guess you must’ve been pretty backed up then, huh?”

Spike sank deeper into the water and hoped that it would be enough to cover up his blush.

“Sunset, there’s no need to be so crass!” Rarity admonished.

“What? You were probably thinking the same thing too. Did I say something wrong?”

Rarity daintily cleared her throat. “Be that as it may, there’s no reason for us to goad Spike any further about what transpired during his… private time. I think we should all move on to a more appropriate conversation topic. Does that seem fair to you?”

“Ok. Fair enough. What do you suggest we talk about?”

Rarity clapped her hands. “Why, I’m glad you asked! Now that you’re both present, I’ve been meaning to run an idea past the two of you that I’ve been cooking up as of late. If it’s not too much trouble, I’d like your opinion on the matter.”

“We’re all ears. Shoot, Rarity.”

Rarity leaned back along the edge of the pool and stretched out her legs. “As you might well imagine, the primary purpose of the Ball is to distribute much-needed resources to various charities throughout Equestria and beyond. For many within high society, ‘charity’ comes in the form of direct monetary compensation. I, however, have always elected to donate clothing to the downtrodden.

“I intend to do so again this year, except with a slight twist. You see, I’d like to send a very important message to all of Equestria’s elite. Both as a sign of support for my friends, and to show my willingness to give the very clothes off my back to those in need, I plan on attending this year’s Ball completely in the nude.”

Spike nearly jumped out of the water. “But you can’t! What about your reputation?!”

“What about my reputation? I don’t give a damn what those pretentious aristocrats think of me. That’s not what my business is all about. That’s not what I’M all about. Furthermore, I have decided not wear any makeup, jewelry, shoes, accessories, or put much effort into styling my hair either. When the crowd fixes their gaze upon me, they shall witness one hundred percent, au naturale Rarity, the bearer of Generosity. Nothing more, nothing less!”

“Rarity, are you sure this is a good idea? It’s one thing if Sunset and I show up to this thing without any clothes on, but it’s an entirely different matter altogether if you do. I’m worried that you’ll get hurt or wind up losing a good chunk of your clients. Doesn’t any of that matter to you?”

Rarity waded over to Spike and placed her hand on his cheek. “It’s very sweet of you to be so concerned about my wellbeing, Spike. I really do appreciate it. However, I have already made my mind up regarding this matter. This is something that I must do. Besides, I’ll have two, big, strong, Wvyertii there to protect me in case anything goes awry~”

“I still don’t think this is a wise decision, but you have our support. Hold on a second. Didn’t you say that Coco was supposed going along with us too? What about her?”

Rarity rubbed her chin in thought. “What about Coco indeed. The poor dear is terribly shy whenever nudity is involved. Be it her own body or others. She often gets nervous around large groups of people as well. To be honest, I’m not entirely certain that I’ll be able to persuade her to go along with my plan. She might very well end up having a panic attack and hole up in a closet or some other confined space. It’s one of her—erm—coping mechanisms you could say.”

“Wow, I didn’t know her anxiety was that severe.”

Rarity let out a heavy sigh. “Not exactly. That is to say, she’s made significant progress in managing her personal issues over the past few months. However, what we intend to do at the Ball will be asking a lot of her. Oooh drat! I just don’t know what to do!

“For as long as I’ve known Coco, she’s always contented herself with playing the submissive role in our relationship. All it would take is little a bit of the old Rarity charm and she’d be putty in my hands! But on the other hand, I’d feel just awful for manipulating her into doing something for my benefit that she, quite frankly, might not enjoy in the slightest. Please help me, Spike! I’M AT AN IMPASSE!!!!”

The Dragon Lord found his friend’s choice of words to be somewhat strange given the circumstances, but he simply chalked it up to Rarity being Rarity and decided to focus his attention on resolving her little conundrum. The young man would never go so far as to say that he was an expert on interpersonal relationships by any means, but the time he’d spent with the girls gave him at least some insight to draw upon. In the end, he decided to take a page from Applejack’s book, and stick with the most straightforward approach to Rarity’s problem.

“Coco trusts you, doesn’t she?”

“Yes, of course. And I trust her implicitly as well.”

Spike placed his hands upon Rarity’s shoulders and looked directly into her eyes. “Then I think you should just be honest with her. Tell her exactly what you intend to do and let her decide if she wants to join in. The worst that can happen is she decides not to go.”

“How could I be so blind?! The answer was obvious from the very start! Coco deserves nothing less than the whole truth. Even if that may ultimately make her feel uncomfortable, I really do hope that she’ll decide to join us. Coco has become such an integral part of Carousel Boutique’s success and… my life as well. I simply can’t imagine attending the ball without her standing by my side. Does that make me sound selfish?”

Spike shook his head. “No, it shows how much you care about her. Trust me; I know that she’ll appreciate your honesty.”

“Very well then. I’ll just have to cross that bridge when I get there. Sitting here, stressing over something that may or may not happen is counterproductive. It will only serve to raise my blood pressure and give me wrinkles. Let us move on to a lighter topic then, shall we?”

Sunset slowly raised her hand. “Hey, I was—uh—kind of wondering if this place has a salon. You know, for… getting a haircut.”

Rarity chortled. “They most certainly do, darling. Are you interested in trying out a new style for yourself?”

“Well, it has been a really long time since I did anything special with my hair. If I’m going to be attending a fancy ball and interacting with other people on a daily basis again, I might as well make myself look more… presentable, I guess.”

“Oh ho~ Trying to catch anyone’s eye in particular? A suitor perhaps?”

Sunset felt her cheeks redden while she twiddled her fingers. “What’s it to you?! Am I not allowed to be girly every once and a while? Just because I look like an amazon doesn’t mean that I’m not interested in—”

“Relax, dear. I’m not bringing your femininity into question. Celestia knows, I’ve had this very same conversation with my tomboyish friend, Rainbow Dash, numerous times over the years. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a woman wanting to pamper herself. In fact, I can think of no one more deserving of it than you.”

Sunset relaxed her shoulders and slid deeper into the water. “What would you suggest then? I highly doubt that dreadlocks are all the rage in Canterlot these days…”

“Hmm. I think you’d look fabulous with a shoulder-length, natural flowing perm. That is, if it’s not too difficult to get your hair straightened out in the first place. Pardon my frankness, darling but are you interested in having your privates groomed as well?”

Sunset looked down towards her crotch and frowned. “I hadn’t really thought about it to be honest. Is that something… people do on a regular basis?”

“It’s a matter of preference. Personally, I like to keep myself nice and tidy down there. It takes a considerable amount of time and effort to maintain, of course, but it makes me feel sexy. If you’re worried about the process, I assure you that the staff here are consummate professionals.”

Sunset subconsciously pressed her legs together. “Spike, do you think I should go through with it?”

“Huh? Oh—well, I—umm—I’m probably not the best person to ask.”

Rarity crossed her arms and stared at Spike. “Nonsense! A man’s opinion is exactly what we need right now. Go on. Don’t be shy~ Let her know what you really think.”

“Way to put me on the spot,” Spike muttered, “I think that you’d look good either way, Sunset. But—uh—there’s no harm in trying new things, right?”

My past is not today Sunset mentally intoned. “Ok, I’ll do it. But I don’t want my pubes fully waxed, you understand! Just a bit of trimming. Maybe we could… style it too somehow? I dunno. You’re the expert, not me.”

“An excellent idea, darling~ Oh and you don’t have to worry about wearing a towel or a robe. One of the best parts about this spa is its incredibly casual dress code. Just so long as nothing inappropriate occurs, patrons are free to roam the premises whilst nude, if they’re so inclined.”

Not wanting to interfere with what he deemed as a sacred feminine bonding ritual, Spike quickly got out of the bath and began drying himself off. After he was finished, Spike waved to the girls and headed out to explore the rest of the spa and see what else it had to offer. Since he was feeling a bit peckish, the Dragon Lord decided it was wise to check out the cantina first and ask some of the staff what they recommended.

For the first time in what felt like years, Sunset unfastened all of the leather bindings that held her dreadlocks in place. As she peered into the mirror that rested upon the wall, she was met with the visage of a woman who had countless tangles and split ends. She had expected as much. With a forlorn sigh, the bronze-skinned amazon took a seat in the styling chair and prayed to whatever god was listening that the hair dresser would be able to do something with her rat’s nest of a mane.

Rarity sat quietly next to her, browsing through a luxury lingerie catalogue while her stylist was busy applying some shampoo and conditioner. When the fashionista saw how sad her companion looked, she reached over and grasped Sunset’s hand as a gesture of reassurance.

“Don’t be so glum, dear. I know your hair looks like a mess right now, but the stylists know exactly what they’re doing. You’ve just got to have a little faith is all.”

“I know,” Sunset admitted while her hair was being rinsed, “I just don’t have the same level of confidence about my appearance as you do.”

“Now, now. I won’t hear another self-depreciating word out of your mouth! You’re a diamond in the rough, Sunset. A bit ragged around the edges to be sure, but I know for a fact that we can make you shine! That’s why I’ve often said that the woman makes the clothes rather than other way around. Especially in your case, since you don’t wear any most of the time. Oh ho~”

Sunset arched her eyebrow. “Seriously? That was a pretty lame joke, Rarity.”

“Perhaps. But it got you out of your funk, didn’t it? I count that as a success. In any case, I’ve been meaning to ask you a personal question now that we’re alone together. Feel free to remain silent if if it’s too uncomfortable for you to answer.”

Sunset took in a deep breath to prepare herself for Rarity’s question. “Sounds fair. Go ahead and ask.”

“When a woman decides to change something about herself, particularly a drastic one, there is always a catalyst behind it. A spark, if you will. Now, I have my own theory as to why you decided to go through with this makeover but I want to hear what you have to say first.”

Sunset bit her lip. “Part of it is because I want to get back in touch with my feminine side. I want to feel confident about the way my body looks. I want to… feel sexy. Does that make sense?”

“Mhmm. And the other part?”

Sunset felt her cheeks flush. “I also want Spike to notice me. As a woman, I mean.”

“Ah, so the truth comes out at last! Is this, by chance, the first time you’ve felt genuine, romantic affection towards anyone since you began living in the Everfree Forest?”

Sunset’s face turned an even deeper shade of red. “Maybe…”

“There’s no need to be so embarrassed, darling. You have excellent taste!”

“Yeah, for guys who’re already taken…” Sunset muttered.

Rarity chose to ignore Sunset’s comment. “Knowing Spike as I do, I believe that he’s trying to keep things platonic between the two of you for the time being, both out of respect to your feelings and in his capacity as a mentor figure. There is also the matter of his other paramours to consider. I’m sure he already has his hands full dealing with them.”

Sunset let out a mirthless chuckle. “Tell me about it. That’s why I don’t want to screw up the good thing we’ve got going on between us right now. Besides, I don’t know if I—actually love him yet. I definitely like him; that much is for sure. But…”

“My word, this is quite the pickle indeed! I wish I could offer you more sound advice but, I’m afraid that I don’t have any experience dealing with polyamorous relationships.”

“No, I get it. The dynamic is super complicated and that sort of thing isn’t exactly commonplace here in Equestria. Ugh! Should I even bother telling him about how I feel? I really don’t want this to create any unnecessary tension amongst the four of us.”

Rarity tilted her neck slightly while the stylist cut her hair. “If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years: no matter how difficult it may be for you to admit that you have them in the first place, it’s unhealthy to keep your feelings hidden away from those who care about you most. Trust me, they’ll start to eat away at you from the inside out if you choose to bottle them up.”

“That’s not—I don’t—”

Rarity waggled her finger. “Ah, ah not another word~ Allow me to ask you a very simple question, Sunset. What is it about Spike that makes him so special to you?”

“He and I—we have so much in common. You know, like having to deal with all the prejudice and bullying while growing up. Plus, he’s one of the few people I’ve ever met in my entire life who never judged me based solely on what I looked like and offered me his friendship without so much as a second thought.”

Rarity smiled from ear to ear. “Go on, darling.”

“He’s smart, sweet, caring, easy to talk to, and he’s got a… rockin’ hot body to match. Oh, Gods! I can’t believe I just said that!”

Rarity giggle snorted. “I’m happy to see that you have your priorities straight, Sunset. Consider yourself fortunate because it’s exceedingly rare to find male suitors nowadays who’re courteous, handsome, and well-equipped. One could even say that Spike’s a package deal~”

“Geez, I get it already! It’s great to know that I’ve somehow managed to earn your seal of approval, but enough with the COMPLETELY OBVIOUS penis euphemisms.”

Rarity waved her hand. “Come now, Sunset. Don’t be such a spoilsport. You must’ve checked out the goods at some point, no? A man’s privates are impossible to miss when they’re quite literally dangling out in the open for the all world to see.”

“What kind of stupid question is that? Of course, I have! Like you said: impossible to miss. Now, can we please move onto a topic that doesn’t involve Spike’s junk, implied or otherwise?”

Rarity laughed. “An honest answer as any. On a more serious note, I’m convinced now more than ever that you should admit how you feel to him. Even if the two of you ultimately end up remaining friends instead of lovers.”

“But how? I’ve never done anything like this before…”

“Your makeover, a few dabs of scented oil, and Lord Fancy Pants’ villa will provide all the romantic ambiance needed to set up the proper mood. As for the confession itself: don’t be afraid to make mistakes, allow things happen naturally, and most importantly, just be yourself.”

Sunset threw up her hands in exasperation. “Look at me. I’m twenty-one years old, I’ve faced the deadliest creatures the Everfree Forest has to offer and lived, yet… I’m terrified of confessing to the guy I have a crush on.”

“Matters of the heart and matters of survival are two very different things, darling. If you want my honest opinion, I don’t think you have anything to worry about. Call it intuition, but I believe that he’s just as scared as you are to admit that he might want something beyond mere friendship. All you can do is put your best foot forward and hope for the best.”

After about two hours’ worth of trimming, waxing, and styling, Sunset finally got the chance to stand in front of a mirror and observe all of the changes that were made during her makeover. She gaped in disbelief at the beautiful woman reflected upon its surface. Instead of gnarly dreadlocks, her hair now flowed down to her shoulders in a cascade of crimson & gold ribbon-like strands, curled at each end.

The bushy mass of pubic hair that had once covered her entire crotch had been reduced down to a single, modest patch. At Rarity’s insistence, the stylist had trimmed it into the shape of an open flame and the rest of her remaining pubic hair was promptly removed thereafter. Sunset slowly ran her fingers along the bare skin of her vulva, marveling at how smooth it was. The young woman couldn’t even recall the last time (if ever) she’d put any effort into grooming herself down there. After a few moments of deliberation, Sunset decided that she rather enjoyed the breezy feeling of freedom that came with having freshly waxed privates.

She definitely felt sexier, more confident about the way she looked. There was no question in her mind about that. However, one little detail emerged that she had forgotten to take into account. Sunset was acutely aware of the fact that she was tall enough to be mistaken as one of the legendary amazons from ancient Pegalopolan times. Apart from making her stand out in a crowd, Sunset’s height forced certain parts of her anatomy to become proportionately larger in kind.

This was why she’d been gifted with such an ample bosom and the same reason why her clitoris featured so prominently between her folds. Sunset wouldn’t go so far as to say that she thought her bean was freakishly large, but it was certainly bigger than what she assumed was the average size for most woman. Sunset frowned when she finally gathered the courage to look down towards her crotch, realizing that her lack of pubic hair made it all the more noticeable.

Rarity gently rubbed Sunset’s shoulders, noticing her pained expression. “Whatever is the matter, dear? You seem… apprehensive. Are you dissatisfied with your makeover?”

“No, I absolutely love it! The stylists did an awesome job! It’s just that my—bah—never mind! You’ll think it’s silly.”

“Sunset, we’ve been over this. You and I can discuss whatever’s bothering you. I promise that I won’t judge you for it, or think that it’s silly. Go on. Take a deep breath and let’s talk.”

Sunset shuffled her feet nervously. “As you can see, I have a pretty big clit. I didn’t realize how much it would… stick out now that there isn’t any more hair down there to cover it up. It’s kind of embarrassing, ya know?”

Rarity crouched in front of Sunset’s waist so that she could get a better look. With the same meticulous care that she used when sewing tiny details onto a dress, the fashionista peeled back the hood and gently rolled Sunset’s nub in-between her fingers a few times. When the taller woman shivered in response, Rarity ceased her ministrations, smiled, and stood back up again.

“R-Rarity! WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING?!!!” Sunset squeaked.

“Relax, darling. I was merely testing out a hypothesis of mine. You are correct. It is quite a bit larger than average. However, rather than feel embarrassed about your love button, you should be celebrating it. Look how excited you got from just a few strokes!”

Sunset’s face flushed a deep crimson, whether or not it was more from embarrassment or arousal, she couldn’t say. “I can’t believe you just did that…”

“To be honest, I’m a little jealous. Mine isn’t very big, so it takes a considerable amount of effort to excite me that way. Hence, the reason why I decided to have it pierced. Adds that extra bit of stimulation and it makes my coochie look fabulous too!”

Sunset crossed her arms underneath her breasts and scoffed. “Great. I made a big deal over nothing again.”

“I wouldn’t say it’s nothing. Confidence in one’s body image isn’t something that happens instantaneously. By Celestia, it took me years’ worth of soul-searching to reach the point I’m at today. Why, you should have seen how gangly and awkward I was as a teenager! You simply needed a different perspective is all. Walk tall and stand proud, Sunset. Let everyone bear witness to all the things that make you beautiful and unique.”

“You really think so?”

Rarity embraced Sunset in a warm hug. “I know so. Speaking of walking tall: why don’t we start by showing off our makeovers to Spike. I’m sure he’ll appreciate the view~”

The Ball (I)

View Online

Chapter 24

Château de Fleur Dorée, Upper Canterlot

The Dragon Lord sat next to his fiery-haired companion in comfortable silence, holding her hand while they made their way to the estate of Lord Fancy Pants. Seated directly across from them were Rarity and Coco. The former was busy reading some trashy dime novel about forbidden romance in the guard. The latter’s legs were pressed firmly together and she had placed her hands protectively over her crotch. Occasionally, she would glance out the window and observe the local scenery as it passed by. Mostly because she just wanted to avoid looking anywhere else.

Spike’s heart went out to Coco. He could easily tell that she was extremely nervous, uncomfortable, and apprehensive. How could she not be? Everyone else in the carriage was completely naked, as she currently was. Spike, quite frankly, was surprised that she’d even agreed to come along at all, given her attitude towards nudity. However, it appeared as though Rarity’s sincere, honest confession had managed to win her over in the end.

Like Rarity, she too had chosen to forgo wearing accessories or makeup of any kind. Her hair was styled in its usual bob cut, sans the red flower clip. Coco’s round breasts were of average size, full, and well-proportioned in relation to her demure stature. If Spike had to describe her physique, he would say that her body was much softer than Rarity’s, lacking the muscle tone that came from a strict exercise regimen. Although her skin wasn’t quite as pale in complexion as her partner’s, it was just as smooth and blemish free.

An inverted pyramid of teal-colored pubic hair graced her nethers. It was much thicker and less organized than Rarity’s, suggesting that she wasn’t a big fan of grooming herself down there or she simply preferred to let it grow out. Spike couldn’t really blame her. He wasn’t a fan of man-scaping either. Not that he had much body hair to deal with in the first place. Such was life as a Wyvertii. In the Dragon Lord’s humble opinion, he thought it suited her quite well and served to further enhance her natural beauty in a girl-next-door sort of way.

Spike’s brow knit in confusion as he witnessed Rarity, while still engrossed in her dime novel, place her free hand on Coco’s bare thigh and stroke it tenderly like a lover might do. He knew that Rarity had always been a physically affectionate person, but this was a step beyond her usual repertoire of gestures. It was much more intimate. Almost as if she and Coco were—Spike mentally shook his head—it couldn’t be that… could it? Loathe as he was to bring up such an awkward question, Spike’s curiosity got the better of him.

“Hey, Rarity. I’m sorry if this—ah—comes off as a weird question but… are you and Coco together? Like, as in, a couple?”

The fashionista immediately put down her book and gasped. “Blast! I knew there was something I’d forgotten to tell you! We are indeed a couple, darling. I’ve been dating Coco for about the past eight months or so. She’s the love of my life and I can scarcely image doing this without her support. That’s why I was so adamant about her attending the ball with us.”

Coco leaned over and kissed Rarity’s cheek. “I’m sorry that I hesitated so much about going to the ball with you, Rarity. But this isn’t… easy for me.”

“I know, my love. I know. And I’ve very proud of how brave you’ve been so far. You can’t even begin to imagine how important it is to me to have you by my side tonight. You’re my rock, Coco. You give me strength when I would otherwise falter.”

Coco rested her head against Rarity’s shoulder and sniffed. “What did I ever do to deserve such a beautiful, talented woman as my girlfriend? I’m so average and plain. Not to mention, a neurotic mess all the time, I—”

“Shhh. Stop that nonsense this instant! You are none of those things,” Rarity admonished, “I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: I have always loved you unconditionally for both who and what you are. You’re my sexy little marshmallow puff and nothing shall ever change that!”

Coco blushed fiercely and buried her head into Rarity’s chest. “You promised you wouldn’t ever use my pet name in public! It’s embarrassing…”

“We aren’t in public, dear. Merely amongst good friends for the time being. You can trust that the two of them won’t reveal our little secret. They aren’t exactly the gossiping type.”

Coco began to hyperventilate. “Ok, but what about when we finally do step out of the carriage a-and everyone sees us… n-naked? What then?! This is the exact sort of situation I’ve had nightmares about before! What if I end up wetting myself too? I’m terrified, Rarity! Oh gosh, oh gosh, oh gosh—”

“Then they’ll see us,” Rarity replied while brushing her hair, “We’ve nothing to hide and nothing to be ashamed of, I assure you! However, if you’re still weak in the knees, as it were, feel free to lean on me for as long as you need to. Spike and Sunset are also here to lend their moral support. Take a deep breath, my love. Everything will be fine.”

“Are you sure it was good idea for her to come along with us? No offence, but Coco looks like she’s about ten seconds away from having a complete mental breakdown.” Sunset whispered to Spike.

“It’s too late now. We’re already over halfway to the estate. What about you? How are you holding up?”

Sunset fidgeted in her seat. “Can’t say I’m totally comfortable with the idea of hanging around so many uptight, judgmental aristocrats all night… but I’ll manage. By the way, I like the cologne Rarity picked out for you. It smells really good. And the mousse makes you look like a gentleman, a bare-ass naked one, but a gentleman nonetheless.”

“Oh—umm—thanks. I don’t usually slick my hair back but what the heck? You went to all that trouble to get yourself a makeover, so I figured I had to do something too. They did a great job. With the makeover, I mean! You look… really beautiful tonight, Sunset.”

Sunset felt her heart begin to race just a little bit faster as she rubbed her thumb along the back of Spike’s hand. “That’s very sweet of you to say so, Spike. Thanks. So, what’s Lord Fancy Pants like? I used to see his name mentioned in the papers back when… I lived at the school, but I can’t say I’ve ever met the guy in person.”

“Well, he’s actually pretty chill as far as nobles go. I think you’ll get along with him and his wife just fine. They’re both very open-minded and enjoy meeting new people.”

Rarity nodded in agreement. “Yes, I imagine they’ll both be quite amused by the veritable ruckus we’re bound to create amongst the other guests. No matter! At least we won’t have to worry about getting blisters from uncomfortable footwear, staining our ensemble, or if the ‘fabric’ is flexible enough for dancing. I, for one, intend to get back in touch with my inner party girl and enjoy tonight’s festivities to the fullest!”

Oh gosh…” Coco squeaked.

Roughly ten minutes later, the coach pulled up to the courtyard of Château de Fleur Dorée. Both couples carefully stepped onto the path that led up to entranceway, admiring the elegant, yet minimalist Prench architecture of Fancy & Fleur’s residence. It was constructed entirely from gray basalt, and set in the style that harkened back to the grand chateaus of the previous century. The large, polished oak doors were left wide open to accommodate the incoming guests and manned by two attendants on either side.

As they exited the coach, Spike insisted that everyone travel along the pathway at a deliberately slow pace, simply because he knew that Rarity and Coco weren’t accustomed to walking around in just their bare feet. It would make the short trip a bit more awkward and drawn out, but he didn’t want the girls to accidently injure themselves on its rough, graveled surface. Spike had learned that particular lesson the hard way during his first week in Brimstone.

The ballroom was only a short walk down the main hall, and as such, it hadn’t taken long for the couples to reach the reception area where the other guests were currently mingling. Whatever pleasant chatter had been going on before, abruptly ceased when they entered the room. A wide array of expressions greeted the Dragon Lord and his sky-clad entourage as they approached one of the buffet tables to indulge in some refreshments.

The vast majority of the guests looked on in mixture of restrained embarrassment, curiosity, and outright shock. After all, it wasn’t every day that one witnessed: an Equestrian Prince, an Element Bearer, an award-winning fashion designer, and a two-meter-tall amazon all show up to one of Canterlot’s most exclusive charity events, wearing nothing more than a polite smile. Suffice to say, the tension in the room was thick enough to cut with a knife.

Oblivious to the stares being directed at her, Sunset inspected the spread laid out along the buffet table and grabbed a couple of grilled chicken kebobs. Without a second thought, she devoured the meaty morsels and marveled at how delicious they were. Sunset had survived on a relatively bland diet for so many years that she’d almost forgotten what properly seasoned food tasted like.

Rarity glanced over at Sunset and Coco while the taller woman chowed down on a plate full of assorted hors d'oeuvres and winced. Despite breaking what many would consider a major social taboo, the fashionista still considered herself a proper lady and insisted on using the appropriate form of etiquette whenever possible. This, of course, included basic table manners.

Rarity shook her head while she nibbled on a slice of Quiche Lorraine. She had to keep reminding herself to cut Sunset some slack in that regard, no matter how uncouth she believed the fiery-haired woman was acting. If she were in Sunset’s shoes (figuratively speaking), Rarity knew that it could take quite some time to transition from living in a cave with bears to interacting with people and modern society. Such things simply did not happen overnight. Spike, on the other hand, conduced himself like the son of Princess Celestia.

A single, brave soul had managed to break away from the whispering crowd and approached Spike with a saunter in her step. She was, perhaps, in her early to mid-twenties. The woman was wearing a ruby-red cocktail dress that practically hugged her svelte form and a pair of violet high heels to match. Rarity suspected that she had forgone wearing any sort of undergarments; the silken fabric of her dress was entirely too thin to suggest otherwise.

The young socialite had glossy blonde hair that flowed down to her shoulders, a generous bust, and legs that ran for days; no doubt accentuated by the high cut of her dress. The longer Rarity watched the two of them interact, the more she doubted that this woman had the purest intentions at heart. After she grabbed a glass of champagne from one of the waiters, Rarity stood off to the side and observed the woman like a hawk.

“Good evening, Lord Spike. The name’s Honey Graham. My father, Golden Graham, owns the largest and most profitable biscuit company in Equestria. Perhaps you’ve heard of it?”

Spike nodded. “Sure have. I love Graham crackers. They’re really good for s’mores.”

“Ah… yes. Those. In any case, I’m glad to see that you’ve finally decide to grace us with your presence here in Canterlot. And, I must admit, you’re looking in fine form tonight. Despite what others may say, I happen to think that the natural look suits you. It helps you project a… visage of masculine strength.”

Spike chuckled bashfully. “Thanks, Ms. Graham! I’m happy to hear you say that. To be honest, I wasn’t really sure how everyone would react to… seeing us like this.”

“Well, I’m sure that you’ve managed to scandalize at least a few people in the room already. Hmm. What a pity that Prince Blue Blood refused to attend tonight’s festivities. If nothing else, it would have been amusing to watch him throw a childish tantrum over your presence here. He certainly wasn’t happy when he first got word of your aunt’s royal decree.”

“Quite frankly, I’m not surprised. That guy’s always been somewhat of a pompous jerk.”

Honey chortled. “Indeed! Of course, we mustn’t forget that Lady Rarity also regularly attends the charity ball. Those two have been quarreling like a snake and a mongoose ever since that disastrous Gala a few years ago. With her temper, I’d imagine we’d be seeing a Black & Blue Blood by night’s end. It’s no wonder he always avoids coming here! But enough about them, I want to know more about you~”

“Oh. That’s cool, I guess. What would you like to know?”

“For one,” Amber purred while she ran her fingers over Spike’s abs, “I’d like to know how you managed to get so big and strong. Was it the food? The rugged environment? The women?”

“A combination of all three, I think?”

Honey discreetly slipped her hand in-between Spike’s legs and started fondling his balls. “How very interesting. I certainly can’t argue with the results. Sweet Celestia! You’re really got a pair, don’t you? Say, would you like to sneak off to one of the guest rooms and have a little fun with me? I promise I won’t bite… unless you want me to~”

Spike jerked back at the unsolicited, intimate contact. “Hey! What the hell do you think you’re doing?! Just because I decided not to wear anything tonight doesn’t automatically mean that I’m interested in having sex with you.”

Honey, undeterred, proceeded to wrap her fingers around Spike’s shaft and stroke it. “What nonsense! Your cock is already starting to get nice and hard! Besides, I heard that your kind are fond of having all sorts of wild romps in the jungle. And with a marvelous body like yours? How can you not?”


“Well, isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black? Even if you are a national hero, I hardly think you have any right to take the moral high ground in this situation. Especially, given your current state of undress. Why, if I didn’t know any better, I’d say you were trying to draw attention to yourself on purpose, Lady Rarity.”

Rarity’s face flushed with rage as she put her hands on her hips. “I beg your pardon?!”

“Imagine what the tabloids will say tomorrow morning. It’ll be the most ironic headline of the century: ‘a second-rate seamstress scandalizes a scintillating soirée while showing up without so much as a stitch’. All of Equestria will know just how much of an attention whore you are! What will your clients have to say about this? That is, if you wind up having any left after tonight…”

Rarity let out a frustrated scream. “I’ll have you know that, yes, I do indeed go great lengths to maintain my figure. It is nothing less than the direct result of hard work and strict discipline. As far as I’m concerned, I have every right to feel proud of the way my body looks! However, that is not the primary reason why I chose to attend this ball in the nude.

“I did it to support my friends and out of respect for their customs, so they wouldn’t feel alienated. I also wanted to live up to the spirit of generosity, and demonstrate that I was willing to give the very clothes off of my back to those less fortunate than I. And Coco, bless her soul, decided to join me even though she was absolutely terrified out of her wits to do so.

“The very fact that you only seem interested in throwing around your father’s clout and finding someone to bed proves to me just how shallow and narrow-minded you are. Since I’m sure that EVERYONE else in the room is listening in on our conversation by now, know that I don’t give a damn what all of you think about me. But I won’t allow ANYONE to bring further harm to my friends. Physical or otherwise. Is that understood?!!”

Alerted by all the commotion, a tall man dressed in a tuxedo with baby blue hair and an impeccably styled moustache arrived on the scene and glared at Honey Graham. “I invite you into my home, offer you my hospitality, and this is how you treat my guests? What do you have to say for yourself, young lady?”

“Why are all of you making such a big deal out of this? Everyone knows that the dragon folk are little more than a backwater rabble of naked, lust-driven savages. Lord Spike may be the adopted son of Princess Celestia but he clearly has no intention of—”

“Having sexual intercourse with you,” Fancy interrupted, “Furthermore, you infringed upon his person without consent and molested him twice! I will not tolerate such disrespectful behavior from you or anyone else for that matter. You have two choices, madam. You may either remove yourself from my property voluntarily or I shall have you thrown out. Choose quickly.”

Honey Graham had enough sense to realize that this was a battle she couldn’t possibly win. Instead of making an even bigger scene by being dragged out of the estate, kicking and screaming, she chose to leave the premises of her own volition. But not before making a very rude gesture with her middle finger while she walked out the doors.

Everyone in the surrounding crowd murmured amongst themselves and got back to drinking, snacking, or whatever they had been talking about before. Rarity was so upset that she shuffled over to a nearby couch and immediately began hyperventilating, nearly on the verge of tears.

Spike raced to her side and tried his best to comfort her by rubbing gentle circles along her back. This only seemed to make the poor fashionista even more distraught. Unsure of what else to do, Spike wrapped his arm her around shoulder in a half-hug and tried to calm Rarity down as much as he could.

Fancy Pants bowed his head down in shame. “Lord Spike, Lady Rarity. I’m—terribly sorry that the two of you had to experience all of that. There’s really no excuse for my inaction. I should have come by sooner to investigate. If there’s anything I can do to make it up to the both you, you have but to ask. I just hope that… you can find it in your hearts to forgive me.”

“There’s nothing to forgive, Fancy. You couldn’t have known that Honey Graham was going to behave the way she did.” Spike assured.

Fancy rubbed the back of his neck. “Ah, well… you see old boy, her father might have mentioned that she was a bit of a wild child. But I honestly had no idea that she had become so crass and ill-mannered over the years. I’ve half the mind to press formal charges against her.”

“Let’s just put it behind us and move on, ok? I don’t want this ruin our entire night.”

Fancy nodded in agreement. “If that’s what you wish, then I shall oblige. Hopefully, the little scene Ms. Graham created will convince the rest of my guests to be more respectful of Wyvertii customs. And, by extension, discourage any further unwarranted physical contact.”

Rarity leaned over and kissed Spike on the cheek. “Thank you, darling. I feel terrible about getting so upset when I should have been the one to comfort you instead. You didn’t deserve to be treated that way. No one does, regardless of their social standing or beliefs. Why can’t the rest of Canterlot see you in the same light as I do?”

“I had the same problem with Spoiled Rich back in Ponyville. Well, it wasn’t quite as bad as what happened tonight… but I’ve found that people are often hostile towards things that they don’t understand or if it goes against what society tells them is normal. Don’t get me wrong: I’m happy to have the support of my friends and family, but I don’t expect everyone to be on board with the choices I’ve made. That’s just how life works.”

“Wise words to live by,” Rarity admitted while she placed her hand on Spike’s thigh, “I want you to know that I’m very proud of how mature you’ve become, Spike. Were your mother and sister here with us tonight, I’m certain they’d both agree with me.”

Spike’s cheeks flushed with embarrassment. “Oh—umm—thanks, Rarity. It means a lot to me to hear you say that.”

“You’re quite welcome, dear. Now, let us not dwell on the past and put our best foot forward! It was nice seeing you again, Fancy Pants. Even if the circumstances weren’t nearly as pleasant as I would have preferred. Let your beautiful wife know that she’s more than welcome to come and chat with us if she’s so inclined.”

Fancy took a moment to wipe his monocle with a monogramed handkerchief. “Certainly, Lady Rarity. I’ll also instruct my security staff to keep a close eye on all of you in case any further issues should arise. Please enjoy the rest of your evenings.”

Sunset sat next to Coco at the bar, idly sipping on her Lime Rickey. She was grateful that the bartender had been willing to make the non-alcoholic version of the cocktail without raising too much of a fuss. The fiery-haired amazon had never been a big fan of booze before she stared living in the Everfree Forest and she wasn’t entirely certain what kind of effect it would have on her body now that she was a full-grown adult.

Or, more precisely, Sunset didn’t want to be surprised and find out that she was a total lightweight when it came to holding her liquor. Getting shit-faced drunk and embarrassing herself in front of Spike and a good chunk of Canterlot’s elite wasn’t exactly an experience she wanted to mark off of her ‘life goals’ list.

Coco seemed to have much the same idea. The shy fashion designer had ordered a cup of hot chamomile tea and was currently nursing it while she nibbled on a cucumber sandwich. Both of the nude partygoers had witnessed the commotion in the ballroom between Spike, Rarity, and Honey Graham… but neither of them thought it was a good idea to get involved. Coco because she hated conflict and was paralyzed by fear, and Sunset because she wasn’t sure if she could hold back her temper if a physical confrontation had arisen.

“I’m sorry if I haven’t been a very good conversationalist, Sunset. It’s just that I feel so… out of place here. And everyone being able to see my naked body with all its imperfections is making me a nervous wreck! When I was bending over to pick up a napkin that I’d dropped on the floor earlier, I swear there were a few people staring intently at my… y-you know what.”

“What? You mean your butthole?”

Coco’s cheeks turned beet red. “Yes! But you don’t have to say it out loud!

“Oh, shit! Sorry, Coco. I didn’t mean to embarrass you. I’ll try to be a bit more careful about how I phrase things. Never been much of a girl for polite euphemisms, ya know?”

Coco took another sip of tea to try and calm her frazzled nerves. “I understand. In fact, that’s one of the reasons why I enjoy your company so much. You’re been nothing but straightforward and honest with me the whole time we’ve known each other. It gets tiresome always having to read in-between the lines whenever I’m talking with Equestria’s supposed ‘elite’. They don’t ever seem to say what they really think. At least… not directly to your face.”

“I hear ya, sister. Do you wanna know a little secret?”

“Umm… sure.”

Sunset leaned back on the stool and popped a bacon-wrapped scallop into her mouth. “For a while, I was really self-conscious about other people seeing me naked too.”

“But you look so strong and beautiful! How can that be?”

Sunset let out a rueful chuckle. “I spent the better part of a decade living in a cave with a couple of Ursas, you see. As such, there weren’t any other humans around to judge me for being nude all the time. I mean, I’d occasionally glimpse at my reflection in the water. But otherwise, I wasn’t too concerned about my image.

“That is, until Spike and Ember decided to take me under their wing. When we finally traveled back to civilization, deeply-ingrained taboos that I’d been taught as a child came flooding back to me. I was worried that we’d be harassed everywhere we went and that people would be disgusted by all of the scars I’d accumulated over the years. Turns out: we were officially protected under Equestrian law, thanks to Princess Luna. Go figure!”

“Goodness, I never really thought of it that way. I can see why you’ve been having so much trouble adjusting to modern society, given your… unique circumstances. Umm… if you don’t mind me asking: those claw marks on your tummy, how did you get those? If it’s too painful or personal to talk about them, you don’t have to answer me …”

Sunset absentmindedly rubbed the scars along her stomach. “Nah, I don’t mind. The story itself is actually pretty straightforward. Right around my sixteenth birthday, I went out to forage for some berries and wound up stepping into a manticore’s territory by accident. Me, being the dumb teenager I was, had completely forgotten that it was mating season. Let me tell ya: Manticores are no fun to deal with when they’re horny and pissed off.

“The big, ugly bastard came charging at me, roaring, claws drawn. Next thing I know, I was knocked flat on my back, struggling to keep him from tearing me to shreds. I managed to grab hold of his arms, but I didn’t have enough strength or time to immobilize his legs. That’s when he raked me right across the gut with one of his hind claws.”

Coco put her hands over her mouth and gasped. “Oh no! That’s terrible! Did it hurt?”

“Like you wouldn’t believe. Quite frankly, I’m lucky that he didn’t cut me any deeper or I probably would have died right then and there. With all the adrenaline coursing through my veins, I was able to push through the pain, roll off to the side, grab my spear, and jam it straight into that fucker’s skull. I felt guilty about leaving a perfectly good carcass behind, but I was in no condition to be carrying it around with me. When I finally limped back to the cave, it took me several weeks to recover. I survived. He didn’t. And I’m stronger today because of it.”

Coco blushed while she looked down at her feet. “Celestia’s grace. I can’t even begin to imagine what that must have been like for you. The constant danger you had to face while living in the Everfee Forest makes my problems seem inconsequential by comparison…”

Sunset reached over and wrapped her arm around Coco. “C’mon, Coco. I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to be comparing your life experiences with mine. Apples to Oranges and all that. I—uhh—I guess what I’m trying to say is: it’s ok for you to feel scared about exposing yourself in front of other people. We all handle fear differently.”

“Maybe. I don’t know, Sunset. I just feel like such a coward…”

Sunset wracked her brain, desperately trying to find something encouraging to say. “That’s not true, Coco. You’re here, you’re nude, and trying your best to support all of us. Despite being scared out of your wits. Personally, I think that takes a lot of guts.”

“You really think so?” Coco asked.

“Yeah, I do.”

Coco rubbed her thighs together nervously. “Is there a technique to possibly—umm—build up my confidence? About my body, that is. It’s just that, you seem so comfortable being nude all the time that I figure there must be some kind of secret to it.”

“Hmm. Well, Spike told me that it has a lot to do with your attitude. Not exactly a secret, per say but more like a state of mind. I do have an idea if you’re up for it. But I gotta warn you: it might be a bit embarrassing. By Coco standards, anyway…”

Coco stood up and struck a confident pose. “Don’t worry, Sunset! I’m prepared to hear whatever advice you have to offer.”

“Ah… you see… I was thinking that we could hit the dance floor together. It really is the quickest way to get in tune with your body. By the time we’re done, you’ll feel a lot more comfortable in your own skin and a lot sexier, I’d wager.”

Coco meeped and fidgeted in place. “Oh gosh! I’m not sure if I could—NO! I promised that I would be brave tonight for Rarity’s sake! Although, I’m afraid that I’m not a very good dancer.”

“Neither am I, but that’s not going to stop me from shaking what my momma gave me out there. Look, the only things you need to worry about are: letting loose and having fun. Just feel the rhythm of the beat and do whatever comes naturally. That’s all there is to it!”

“I suppose it’s worth a shot,” Coco reluctantly admitted, “Just promise me that you’ll stay close by? I don’t want any unscrupulous characters to take advantage of my… nudity.”

Sunset gave Coco a thumbs up. “No problem! I’ll make sure to beat the stuffing outta any creeps who so much as even think about making a move on you. That’s a promise!”

Coco took ahold of Sunset’s hand as she led them towards the center of the ballroom. There were very few guests currently occupying the space but regardless of where Sunny and Coco stepped foot, whoever they ran into insisted on giving the two of them a wide berth. Whether it was simply because Sunset looked so tall and intimidating or that everyone wanted to avoid any accidental mishaps that might be misconstrued as sexual harassment, Coco couldn’t really be certain. Either way, the shy dress designer wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth. She was quite content to have such a large bubble of personal space to experiment with various dance styles and ‘shake her groove thing’, as the popular vernacular went.

The lead violinist on stage, a dark-haired woman dressed in a purple and gray pantsuit, put her instrument down for a moment and surveyed the crowd. Coco felt a slight blush color her cheeks when she witnessed the musician cast her gaze upon Sunset’s (exquisitely shaped in Coco’s humble opinion) backside while they danced together. It was times like these that made Coco wish she that wasn’t so hopelessly attracted to confident, well-toned women. Not that the view from the frontside was any less distracting.

Coco was mesmerized by the voluminous pair of breasts laid out before her as they bounced ever so slightly from all the twisting and turning. Due in no small part to the taller woman’s lean, muscular physique. Coco was genuinely surprised that Sunset’s breasts were even moving to the extent that they were, given their apparent firmness.

On the other hand, Coco couldn’t help but take a moment to glance down at her own chest and notice how much more her breasts (and tushie, there was no doubt in her mind about that particular part of her body) jiggled by comparison. Such was the disposition of an average girl with a little bit of extra cushioning to spare, the fashionista reminded herself with a forlorn sigh.

Coco was brought out of her reverie when she felt Sunset tap her shoulder. “Hey, Coco! Are you doing ok? You look a little flushed. If you need to get a drink or take break, let me know.”

“Huh? Oh… umm, yes. I’m just not used to this sort of exercise. I’ll be fine.”

Sunset paused and gestured towards the bar. “C’mon, let’s go grab some water. Gotta stay hydrated. Dancing makes you sweat a lot.”

While they patiently waited for the bartender to finish up another customer’s order, Coco was sitting close enough to Sunset that she immediately caught wind of her natural aroma. It was an intoxicating mixture of spicy cinnamon, rose-scented perfume, and a subtle hint of sweat. There were unconfirmed rumors that the Wyvertii possessed unusually potent pheromones, but Coco had taken such hearsay with a grain of salt. Now that she was experiencing their effects firsthand, however, Coco could honestly say that it was true.

Embarrassing as it was, Coco found that she simply couldn’t help herself. She leaned over and took in a deep breath, relishing Sunset’s scent like a fine wine. The more she breathed in, the more she felt her loins begin to stir. It progressed to the point where she had to make a considerable effort to resist the temptation of sliding her finger in-between her legs. The incredible ease with which she could do so, on account of her nudity, only made things worse.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the bartender slid two pints full of water down the table. Coco found that gulping down a glass of ice-cold water not only helped quench her thirst, but served as an excellent way to cool down her lust-addled brain. As soon as she finished, Coco let out a loud sigh of relief and adjusted her butt on the stool in order to get more comfortable. She scrunched her brows together in confusion when she felt a wet, sticky sensation between her thighs while she moved. With a squeak of sheer terror, she suddenly realized exactly what the substance was.

“Coco, are you sure you’re alright? You don’t hurt yourself out there, did you?”

Coco shook her head violently and clamped her legs together. “N-no, I’m fine! I—umm—just got a foot cramp. Give it a few moments. I’m sure it’ll go away quickly.”

“Say, do you smell something funny?”

Coco’s entire face turned beet red. “Uhh… no? What e-exactly are you smelling?”

“Hmm. I can’t quite put my finger on it. It’s really musky but sort of sweet at the same time. Someone around here must be wearing a bit too much perfume. Figures. They probably bought that expensive crap that uses beaver glands or something.”

Coco put on the biggest, fakest smile she could muster. “Ahahaha! Yeah, I’m sure that’s it.”

The flustered fashionista wracked her brain for any excuse that might allow her to clean up the mess she’d made all over the barstool without arousing suspicion. She noticed that Sunset’s glass still had about a finger length’s worth of water in it. Thinking quickly, Coco tipped the glass over with her elbow in order to direct the icy-cold water to spill onto her lap. The resulting squeal she made was entirely genuine and unrehearsed, despite the accident itself being staged.

“Sunset, I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to make such a mess! Please give me a moment to clean all of this up. Then I’ll probably head to the restroom to dry myself off.”

Sunset shot Coco a sympathetic look. “Sure, take your time. I’ll be here when you get back.”

The fiery-haired amazon watched as her friend sped off to the restroom, only to have someone else take a seat right next to her. It was none other than the violinist from earlier, except this time she had a dirty martini in her left hand and was looking over at Sunset after each sip. Socializing with posh strangers wasn’t exactly her specialty, but Sunset decided that she didn’t have anything to lose and waved to the dark-haired woman.

“Oi! What’s a girl gotta do tah buy a such a handsome creature as yerself a drink ‘round here?” The violinist inquired in a heavy Trottingham accent.

Sunset chose to ignore the woman’s overt attempt to flirt with her. “Oh, umm—I don’t drink.”

“A teetotaler, eh? Just moi luck! Don’t suppose you’d be up fer one o’ them fancy fizz drinks with cherries an’ whipped cream on top? Cannea remember what the damn things’re called. Ah ha! Cherrie Jubilees! That’s it.”

Sunset chuckled awkwardly. “Sounds… interesting. I’ll take one, if you’re offering.”

“Cheese n’ crackers! Nearly forgot ta introduce meself. Name’s Octavia Melody. First string to the Royal Canterlot Orchestra. Most folk call me Tavi though. Rolls off the tongue better. What’s yer name, pretty lady?”

“Sunset Shimmer. I’m… not exactly from around here, in case you haven’t guessed. My friend Rarity invited me to come along with her to the ball tonight.”

Octavia rolled her eyes while she took another sip from her martini. “No kiddin’! Why, were it not fer the fact that yer traipsin’ about like a bare-arsed babe, I’d ‘ave mistaken ye fer a noble! Although, that teal-haired friend o’ yers seems familiar. What’s ‘er name? Hmm. Coco Pommel, I reckon it was. In fact, the suit I’m wearin’ is one o’ her designs.”

Sunset took a sip of her own extravagant drink and found it cloyingly sweet. “That’s cool, I guess. Look, I don’t mean to sound rude, Tavi. But… I’m not really looking for a relationship right now. At least, not with another woman. I’m already interested in someone else.”

“That’s fine, lass. Neither am I. Happily married to the woman o’ me dreams.”

Sunset furrowed her brow in confusion. “Then, why the hell have you been flirting with me this whole time? I’m pretty sure your wife wouldn’t approve of us interacting like this.”

“Nah, the wife and I have an understandin’, see? Merely an old habit o’ mine. In all seriousness, I meant what I said earlier. Yer a fine lookin’ damsel if ever there was one. Hope ya don’t mind me askin’ but who’s the lucky bloke that managed ta spark yer interest?”

Sunset gestured back towards Spike, who was currently mingling with a group of other guests. “That’s him over there. I was—uhh—kind of hoping that tonight would be the perfect opportunity to confess my feelings. You know, since the atmosphere is all romantic and whatnot.”

Octavia whistled. “By Celestia’s dusty snatch! Yer shootin’ fer the stars there, missy! Never figured that Prince Spike, of all people, would turn out ta be such a hot piece of arse! Oooh and would’ya look at the equipment he’s haulin’ between them legs o’ his. Twig n’ Berries? More like Log n’ Oranges, I tell ya.”

Sunset blushed profusely, but couldn’t find a polite way to refute anything that Tavi had said. Instead, she decided it was simply easier to agree with the crass musician. Because, in all honesty, everything that she had said was basically true. While Sunset was left to stew with her own thoughts, yet another woman marched over to the bar and stood next to Octavia, glaring at the musician with what could only be described as pure, unbridled fury.

She was wearing an elegant white gown, a pair of ivory stilettos, and matching sash tied around her waist. Her spikey, electric-blue hair was held together with generous amount of styling gel and accentuated by a jeweled music note pin. Sunset had seen her fair share of people who were in desperate need of some sun (Moondancer included), but this lady looked pale enough to pass off as a porcelain doll. And her ruby-red eyes, only further strengthened the impression that she’d come straight from the pages of some trashy teen romance novel about aristocratic vampires who sparkled in the moonlight.

“I let you alone for ten minutes and you immediately start hitting on one of Lord Spike’s Wyvertii delegates? Have you no shame, Octy?!”

“C’mon, Vinyl,” Octavia whined, “There’s no need ta git yer skivvies in a twist. Cut me a little slack, why don’t ya? It’s not every day I get the chance ta converse with an exotic two-meter tall, nekkid amazon. Err… no offense, love. I meant that in the most complimentary way possible.”

Sunset rolled her eyes and sighed. “None taken.”

“My apologies, Miss…?”

“Shimmer. Sunset Shimmer.”

Vinyl offered her hand. “My name’s Vinyl Scratch, beloved wife of Octavia Melody, and purveyor of Equestria’s finest gramophones and records. Nice to meet you, Ms. Shimmer.”

Sunset accepted her handshake and smiled. “Small world, huh? Used to listen to your records all the time back when I was still in school. I’m afraid I haven’t had much opportunity to listen to any lately, though. Living smack in the middle of the Everfree Forest and facing mortal danger on a regular basis kind of limits what a girl can do in her spare time.”

“Man, that sucks! I’ll have one of the boys from R&D send our newest model to you ASAP! Along with a healthy collection of classical music records to accompany it, of course. Unless, you prefer other genres. Like jazz, folk music or… wubs?”

“Uhh sure (Sunset had no idea what wubs were). Go ahead and send a few of those too. Never hurts to have some variety.”

Vinyl clapped her hands. “Spoken like a true music aficionado! Come to think of it, I seem to recall that there was another naked chick sitting next to you earlier. Obviously wasn’t as ripped as you are, but still cute. Hehe. Not that I mind. She was totally bagnable! Umm… Coco, was it? Do you think she’s alright? She’s been gone for a while now…”

Sunset now understood why Octavia & Vinyl were such a good match for each other. They were both shameless horndogs. “Now that you mention it, Coco has been gone a pretty long time. She said she was going to the restroom to clean up a bit, but that shouldn’t take more than a half hour. Do you think she got lost or something?”

Vinyl scratched her head. “I dunno. Possibly. She definitely seems like the type to get flustered easily. I’d give her another ten minutes or so. If she doesn’t come back at that point, then I’d ask the security staff to search for her whereabouts.”

“Fair enough.” Sunset agreed.

The Ball (II)

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Chapter 25

Château de Fleur Dorée, 2nd Floor Restroom

Coco sat propped up against the wall, her legs spread out before her in a V-shape. The teal-haired woman’s normally immaculate bob cut had become slightly matted and her skin glistened with a thin sheen of sweat. After letting out a contented sigh, she glanced over at the flesh-colored dildo sitting inside the bathtub and silently thanked whoever had made the decision to keep one stowed in the cupboard just above the sink. The nude fashionista found herself even more grateful for the high degree of privacy that Fancy’s luxurious restroom had afforded her.

The combination of dancing and Sunset’s unusually potent pheromones had proven too much for Coco to handle. At first, she had tried to wipe her privates with a damp cloth, but her heightened sensitivity made it feel much too good to simply stop there. She had begun by fingering herself to try and soothe the burning desire she felt in her loins, but it just wasn’t enough. Such was her need for satisfaction, that it eventually progressed to her fixing the rubber penis to the floor of the tub and riding it cowgirl style until she came several times. The result of which, coated a significant portion of the tub and the entire implement with her essence.

While her partner found great pleasure in it, Coco was extremely self-conscious about her body’s inherent ability to produce such vast quantities of what Rarity called ‘love nectar’. It meant that Coco required very little stimulation to become properly lubricated for most sexual activities and whenever she reached the peak of her orgasm, there was a very noisy, very messy reaction afterwards. Coupled with the fact that it had quite a pungent aroma (as Sunset had unwittingly noticed earlier), Coco went to great lengths to keep her mind clear of naughty thoughts while in public, so as not to provoke any humiliating scenarios that might induce a panic attack.

Even though she was still very much enjoying the afterglow of three consecutive orgasms, Coco crinkled her nose when she took a moment to sniff herself. Much to her dismay, she positively reeked of sweat and sex. Fortunately for Coco, the bathroom was fully stocked with a compliment of: towels, scented soaps, loofah, and a walk-in shower. Perfect for the occasional naked party goer who needed to freshen up!

In the interest of time (she wasn’t entirely sure how much had passed), Coco bathed quickly and made sure to give everything a good scrub. After stepping out of the shower, she relished the feeling of being clean and rubbed a soft, fluffy towel all over her bare skin. Once she was done drying off, Coco glanced over at the “mess” she’d created and bit her lip. She wiped off the dildo as best she could and carefully placed it, along with the soiled towel, into the bathtub. Coco felt a little guilty leaving it there for someone else to clean up, but she didn’t have much of a choice. She really needed to head back to the party.

It was strange. Coco had never felt so liberated in her entire life. As she walked down the hall, there was a noticeable saunter in her step. She wasn’t sure if Sunset’s technique had actually worked or if her body was simply so full of endorphins, that it caused her inhibitions to practically melt away. Whatever the reason, Coco decided she didn’t care. All that mattered was she felt more confident, more comfortable, more relaxed, and dare she say it… sexier!

Sunset stood up to greet her friend and was completely caught off guard when Coco wrapped her in a bone-crushing hug. “Thank you, Sunset!”

“Uh… you’re welcome? Hey, Coco. Do you mind telling me where the hell you’ve been this whole time? You had me worried there for a while. I was beginning to think that something bad might’ve happened to you.”

Coco nuzzled her cheek against Sunset’s breast and marveled at its supple firmness. “Oh, well I was already kind of sweaty… so I decided to take a shower. I hope you don’t mind.”

“Ah, so that’s why you smell like shampoo and soap. Not to be rude, but that was one long-ass shower. Are you sure that’s all you were doing in there?”

Coco blushed and told Sunset the truth, albeit a less raunchy version of what had actually transpired. “I just needed some extra time to clear my mind. Hot water and some privacy helped to—umm—accomplish that. Sorry to make you worry.”

“The important thing is: you’re ok. Now, why don’t you go scamper off and see Rarity. I’m sure she’d like to spend some more time with you tonight. As for me, I’d like to see how well Spike can dance. Who knows? Maybe I can even convince him to do some salsa or something.”

Coco stood on her tippy toes and kissed Sunset on the cheek. “Thanks again, Sunset. For helping me find my confidence.”

“It was my pleasure, Coco. Go enjoy the rest of the party with your girlfriend!”

Rarity sighed as she took another swig from her glass. The vintage was excellent and the champagne was about as tasty as one could expect from Lord Fancy Pants’ personal stock. She was sorely tempted to indulge in several more glasses of the delicious drink, but such behavior was unbecoming of a lady. Regardless of the heightened security presence, Rarity DID NOT wish to be caught with her pants down (in a manner of speaking) and make a fool of herself simply because being drunk made interacting with other guests much more tolerable.

The fashionista finished the rest of her drink and propped her arms against the railing of the balcony. At least the view of the gardens was spectacular. Odd as it may have seemed, Fleur de Lis was actually quite fond of nature. Rarity had been surprised to learn that she’d grown up in a small town just off the coast of southern Prance called Cape d’amitié.

Her parents were neither noble nor rich, but they ran a quaint little seaside resort that catered to anyone who cared to vacation there. What made the place truly unique was the fact that it was entirely clothing optional. Guests could wear however much or little as they saw fit and no one would be the wiser.

This was due, in no small part, to the cultural norms of Prance. Generally speaking, their society was far more relaxed when it came to recreational nudity. Overt displays of the bare human form weren’t seen as inherently sexual or a violation of the law, like it was in Equestria. Acts of public indecency were heavily frowned upon and punishable by the full extent of the law, however.

It was in this capacity that Fleur spent many summers of her childhood, happily frolicking about in the nude and enjoying nature. Whether it was at the beach or in the woods nearby. Ironically enough, it was at that very same beach where Fleur met her future husband. She often joked that he stuck out like a sore thumb because of the formal way he dressed, and because he was one of the few guests who insisted on wearing any clothing in the first place.

As was her daily routine during the summer months, Fleur woke up just before sunrise and took a refreshing dip in the ocean. Being an earlier riser himself, Fancy Pants would wake up around the same time over the course of his two week long vacation. He would first eat a light breakfast with a cup of coffee and then read the latest issue of the Canterlot Journal afterwards. That is, until he happened to notice the breathtakingly beautiful woman who went skinny-dipping every morning.

One fateful day, Fancy decided to forgo his usual morning routine. Instead, he spent most his time trying to summon the courage to talk with the bathing beauty he had witnessed on so many occasions. After slurping down two cups of coffee (he needed some form of liquid courage), he stood in front of the bathroom mirror completely naked and frowned at the man who stared back at him.

Fancy, was by no means, out of shape. He enjoyed fencing, boxing, and weight lifting whenever he had the time and maintained a relatively healthy diet. The swimmer, by comparison, had a lithe, athletic build. Her breasts were small and perky but in no way did they detract from her feminine charm. It was unsurprising that her body looked the way it did, Fancy surmised, considering how often she swam. From what he could tell, she never seemed to put much effort into styling her long, bleached-magenta locks or was overly fond of wearing cosmetics. A true natural beauty, in every sense of the word.

The young businessman noticed that nearly all of the other people he’d seen thus far (including the swimmer) had a rich, golden-bronze tan that seemed to cover their entire body. There wasn’t a single tan line to be found amongst the lot of them! A result, no doubt, of spending so much time in the sun without wearing much in the way of clothing. When compared to the local populace, Fancy felt very self-conscious about his own pale complexion.

Pubic grooming didn’t seem to matter much around these parts. He’d seen all shapes and sizes of it, ranging from totally bare all the way to brazenly bushy. Fancy preferred to let his grow into a noticeable tuft, but not enough to make it an unruly, tangled mess. A quick trimming every once and while usually sufficed. With a slight blush, he remembered that the swimmer liked to keep hers shaped in a sexy little triangle right above her—he quickly banished such lewd thoughts. Fancy didn’t want to have to deal with an embarrassing erection on top of everything else.

Fancy felt an immense amount of trepidation as he walked through the main lobby and towards the exit. Despite wearing nothing but beach towel around his neck, no one seemed to pay him any mind and went about their own routines as usual. Once he arrived at the beach, Fancy was genuinely surprised at how good the sea breeze and the warmth of the rising sun felt against his bare skin. He took in a deep breath and closed his eyes, relishing the sense of pure, unadulterated freedom that he hadn’t ever experienced before. When Fancy finally opened his eyes, the beauty stood before him with a mischievous smile on her lips.

“You have finally decided to join me this morning, hmm?”

Fancy felt his mouth instantly go dry. “I—err—yes, I thought it was a lovely day for a swim.”

Oui, so it is. Are you certain that is the only reason you are here, monsieur?”

“Well, I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to getting better acquainted with you, madam. That is… if you wouldn’t mind my company.”

The bronze-skinned woman shook her head. “Of course not, mon ami. You seem like a pleasant enough gentleman. Quite handsome too, if I do say so myself. Care to go for a lap around the cove or perhaps you’d prefer a walk along the beach?”

“I’m amenable to either option, madam. Choose whichever you feel is best.”

The woman crouched on her haunches and gestured towards Fancy’s crotch. “The reason I ask is because of this fellow dangling here. As I am sure you have noticed, my mamelons are quite stiff from swimming in the ocean this morning. It is much cooler at this hour than later in the day, as the sun has not yet had a chance to warm it up. I ask in deference to your pride, monsieur.”

“I beg your pardon! My what?!”

“It seems that I must spell it out for you,” the woman giggled, “Your manhood will surely shrink in the cold water, monsieur. Are you prepared to allow a woman to see you in such a state?”

Fancy’s stomach churned at the thought, but he remained resolute. “If that is what it takes to get to know you, then so be it. I am prepared.”

Très magnifique! You have chosen the correct answer! Take heart, for you have earned my respect today. Besides, you have nothing to worry about! I assure you that your appareillage is fine just the way it is. Penises come in all shapes and sizes, after all! A little shrinkage from time to time is both normal and expected, non?”

Fancy coughed awkwardly. “Ermm… I suppose it is.”

“Hmm. I think I would much rather take a walk with you this morning. The sun will help dry me off in lieu of a towel. Think of it as… a date. Then we can spend the rest of the day getting to know each other better, if you would have me. How does that sound, monsieur?”

Fancy took her offered hand and grasped it gently. “Yes, I’d like that very much. Before we go any further, might I have your name, madam?”

Zut alors! How rude of me! My name is Fleur de Lis, but you may call me Fleur. A pleasure to meet your acquaintance.”

“Fancy Pants. Although, ironically enough, I find myself entirely without them this morning. I hope you’ll forgive my faux pas, Miss Fleur. You know, when in Prance…”

Fleur laughed. “That is quite alright, Fancy. I prefer seeing you without them anyway.”

Rarity always found herself smiling whenever she recalled their story. Fleur & Fancy, despite their social status within Equestrian society, continued to vacation at that very same resort in southern Prance every single summer since they’d first met. It was like a storybook tale of love and romance, except the prince and the princess happened to be avid nudists.

They were one of the few happily married couples in all Canterlot and Rarity greatly admired them for it. She was also very fond of them as both patrons and dear friends. Rarity hoped that she’d be able to catch up with Fleur at some point during the evening. But so far, the Prench woman had remained elusive. She was most likely busy entertaining other guests in some far-off corner of the estate.

Just as she was about to head over to the dance floor to search for Coco, Rarity felt something soft and warm press up against her back. As a pair of hands slowly snaked her around her midriff, Rarity picked up the distinct aroma of shampoo and… the slightest hint of soap. The fashionista smiled when she realized who was embracing her and intertwined her fingers with the pair resting upon her stomach.

“Mmmm. I just about to go looking for you.”

Coco kissed her neck. “I’m sorry I didn’t join you earlier, Rarity. I was afraid that something bad would happen if I got involved. I guess that makes me a coward, huh?”

“You had every right to frightened, my love. Sexual harassment is not a matter to be trifled with! Frankly, I’m glad that Spike handled himself the way he did. I nearly lost my temper with Honey Graham. Had she not… left of her own accord, I would have dragged that bitch out by the scruff of her neck myself! Kicking and screaming, if need be. In any case, the matter is settled now.”

“I suppose it is.”

Rarity turned around and held Coco against her chest, gently running her fingers through her lover’s hair. “You’re here with me now and most importantly, you’re safe. Besides, I’m certain that Sunset did an admirable job protecting you. Mind my asking, but what exactly did the two of you do during your time together?”

“Well, one thing sort of led to another and she convinced me to go dancing with her. Sunset can be a little gruff at times, but she’s a really nice person once you get to know her. I’m happy that I was able to become friends with her tonight. She also taught me an important lesson on how to become more confident and comfortable in my own skin.”

Rarity caressed her cheek. “Tell me, darling. How well do you think it worked?”

With a mischievous grin, Coco slid one of her hands down Rarity’s back, and gave her lover’s firm derrière a good squeeze. Rarity let out a surprised gasp but she made no attempt to stop Coco, nor ask her lover to place her hand elsewhere. Thus emboldened, Coco used her other hand to grasp Rarity’s breast. She gently kneaded it with her fingers, using her thumb to rub Rarity’s nipple every so often.

Encouraged by Rarity’s reaction, Coco took things one step further and used her middle finger to tease the outer rim of Rarity’s rosy-pink pucker. Coco knew it really wasn’t a fair move, considering how sensitive Rarity was to being stimulated there. But it was the best way for her to show Rarity that she was serious about making love to her tonight.

“Coco, my dearest, please refrain from touching me there,” Rarity begged with a slight quaver in her voice, “Other people might see us…”

Instead, Coco pressed her lips against Rarity’s and locked her into a long, sloppy kiss. The couple continued to explore each other’s mouths for what seemed like hours, until Coco finally decided to pull away, a thin trail of saliva dribbling down her chin. Not but a moment later, the heat in her loins came rushing back like a flash fire, making her entire body quiver with barely contained lust.

Coco flashed her lover a predatory grin. “You can’t even begin to image how horny I’ve been. I didn’t want to embarrass Sunset, but her pheromones really did a number on me earlier. In fact, I was so aroused that I had to rush off to bathroom and masturbate just to clear my mind. I had three incredibly messy, mind-numbing orgasms in a row, Rarity. Three! That’s why I smell like soap and shampoo. I—umm—had to take a shower afterwards.”

“Darling, I honestly don’t know what to say. I’ve never seen you act so—”

“Bold?” Coco supplied.

“Mhmm. Not that I’m complaining, mind you. But what exactly do you propose we do?”

Coco giggled and drew a lazy circle across Rarity’s lower back. “That novel you’ve been reading recently, Turtle Shell Lagoon, I believe it was called? Where the cabin boy and the first mate get shipwrecked on a tropical island paradise, naked and alone. I think you’ve been fantasizing about making love as they did, underneath the stars and surrounded by natural beauty. Am I wrong?”

Rarity blushed profusely, knowing full well that she’d imagined just such a scenario. “Well, I—erm—might have given it some thought. You can’t possibly mean…”

“I want to help transform your fantasy into reality tonight. Or… at least as close as I can. We’re already naked, so we’ve got the first part taken care of. As for the second part, how about we sneak off to the gardens and make passionate love to one another? It’s big enough that I don’t think we’ll have too much of a problem finding a nice, secluded spot. What do you say, Rarity?”

Rarity felt her heart flutter in her chest as she looked straight into Coco’s eyes. “Yes, of course we can! To this day, I still find myself wondering what I did to ever deserve the affection of such a wonderful woman. I would trade everything that I own for you without a moment’s hesitation! Because, to me, you are a priceless treasure beyond compare. Words cannot even begin to express how much I love you, Coco Pommel.”

Coco affirmed her love and appreciation for Rarity by giving her one final kiss to the lips. After they were done kissing, she wrapped her arm around Rarity’s waist, and held her tightly as they made their way from the balcony down to the gardens below. As fate would have it, the couple ran into Fleur while she was enjoying a late-night swim in the pool near the entrance to the gardens.

Neither Coco nor Rarity were terribly surprised to find that Fleur had elected to swim in nothing more than her birthday suit. It was her house, after all. She could pretty much dress however she pleased. Especially, given the fact that she was an actual nudist. Not that it bothered either of them. The Prench woman finished her breast stroke and waded over to the edge of the pool where Rarity and Coco were currently sitting together, getting their feet wet.

Bonsoir, ladies. You are looking in fine form tonight. Have you come to join me in the pool for a dip, perhaps? If so, I assure you that the water is pleasantly warm to the touch. Fancy had a heater installed around a month ago. Since then, I have come down here every day to exercise and relax.”

Rarity waved her hand. “While we appreciate your offer, Coco and I did not come down here to swim, I’m afraid.”

“Non? Then why are you here? Wait! Allow me to guess. You wanted to sneak away from the party and have some fun together, hmm?”

Rarity chuckled awkwardly. “Ah well, you see it’s a funny story…”

“Not to worry, Lady Rarity. I understand,” Fleur assured her with a wink, “Fancy and I have made love in these very gardens many times before. It is part of the reason why I had them commissioned in the first place. Other than my love of nature, of course! There is something indescribably… satisfying about having sex outdoors. I cannot quite put it into words. You two will simply have to try it out for yourselves.”

Coco felt her cheeks heat up but still managed to look Fleur in the eye. “Do we—umm—have your permission then, Miss Fleur? To m-make use of your gardens, that is.”

Oui. Take as much time as you desire, Miss Pommel. I shall remain here to swim for a bit longer. I have had enough partying for one night and wish to unwind. Oh, and before I forget: if privacy is what you seek, I would suggest the rose garden. Not only does it add ambience but the hedges provide adequate protection from curious eyes.

“Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do about the sound though. You know, it is quite funny. Even after being married to him all this time, Fancy still becomes flustered whenever I moan loudly during our love making. But I cannot help it! The orgasms he gives are simply too pleasurable not to let him know that I am enjoying his efforts! Are you two the same?”

Rarity laughed and kissed Coco’s neck. “We are both, admittedly, noisy in that regard. I suppose everyone else will simply have to deal with it. Thank you again for your hospitality, darling. We shan’t forget what you’ve done for us this evening.”

“It is entirely my pleasure, Lady Rarity. Have fun and make sure to drink plenty of water once you are finished. Bon chance!”

Fleur smiled as she watched the two lovers walk, hand in hand, towards the rose garden. Having done her good deed for the day, she swam over to the other side of the pool and took a big swig from her water bottle. Since it was so warm outside, Fleur decided that she didn’t need to towel off and allowed her skin to dry naturally when she stepped out of the pool. Much to her delight, Fleur found her husband reclining on a blanket nearby, sipping on a bottle of beer. He too had decided to shed his clothing for the remainder of the evening.

“There you are, mon amour! Mind if I join you? Fleur asked as a formality, but snuggled up next to her husband anyway.

“Not at all, dear. Enjoy your swim?”

Fleur nodded and began to play with Fancy’s pubic hair. “Oui, it was quite refreshing. Just so you are aware, we are not the only ones enjoying the gardens tonight. Rarity and Coco wished to make love outdoors. With it being such a lovely evening, I decided to give them my blessing. I hope you do not mind.”

“Celestia knows, that woman deserves some relaxation after what happened earlier. It’s quite alright, dear. I imagine that they’ll enjoy themselves properly. How are you holding up?”

“Much better now that you are here lying beside me,” Fleur replied while she casually stroked her husband’s penis.

Fancy rubbed his wife’s back and allowed her to continue. “Mhmmm. A sentiment which I share wholeheartedly. Would you like to be on top this time around?”

“Non. I want you to take me from behind, in the manner that chiennes prefer.”

Fancy closed his eyes and sighed as he felt Fleur’s warm, soft lips envelop the tip his cock. “Eager to get started, are we? Well, that’s quite alright. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be than here, underneath the pale moonlight beside my beautiful, amazing wife.”

Instead of giving her husband an answer verbally, Fleur bobbed her head up and down faster, making lewd slurping noises every so often. Fancy moaned softly in response. He wasn’t really in a position to stop her, nor did he wish to. Fleur’s fellatio skills were legendary, and it amazed him every time how she knew exactly how much pressure to exert in order to drive him crazy with pleasure but not enough to make him cum right away.

Given how busy he’d been over the course of the past few days, Fancy hadn’t gotten the chance to relieve himself, nor had he given it too much thought. Therefore, it didn’t take long before he felt a familiar tightening sensation deep within his balls, but before he could warn Fleur of his impending orgasm, she abruptly ceased her ministrations. The sudden contrast between the inside of her mouth and the outside air made Fancy shudder.

Fleur crawled onto her hands and knees and presented her glistening pussy. “There we are! You are nice and hard now. Are you ready to fuck me, mon amour?”

Fancy did what any good husband would do. Without a moment’s hesitation, he mounted his wife and made passionate love to her until they both collapsed into a sweaty, exhausted heap. Drowsy and satisfied, Fleur nestled closer to her husband and rested her head in the crook of Fancy’s arm. After a brief kiss on the lips, they both promptly fell asleep.

The entire evening had been a whirlwind of schmoozing, awkward conversations, and the occasional flirtatious offer to head out to the dancefloor or imbibe yet another alcoholic cocktail. Much to Spike’s dismay, it had occurred with frightening regularity and the offers hadn’t been restricted to just women. Whether or not it was because of his various noble titles (he had several but never quite felt comfortable throwing them around) or if it was simply because his bare flesh was on full display and he was widely regarded as attractive, Spike wasn’t entirely certain. The incident with Honey Graham had put the young Dragon Lord on edge and made him wary of everyone’s intentions, no matter how innocent they may have seemed. Spike tried his best to maintain a positive attitude, but it ended up souring the remainder of his evening anyway.

Spike sat the bar alone, sipping on a mug full of butterscotch ale. It was, by far, his favorite drink. Not too strong, not too sweet, and light enough to swig while you were trying to contemplate the meaning of your life. Spike couldn’t help but crack a smile when he spotted Sunset out of the corner of his eye. For whatever reason, she’d gone off with Coco for a while to dance, amongst things. He couldn’t really blame her. Socializing with strangers (especially rich, snobby ones) wasn’t exactly on her hit parade. She walked over to the bar and stood behind Spike, and gave his shoulders a gentle, encouraging massage.

“Rough night? You look like you could use a friend.”

Spike let out a sigh of relief as he felt Sunset loosen a tight knot in his neck. “Man, that feels great. Thanks, Sunset. Tonight’s been… frustrating to say the least. I thought it would be more fun, but… I just couldn’t relax after what happened with Honey Graham. I’m sorry; I shouldn’t be complaining so much. It’s unbecoming of a Dragon Lord.”

“Hey, it’s totally fine. You have every right to be upset. What that bitch did to you was inexcusable! If I’d have been talking to her instead of Rarity, she would’ve left the party with a swollen face, broken teeth, and a pair of shiners. That’s the least she deserved…”

Spike chuckled, knowing full-well that Sunset meant what she said. “Well, I appreciate the sentiment. I guess I should start calling you my knight in ‘Shimmering Armor’. Except, that probably wouldn’t work out too well considering that you’d never bother to wear any.”

“You got that right, pal. I’m naked as the day I was born and I plan on staying that way for the foreseeable future. If you don’t like, then you can kiss my bare behind.”

With his mood lightened, Spike was feeling a bit mischievous and decided to take Sunset at her word. He hopped off of the bar stool, spun around, and placed a big, wet kiss on Sunset’s left butt cheek. She let out an uncharacteristically girlish squeal and glared daggers at Spike as he laughed at her expense. Despite the darker tone of her skin, a noticeable blush colored her face all the way down to the tips of her breasts.

“Fuck you, Spike! I didn’t mean that literally!” Sunset shouted.

“Bwahaha—I just couldn’t resist! You said if I didn’t like it, I could kiss your ass. Well, seeing as how I love the way you look, I felt it was fair game. Don’t worry; I promise I won’t embarrass you like that again. Dragon Lord’s honor.”

Sunset blushed even harder but for an entirely different reason. “Ermm—I suppose I walked right into that one. Hey, Spike? Is that… really how you feel about me? Do you seriously think that I’m beautiful?”

“Of course, I do. I said it once before in the carriage, didn’t I? What makes you think I wasn’t being serious?”

Sunset was too embarrassed to meet Spike’s gaze, so she stared down at her feet instead. “Well, this is the first time I’ve ever truly felt like a woman. The first time anyone’s… treated me like a woman. GAH! Forget it! You don’t wanna hear me go on about touchy-feely stuff.”

Spike carefully lifted Sunset’s chin, so that he could see her eyes. “If it’s important to you, then I want to hear what you have to say. I’m here for you, Sunset. Don’t ever forget that.”


“See? Don’t you feel better, now that you’ve had a chance to get that off of your chest?”

Sunset began to cry. “How can you act so casual about all of this? Do you even know how difficult it was for me to admit that?!! Ever since we had that talk back in the cave, I realized how much we had in common, how much we clicked. It’s like we were—I dunno— destined to meet or something! But then I met Ember and saw how much you two loved each other and I just… couldn’t bring myself to ruin such a beautiful relationship.”

“Sunset, listen to me,” Spike requested in a gentle voice, “The relationships that I share with Ember & Delmira are completely unique and, I might add, not mutually exclusive. I love them both equally and in different ways. It’s not some cut-throat competition to determine who will ultimately receive my affection. That’s why we always communicate with each other to ensure that no one ever feels left out or neglected.”

“Wait… so that means you’re open to the idea of potentially including me into the mix?”

Spike nodded and ran his fingers through Sunset’s hair. “Mhmm. But only if you want to. Polyamorous relationships aren’t exactly the norm here in Equestria, so it might take awhile for you to get used to the dynamic. Oh, and I’m pretty sure that Ember likes you a lot too. Maybe not quite in the romantic sense just yet, but who knows? She’s still a bit hesitant to express those kinds of feelings towards other women. I wouldn’t worry about it too much, though.”

Sunset decided to throw all caution to the wind and wrap Spike into a bone-crushing embrace. For the first time in years, she allowed herself to weep openly and freely. She didn’t care who happened to see her in such a vulnerable state, Spike made her feel safe… and loved. It took awhile for her to finally calm down, but when she did, Sunset rested her head against Spike’s chest and breathed in his scent. With a happy sigh, she nuzzled her cheek against his breast.

Spike wrapped his arm around Sunset’s waist and grinned. “Would you care to dance? I might be able to bribe Octavia into playing something slow and romantic. Unless, you’d rather—”

The fiery-haired amazon suddenly grabbed Spike’s cheeks and pulled him into a surprise kiss. She realized, right away, that it wasn’t the most romantic kiss ever and her lips probably tasted like snot and tears, but it was Sunset’s first time kissing a boy she liked. In her book, that counted as something special, regardless of her complete lack of practical experience. Surprisingly enough, she felt Spike return her passion in kind, using his tongue to tease her own in bout of playful wrestling. An electric tingle filled her entire body. Like a spark had gone off and there was no going back to the way things had been before. When she finally pulled away, Sunset felt something hot and stiff rubbing up against her belly.

Spike’s cheeks flushed with both arousal and embarrassment. “Damn it! Not again! I’m really sorry, Sunset. I kind of got caught up in heat of the moment. You know how it is…”

Sunset giggled. “Hey, don’t sweat it. To be honest, I’m a little hot and bothered myself right now too. Umm… since this is partially my fault, would you like me to jerk you off in the bathroom?”

“I-I couldn’t possibly ask you to… do that.”

Sunset cocked her head and shot Spike a confused look. “Why not? The way I figure: your penis is just another part of your body. And it’s not like I haven’t touched it before. What’s the issue?”

Spike nervously twiddled his fingers. “I—uh—didn’t realize that you were so… cavalier about sex stuff. Not that I think you’re a slut or anything like that! Sorry, I’ll just keep my mouth shut before I end up digging myself into a deeper hole…”

“Spike, I’m not upset. The reason I’m willing to do this is because I trust you. I know that you won’t take advantage of me or take things any further if I don’t want to. Believe me, I wouldn’t have even made you the offer in the first place, if I wasn’t prepared to follow through with it.”

Spike shuffled his feet. “Ok. If you’re absolutely sure, then I’d be stupid not to take you up on your offer. I know you don’t have a dick, but trust me, it really sucks walking around with a boner and no way to get rid of it except to… wait until it gets floppy again. It can take a while sometimes.”

“Huh. Like how long are we talking?”

Spike couldn’t believe he was having this conversation with a woman. “It’s not as though I took a stopwatch along with me and timed it for Celestia’s sake! But… if I had to guess, I’d say roughly about an hour or so. Depends on how hard I get.”

Sunset whistled. “Damn. Talk about stamina. Doesn’t surprise me too much though. You know, considering how thick and veiny your penis is. There’s gotta be a hell of a lot a blood getting pumped into that sucker. No doubt about it.”

“Sunset!” Spike pleaded.

“What? It’s true! That’s like human anatomy 101. Geez, what is it with you guys and getting embarrassed over body parts? Coco about had a fit when I started talking about her butthole.”

“Her… butthole? Do I really want to know?”

Sunset crossed her arms underneath her breasts and huffed. “She was bending over to pick something up or whatever and I guess she gave everyone an eye-full of her pooper. Honestly, what did she expect? Comes with the territory when you’re naked.”

“Uh… well, yeah. You have to understand that she’s not used to it like we are.”

“I guess you’re right. Let’s head off to the bathroom while the crowd’s still thin. Unless, you’d like to give everyone an eye-full too.”

Since the party was beginning to wind down, there were far fewer guests milling about the estate. A fortunate happenstance for Sunset and Spike when they finally came upon an unoccupied bathroom. As soon as they crossed the threshold of the doorway, Sunset slammed the door shut and made sure it was locked up tight. She didn’t want anybody accidentally walking in on them.

Sunset searched the cupboards and cabinets for any kind of lubricant, but became frustrated when there was none to be found. There wasn’t even a single, measly bottle of hand cream! She knew a surefire method to both lubricate Spike’s penis and take care of his erection, but it wasn’t something that she’d ever done before. Sunset was terrified that she wouldn’t be any good at it.

After screwing up her courage, he instructed Spike to sit on a lounge chair, spread his legs, and relax as best he could. She then got on her knees and carefully grasped the root of Spike’s manhood in order to keep it in place. Without preamble, she began to lick his shaft like a popsicle, making sure to pay extra attention to his head. She’d remembered reading an article somewhere that the spongy tissue located there was one of the most touch-sensitive parts of the male anatomy. Sunset’s efforts were rewarded when she heard Spike moan softly while a tiny bead of precum formed at the tip.

Satisfied that she was on the right track to making him feel good, Sunset decided to go all in and took as much of Spike’s penis into her mouth as she could comfortably accommodate. She was very careful not to apply too much pressure as she bobbed her head up and down his length. She didn’t want to accidentally hurt him with her teeth. Before long, Sunset was able to find a rhythm to her fellatio, it was born of repletion and the timing of Spike’s breath.

Her confidence soared when she noticed Spike gripping the edges of the chair, his face contorted into an expression of bliss and something else that Sunset couldn’t quite put her finger on. It wasn’t exactly agony, per say. More like… he was desperately trying to hold something back. Whatever it was, Sunset continued to increase her pace and began massaging his balls in between her fingers, kneading them and stretching the skin of his scrotum in the opposite direction to maximize the amount of tactile pleasure he would feel.

Spike sucked in a ragged breath through his teeth and curled his toes. “Sunset…oh gods… how did you… nnnggh… get so good at this? I can’t… I don’t think I… gonna… cum soon.”

Sunset looked Spike straight in the eyes while she continued her ministrations. It was an expression of affectionate encouragement, urging her partner to let go whenever he pleased. That was all the more encouragement Spike needed before clenched his butt cheeks together, thrust his hips forward, and squirted his creamy load straight into Sunset’s mouth. She took all of it happily and swallowed every last drop. All in all, Sunset had it expected it to taste fishy or downright disgusting, but the flavor of Spike’s cum was surprisingly clean, if just a bit salty.

Utterly spent, Spike leaned back in the lounge chair panting for breath. It was, quite possibly, one of the most satisfying orgasms he’d had in a long time. The Dragon Lord was ecstatic about the whole situation because it meant that he and Sunset were very compatible sexually. He reached down to affectionately stroke her hair while she licked his cock clean. She even squeezed his shaft a few times afterwards to ensure that any remaining cum was properly excised. Once she was finished doing that, Sunset gently cupped his balls and gave them a quick kiss.

After emptying his bladder, Spike leaned in and kissed her, taking note that he could still taste a bit of his own flavor on her lips. “Sunset, that was amazing. I can’t even begin to tell you how good that felt.”

“You don’t have to. I could tell by the way you reacted. You’re welcome by the way.”

“Thanks again. Are you sure you don’t want me to return the favor? I’d more than happy to.”

“Well, I hadn’t planned on it but… it would be nice if you could.”

Spike smiled, then helped Sunset to get comfortable on the lounge chair. In contrast to how she’d been acting earlier, the taller woman appeared bashful and hesitant to spread her legs. She clearly hadn’t ever experienced an activity with such a high degree of intimacy before. Spike gently rubbed her thigh to show that she had nothing to be afraid of.

The Dragon Lord began by planting a few kisses along her neck, trailing all the way down to her voluminous, pert breasts. He grasped them both and massaged them with expert tender care, making sure to tease and rub her dark nipples every so often. She moaned softly in response, cooing Spike’s name. He focused his attention on her stomach, and pressed his lips against the surface of each and every one of her scars. The young man knew it was a part of her body that she was intensely self-conscious of, but he wanted to show her that he wasn’t repulsed by them. On the contrary, he thought that they served to enhance her beauty and showcase her strength.

When Spike finally gazed upon her womanhood, it glistened with arousal. As he drew closer to it, the overwhelming scent of cinnamon and feminine musk assaulted his senses. Despite having cum just moments ago, Spike could feel her powerful pheromones affecting him. His penis began to stir with excitement, but only to the point of becoming semi-turgid. He was more concerned about focusing his energy on pleasing the beautiful woman before him.

Spike didn’t waste any time, he dove right in and started licking the salmon pink edges of her folds, relishing the spicy-sweet flavor of Sunset’s essence. It was addictive, reminding him of those little red button candies that Pinkie Pie liked to put on cupcakes. Encouraged by her squeals of pleasure, Spike plunged his tongue into her deeper, swirling it around while sucking on her lips. The Dragon Lord chuckled to himself when he felt her walls try to squeeze around his tongue as though she were trying to milk him.

“Spike… that feels… awesome. Please don’t stop,” Sunset begged.

Spike paused for a moment and retracted his tongue from her depths. He pressed two of his fingers together and slid them in and out of her pussy, in order to mimic the motion of a penis. She was plenty wet, so Spike wasn’t too worried about his fingers causing any painful friction. While he was doing that, Spike took a closer look at her clitoris.

Unsurprisingly, it was quite large and prominent. Understandable given how tall Sunset was. By this point, since Sunset was so aroused, her clit had become puffy and swollen. He carefully peeled back the skin of her hood and teased it with the tip of his tongue. There was an immediate reaction. Sunset clamped her legs around Spike’s head and moaned loudly.

“Nnnggh! Fuck!”

A trickle of sticky wetness coated Spike’s fingers, signaling that Susnet had just experienced a pretty intense orgasm. Not wanting to stop there, Spike grinned laviousily and enveloped her entire clit with his lips, nibbling on it gently to maximize her pleasure. The stimulation drove Sunset crazy, she writhed and twisted in the chair, desperately trying to make sense of what was going on through the haze of pleasure that clouded her mind. The orgasm she had was so intense that her voice caught in her throat and the only sound she was able to make was a strained grunt. The resulting mess coated Spike’s chest and a good portion of the chair cushion in her cum.

Even with her entire body feeling like jelly, Sunset managed to slide off of the chair and wrap Spike in a lazy hug. They laid on the floor for a while, content to hold each other close and bask in the afterglow of their mutual orgasms. After they’d had an opportunity to catch their breaths, the young couple hopped into the shower and cleaned themselves ups.

Although they could wash away the stench of sweat and sex from their bodies, there wasn’t much they could do about the smell in the bathroom. It was a bit embarrassing, but they had to trust Fancy’s staff to take care of it for them. As they were drying off, Spike reached over and gave Sunset’s behind a playful tweak.

“I guess we should head back out to the dance floor before the party ends, huh?”

“Nah, I’m too tired for that shit. How about we snuggle on the balcony and watch the moon instead?” Sunset suggested, while giving Spike’s behind a firm squeeze in return.

“You know what? I like your idea better. Let’s do it.”

And with that, the happy couple walked arm and arm to the balcony. Both intended to enjoy the rest of their evening in peace and solitude. For Sunset, she’d finally found a special someone she could open her heart to without regret or hesitation. For Spike, it was night he’d never forgot, spent with yet another amazing woman who’d managed to become part of his life. They sat together, cuddled side by side, basking in the simple pleasure of each other’s warmth as they watched the full moon and chatted amongst themselves.

The Introduction

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Chapter 26

Twilight’s Old Room, The Royal Palace

Sunset slowly cracked open her eyes and awoke to the sound of cheerful birdsong. From what she could ascertain, it was still quite early in the morning. The slight chill in the air and the orangish-purple light filtering through the window were telltale giveaways to early hour of the day. Not that she was at all bothered by any of it, of course.

The forest dweller’s sleep cycle had naturally attuned itself to the way nature intended, urging her to rise at dawn and sleep near dusk. One could say that, over years of repetition, Sunset had become what many would consider a morning person. She wasn’t exactly on the verge of bursting into song herself at the moment, but the fiery-haired woman was alert and fully conscious of her surroundings.

A satisfied smile spread across her lips. She’d never slept in such an exquisitely crafted bed in her entire life. The tactile sensation of the silk sheets as they brushed up against her bare skin made Sunset shiver with delight. It was a pleasure that she’d never experienced before. Such a simple thing, but an experience that she’d love to repeat if given the chance.

More than that, however, she relished the feeling of Spike’s muscled form as she laid cuddled up next to him. Being the taller one, Sunset was obviously the bigger spoon but being so close to the man she cared about made her feel accepted and loved in a way she could scarcely begin to describe.

Everything about her life now just seemed so… surreal. Like she was living in a fairytale or something. On many a lonely night, when Sunset was left with her own thoughts, she’d often fantasized about finding a special someone to share her life with. However, being a staunch pragmatist, she had long given up hope of ever having a meaningful, romantic relationship with another person. Such was her burden living in isolation within the Everfree Forest. Now that she’d met Spike and Ember, Sunset knew that she’d never feel lonely again. She’d miss her adopted mother, but it felt nice to finally be amongst her own kind, amongst… family.

Sunset had to shift her position when Spike suddenly rolled over onto his back. She somewhat expected him to wake up afterwards, but such was not the case. He snorted softly, and simply continued to sleep. Sunset couldn’t help but snicker when a noticeable bulge formed shortly thereafter. It pitched up the center of the bedsheets and the comforter to boot! With a mischievous smile, the amazon slowly peeled back the layers of luxurious cloth (she didn’t want Spike to wake up just yet) and pondered what she would do next.

Front and center, standing at full attention, was Spike’s erect member. Sunset knew exactly what morning wood was and had prepared herself to expect it, but to actually witness the biological phenomenon firsthand was an entirely different matter altogether. Sunset carefully extracted herself from Spike’s side and laid upon her stomach in-between the V of his legs in order to get a better look her intended target. Even though she’d already seen it several times, including the night prior, Sunset still found herself captivated by his girth.

Sunset never considered the size of a man’s penis to be of great importance when it came to sexual compatibility or the continued health of a relationship for that matter. She was far more interested in the person attached to it. That being said: she was keenly aware that Spike was a bit larger than the average male. Perhaps, pushing around seventeen centimeters. Nineteen at most. But what truly made his remarkable was the sheer thickness of it and, of course, the hefty pair of balls that hung just below. Sunset cradled them with the utmost care in the palm of her hand, wondering if that was why he was able to produce so much semen.

Despite the unquestionable measure of his manliness, Sunset realized that Spike was almost completely smooth down there. Save for his adorable little tuft of emerald-green pubic hair. In fact, Sunset had noticed that neither he nor Ember seemed to have much in the way of body hair at all. She, herself, never had much to speak of either.

The only places it seemed to grow in earnest were on her head and privates. A curious genetic adaptation worth looking into, but one that Sunset would research later. Her mind was focused on far more immediate physical matters.

The closer she got to it; the stronger Spike’s natural scent became. Sunset took in a deep breath and enjoyed the earthy, almost cologne-like aroma of it. Without further ado, she wrapped her fingers around the base of his shaft, and started sucking his cock at a languid place. Making sure to gently swirl her tongue around his head every so often. She didn’t want to wake Spike up immediately. Sunset wanted to properly savor his look of surprise when he finally did.

Within the span of thirty seconds, the young Dragon Lord began to moan softly. He instinctively arched his hips towards the source of pleasure, his body subconsciously urging him to thrust his manhood deeper into what it perceived to be the inside of a woman’s sex. A few more seconds was all it took for him to open his eyes and take stock of the situation.

“Mmmnngh. Wuh? Sunset… is that you?” Spike mumbled groggily.

Sunset removed Spike’s cock for her mouth with a slick pop and looked up at him with an affectionate smile. “Morning, sleepyhead. Thought I’d treat you to the proverbial male fantasy of a wake-up blowjob. How’re you liking it so far?”

Spike barely had a moment to collect his thoughts before he felt Sunset take him into her mouth again. “Sunset I—unnnh—Gods does that feel good. This really is the best way to start the day, if I’m being honest. Aww geez! Listen to me: I’m starting to sound like Delmira. Not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing. You really don’t have to keep—”

“No,” Sunset replied while she massaged his balls, “But I want to. Just lay back, relax, and let me do this for you.”

Spike decided it was in bad taste to argue with a woman who, quite literally, had him by the balls and did as he was told. He wasn’t entirely sure how long he’d had an erection, but judging by the increasingly tight, clamping sensation he felt running along his shaft, Spike surmised that it had been for quite some time. It was probably why his whole dick felt ridiculously sensitive to the even slightest lick or prod (of which Sunset was doing a lot of to say the least).

She hadn’t really changed the speed of her pace since the beginning, yet… Spike knew he couldn’t possibly hold back for too much longer. In his half-wakened state, there was simply no resisting the urge to cum. The suddenness and intensity of his orgasm, caught Spike off guard. After curling his toes and letting out a throaty grunt, he squirted his seed directly into Sunset’s mouth. He watched her intently as she swallowed every single drop without hesitation or complaint.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to—uh—blow my load without saying anything first. Delmira warned me that some women tend to get really upset when that happens.” Spike admitted with a sheepish grin.

Sunset crawled atop Spike and planted a soft kiss on his cheek. “There’s nothing to be sorry for, Spike. I enjoy making you feel good. It’s as simple as that. So… are you ready for the main event or would you like to take a breather?”

“Huh? What do you mean?”

“I mean,” Sunset purred while she stroked Spike’s manhood back to life, “I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, and I’ve decided that there’s no one I’d rather give my virginity to than you, Spike. How’s about it? Will you do me the honor of being my first?”

“If that’s what you really want, then I’m ok with whatever you decide, Sunset.”

“Good. Now, hold still. I wanna be on top so I can ride you like a cowgirl.”

Spike held up his hand. “Hold on a second! Are you sure? That’s not exactly the most—”

“Hush you! I’m absolutely, one hundred percent sure I want to do it this way. Besides, Ember informed me that it was one of your favorite positions. Next to missionary, of course! She said that you love that particular position because you get to watch our expressions. I think that’s about the corniest thing I’ve ever heard, but it’s also really sweet. Don’t worry! I’ll take things nice and easy. I promise I won’t get ahead of myself.”

Spike felt his cheeks flush with embarrassment. “She actually… told you that?”

“We had plenty of time to talk about stuff while we were recovering in the hospital. She was sitting in the bed right next to me, after all. I also might have told her that I was interested in you as more than just a friend. Which was totally weird, because she seemed to be okay with it for some reason. Ember’s not an easy girl to figure out, that’s for sure…”

“You’re preaching to the choir, Sunset. I’m not even sure I have her completely figured out at this point either. My relationship with Ember has always been a bit complicated and challenging sometimes, but I love her just the same.”

Sunset repositioned herself to get a bit more comfortable and grasped the base Spike’s erect member. “Are you ready? I know I am.”

Spike swallowed a lump forming in this throat when he felt a warm droplet of Sunset’s arousal drip onto his thigh. “You sure are…”

With that, Sunset carefully lowered herself onto his cock, gasping at the sensation of being filled so thoroughly. She thought she was prepared for it, but by the time she engulfed his length in its entirety, Sunset nearly felt overwhelmed by just how incredibly thick his penis was. It was as though her walls could barely contain the girth stuffed within them. Spike’s reaction was immediate. He gripped her thighs and let out a shuddering breath.

“Sunset… you’re so… tight. It feels… like my dick’s being squeezed by a python.”

Sunset’s face turned beet red. “Yeah, well what exactly did you expect? I’m a virgin and I work out a lot. Ugh! Way to ruin the mood! Do you want me to stop?”

“No… that’s ok. I just have to… get used to it. Keep going.”

With Spike’s permission, the amazon began to move her hips gingerly, placing her hands upon his chest for support and to help maintain her balance. Up and down she went, moaning softly as his cock slid in and out of her depths. While she continued her gyrations, Sunset bent forward, cupped Spike’s cheeks in her hands, and kissed him passionately. Once she pulled away, Sunset kissed her way down his neck all the way to his nipple, which she wrapped her lips around and began sucking it gently.

Spike let out a very unmanly moan, which made Sunset take pause. “Hey, are you alright? If getting your nipples sucked on makes you feel uncomfortable, I can stop.”

WAIT! You don’t have to! Errm—I mean—it’s just that I’ve never had a woman do that to me before. Not even Delmira, surprisingly enough. I think I might… actually like it.”

Sunset grinned and teased his other nipple in-between her fingers. “That’s a relief. I was afraid that it might have turned you off there for a second and made things weird. Read an article once that said men can be just as sensitive to the touch there as women sometimes.”

“Oh great! Now, you’re starting to sound exactly like my sister! Just what kind of depraved articles were you into reading back during your school days?”

Sunset giggled. “I’ve always been curious about how stuff works. Most of the time I’d read about magic, nature, technology or science… but you know, it’s not like I’d limit myself to purely non-sexual topics. Especially, when they’re so darn fascinating~ Sunset Shimmer: just your average, well-rounded Renaissance Girl.”

“Hmm. If you’re such a ‘Renaissance Girl’, then you won’t mind if I do this!”

“Huh? What are you—”

Sunset squeaked in surprise when she felt Spike tease the outer rim of her pucker. Before she could even ask him to stop, Spike rubbed his fingers along the gap where they were connected, coating them in her arousal. Once he was nice and lubed up, Spike pressed his fingers together and slowly inserted them into her anus. He wiggled them around a bit, mimicking the motions of a penis and made sure to apply just the right amount of pressure towards the side closest to her pussy. Within seconds he heard Sunset grunt and felt her walls clamp tightly around his shaft.

“Spike,” Sunset panted, “Take your fingers out of there. It’s not… clean.”

Instead, he wiggled them even more. “There’s not a single part of you that’s dirty, Sunset. We can always clean up afterwards if you’re really that self-conscious about it. Besides, I didn’t specifically hear you say that you didn’t enjoy what I was doing.”

“That’s not…” Sunset muttered with a heavy blush, “Ok, fine. I’ll admit that I like having my butthole played with. It makes my orgasms more intense. DON’T… ask me how I managed to figure that out. It just does. But please give me a head’s up the next time, ok?”

Spike nodded and removed his fingers, noting that it was a bit more difficult taking them out since she seemed to have a penchant for clenching her anus around them too. For the time being, he gripped Sunset’s butt cheeks, marveling at how delightfully firm they were, and allowed the beautiful woman atop him to continue pumping her hips.

Without saying a word, Sunset increased her pace. By this point, she was so wet that the sounds of their love-making had become noticeably louder than before. If she were being honest with herself, the lewd schlicking noise that Spike’s penis made whenever it slid in and out of her was indescribably gratifying, but somewhat embarrassing at the same time.

Before long, she felt a rush of something incredibly hot fill her belly, followed by a satisfied grunt. Soon after, a powerful orgasm rocked her body, sending waves of electric pleasure from crotch all the way down to her toes. It was unlike any she had experienced before.

Sweaty and exhausted, Sunset lazily dismounted her lover and snuggled up against his side. He, in turn, wrapped his arm around her and planted a soft kiss along her neck. They laid there together for what seemed like hours, basking in the afterglow, and occasionally exploring each other’s bodies when the opportunity arose. Not with the same intensity as before but at a casual, comfortable pace. While they relaxed, Spike’s eyes suddenly shot open wide as something he’d forgotten beforehand popped into the forefront his mind.


Sunset looked over at him with concern. “Uh… did I miss something?”

“Gods! How could I be so thoughtless!”

“Seriously, what’s wrong?”

Spike bit his lip. “I came inside you. Sunset, you have to understand that I’ve never had to worry about wearing a condom or pulling out the entire time I’ve been with the girls. The thought didn’t even occur to me while we were making love. I-I mean, it’s not like I could have pulled out while we were in that position, but still…”

“I know. It’s really not a big deal.”

Spike began hyperventilating. “Not a big deal?! Sunset, I might’ve gotten you pregnant!”

“Relax,” Sunset soothed while she rubbed her hand along his stomach, “Ember taught me the contraceptive spell. We’re cool. Besides, I always wanted my first time to be bareback anyway.”

“She… did? What am I saying? Of course, she did! You guys obviously must’ve talked about it, considering that you told her how you felt about me. Still, I feel terrible about not taking your well-being into consideration. That’s not how a proper Dragon Lord should act… a proper man should act. I’m so sorry, Sunset.”

Sunset laid her head upon his chest and hugged him tightly. “Last time I checked, we’re both consenting adults. That means we made the choice together. I knew exactly what I was getting myself into… or what was getting into me, would be a more apt description.”

“Sunset, that’s not very funny…”

Sunset laughed. “I’m allowed to make bad jokes from time to time. Anyway, I think it’s very sweet of you to be so concerned about me. I really do appreciate it, Spike. But I have to ask: would you have taken responsibility had I become pregnant?”

“Well, I don’t know if I’m quite ready to become a father yet… but yes, I would have done my best to take care of our child and provide for them. You have my word on that.”

Sunset tilted her head upwards and kissed him on the lips. “I just know that you’re going to be a great Dragon Lord someday. No matter what anyone else says. And a great daddy, too.”

Spike blushed at the unexpected praise but decided not to say anything. Instead, he held Sunset closer to him and took a moment to breath in her scent. Although pleasant (for the most part), he couldn’t help but notice the pungent odor of sweat and sex mixed along with it. Absentmindedly, he sniffed himself and realized that he didn’t smell too much better. He glanced over at the clock mounted on the wall, noting that it wasn’t even seven o’clock yet. Plenty of time to hit the baths and clean up a bit before breakfast.

Spike gently tapped Sunset’s shoulder. “Don’t get me wrong: I love snuggling you, but we kind of stink. We should—uh—probably take a bath before breakfast. The last thing we need is for the entire Castle to notice exactly what we smell like.”

Sunset let out a sheepish chuckle. “Oh, yeah. I totally forgot about that. Hey, uh—I don’t suppose that hanging out in the room and having an all-day sex marathon is an option? We could ask the maids bring us meals and there’s already a bathroom in here. That’s like, all of our basic needs covered. It sure beats the hell outta socializing with people…”

“Although tempting, I don’t think my mom or the rest of the castle staff appreciate it if we did. C’mon, Sunset. I promise that meeting my family won’t be too bad.”

Sunset let out a heavy sigh. “Spike, it’s not easy for a rough and tumble gal like me to just casually strike up a conversation with two of Equestria’s sovereign rulers. I know that you see them merely as your mom and aunt, but to me and just about everyone else, they’re practically goddesses! What if they don’t approve of… us?”

“First of all: you’re anything but rough and tumble. You’re a strong, beautiful, intelligent woman. Don’t ever forget that! Second, they know that I’ve chosen to embrace my Wyvertii heritage and the lifestyle that comes along with it. Sure, they might be a bit surprised to find out that I’ve taken another mate, but I honestly don’t think they’ll be upset about it.”

Sunset scooted over to the edge of the bed, sat up, and watched the sunrise outside the window. “You know I trust you, Spike. So long as you’re by my side, I think I’ll be ok. Alright! Let’s head out to the baths then. I, for one, am feeling all sticky and gross. I’m sure a nice, long soak will both do us some good.”

The royal baths were conveniently located just a short walk down the hall from Twilight’s old room. Since it was still rather early in the morning, the castle staff were more focused on making breakfast and cleaning rather than attending to the Princesses or guests directly. Which meant that there wasn’t a single soul roaming the halls of the residency wing except for Spike and Sunset.

The young couple grabbed a pair of towels and filled a wicker basket with the various toiletries they would need, all contained within miniature bottles and packages. The toiletries were akin to the type you’d expect to find at a hotel, expect the quality was the very best money could buy and had the Equestrian Diarchic Royal Seal emblazoned on the front.

Sunset whistled. “Damn, these sure are fancy. I don’t think even the classiest five-star resorts have shampoo like this. Says here on the bottle that it’s flavored with pure Marecidonian Vanilla. Do you have any idea how expensive that shit is?! Spike, are you absolutely sure they won’t mind us using them? I feel kind of bad taking advantage of all this… opulence.”

“Yeah, I know. My mother and aunt have always been very sensitive about spending taxpayer dollars. They typically don’t like putting a strain on the royal coffers, but hygiene products are just one of those things that the two of them insist on having the best of. I suppose there are worse things. At least this stuff can be put to practical use.”

Sunset sniffed the soap bar, testing its fragrance. “Well, at least we won’t stink anymore.”

“Heh. No kidding. The water in there is constantly refreshed and kept warm, so we shouldn’t have to worry about waiting for it to—hold on a second. Did you hear that?”

Sunset cocked her head. “Hear what?”

“It almost sounded like… moaning. Do you think someone might’ve slipped and accidentally hurt themselves? I swear my mom had special tiles installed not that long ago to prevent that but… you never know. What do you think?”

Sunset shrugged her shoulders. “Maybe. Let’s go check it out before we get cleaned up.”

Spike entered the room first with Sunset following closely behind. As he suspected, the floor tiles were indeed treated with a rubbery, slip-resistant coating to give a little bit of extra grip to any prospective bathers. It felt somewhat strange against the soles of his feet, but Spike found that it wasn’t an altogether unpleasant sensation. Kind of like being massaged by thousands of tiny fingers at the same time.

As they approached the main pool, immediately off to the side, Spike spotted his aunt. In the nine years since her return from the moon, he honestly couldn’t recall ever seeing her completely nude before. He’d seen his mother and Velvet Sparkle (he considered her an honorary mom and affectionately referred to her as such) plenty of times, but that was only because they regularly bathed together up until he was about ten years old.

As for Twilight, he’d been around her for most of his life. When they’d finally moved together from Canterlot to Ponyville, it was pretty much a given that the two siblings would see each other in various states of undress from time to time.

Princess Luna was only slightly shorter than Spike, with a pale complexion and wavy, Prussian blue hair that flowed elegantly down to her shoulders. Of the two monarchs, Luna was the more physically active one, and partook in a rigorous training regimen daily as well as the occasional sparring session with military personnel. Thus, her body was built like that of a warrior princess: powerful, lithe, and well-muscled.

Although her breasts were considerably smaller than Celestia’s, they were much firmer and retained their tear-drop shape even without the aid of a bra. Not that she was at all self-conscious about the size of her bust. Or lack thereof, as some might claim. The pragmatic princess was perfectly content not being weighed down by a pair of what she referred to as “bouncing cow udders”. Amongst friends and family, she often joked that Celestia’s bountiful bosom had grown over the years as the direct result of eating too much cake and sitting around on the royal rump.

Her penchant for military efficiency applied to her grooming habits as well. There wasn’t a trace of body hair to be found on her, save for a thick but expertly maintained inverse triangle of dark blue pubic hair nestled in-between her legs. The Princess of the Night strongly believed that retaining some visible form of pubic hair was important. It was one of the most prominent features of womanhood and, by extension, female sensuality.

During the early days of her return, Luna had experimented with what Rainbow Dash had called a ‘Cloudsdale Wax’. She did so just to give her friend’s suggestion the benefit of the doubt. Luna had found the experience refreshing for a time, but the novelty of it wore off rather quickly. She was of the opinion that removing all traces of one’s pubic hair made her look too much like a pre-pubescent girl, rather than a grown woman. So, despite the hassle of weekly grooming sessions, Luna decided that she looked and felt sexier with pubic hair than without.

Objectively speaking, Spike had to admit that his aunt was an attractive woman. Which is why it was so difficult for him to process what he was witnessing. She was bent over with her hands firmly planted against the wall, her legs spread wide, getting fucked from behind by some blonde-haired guy that Spike didn’t immediately recognize.

And by the looks of it, the two of them were going at it like a couple of frisky rabbits. Both Spike and Sunset blushed profusely when they heard the lewd slapping noises of flesh meeting flesh, and the occasional grunt echo throughout the chamber.

Thinking fast, Sunset grabbed Spike by the arm and pulled him behind one of the decorative fountains. “What are we gonna do?! I never expected that we’d run into Princess Luna... doing that! I know that’s pretty much the pot calling the kettle black considering what we were up to just a little while ago, but still.”

“The hell if I know! Ugh. I think I recognize that guy too.”

“Seriously? What are the odds?”

Spike shook his head in disbelief. “Yeah, that’s Applejack’s cousin alright. I honestly have no idea what he’s doing in here Canterlot or why he’s humping my aunt right in the middle of the main bath chamber of all places!”

“Wow. Look at them go. They’re practically rutting each other at this point. It’s… kind of hot watching them to be honest. Like, REALLY hot.”

Spike groaned. “Don’t remind me! Well, now I know exactly how my mom felt when she caught Ember and I having sex in the throne room. Gods, this is gonna be so awkward…”

Luna moaned passionately as an earth-shattering orgasm wracked her entire body. Not but a few moments later, a moan of equal intensity escaped from Braeburn’s lips. While her mortal lover took a moment to catch his breath, the lunar princess quietly padded over to where Spike and Sunset were hiding and greeted them with a warm, welcoming smile.

“Not to worry, my dearest nephew. We were just finishing up a rousing session of early morning coitus. Come! Let us bathe together and socialize. It has been far too long since I’ve had the opportunity to catch up with you and hear of your latest exploits.”

Spike couldn’t help but notice the thick glob of cum oozing from his aunt’s crotch. “Oh! Hey, Aunt Luna. It’s great to see you again! Umm… not to be rude but you’ve still got a bit of stuff leaking out of your—”

“Aye, as my Brae is wont to do. It still astounds me to this day how he is able to produce such vast quantities of semen. Perhaps it is an inherited trait amongst the progeny of the Apple Clan? I seem to recall that his ancestor, Sir Jonagold Apple, was much the same. If Tia’s account of their sexual encounters is accurate. Let none doubt that they endowed like thoroughbred stallions though!”

Sure enough, as Braeburn slowly shuffled his way over to Luna’s side, Spike got a good look at his manhood and the smooth pair of balls that hung just below it. Braeburn was completely flaccid by this point but it was quite apparent that his penis was thick, veiny, and robust. The curly patch of orangish-blonde pubic hair that covered his crotch did absolutely nothing to disguise its sheer girth. Spike couldn’t even begin to imagine how big that one-eyed behemoth could get at full mast.

He wasn’t even sure how his aunt was able to fit that gigantic meat log inside her comfortably. Granted, she was a woman made of sterner stuff, but still! Sunset must’ve been thinking the same thing, for her cheeks were flushed pink and her legs were clamped tightly together. The young Dragon Lord decided it was probably for the best if he kept his eyes trained on Braeburn’s face for the time being instead.

“Howdy there, Spike. Been a long time since Ah last saw ya.” Braeburn said quietly while extending his hand.

Spike shook his hand willingly but the gesture did little to ease the awkward tension hanging in the room. “I know, right? What’s it been… like three years now? At least, I think that was when the last, big Apple Family get-together was.”

“Eeyup. Sounds ‘bout right. Hey—uhh—Ah know yer tryin’ yer best ta keep things civil between us right now. Frankly though, I’d prefer that we talk like men and address the pink elephant in the room. Iff’n ya don’t mind.”

Yeah, more like Pink Elephant Trunk. The only person I’ve ever seen with a bigger dick is Lord Torch. And that’s really saying something, considering how tall that guy is. “Sounds like a plan to me. But—erm—why don’t we all get together and clean up while we’re at it? You know, killing two birds with one stone and all that.”

“Oh, sure! That’s sounds like a mighty fine idea.”

Luna pumped her fist into the air. “Verily! I shall procure more bathing sundries for us. Brae, go on ahead and make yourself comfortable with Spike and his fetching companion.”

“Will do, darlin’. Don’t take too long, ya hear?”

Luna made sure to put some extra wiggle in her hips while she slowly sauntered towards the common area. “As the old saying goes: ‘Good things come to those who wait’.”

The remaining bathers made their way over to the central pool and slipped into the warm, steaming water. Sunset and Spike squirted some shampoo into their palms and immediately began washing each other’s hair. While they were doing that, Braeburn’s eyes lingered on Luna’s deliciously toned backside, marveling at the way her muscles flexed while she walked. Were he not so utterly spent from the intense bout of love-making earlier, Braeburn was certain that he would’ve been harder than a diamond.

“Lands sakes,” Braeburn muttered, “Ah don’t rightly know what Ah ever did ta the catch the eye of a princess, but she is one hellofa woman. Still doesn’t feel like it’s real sometimes.”

“So, how exactly did the two of you meet? I thought you still lived out in Appleloosa?”

Braeburn leaned back and let out a sad sigh. “Ah did. Up until about eight months ago, that is. As y’all might now, Appleloosa’s comprised mostly of desert scrub and sandy soil. It ain’t naturally fertile like the land ‘round these parts. We keep it irrigated as best we can, but it’s tough ta keep it that way. A big ole’ dust storm swept through the area back then and with the drought that had been goin’ on a few months prior, it pretty much devastated mah farm. Wound up sellin’ it directly ta the crown as a subsidy since Ah couldn’t grow anythin’ anymore.”

“Braeburn, I’m so sorry. I had no idea.”

“Don’t worry about it none,” Braeburn dismissed, “You were busy doin’ your own thing at the time. ‘Sides, my cousins in Ponyville offered to let me stay with ‘em and work their farm until Ah got back on mah feet. Luckily fer me, Princess Luna happened ta drop by one fateful day.”

Sunset arched her eyebrow. “Seriously? Is that normal for her? I don’t recall Princess Celestia doing that when I was still living near Canterlot. She—ah—tended to be a bit more reclusive and too busy for casual visits with the common folk.”

“Eeyup. Ah reckon it is, Miss Sunset. Luna’s special that way. Ah imagine it’s one of the many reasons why we get along like apples an’ caramel.”

Sunset cocked her head to the side. “Hold on a second. How did you know my name? I didn’t introduce myself to you yet.”

The lunar diarch chose that very moment to slip into the bath behind her lover, and draw him into a passionate kiss. Once they pulled away, Braeburn had a goofy smile etched upon his lips when she began washing his hair. They looked so relaxed and comfortable with one another that Spike couldn’t help but feel happy for the both of them. Taking her cue from the princess, Sunset scooched closer towards her own lover and cuddled him as well.

Luna smiled as she gently scrubbed Braeburn’s back. “Fear not, Sunset Shimmer. It is part of Braeburn’s job to know such things. He is my personal assistant, after all.”

“Personal… assistant?”

Luna nodded. “Indeed. Like the rest of Equestria, I too heard of the devastation wrought upon the poor Appleloosaians. However, I only learned that Ser Braeburn was a refugee after I decided to strike up a conversation with him. Twas not difficult for him to catch mine eye. He was bare-chested and glistening with sweat when I arrived. Handsome men hard at work are quite a sight to behold!”

“C’mon, Luna! Ya know Ah ain’t some fancy supermodel or anythin’ like that.”

Luna kissed his neck affectionately. “Nay, my beloved. You are an honest, kind-hearted gentleman of the utmost moral character and noble bearing. For all the centuries that I have lived, I find those traits to be of far greater importance than titles, wealth, or social standing when it comes to choosing a paramour. Would you not agree, nephew?”

“Yeah. Braeburn’s always been a decent guy for as long as I’ve known him.”

Luna grabbed a bath pouf and started scrubbing Braeburn’s shoulders. “Quite so. Ah, but we mustn’t forget his finely muscled physique and the tremendous fleshy sword that dangles betwixt his legs! A mighty weapon with which he has conquered his princess many a times!”

Braeburn’s face turned as red as the apple of his namesake. “Land’s sakes, Luna! Can we PLEASE not discuss mah manhood and what Ah choose ta do with it in—um—private in front of other folks? It’s embarrassin’…”

“Why ever not? Do males of this age not take pride in the size of their members and their ability to pleasure a woman so completely, that she is rendered into little more than a mewling pile of gelatin? If you are worried that this is not the case, rest assured that you have left me quivering in the throes of unending bliss when we, as the modern vernacular would say, ‘bump uglies’. Are you, perchance, feeling insecure of your carnal prowess?”

Braeburn unconsciously cupped his hands over his crotch. “Honestly, none o’ that really matters ta me. I’ve always been content with what the creator gave me. With you, darlin’, all I’ve ever concerned mahself with is makin’ ya happy. That bein’ said: folks don’t really talk about sex and their private parts like that nowadays. Well, present company excluded. No offense, Spike.”

“Eh, none taken. I’ve pretty much gotten used to it at this point.”

Luna at least had the decency to look slightly embarrassed. “My apologies, beloved. Although it has been nearly a decade since my return from the moon, I often find myself behaving in the mindset of days gone by. However, I shall not take back what I have said already. All of it is true!”

“And it ain’t necessarily a bad thing. You’re different from just about every other woman I’ve ever met in mah entire life. That’s part o’ what makes ya special, Luna. Ya don’t have ta change yer personality on mah account. But… all I’m askin’ is that ya try ta be a bit more discreet about our bedroom activities while we’re in public, alright?”

Luna wrapped Braeburn in a gentle hug. “Yes, of course. Technicalities be as they may, we are most decidedly not in public. Tis the royal baths and we are amongst friends and family. To kiss and tell, as it were, is acceptable in this environment. Would you not agree?”

“Ah don’t rightly know, darlin’. ‘Suppose Ah can make an exception in this case.”

Luna sighed contentedly and rested her head against his shoulder. “This is why I love you so much, Braeburn. To think, that after a millennium of isolation, I would find such a fine man to share my body and soul with. Perhaps, I shall even consider marrying you one day. Creator knows that Equestria could use another prince. Other than that wastrel, Blueblood.”

Spike cleared his throat. “Uh… technically, I’m an Equestrian Prince too.”

“Ah, yes. I had nearly forgotten about that. However, I believe that you have truly grown into your position as Dragon Lord. It suits you much better, nephew. I would not yet call you regal, per say, but in time you shall acquire the bearing as mine sister has. Even whilst nude.”

“You wouldn’t consider yourself regal, Aunt Luna?”

The lunar princess snorted. “Nay! I am but a simple woman at heart. The masses may refer to me as such out of respect and admiration, but I have never once considered myself regal at any point in my life. Long as it may be. I… suspect you feel much the same way being Dragon Lord, no?”

“Yeah. In fact, you pretty much hit the nail on the head with that one. How did you know?”

Luna smiled. “Experience, dearest nephew. Fret not. Humility is a trait that your subjects will come to admire you for. After all, a ruler who cannot relate to his or her own people is doomed to become a reviled despot.”

Braeburn leaned over and kissed Luna’s neck, making her giggle. “Ah can personally attest ta that. So long as we’ve been together, I’ve never felt like I’m with a princess but just Luna.”

“And you,” Luna purred, “my most handsome beau, have always strived to treat me like a normal woman. With kindness, love, and respect. Let us not forget that you are quite skilled at triggering the ROYAL ORGASM as well! But in all seriousness, you cannot begin to imagine how much I appreciate all that you have done for me. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.”

“Awwww,” Sunset cooed, “They’re so adorable together! Makes me want to thank my man too~”

Spike barely had a moment to collect his thoughts when he felt Sunset grab his cheeks and pull him into a long, passionate kiss. The young Dragon Lord was thankful that he was spent from all the sex earlier, otherwise he’d probably have gotten a pretty hefty erection right then and there. Despite the fact that he was in front of his own aunt, Spike couldn’t resist reaching over and fondling Sunset’s breast. As he rolled her nipple in-between his fingers, she moaned softly, and started planting butterfly kisses along his neck. After a few moments, she ceased her ministrations, and looked up at Spike with a hungry, but loving expression.

“I would so be up for round two if they weren’t around.” Sunset whispered.

“You see, Braeburn! We could stand to learn a thing or two from the Wyvertii!”

The blonde-haired farmer chuckled awkwardly. “That’s—erm—a level of PDA that Ah don’t think I’m quite ready for, darlin’.”

Luna moved over, sat atop Braeburn’s lap, and ran her fingers along his chest. “Are you absolutely certain, my beloved? Given the current season, I pondered taking a trip to Golden Sands Beach with you in lieu of attending the Summer Sun Celebration alongside my sister. You know, the one just south of Las Pegasus?”

“Well, Ah might have heard a few rumors about it. But Ah can’t say I’ve ever been there before…”

Luna grinned when she saw Braeburn blush like a schoolboy. “Then you are in for a most delightful surprise! Golden Sands is one of Equestria’s only clothing-optional beaches. My sister, ever the paragon of modesty, attempted to discourage nude sunbathing there a little over three decades ago. Fortunately, she was unable to dissuade the locals. They blatantly ignored her and continued the practice until it became a tradition amongst beachgoers.

“I have yearned to visit Golden Sands Beach for quite some time now, but something has always… felt off to me. As if the timing was never right. Now, I finally understand why. I needed a handsome apple farmer to accompany me on my sojourn! Would you do me the honor of accompanying me as the princess consort? I do not wish to hide our relationship any longer!”

Braeburn shifted uncomfortably. “Are ya sure that’s where ya wanna go, darlin’?”

“Of course! I would never jest about such a serious matter! Tell me, Braeburn: what better place is there to showcase our love for one another? We could relax, play, and simply be ourselves in the most literal way possible. Just think of all the hackles we shall raise! Our nude bodies will grace the cover of every tabloid from Canterlot to Baltimare!”

“That’s exactly why I’m worried. Ain’t it gonna tarnish yer reputation? Ya know, bein’ seen in public with a simple fella like me and whatnot. Ah don’t want ya ta get hurt over—”

Luna silenced her lover with a soft kiss to the lips. “Fie! Let the masses see us as we were born! You and I have nothing to be ashamed of. And I could certainly care less what they think of my body or if they happen to witness me sharing it with the man who has stolen my heart. Do you, perhaps, require any further assurances of my resolve?”

Braeburn chuckled and caressed her cheek. “Nah, I’m good. Struttin’ around the beach buck-nekkid ain’t really mah cup o’ coffee but… if it’s with you, darlin’, I don’t think I’ll mind it too much. Consider it a date. Besides, Ah gotta make sure the princess is organized durin’ her summer vacation. Couldn’t rightly call mahself an assistant if ah didn’t do at least that much.”

Satisfied with his answer, Luna turned her attention towards Spike. “Speaking of sojourns: where does the Dragon Lord and his entourage plan on going next?”

“Ponyville for starters. Delmira is staying with Twilight and Ember’s probably still recovering in the hospital. She’s always been a quick healer, but I know how antsy she gets whenever she has to stay in one place for an extended period of time. I just hope that she didn’t cheat and try to use healing magic on herself to speed up the process. I don’t even use it too much myself because it has so many drawbacks.”

Luna nodded somberly. “Indeed. Equestrian healing spells aren’t much better, I’m afraid. When your sister first started learning the craft, I had to intervene on her behalf so that she would not cause irreparable damage to her internal organs. She is very fortunate that I arrived when I did.”

“What?! When did this happen?! And why wasn’t I informed?”

Luna bowed her head in shame. “My apologies, Spike. This was only a few months after my return from the moon. You were still a child at the time and neither of us wanted to cause you any undue stress or panic. I realize now that it was unfair of us to assume that you could not handle the news. Rest assured; I was able to nurse your sister back to health without issue. If nothing else, she learned a valuable lesson in restraint that day…”

Spike was alarmed at the news but offered his aunt a polite smile. “I can only hope so. Twi really worries me sometimes with her tendency to go full OCD with new types of magic. Anyway… to answer your question, I planned on going to Zebrica. Since it’s in the southern hemisphere, it’ll technically be winter when we arrive. And thus, cooler. As good a time as any to visit, I think.”

“Indeed. And I imagine the Zebricans shall not make too much of a fuss regarding your lack of attire. Nudity is quite commonplace within their society. You should have seen the look on my sister’s face when we first traveled to their capital of N’Djamena twelve hundred years ago. King Waru’Tumba came out to the reception area and greeted us, along with four of his wives.

“They wore little more than traditional body paint and a few pieces of strategically placed, gold jewelry to accentuate certain parts of themselves. Twas most amusing! Zebricans are a welcoming, and physically affectionate people, so the jovial king did not hesitate to wrap my sister in a bone-crushing hug. I have never seen Celestia’s face turn so red before or ever since!”

Spike wrapped his arm around Sunset’s waist. “I’ll have to keep that in mind when we get there. It’s funny because Lord Torch was much the same way. He never once hesitated to show me affection or let me know that he cared about me. I know Night Light always tried his best to act like a surrogate father to me… but with Torch I felt more of a connection, ya know?”

“That does not surprise me in the least. From what my sister has told me, Lord Torch is a big man with an even bigger heart. I imagine he dotes on you more than usual out of deference to your biological parents and the fact that you are his daughter’s betrothed.”

Spike blushed. “Oh—umm—yeah, I suppose that makes sense.”

Luna cocked her eyebrow. “Did I, perhaps, speak out of phrase? You do plan on making her your wife, do you not? And I assume the same applies to your other paramours?”

“Ehehehe! Funny you should mention that! I’m not really sure how marriage works with the Wyvertii. I never bothered to ask Torch or anyone else about it. Uhh… based on hearsay, at least, I think Dragon Lords are legally able to have multiple wives. NOT that I would play favorites amongst the girls or anything like that! I’ll just shut up now before I dig my hole any deeper…”

Sunset rubbed Spike’s thigh affectionately. “Relax, big guy. Like I said before: you’ll make a great husband and daddy someday. I just know it! And it’s not like we have rush into the whole marriage thing right away.”

“Verily! You would do well to heed Ms. Shimmer’s advice, nephew. In any case, I shall notify Captain Hook to prepare the Silver Shadow for her voyage to Zebrica. The port of departure will be from Baltimare since that is the best place to refuel her coal bunkers and stock up on provisions. I suspect that it shall take no more than three days to reach N’Djamena, but it never hurts to be prepared. Oh, and, consider her your own personal vessel now. After all, a Dragon Lord needs to be able to travel in style.”

Spike gasped. “Aunt Luna… are you sure?”

“I am, Spike. No offence to the Wyvertii, but I don’t think they would be able to construct a state-of-the-art battle cruiser with their current level of technological development. Besides, you are, officially, an Equestrian Prince. Tis only fitting for you to have your own personal vessel for state visits and transportation. I shall also lend a contingent of the Royal Navy to staff her as well. Consider it my ‘coming of age’ gift to you.”

Braeburn whistled. “So when do Ah get mah own fancy boat, darlin’?”

Luna poked Braeburn’s chest. “And what, pray tell, would a landlubber such as yourself do with a heavily modified battle cruiser? I’d wager half the treasury’s coin that you would get seasick immediately and quite violently. The sea is no place for an apple farmer.”

“Erm… well, Ah can’t argue with that. Ah was just jokin’ with ya anyway.”

Luna giggled as she slipped her hand in-between Braeburn’s legs and played with his pubic hair. “My beloved, ever the jester! I have a much better idea. After our bath, you and I shall retreat to the royal bedchambers and lounge about at our leisure for the remainder of the day. And don’t even think about putting your clothes back on! Snuggling you is much more fun without them~ Sergeant Nocturne can bring us refreshments periodically, should we desire them.”

“Ya mean the tall, pale-skinned gal with black hair and all o’ them scars?”

“The very same. Hmm. A most curious way to describe her physical attributes. Do you desire to bed the good sergeant, my beloved?”

Braeburn waved his hands. “What?! No! Ah mean, she’s real pretty in a tomboyish sort o’ way. But umm… I’ve only got eyes fer you, darlin’. She just seems like the strong, silent type ta me. Ah reckon mah cousin might take a likin’ to her.”

Luna grinned. “Ah, I see. You wish to arrange a blind date between the two of them. A most splendid idea! It just so happens that Sergeant Nocturne is single and due for some well-earned leave this evening. Based on what I have seen from Macintosh’s dreams, I am quite confident that he will be most smitten with her.”

“Do Ah even wanna know?”

Luna snickered. “As my sister always says: ‘There is no wrong way to fantasize’. But nay, Braeburn. You are better off not knowing your cousin’s sexual preferences. Trust me on this.”

“Heh. No kiddin’. Sorry Ah even asked…”

Luna grabbed ahold of Braeburn’s hand and led him over to the towel rack where they began to dry themselves off. “Please enjoy the remainder of your bath with Sunset, nephew. Braeburn and I have much snuggling and other various sundry activities to do over the remainder of the day. It was nice catching up with the both of you!”

As Spike watched the two of them leave, Sunset nudged his ribs. “Hot damn! Talk about a fancy-ass ride! Do you think the staff can serve us those little cocktail weenies they always have at high-end parties in Canterlot? Oh! And does it have a gym on board? ‘Cause I’m gonna need to keep up with my daily training routine.”

Spike laughed as he kissed Sunset’s cheek. “There is a gym, but I’m not sure about the weenies.”

“No biggie if they don’t. Besides, the only weenie that really matters is the one attached to you.”

The young coupled shared a laugh as Sunset climbed atop her mate’s lap and coiled her legs around his waist. The two of them both sighed contentedly as they enjoyed the simple, tactile pleasure of warm water and bare skin pressed up against bare skin. Before resting her head upon Spike’s chest for a quick cat nap, Sunset kissed her mate’s collarbone and breathed in his scent.

The Transformation

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Chapter 27

Castle of Friendship, Ponyville

Delmira yawned softly as she awoke from her slumber. Although the time they’d spent together had been relatively short, she’d become very good friends with Twilight Sparkle over the course of the past three and a half weeks. The Princess had taught her such things as: proper social etiquette, reading, writing, how to act at public events, and cultural norms of the civilized world. They certainly weren’t the most exciting subjects Delmira had studied during her incredibly long lifespan, but she was still grateful to have learned them all the same.

Twilight insisted that she didn’t require payment for her services and that what she had done was simply meant to help her out as a new friend. But Delmira didn’t feel comfortable relying on a mortal like that without showing some form of recompense. She was a proud, noble Dragoness! And Dragons always paid their debts! Since she had no material wealth to speak of, the Goddess instead offered to share her own knowledge. Most of it… being of the carnal variety.

The Princess of Friendship had been extremely shy about anything that related to: sex, self-pleasure, nudity, and even romance for that matter. It had taken her two days just to get used to the idea that Delmira was never going to bother covering up any part of her glorious natural form or engage in what mortals referred to as “modesty”. In other words, Twilight was a socially awkward, reclusive virgin who had next to no experience when it came to such matters.

Fortunately, she did have an open mind and a surprisingly attractive body. Twilight was of average height, slender, had modest-sized, round breasts, and a delightfully firm little tushie. Her skin was slightly pale, but smooth and blemish free. She also groomed her pubic hair quite regularly, as was evident by the neatly trimmed lavender strip that formed just below her waistline.

The poor girl didn’t even have a single pair of undergarments in her entire wardrobe that could possibly be considered risqué or sexy to anyone. In fact, most of her attire (pajamas or otherwise) was quite plain and utilitarian. Not the kind a sovereign ruler of Equestria would be expected to own. At least, that’s the impression Delmira got from reading all of those books and magazines regarding modern fashion trends. She didn’t really care either way. Clothing did not hold the slightest iota of significance to a dragon goddess. As any Wyvertii would tell you: true beauty radiates from the self, not the baubles one wears.

Delmira had to laugh at the centuries old proverb. Prominent females from various cultures around the globe preferred to adorn their bodies with gold and silver trinkets lined with only the finest cut precious stones. They believed it to be some symbol of their status, beauty, power, and prestige. The goddess was happy to see that Twilight had not fallen into that particular mindset, despite her newfound wealth and royal title.

However, it had been extremely difficult trying to convince Twilight to shed her clothing in order to become more comfortable with her own body and all of its perceived flaws. Twilight’s deeply ingrained sense of modesty prevented her from embracing her sense of feminine sensuality and seeing herself as the beautiful creature that Delmira knew her to be.

That had been the first step towards teaching the young princess about the pleasures of the flesh and, by extension, romance. She had to learn how to accept and appreciate herself before she could even think about having sex or getting into a relationship with anyone else. Twilight had stubbornly refused to bare her body (more so than what Equestrians considered necessary or polite) for three days straight, citing that it was not only highly inappropriate but also embarrassing. Delmira didn’t argue. She simply went about her business with the hope that Twilight would come to realize why being nude was so great.

Much to Delmira’s surprise, it had not come about as some sudden epiphany but rather, during one of the most mundane activities possible. One morning, as she was enjoying a nice, hot shower, the princess decided to join her and declined to get dressed afterwards. They sat together, enjoyed a cup of lemon drop tea, and studied a book about different genres of Equestrian music over the past five centuries. Not the most exciting experience, but it managed to get the princess to break out of her shell a little bit.

The Dragon Goddess tried her very best to keep her libido in check ever since the first day she’d decided to stay in the castle with Twilight. However, without her beloved mates around to share her passion with, Delmira started getting more and more pent up. Everything came to a head one lazy afternoon while Twilight was reclining on the sofa completely nude, reading, of all things, a book about the sexual techniques employed by the ancient Roamans.

Delmira could tell that Twilight was plenty worked up. The slight blush on her cheeks, the faint floral aroma of her arousal that pervaded the air. She had even begun to finger herself, ever so gently. Occasionally, she’d rub her adorable little clit in lazy circles, which inevitably caused her lips to glisten with unrequited lust. It became unbearable to Delmira when she finally witnessed the bookworm squirm on the couch as an orgasm rocked her lithe body.

Twilight blinked owlishly when she finally noticed Delmira standing beside her. “Oh—um—how long have you been standing there, Delmira?”

“Literally, the whole time. I saw all of it. And I have to say: I’m proud of you! My little princess has finally learned how to love herself! It’s such a beautiful thing to see~”

Twilight blushed profusely. “That’s not—I didn’t mean to… get carried away like that.”

“Relax. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. Masturbation is perfectly natural and normal. I’m willing to bet that you feel a hell of a lot better now that you’ve had a good cum. Am I right?”

Twilight nervously rubbed her thighs together. “Yes. As a matter of fact, I do. No doubt due to the release of endorphins and dopamine. It’s a proven fact that orgasms relieve stress and promote a positive feedback loop within the brain itself and, of course, throughout the entire body. There was fascinating clinical study done two years ago about the effects of—”

“Stop! Now you’ve gone and ruined the moment. I really thought we’d made some progress today. I’m disappointed with you, my young pupil.”

Twilight looked as though she was on the verge of tears. “I’m so sorry, Delmira! I got a little ahead of myself again. Honestly, I’ve been trying to read up on more mundane subjects lately.”

“I know,” Delmira acknowledged while she patted her student’s head, “But we’ve been over this many times, Twilight Sparkle. Nerds can be sexy, but nerdy talk is another matter entirely. Granted, there’s probably some people out there that have a fetish for it, but they’re few and far between. Try to… keep your conversations with the average layman a bit more casual, ok?”

Twilight sat up a bit straighter and began twiddling her fingers. “Hey, I need to ask you somewhat of a personal question. IF you don’t mind, that is. It’s kind of… embarrassing.”

“Go on. I’m listening.”

Twilight’s face turned redder than a tomato. “Oh Gods! I don’t know if I can bring myself to ask you this! Alright, well here goes: Would you—erm—possibly be interested in h-having sex… with me? I’m so ridiculously horny right now that I NEED something more and if I’m being totally honest, masturbation simply isn’t going to cut the mustard at this point. If you don’t want to, that’s perfectly fine, I just wanted to throw the invitation out there in case you—”

Delmira smiled and placed a gentle kiss on her student’s lips. “Twilight. Take a deep breath and relax. I’d be more than happy to have sex with you right now. In fact, I’m honored that you’d allow me to take your virginity. I just want to make sure that this is what you truly want. Heh. Because I know some mortals made a big deal out of it. Are you absolutely certain?”

“Yes, I’m certain. I want to get some practice with actual intercourse so that I can be… better prepared when I eventually find a boyfriend. Even though I’m a princess, I’m pretty sure that a woman bumbling around in the bedroom is a huge turnoff for a lot of guys.”

Delmira laughed. “I won’t argue with you there. However, some men are far more patient and accepting than that. I take it that you are staunchly in the heterosexual camp then? Had you pegged as bi-curious, but I wasn’t entirely certain.”

“Yeah, I’m straight. Does that… bother you?”

Delmira shook her head. “Not particularly. When you’re a being as old as I am, gender tends to lose its meaning after a few hundred years. You learn to love people more for who they are, rather than what they are. Does that make sense?”

“Completely! I imagine Celestia and Luna are much the same way.”

Delmira shrugged. “Perhaps. I never bothered to ask them. Not that I ever will. Who they choose to fuck really makes no difference to me. Now, that being said: how about I make this a little bit more special and satisfying for you?”

“Umm… ok. But I’m not entirely sure what you mean by that.”

Without saying a word, Delmira stepped back and enveloped her entire body in pink flames. When the spell was finally finished, a beautiful albino man with silky white hair stood before Princess Twilight. He had just the right amount of muscle to look dashing (as Rarity would say) and his genitals were neither too large or too small. Just the right size, in Twilight’s humble opinion. His entire body was completely hairless and blemish free. He reminded Twilight somewhat of an elven prince. A very SEXY elven prince.

When he finally met her eyes with his lustful gaze, Twilight immediately felt a tingling warmth spread in her belly. Delmira climbed atop the couch and planted a series of gentle kisses along her leg, making the bookworm shudder with delight. He didn’t hesitate to grasp her thighs and gently spread them apart so that he could begin tasting her essence.

Twilight let out a strained squeal when she felt his tongue swirl around inside her. He was absurdly good at cunnilingus, which wasn’t too surprising given that he’d literally had centuries worth of experience. But it was unlike anything Twilight had ever felt before. She inadvertently clamped her legs around Delmira’s head as another powerful orgasm rocked her body.

Through the haze of post-orgasmic bliss, she giggled like a drunk schoolgirl and placed a big, sloppy kiss on Delmira’s lips. Twilight could definitely taste herself as she explored Delmira’s mouth, but she found that she didn’t care one bit.

“Did you enjoy that, my dear student?”

Twilight let out at contented sigh. “Mmm yeah, that sure was amazing. When did you… learn how to transform into a man? I didn’t know you could do that.”

“I’m a goddess, remember? Although, I like to identify myself as a female, I am quite capable of changing my gender whenever I please. Luckily for me, the spell doesn’t require a vast amount of power and can still be performed while I’m in this mortal body.”

Twilight shifted her position and began stroking Delmira’s penis. “Would you like me to… perform fellatio on you? I’ve read a lot of books on the subject and they all say that men enjoy having their… p-penis sucked on. I just want to return the favor and make you feel good too…”

“Sure. I certainly don’t mind. And that’s a good attitude to have. Sex is all about give and take. Nobody likes to sleep with a selfish partner. Suck away, Twilight Sparkle~”

As her books instructed, she began by licking the sides of his shaft, making sure to get it nice and lubricated for maximum pleasure when she eventually took him into her mouth. The book also made mention of the head being very sensitive to stimulation, similar to a clitoris. So, before she did anything else, Twilight kissed Delmira’s head and flicked her tongue along its underside. She was immediately rewarded for her efforts when she heard Delmira let out a very effeminate gasp and tasted a salty little glob of precum as it oozed from the tip.

Thus encouraged, Twilight wrapped her lips around his penis and slowly began to bob her head up and down, making sure to swirl her tongue around his shaft every so often. Before long, Twilight really started to enjoy the feeling of Delmira’s warm shaft inside her mouth and the lewd slurping noises she was making. It made her feel oh so incredibly naughty but also sexy at the same time~

Without so much as a word, Delmira curled his toes, grunted loudly, and pumped Twilight’s mouth full of his divine seed. She was surprised to find that his semen didn’t taste that bad. Slightly saltier than his precum from before, but a mostly neutral flavored substance. Kind of like saliva in a way, she supposed. Absentmindedly, she remembered reading an article somewhere that certain foods enhanced the flavor of semen to make it more palpable. Like apples, and certain citrus fruits for instance.

Neutrally flavored or not, it wasn’t the most pleasant stuff to swallow, texture-wise. Twilight was thankful that there was a glass of water sitting nearby on the coffee table. She took a few swigs both the hydrate herself and wash down Delmira’s thick, gooey cum. Once she was finished, Delmira leaned over and began playing with her breasts, which were quite sensitive at this point.

Giving up on any pretense of modesty or restraint, Twilight caved in and moaned softly as she felt Delmira roll her nipples in-between his fingers and tug on them slightly. It sent an electric shock of pleasure that originated in her chest and traveled all the way down her spine until she felt it in her toes.

Delmira gently nibbled on her ear while he continued his ministrations. “Your fellatio skills really are quite impressive for a bookish virgin. Not once did you accidentally rub your teeth against me. Truly impressive! I haven’t cum that hard in nearly five hundred years. Well, as a man anyway. Are you ready for the main event? Do you want to know what it’s like to feel my hot, pulsing cock deep inside of you, princess?”

“Ah! Yes! I want to know… so bad!” Twilight gasped.

“Hmm. I’m not really convinced. Shouldn’t a proper princess ask politely first?”

“Please mount me, master! I NEED YOUR COCK INSIDE ME!!” Twilight begged.

“That’s a good little princess. Alright, get on your hands and knees and stick your ass in the air. I’m going to fuck you from behind today. And I’m going to do it nice and slow so that you can enjoy every single moment of it~”

Twilight eagerly obeyed Delmira’s command, not even taking into consideration how embarrassing it was to be seen in such an exposed and compromising position. She whimpered when she felt Delmira rub the tip of his penis along the outer edge of her glistening wet pussy, no doubt in an effort to lubricate himself in order to make it easier to slide in and out of her delicate, salmon-pink folds.

With little more than a slight push, Delmira inserted his entire length inside her. It slipped right in without issue or discomfort to either party. After just a few seconds of hesitation, Delmira began moving his hips in earnest, making sure to penetrate Twilight as deeply as he possibly could each time.

It was unlike anything Twilight had experienced before. Her whole body felt like jelly, her mind became hazy and clouded with a complex mixture of emotions: lust, elation, affection, and unadulterated pleasure all at the same time! She reveled in the lewd slapping noises Delmira’s balls made as they came in contact with her edge of her mons. She could feel his slender fingers as they dug into the flesh of her butt cheeks, his grip becoming tighter as time wore one.

Just as she riding a fresh wave of bliss from yet another powerful orgasm, Twilight felt something hot and sticky fill her belly. Biologically speaking, she knew precisely what the sensation was, but to actually experience it firsthand was something else. It left her feeling incredibly satisfied and relaxed.

As Delmira slowly extracted his manhood from Twilight’s depths, he snuggled up beside her and entwined his fingers with her own. She responded in kind by returning his grip, and kissing the transformed goddess on the cheek. They laid together like that for quite some time, each content to listen to each other’s breath as they slowly drifted off to sleep. When they finally awoke a few hours later, Twilight made a point to kiss Delmira passionately on the lips as a way to thank him for making her first time so intimate and special.

“That was beautiful, Delmira. Thank you.”

Delmira blushed ever so slightly at the praise. “You’re quite welcome, Twilight Sparkle. Think of it as payment in kind for helping me read, write, and learn about modern society. Since I don’t really have any money to speak of, I thought that was the best way to show you my gratitude.”

Twilight giggled as she ran her fingers along Delmira’s chest. “Now I know exactly why Spike and Ember love you so much. Despite all the time we’ve spent together, I still feel really bad about judging you right off the bat when you first arrived in Ponyville. That was improper of me. As both a princess and a citizen of Equestria, I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.”

“Are you sure that’s not just the afterglow talking?”

Twilight scrunched her nose and let out an irritated huff. “Of course not! I’m being totally serious right now, Delmira! I know you enjoy teasing me sometimes, but I would never joke around about something as important as an apology. Especially, to a friend!”

“Sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you, Twilight. And for the record, I forgave you a long time ago. Holding grudges really isn’t my thing. It’s all water under the bridge as far as I’m concerned.”

“Good. I just wanted to make sure that there wasn’t foul air between us anymore.”

Delmira laughed out loud. “I wouldn’t be too sure of that! I’d bet my wings that this whole room stinks like sweaty sex and cum. A good, hot shower will fix us right up but just make sure that the maids you have cleaning up the place aren’t a bunch of blabber mouths. What would Equestrians think of their precious, innocent Princess of Friendship if they found out that she turned her castle into a pleasure palace?”

In a surprise (and terrifying if Delmira was being honest) display of supreme magical prowess, Twilight’s hands glowed with arcane, violet power as she cast a massive spell around the entire room. Not but a moment later, everything, including their naked bodies, became squeaky clean and smelled faintly of pine trees. When Delmira finally looked over at Twilight, she had a smug expression spread across her lips.

“You were saying? I learned that spell back when I was in magical kindergarten. Well, learned technically isn’t the right word for it. More like ‘heavily-modified’. What?! The regular cleaning spell wasn’t powerful enough to get rid of iodine stains. Plus, do you have any idea how much time I save by performing this spell instead of bathing? It’s way more efficient!”

Delmira chuckled awkwardly. “Ah… sure it is. If I had any doubts as to why you were made into a princess, they are completely gone now. Nope! I’m never fucking around with you again. Not in the sexual sense, of course. I’d totally fuck you again. Uhh… you know what, forget I said anything. Let’s just call it a day and snuggle.”

As the Wyvertii Goddess thought back to that fateful afternoon, he smiled. Since then, he’d chosen to retain his male form for the remainder of his stay at the castle, for Twilight’s sake. They’d also had passionate, sweaty sex on many more occasions and in many more locations afterwards, much to Delmira’s delight. It wasn’t quite on the same level emotionally as when he made love to his mates, but it was still satisfying nonetheless. Delmira was certain that Twilight would make one lucky man VERY happy someday. Whoever he may be.

The Princess of Friendship has also taken to lounging around in the nude more often as well. At least, when there wasn’t anyone else around to see her. She also stopped wearing pajamas or undergarments to bed altogether. Small compromises, to be sure, but Delmira was proud that Twilight had finally reached the point where she was comfortable in her own skin.

Speaking of skin, Twilight was still firmly attached to his bare backside while she continued to snore softly. Since Delmira hated sleeping alone and they’d already been intimate with each other on more than one occasion, he’d suggested that they sleep in the same bed together. Much to his surprise, Twilight readily agreed to the arrangement. It had worked out quite well so far, but Delmira had learned very quickly that Twilight was a notorious cuddler.

It had been a late night, and they’d stayed up well past two in the morning trying to finish up some local zoning ordinances that Mayor Mare had been struggling to get approved by the town council. As princess, it was her royal duty to resolve such disputes. Delmira looked over his friend’s shoulder and saw that it was already almost eleven o’clock.

Seeing no point in trying to make breakfast, the goddess carefully extracted himself from Twilight’s cuddly iron grip and gave her one final kiss on the cheek. He yawned once more, and then padded his way out to the kitchen to make what constituted as lunch.

He’d never been a fan of cooking or cleaning. He often allowed others who were far more skilled at the task to do it for him. Spike was a very talented chef, and he used to love waking up to his mate’s luxurious breakfast spreads while they were still living in Brimstone. As he flipped the grilled cheese over in the pan to cook the other side, Delmira let out a wistful sigh.

“I really miss that lovable goofball. I wish he’d hurry up and get back here soon…”

The sandwiches he made were… edible at least. They were a little bit crispier than was strictly necessary, but they still tasted ok. With one grilled cheese and some carrot sticks down, Delmira walked over to the fridge to find something to drink. After he poured himself a glass of milk, the goddess stared out the window at the beautiful flower garden located just across the lawn.

He was so distracted by his own thoughts, that he hadn’t even noticed Twilight enter the room and eat her own grilled cheese sandwich. She padded over to her sullen friend and wrapped him in an affectionate hug. The only thing that broke Delmira out of his reverie was the feeling of her soft breasts as they squished up against his back.

“What’s wrong? You seem sad today.”

Delmira sighed. “I’m really starting to miss Spike…”

“Oh—erm—don’t worry, Delmira. I’m sure my brother will return from Canterlot soon. At least we know he’s safe! That’s a positive thing, right?”

Delmira’s frown deepened. “I was worried sick about him! He’s always putting himself in mortal danger to help others. Did you see how badly Ember was injured? It broke my heart to see her like that because I was fucking useless in a fight and couldn’t help her out. What if Spike had—”

Twilight rubbed Delmira’s shoulders in an attempt to calm him down. “Shhh. Everything’s ok now. I know that you’re a divine being, but sometimes you can’t be everywhere and do everything at the same time. We all have our limits. Even goddesses.”

“You’re… right. I guess I just need to calm down a bit.”

Twilight sat on her knees and began stroking Delmira’s penis. “Don’t worry. I know exactly what’ll help cheer you up. Just leave it to me!”

Delmira didn’t even argue. He simply let Twilight do as she pleased, which was quite pleasing in and of itself. He sighed happily as he felt the warm, slippery sensation of Twilight’s mouth envelop his cock all the way down to the root. She was deliberately going at a slower pace this time to maximize the amount of pleasure Delmira would feel and to make sure he didn’t cum right away. After letting out a satisfied sigh, the goddess placed his hands on either side of her head and ruffled her hair affectionately while she bobbed up and down.

Unbeknownst to Twilight, her brother and Sunset Shimmer decided to show up at that very moment. Since Delmira was facing the kitchen door, he saw them first and tried very hard not to look like a child who’d been caught with their hand stuck in the cookie jar. The only sound that filled the room was Twilight’s sucking and slurping, which nobody attempted to stop simply because it would have been painfully awkward and embarrassing to do so.

Delmira knew he was getting very close to blowing his load. The tightening sensation deep within his balls was a sure sign as any that it wouldn’t be much longer. Considering that he was pretty much already caught in the act, Delmira decided to go with the flow and let Twilight continue unabated. What sent him over the edge was when she used a spell to magically stimulate his prostate. The resulting orgasm felt so good that Delmira moaned loudly and his entire body quivered in extasy.

Without missing a beat, Twilight happily drank every last drop of his seed and licked his penis clean afterwards. Only when she was finished, did Twilight turn around and realize that her brother was behind her what he had witnessed her doing. Her cheeks flushed a deep shade of crimson while she bolted towards the nearest couch and promptly buried her face in the cushion like an embarrassed ostrich. The Dragon Lord pointedly ignored the fact that his sister’s privates were on full display since her rear end was currently sticking up in the air.

Spike’s mouth opened and closed several times. “WHAT?!”

“Oh, uh—hi there, Spike. I can explain everything! Just give me a chance to go over the situation with you in greater detail. You see… I might have taken your sister’s virginity.”


Delmira couldn’t bear to look Spike directly in eye. He stared at the wall instead. “But it was totally consensual! She asked me to, I swear! One thing kind of led to another and… umm—we pretty much started fucking on a regular basis after that. The good news is: she’s a lot more confident about her body now! And she gives awesome blowjobs. Oh… right. You already knew that since you saw her sucking me off. Surprise! I also know how to change genders too.”

“There are no words to describe what I’m feeling right now, Delmira.” Spike replied in an eerily calm tone.

“You should feel happy to see me since we’ve been apart for so long! And your sister helped me learn all kinds of new things. Like proper table manners and other fancy shit. You know, like the essentials of modern society and all that. Oooh, so that’s our newest mate! She looks like a badass jungle queen and she has a great pair of tits to boot! Ember wasn’t lying when she said they were big. Mmmm. The rest of her looks nice and firm too~ I can tell she works out a lot.”

Spike let out an irritated sigh when he felt a distinctly male part of his mate’s anatomy rub up against his hip while he was being wrapped up in a bone-crushing hug. “Not that I don’t enjoy hugs from you, Delmira but… do you think you could possibly change back now?”

Once everyone had a chance to calm down and get situated, Spike sat in-between his mates on the couch (Delmira was back to being female again and showered him with affection) and Twilight sat on a lounge chair across from them. Curiously enough, the bookworm had elected to remain nude, citing that it was her castle, her rules.

She also mentioned that she wasn’t expecting any visitors for the remainder of the day, and thus didn’t feel obligated to get dressed any time soon. In a sense, Spike was happy for his big sister. He’d never seen Twilight this comfortable and confident in her own skin before. She was finally starting to come out of her shell. Shining Armor definitely would not have approved of her current behavior, but Spike decided that he would stand in for him as the proud sibling.

On the other hand, the young Dragon Lord was more than a little unnerved by what he’d heard earlier. Twilight was obviously a grown woman. She was allowed to have sex whenever and with whoever she wanted but… with an ancient Dragon Goddess? Spike realized that he hardly had any room to talk, considering that he’d lost his own virginity to the very same being not so long ago. He was still upset that his mate had caved in so easily, and started having sex with his older sister, but at least Delmira was someone experienced that he could trust.

Twilight took a long sip from her cup of tea. “Spike, please don’t be upset with Delmira. I was the one who asked her to take my virginity. Although, I’d always imagined that my first time would be a bit more romantic, I don’t regret having sex with her. In fact, I’m quite proud to call her my friend now. And, I imagine, you consider yourself fortunate to have such an amazing woman as a mate. She told me numerous times how much she loved you.”

“Yeah, I know she is. I’m sorry, Twi. I just… was worried about you.”

Twilight crossed her legs. “Believe me, you’re not the only one. Shining would have gone full Guard Captain had he been here to see me—erm—in such a compromising position. Don’t get me wrong: I love being a princess. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. But sometimes, I just need to do normal people stuff. Like having sex, going out on a date, or hanging out with my friends.”

“And you totally should! As far as the whole dating thing goes, I think you’ve got that in the bag. You seem a lot more confident than you were before, and you look great! Erm… objectively speaking, that is. Oh, Gods! That sounded really creepy, didn’t it? What has my life come to when I’m complimenting my sister’s naked body?”

Twilight giggled. “Relax, Spike. You don’t sound creepy at all. I’m the one who chose to remain undressed, so I can’t exactly fault you for noticing something that’s quite literally right in front of you. Let’s face it: I’m not exactly making an effort to cover myself up either. In all seriousness though, I really do appreciate your compliment. I’ve been trying to exercise more often and watch what I eat. Seems to be working so far!”

Delmira smiled proudly. “I helped!”

“Even though it’s a bit embarrassing to admit, intercourse is indeed an effective form of exercise. It also has an astonishingly high calorie consumption rate. As evidenced by Doctor Kin Sea’s case study on physical intimacy and its resultant phenomenon. However, I was referring to jogging, hiking, swimming and yoga. More… conventional means of physical activity.”

“Damn. I wanted to give Princess Twilight the benefit of the doubt before I jumped to any conclusions, but I gotta say: your sister one hell of a hardcore nerd. And that’s coming from a girl who’s actually read Doc Sea’s study herself at one point. Erm—strictly for academic purposes, of course!” Sunset whispered.

“Mhmm. That’s Twi for ya. I guess I don’t really notice it anymore. She’s always been that way for as long as I can remember and it would be kind of weird if she suddenly acted different. Still, I hope she doesn’t start talking like that during a date. The only guys who’d even be remotely interested in that sort of talk are college professors. Otherwise, they’ll just fall asleep.”

Twilight puffed out her cheeks. “Hey! I heard that!”

“Sorry, Twi. But it’s true. You do tend to geek out a lot…”

Twilight rolled her eyes. “Be that as it may, I’ll have you know that I have been taking extensive social etiquette lessons from Cadence on how to act more ‘casual’ around potential suitors. And I’ve been doing some of my own supplemental reading on the subject as well. It’s called: ‘Dating for Dummies Vol 3’. Ha! And you thought I was hopeless!”

“Twi, it’s not that I think you’re hopeless. You just need to… get out a little bit more and learn how to mingle with people. Make small talk, ya know? Ok, scratch that. When I mean small talk, I don’t mean the latest advances in magic particle physics.”

“But they’re so fascinating! How can you not be interested in the increased retention rate of thermal energy when applied to a synthetic gem’s substructure during enchantment?”

Delmira scrunched her eyebrows in confusion. “Uh… did you understand a word of that?”

The Dragon Lord chuckled. “Gems retain some residual heat when you pour magic into them. It gives the object you want to place the enchantment on more energy to draw from when it’s activated. Artificially produced gems, like Manehattenite, tend to have a more stable structure than naturally occurring ones. Thus, they retain a greater amount of heat.”

Sunset leaned over and whispered into her mate’s ear seductively. “Tell ya what, big guy: we can talk about science and physics any time you want. Of course, it doesn’t have to stop there. I’m always up for practical demonstrations after a good lecture~”

Spike had to admit that Sunset’s come-hither voice was SUPER sexy. She had a much deeper, mature quality to her voice that his other mates simply couldn’t compare to. He wasn’t entirely sure if that was due to her size or if that was just how she sounded naturally. Whatever the reason, he couldn’t help but feel his loins begin to stir with excitement.

The Dragon Lord wasn’t quite aroused enough yet to get a full erection, but he could feel his penis slowly growing into a semi-turgid state. Only Sunset seemed to notice what was happening and she grinned wickedly at the reaction that she had been responsible for. Not for the first time did Spike lament his hyperactive Wyvertii libido and the fact that he had willingly chosen to live out the remainder of his days as a nudist. Under normal circumstances, a pair of pants would’ve at least helped obscure what that was going on down there to a certain extent.

The situation only worsened when Sunset decided to lean back on the couch cushion, stretch out her arms, and spread her legs wide apart like a man would. If Twilight was at all bothered by Sunset’s complete lack of modesty and breach of feminine decorum, she didn’t react to it. Neither did Delmira, for that matter. The two of them continued to chat about various topics. Mostly mundane things like food and drink. I.E. topics that Delmira would actually understand.

It had become quite apparent to Spike that his newest mate was sitting in such a provocative manner on purpose. She wanted to tease him and give Spike a good look at the wonderous treasure nestled in-between her legs. Sunset even went so far as to tickle the back of Spike’s calf with her toes. When that wasn’t enough to get his attention, she then leaned in closer, making sure that her breasts were properly squished up against his shoulder, and gently suckled his ear.

“Sunset, what are you doing?!” Spike hissed.

“Teasing you~ I thought it was pretty obvious what I was doing at this point.”

Spike grunted in frustration. “I already figured that out on my own, thank you very much! What I mean is: why are you teasing me? This is, quite possibly, the worst time you could do it.”

Sunset ran her tongue along Spike’s neck. “Mmm. Yummy! You taste nice and salty~ Well, that’s because I’m horny right now. Not sure why though. Haven’t checked my pussy yet, but I’m pretty sure that I’m soaking wet. Do you think Twilight will be angry if I stain the couch?”

“Forget about the damn couch! We can’t have sex right now!”

Sunset traced her fingers along the inside of Spike’s thigh. “Why not? We literally just saw your sister sucking off Delmira. How much worse would it be if she saw me ride you like a cowgirl? C’mon, Spike! Don’t be a fucking stick in the mud. I want your big, thick cock inside me~”

“Wait a second… I know exactly what’s up!”

Sunset looked down at Spike’s waist and licked her lips. “Oh ho! I’ll say. You’re so hard right now that I can clearly see all your veins popping out. It’s easy, Spike. All you have to do is sit back, relax, and let me climb up on top of your lap. I can take care of the rest. Well, you can play with my boobs if you want. They’re really sensitive right now too.”

“Shit,” Spike cursed as he realized that he had become almost painfully erect, “There’s no way I can possibly hide my boner now. Look, Sunset. Can you please slow down for a second? I finally figured out why you’re so horny.”

“Is it because you’re such a handsome stud?”

“Why are Wyvertii pheromones always so damn potent? I can’t ever seem to catch a break! I swear, you girls are relentless. Anyway, I think Delmira’s semen is behind all of this. When she transformed into her male form, her pheromones became extra concentrated. That’s probably why my sister was so eager to have sex with her in the first place.”

Delmira, finally having noticed the commotion going on between her mates, crossed her arms underneath her breasts. “That’s not fair and you know it! I haven’t used my male form in over five hundred years! Is it any wonder that I may have forgotten that there were a few side effects to the transformation? Cut me some slack, Spike! Besides, it’s not like I forced your sister to fuck me. We both wanted to do it and we both had a great time doing it too!”

Twilight suddenly stood up and waved her hands. “Hold on a second! You mean to tell me that your pheromones are so powerful that they can potentially affect the behavior of other races? Even if you are a goddess, that’s just biologically absurd! How is that even possible?”

“Don’t act so surprised. The races of men on this planet may have their differences, but they are all very much alike in many respects. If you require further proof, just look at Sunset Shimmer. She is the direct result of an Equestrian and a Wyvertii mating together. You must also understand that my powers are ancient and vast. They transcend the properties of conventional magic as you know them.”

Twilight’s mouth opened and closed like a fish. “This needs to be properly researched in a controlled environment! There’s no telling what other potential, harmful side effects might occur from direct exposure to your bodily fluids and magic, Delmira. We can’t take any chances!”

Delmira sauntered over to the frantic bookworm and silenced her with a kiss. “Relax, Twilight Sparkle. I’m fully aware of what my magic is capable of. But, as you know, I’m not perfect nor all knowing. What happened earlier was merely a mistake on my part. And I openly admit that. Like Celestia and Luna, you’re just going to have to trust me. Would you ever take them in for testing? Because I’m fairly certain that they have powers that you can’t comprehend either.”

“Well, no. I… alright. I’ll defer to your judgment since you obviously have far more experience to draw upon regarding these matters than I do. But you have to understand why I’m upset. I don’t want to see my friends and family get hurt. They’re everything to me.”

Delmira patted her head. “They are indeed treasures worth protecting. Trust me, princess. I am just as committed to ensuring their health and safety as you are. Now, why don’t we take a little stroll down the hall and take a nice, hot shower. I’m sure it will do us both some good.”

“Huh? Why would we—”

Delmira subtly gestured towards Sunset, who looked like she was ready to jump Spike’s bones. “Because, my dear princess, there is only one way to scratch the particular itch that Sunset has. Mind you, I’m not judging but you don’t seem like a voyeur to me. Especially, if your little brother is the one doing the fucking. It’s your choice. I certainly don’t mind watching them~”

Realization suddenly dawned on Twilight’s face when she looked over at her brother. She had been so caught up in the moment that she hadn’t noticed his… erection. Not that she would have gone out of her way to sneak a peek at her brother’s junk in the first place! Twilight wasn’t exactly an expert on the reproductive system, but from what she could tell, his penis appeared to remain mostly stationary even while he moved around.

Twilight did, however, have a more thorough understanding of the circulatory system and knew that her brother’s erection must have been stiff enough almost to the point of being painful. It was then only way his manhood could possibly stay up like that. Absentmindedly, she made a mental note to ask her brother about the average length and diameter of penises amongst male Wyvertii. Twilight blushed heavily when realized that she’d been staring at her brother’s erect member for far longer than was socially appropriate.

Delmira wrapped her arm around Twilight’s shoulder and chuckled. “This is the first time you’ve really gotten a good look at Spike’s dick, isn’t it?”

“I don’t—that’s not what…”

Delmira nuzzled her cheek affectionately. “I know. He’s your little brother. But technically, you two aren’t related. Hell, you’re not even part of the same race. All I’m saying is: it’s ok to be a little curious. Looking never hurt anyone. Anyway, let’s get out of here and give those two some privacy. Visual privacy, at any rate. I’m sure we’re going to be able to hear them fucking each other halfway across the castle. Spike doesn’t usually make too much noise, but Sunset looks like a screamer to me. Big, muscular girls like her usually are.”

“How do you even quantify something like that?”

Delmira shrugged. “Personal experience. I guess it’s because big girls have a lot more stamina but their orgasms are way more intense as a result. All about the buildup, ya know? Sunset looks like a Grade A Muscle Bunny, so she’s bound to have a tight pussy. Add that to Spike’s thick cock, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for some seriously loud, passionate sex. They’ll probably have to change the town name to ‘Moanyville’ after those two are finished.”

GAH! Would it kill you to be a little less crass about all of this?!”

Delmira laughed. “I may have read those books on ‘proper etiquette’ but I’ll never truly understand why your culture always beats around the bush when it comes to fucking and illicit substances. Why not say exactly what you mean? Doesn’t make any sense to me…”

“Never mind. Let’s get a move on and head over to the master bathroom suite. I DO NOT need to see my little brother ravishing his girlfriend on MY couch. I already got an earful from Princess Celestia when she caught him having sex with Ember right smackdab in the middle of the throne room. Ugh! This is just like that one time I accidentally walked in on Shining and Cadence when they were still dating.”

Delmira’s ears perked up. “Oh? Do tell~”

“Not much to tell really. It was the middle of summer and I had just finished an exciting course on the properties of acids and bases at junior chemistry camp. Since the councilors let out early that day, I don’t think Shiny and Cadence were expecting any… company for a while longer. The two of them didn’t even have the decency to do it properly inside a bedroom! My brother was out in the back yard, plowing Cadence from behind, IN THE BABY POOL!!!

“I could tell that they’d been at it for a while because their hair was all disheveled and their skin had a sweaty sheen to it. But that wasn’t the worst part. Up until that point, I’d lived under the assumption that sexual intercourse was supposed to be something that two people who loved each other engaged in as a romantic gesture. Instead, I got to see a couple of horny, naked teenagers try their best to impersonate a pair of dogs in heat.

“Suffice to say, Shiny was absolutely mortified. Cadence being Cadence, just laughed the whole thing off and told my brother that I’d finally witnessed a practical demonstration of ‘The Birds & The Bees’. And then, like it was the most casual thing in the world, she crawled on top of my brother, who was sitting in the pool trying to catch his breath, and went another round with him cowgirl style! RIGHT IN FRONT ME!!”

Delmira laughed while she rubbed shampoo in Twilight’s hair. “Sounds like you have quite an interesting family. At some point, I think I’d like to meet Princess Cadence. I’m sure we’d get along just fine.”

“It’s not funny. I was traumatized.” Twilight huffed.

Delmira grabbed a bath pouf and started scrubbing her legs. “Do all Equestrians wait to learn about ‘The Birds & The Bees’ until they’re practically teenagers? If so, it’s no wonder your entire culture is so damn uptight and repressive. Personally, I think Princess Cadence did you a favor that day. She wanted to show you that sex was just a natural extension of her relationship with your brother and there was no reason for anyone to be ashamed of it. Sure, her method may have been a bit unorthodox but it got the point across, didn’t it?”

“Huh. You know, that does sound like something Cadence would do. I guess I never really thought about it that way. No matter. What’s done is done. At least I never caught my parents having sex. That would’ve been so much worse. They’re—ah—really into roleplaying.”

Delmira snickered while she scrubbed Twilight’s back. “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, eh? What was it you called me the other day when we were fucking out in the flower garden? Prince Forthsewynn? Never bothered to read any of those novels myself, but that sounds an awful lot like an elvish name.”

“How do you even know about that?!” Twilight squeaked.

“Hmm? Oh, well Ember’s quite an avid reader. She has a whole library full of foreign books back in Brimstone. I don’t think there’s any particular genre she favors, but she has mentioned a series featuring elves on a few occasions. AH HA! I get it now! It’s my pointy ears! They helped you live out your little elf-prince fantasy, didn’t they?”

Twilight’s entire face turned beet red. “I swear, if you tell anyone about it, I’ll—”

“Don’t you worry your pretty little head, Twilight Sparkle. Your secret is safe with me. Goddess’s honor. Although, I can’t help but wonder: how in the world is any male suitor going to live up to the standard I set? Those are going to be some pretty big shoes to fill. Erm—in the metaphorical sense, of course. I’ve never worn a pair my entire life.”


Twilight let out a heavy sigh as she stepped out of the shower to dry off. “You really weren’t kidding about Sunset being a screamer. Sheesh. I wouldn’t be surprised if I get a formal complaint and a citation from the city council for violating noise level ordinances.”

“To be fair, your brother really does have quite the robust cock. Not that penial thickness is always the sole contributing factor in determining the strength of a relationship, but it certainly helps. He’s also become quite talented at pleasuring his mates, if I do say so myself. No doubt due to all the practice we give him~”

Twilight chose to completely ignore Delmira’s lewd comment. “To answer your previous inquiry: I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. It’s not as though I have this ultra-unrealistic set of expectations when comes to a potential romantic partner. He just has to be fun, smart, and easy to talk to. Obviously, it doesn’t hurt if he’s physically attractive too. But you get the idea.”

“Naturally! I wish you the best of luck, princess. I’m certain that you’ll make whatever man you choose quite happy someday. Should you require any further advice from me, I’d be more than happy to offer it to you. Just use the fire spell I taught you and we can communicate via letter.”

Twilight wrapped Delmira in an affectionate hug. “Thanks, Delmira. I really appreciate everything that you’ve done for me. And I’ll be sure to include you in on the letters I send Spike every so often. Oh, and… you’re always welcome to stay here at the castle whenever you like.”

“It was my pleasure~ Now, I just have pry those two apart long enough to take a quick shower and go pick up Ember at the hospital. Let me know if you want any souvenirs from Zebrica!”

The Embarkation

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Chapter 28

HMS Sliver Shadow, En Route to Zebrica

Spike took a long swig from his canteen and sighed. He smiled at his mate while she diligently went about her morning exercises. To stay limber after her stay in the hospital, Ember insisted on adding some yoga poses to her sparring retinue. Which, by default, included Spike as well. The young Dragon Lord didn’t mind. Yoga was great for loosening up muscles, getting the blood flowing, and providing just a little bit more added dexterity. Plus, it gave him the opportunity to watch his mate’s beautiful, toned body while she stretched out.

He found himself starting intently at her for far longer than was considered socially acceptable, even for a Wyvertii. Not that it really mattered at this point since they were a couple. Ember was currently arrayed in a crouching position with her legs spread far apart, which gave Spike a generous, unobstructed view of both her mons and the sexy little tuft of pubic hair right above it. The young man swallowed hard.

It had been quite some time since he’d last seen Ember in person, and even longer still since they’d had any private time together. The urge to smother his headstrong, yet beautiful mate with affection and love was almost overwhelming. Spike waited until she finished her pose and relaxed a little bit, then he launched his attack. The young man winced slightly when he felt the tip of his penis accidentally jab into his stomach as he bent over. It caused him a fair amount of pain but nothing that could make him back down from his goal.

Although determined, Spike’s approach was clumsy, awkward, and not quite as smooth as he’d planned. The stiff erection that stood proudly between his legs reminded the Dragon Lord to be a little bit more careful with his movements, but Spike still managed to grab ahold of Ember’s knees without too much trouble. However, he made sure that his grip was firm enough only to keep her from moving around. Spike didn’t want to cause his mate any pain or discomfort.

Ember squealed in surprise when he started kissing his way up her legs and thighs; she only began to protest when Spike inevitably inched closer and closer to her pussy. With her legs wide open as they were, the delicate, salmon-pink flesh of her flower was on full display. Spike took a deep breath and licked his lips.

The musky aroma of Ember’s natural scent combined with her morning workout sweat was overpowering. His penis became achingly hard after his senses were bombarded with her pheromones. But he willed himself to resist the urge to mount her immediately. He wanted to focus on pleasuring her first. Without a moment’s hesitation, he pressed his lips against the outer edge of her folds and used his tongue to probe inside her depths.

“Spike! STOP! Ahhn… I’m all sweaty and gross. Oh, Goddess that’s—at least… wait until I take a shower! I’m not clean down there…” Ember protested weakly.

Instead of being deterred, Spike relentlessly swirled his tongue inside Ember’s pussy, making her writhe and moan on the yoga mat. While she was distracted by his ministrations, Spike took the opportunity to roll her swollen clit between his fingers, tugging on it gently to maximize the amount of pleasure she would feel from it being stimulated so intensely.

The technique proved to be quite effective. Ember arched her back, squeaked loudly, clamped her thighs around Spike’s head, and promptly came all over his face. As his mate lay panting on the yoga mat, the Dragon Lord crawled atop her and planted a gentle kiss on her neck. She blushed heavily and crossed her arms underneath her breasts. Amused by her adorable pout, Spike reached down and slowly teased her clit with his thumb, which made her gasp.

“Just what in the seven hells do you think you’re doing, Spike?! Can’t I go about my exercise routine in peace? Goddess, I swear you’re always so horny first thing in the morning…”

Spike laughed and kissed her stomach, relishing the salty flavor of her skin. “You don’t have to play hard to get with me, Ember. I can always tell when you’re feeling pent up. There’s no shame in admitting that you want to have sex.”

“Ok, fine! Maybe I am a bit pent up. You’d feel the same way if you were cooped up in a fucking hospital room for three weeks with no way of getting off. Delmira did visit me a couple of times, but I… was way too embarrassed and… sore to ask her to do naughty stuff.”

Spike traced his fingers along her abs. “Well, I’m here now and I want to do a whole bunch of naughty stuff to my beloved mate. How’s that sound?”

Ember’s cheeks flushed an adorable shade of pink. “It’s not fair! Why are you always so damn charming? Very well, then. I accept your offer, Dragon Lord Spike. Just… make sure that you’re nice and gentle. I’m still a little bit sore… down there.”

Spike acknowledged her request by caressing Ember’s cheek and kissing her forehead. Ever so slowly, he spread her legs apart into order access her womanly folds. As Spike suspected, she was sopping wet and the smell of her arousal was pungent and musky. With an amused smile, he noticed that Ember had cum so hard earlier that some of her arousal had even managed to soak the spot right underneath the yoga mat.

The young man grasped the shaft of his penis and carefully rubbed it along the surface of his mate’s glistening lips, making sure to get it coated evenly before he fully committed to penetrating her. Spike inserted his manhood into Ember’s quivering folds as slowly as he could, centimeter by centimeter, until his balls brushed up against the outer rim of her cute little pucker.

Unlike Sunset, he wasn’t entirely sure if Ember was receptive to the idea of anal play or if she even wanted his cock to go anywhere near that particular hole. For some women, it simply wasn’t a comfortable or pleasant experience. This was especially true in Spike’s case because he had such a thick penis. And by the looks of it, Ember appeared to be pretty damn tight down there. He decided it was probably for the best to hold off on teasing her there for the time being until they had a chance to discuss the subject in greater detail.

Spike began thrusting his hips back and forth at a steady pace. As always, the inside of Ember’s pussy was hot, slippery, and incredibly tight. Even after being injured and recovering in the hospital for several weeks, her walls still constricted around his shaft like a hungry python. Spike was grateful that she wanted to make love the slow way because otherwise, he definitely would not have lasted very long.

Ember intertwined her fingers with Spike’s as he bent down and kissed her on the lips. There was a little bit of tongue wrestling between them, but it was mostly an affectionate gesture. They were simply two lovers enjoying the sensation of being joined together as one. When they finally broke the kiss, Ember wrapped her arms around Spike’s back and gently kneaded the firm muscles in between his shoulder blades with her fingers.

Spike gasped as he felt what could only be another orgasm ripple through Ember’s body. The sensation of his entire penis being milked for all it was worth was nearly overwhelming. He couldn’t hold it in any more. With a loud grunt, he pushed himself as deeply into Ember as he could possibly go, clenched his buttcheeks together, and pumped her full of his hot, sticky, seed. He promptly collapsed atop his mate and rested his head in-between her breasts.

Ember ran her fingers through his hair while they took a moment to catch their breath. “Oh, Goddess. That was… amazing. I really needed a good fuck. Although, you still could’ve warned me what you were gonna do. I don’t like surprise attacks.”

Spike carefully extracted himself from Ember and rolled onto his back. “Fair enough. It's just that that you look so irresistibly sexy whenever you work out. I simply couldn’t help myself. I promise that I’ll say something next time.”

With a satisfied grin, Ember shifted her position until she was in-between the crook of Spike’s legs. Since they’d just finished making love, his penis was still semi-tumescent and coated with a little bit of semen and some of her own arousal. She cupped his balls and began massaging them with one hand while she grasped the base of his shaft and sucked on his cock.

Spike gasped as Ember’s slippery tongue swirled around the tip of his head. The young man’s entire penis was still extremely sensitive to just about any kind of stimulation due to all the blood being pumped down there. Even though he wasn’t necessarily in any hurry to get hard again, Ember’s fellatio technique saw to it that he became erect once more in a matter of moments.

Spike let out an embarrassingly loud moan when he felt Ember firmly press her fingers against the little gap located slightly below his ballsack. It was what Twilight often referred to as the “Male G-Spot”. Spike wasn’t quite sure how Ember had learned of it, but he certainly wasn’t complaining! As advertised, it made his brain turn to mush and his body tingle with electric pleasure. He grabbed the sides of Ember’s head and started playing with the tips of her ears.

“Ember… unhh—Gods that’s… w-what are you… doing?”

Ember released Spike’s manhood from her mouth with a slick pop. “Returning the favor from earlier when you ate me out~ Hmmm. You’re pretty sweaty down here too. Goddess, your thick, meaty cock smells and tastes so… manly right now. I just can’t get enough of it! Now, don’t you worry about a thing. Just lay back and relax. I wanna make you cum again.”

The Dragon Lord didn’t argue with his mate. He simply laid back, rested his head against the mat, and allowed her to do as she damn-well pleased. She continued to bob her head up and down at a quicker pace while rubbing his G-Spot several times in quick succession. The familiar pressure of an impending orgasm began to build deep within his balls and crept its way up along his shaft. Spike curled his toes, thrust his hips upward, and grunted passionately as he squirted a few errant spurts of cum into Ember’s mouth. She took it all like a champ, and swallowed every last drop without complaint.

Ember giggled while she licked Spike’s penis clean. “I’ll bet that felt really good, huh?”

“Oh Gods, yes! Did I ever tell you how much I love you, Ember?”

Ember crawled atop her mate and kissed him on the lips. Spike could still taste himself on her lips, but he didn’t mind terribly. “Yes, you most certainly have. Plenty of times. And guess what? I happen to love you too. If I didn’t already make that obvious.”

While the young couple cuddled on the soiled yoga mat, Sunset Shimmer finished up her morning run on the top deck. She’d found that the fresh air and sunlight helped to further reduce the feeling of queasiness that roiled in her stomach every so often. As much as she hated to admit it, Sunset was not a big fan of oceanic travel. She much preferred to keep her feet firmly planted on solid ground. Such was the disposition of a woman who’d spent the better part of a decade living in the Everfree Forest.

The slight rolling of the ship as it glided across the waves always made her want to puke. In fact, when they’d first set sail from Baltimare, she’d tossed her cookies over the side immediately after they’d all enjoyed a luxurious dinner. Sunset apologized profusely and felt embarrassed by her lack of sea-legs. The medical officer laughed it off and assured her that she wasn’t the only one who had issues with sea-sickness. He’d prescribed her a little bottle of brown, triangular shaped pills that he claimed would help calm her upset tummy. So far, they seemed to work.

The run had been refreshing, but Sunset paused for a moment and sniffed herself. As she suspected, her skin was warm and covered in a thin sheen of sweat. She wrinkled her nose in disgust when she realized just how ripe she smelled. Or… at least that’s how she perceived it. Many of the sailors she passed by were, of course, consummate professionals but even they weren’t immune to Sunset’s potent, hybridized pheromones or her Amazonian physique.

A few of them stopped what they were doing and took a moment to admire Sunset’s womanly assets and savor the slightly spicy, cinnamon-like aroma of her natural scent as she passed them by. Ever the perceptive huntress, Sunset was fully aware of their lustful stares. She couldn’t exactly blame the sailors for looking at her body. After all, it wasn’t every day that they got to see an exotic beauty such as herself casually stroll about the ship au naturale.

In the end, Sunset decided to give the sailors a little show as a gesture of gratitude for all of their hard work. She made sure to put some extra sway in her step while she sauntered down the hall. Sunset giggled to herself. It felt pretty damn good knowing that you were sexy. When she finally reached the training room, she crinkled her nostrils at the overpowering, musky odor that assailed her senses. There was no mistaking that particular smell.

Sure enough, she spotted Spike and Ember cuddled up next to each other on a large, purple yoga mat. Evidence of what they had done earlier was apparent all over their bodies and the floor too. Sunset couldn’t help but let out an impressed whistle. The two of them must have cum several times to create a sticky mess of that magnitude. She found herself feeling just a wee bit jealous that she’d missed out on all of the early morning fun.

Sunset stood in the entranceway with a smug grin. “Well, lookie here! Seems like you two have been very busy this morning with your workout routine. Taking a little breather?”

Despite the fact that they were all mates and had seen each other in such a state before, both Ember and Spike blushed heavily while Sunset laughed at their expense. Without missing a beat, the jungle dweller padded over to her still-blushing mate and offered her a hand. Ember took it gratefully and gave Sunset a quick, but firm hug.

Spike stood up on his own and glanced down at his penis for a moment. It had finally become flaccid once more but was slightly red and shiny. A very obvious indication that he’d recently had sex. Other than the smell in room, that is. He rubbed the back of his neck and looked back at Sunset with a sheepish expression. Handling a relationship with one woman was difficult enough, but juggling three at the same time? He was still learning the ropes on that.

Sunset put her hands on her hips and cocked her eyebrow. “C’mon, Spike! There’s no need for you to look like a kid who’s gotten caught with his hand in the cookie jar. It’s ok to have a little private time with Ember every once and a while. I can tell she really enjoyed it. She’s practically glistening! Erm—well, that’s probably just the cum and sweat… but you know what I mean!”

Ember blushed furiously. “SUNSET!”

“Sorry, I keep forgetting that you’re sensitive about that kind of stuff. My bad. I meant what I said though. You guys don’t have to feel guilty about spending some private time together on my account. We’re all mates and we all love each other, right?”

Spike nodded in agreement. “Yeah. You grew up in Equestria just like I did, Sunset. Having multiple partners isn’t exactly the social norm. I’m trying my best to keep all of you happy… but it’s not like I have a guide book to tell me what to do. I’m working this out as I go.”

Ember walked behind Spike, wrapped her arms around his waist, and kissed his back. “And no one’s saying that you’re doing a bad job. I should be the one to apologize. Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamt of sharing my life with a man who would love me unconditionally. You know, other than my father, of course. I’ve obviously found him, but… I’m having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that he can’t be mine alone. I guess that makes me selfish…”

Sunset shuffled her feet. “I totally get how you feel, Ember. Relationships are pretty damn complicated even under the best of circumstances. Sometimes, we can’t help but feel a little bit possessive of those we love. So—uh—don’t feel too bad about it, ok? Not to change the subject or anything, but… I was gonna head down to the shower room and clean up before breakfast. You two are welcome to join me if you want.”

“I think we’ll take you up on that offer, Sunset. The Silver Shadow might technically be my ship now, but I’m not about to walk around smelling like sweaty sex all day. What kind of Dragon Lord would my loyal crew think I was, then? It simply isn’t proper!”

Sunset chucked. “A buck naked badass who frequently gets laid~ I dunno, Spike. Sounds like you’ve got a pretty awesome reputation to me.”

“Har! Real funny, Miss Snarkset Shimmer. Alright, let’s go ahead and get cleaned up. We can take our time, since it’ll probably be a while until Delmira decides to drag her lazy carcass out of bed and join us for breakfast. C’mon.”

Luckily for Spike and his companions, the Silver Shadow was equipped with a state-of-the-art galley. It was staffed by a tough as nails, gourmet chef by the name of Garvyn Silberfeder, who hailed from the Kingdom of Griffonia. He was tall, burly, and kept his snow-white hair cropped short in a military crewcut. The chef’s beard was kept equally short and he wore a traditional Griffonian major’s feldgrau uniform underneath his cooking apron. His piercing violet eyes were hard, but there was an undercurrent of polite decorum just beneath the surface.

The retired Major’s boots clicked on the tiled floor as he presented the hungry Wyvertii with a plate of fluffy, buttermilk pancakes. If he was at all off put by Sunset’s complete lack of table manners, he didn’t show it. The amazon didn’t hesitate for a moment to slather her stack of pancakes with butter and blueberry syrup before stuffing a massive forkful into her mouth.

Ever the carnivore, Ember opted to have steak, eggs, and hash browns for her breakfast instead of pancakes. All of it liberally doused with a smattering of hot sauce. Ember didn’t waste any time devouring the morsels on her plate either.

While the girls were enjoying their respective meals, Spike took a moment to swig his coffee and savor a single bite from his own stack of pancakes. Out of the corner of his eye, he spotted Delmira as she groggily shuffled into the room like a zombie. The goddess yawned loudly and scratched her crotch while she poured herself a cup of coffee. Despite the brown liquid inside being scalding hot, she chugged all of the coffee down as if it was water, and proceeded to do so again with a second cup. Spike simply shook his head and took another bite of pancake.

It wasn’t an instant transformation by any means, but she seemed somewhat more alert when she plopped down on the chair next to her mate. After nibbling on a few strips of greasy bacon, she leaned over and gave Spike a good morning kiss. Underneath the table, Delmira placed her hand on Spike’s thigh and stroked it affectionately while she continued to enjoy a cranberry scone.

The Dragon Lord chuckled to himself. He could feel Sunset’s foot gently rubbing up against his other leg too. For all the craziness in his life, it was moments like this that he treasured the most. Just the simple pleasure of enjoying a hearty breakfast with the girls he loved. The peace and calm of their meal was shattered when they heard a loud, metallic groaning noise come from deep within the bowels of the ship.

Immediately thereafter, Spike noticed the dishes begin to slide across the table as the ship rocked back and forth in what, he could only assume, was rough seas. A worried look spread across his mates’ faces. None of them were as experienced with trans-oceanic voyages as he was and they all were terrified of this new development. Spike honestly couldn’t blame them. The ocean was an ancient force of nature that was to be respected and never underestimated.

Thinking quickly, Spike stumbled over to one of the brass speaking tubes mounted on the wall. The klaxons hadn’t been turned on yet to signify an emergency, but he wanted to check with Captain Hook to make sure they weren’t in any danger of capsizing.

“Bridge. This is Spike. Is everything alright up there?”

First Officer Light Beacon answered in a tinny voice. “Apologies, your highness. We’ve just run into a rouge storm. Unusual for this time of year, but not entirely unheard of. For now, I’d suggest remaining in place until we weather this out. It’s not safe to walk around the ship.”

“Copy that. Thanks for the status report.”

Pale-faced, Sunset stood behind Spike wringing her hands together. “What’s going on?! Are we in danger? Oh, Gods! I knew it was a bad idea taking a ship! We’re all gonna die!”

“It seems that we’ve run into some kind of freak storm. I wouldn’t worry too much though. Captain Hook is a competent and experienced sailor. He knows what he’s doing.”

Delmira padded over to Sunset’s side and comforted her with a hug. “I may be a goddess, but the ocean gives me the willies too. Ehehehe. It’s one of the reasons why I chose to stick to the continent all those centuries. Creator above. I hope we don’t end up drowning out here…”

“Delmira, I understand that you’re scared but that kind of talk only leads to panic. We have to keep our cool and let Captain Hook do his job. There’s a good chance that this storm will—”

Spike was interrupted by the blaring sound of the klaxon alarm. It signaled that there was an emergency state declared on board and reminded everyone to prepare themselves for new orders. An icy lump of fear formed in the pit of Spike’s stomach. Maybe this storm was a hell of a lot more dangerous than he originally assumed. The speaking tube crackled to life once more, expect Captain Hook was the one on the line.

“I beg a moment of your time, Prince Spike. As a precaution, I’ve declared an emergency state aboard the ship. Please proceed to the lifeboats with your companions, post haste. Hopefully, we won’t have to use them but… the waves around us are looking rather ominous at the moment.”

Spike bit his lip. “Understood, Captain. Girls, we need to get going. The Captain’s ordered us to prepare the lifeboats. You know, just in case… we need to use them.”

The Dragon Lord tried his best to keep his mates calm, but it was clear that they were all scared out of their wits. The situation only worsened when they donned their lifejackets and stepped onto the deck. Dark, coal-black clouds floated above them, pelting the ship with torrential rain while the occasional lightning bolt crackled nearby. Waves slammed into the side of the ship with a thundering crash, making the soaked Wyvertii lose their footing momentarily.

Seemingly out of nowhere, a massive wave began to form about three nautical miles away from the ship. It grew and grew until it reached the height of a Manehatten apartment building. Spike had heard stories from navy sailors about them. They were called “Rouge Waves”. Many marine scientists dismissed the phenomenon as an exaggeration due to their lack of documented evidence, but it was quite apparent to Spike that they were indeed very real.

There was no stopping such a monster. Spike wrapped his arms around Ember and Sunset and pulled them close to him. Delmira placed herself in the crook of his legs. If this truly was the end, they would at least drown together. Spike grit his teeth and held his breath as the massive wall of water approached the side of the ship like a lumbering behemoth. There was a brief sensation of tumbling around in the water, then there was only darkness.

Spike awoke to the sound of seabirds and crashing waves. His entire body ached something fierce and he felt like he’d been thrown into one of Maud’s rock tumblers and unceremoniously dumped out. He slowly cracked open his eyes, only to be momentarily blinded by his mother’s sun. After muttering a colorful curse, he attempted to open his eyes once more but this time, he made sure to shield them with the palm of his hand. As soon as everything began to come into focus, Spike immediately noticed that he was sitting on a beach somewhere.

The sand was pristine and nearly as white as freshly fallen snow. The water a deep turquoise color. Archetypical features for the southern tropics. When he turned around to survey his surroundings, he realized that there was a lush jungle just a few steps ahead of the shore. Without any maps or charts to consult, Spike couldn’t be sure how large the island was but it was certainly big enough to survive on.

The Dragon Lord smacked his lips and coughed. Swallowing copious amounts of seawater had a way of making one dehydrated and miserable. Before he could even start to think of how he was going to find something to quench his thirst, a coconut appeared in his hand. He accepted the fruit without hesitation and greedily gulped down the delicious water stored inside. He felt something warm and pleasantly soft press up against his back. There was no mistaking a naked woman’s embrace. He was a bit surprised, but make no effort to resist.

“Thank the creator you’re ok! We though you might never wake up!” Delmira sobbed as he buried her in between Spike’s shoulder blades.

“I’m glad you’re safe, Delmira. What about the girls? Are they ok too?”

“Yeah,” Delmira sniffed, “Ember’s off fishing and Sunset went into the jungle to forage for things we can eat and build a shelter with.”

“What happened?”

Delmira nuzzled her cheek against Spike’s hair. “It was awful! That gigantic wave washed us overboard and, by some miracle, we wound up on this island. So far, it seems deserted. But at least there’s plenty of fish and coconuts to eat. I… don’t know if the ship sank or not.”

“Well, that’s some good news at any rate. How long was I out?”

Delmira blushed. “Umm—I’m not entirely sure. Probably for a few hours at least, given the position of the sun. Sorry, if I overreacted a little bit earlier. But I was REALLY worried about you! We all were. I don’t what I would have done if you’d—”

Spike leaned over and kissed his mate on the cheek. “Hey, let’s not go there. The important thing is: we’re all alive and perfectly capable of surviving out here. I’m sure my mom will send out a search party once she realizes that we didn’t make it to Zebrica on time.”

Satisfied with her mate’s answer, Delmira cuddled up closer to him and sighed. While they sat and watched the waves crash upon the shore, Ember returned with two large sharks slung over her back. After dropping the grey-skinned fish on a bed of palm fronds, she rushed over to Spike and hugged him fiercely. Ember smelled faintly of the ocean but Spike found that he didn’t mind. While she rested her head on his lap, he ran his fingers through her hair affectionately.

“I’m glad that you’re ok, Spike.”

Spike chuckled. “So, everyone’s been telling me. Are those… tiger sharks?”

“Mhmm. Had to get something bigger since we’re feeding four people. Besides, we haven’t gotten the chance to weave fishing nets yet. Why? Does shark not suit your pallet, milord?”

Spike waved his hands. “No, it’s fine. I was just wondering how exactly you managed to catch them. They are one of the ocean’s fiercest predators, after all.”

“Oh, that’s easy. I cooked up a fireball in my hand and waited until it was nice and condensed. Then, I detonated it underwater. The shockwave kills ‘em. No mess. No blood. No worries.”

Spike felt his balls try to creep up into his stomach. “Isn’t that… really dangerous?”

“Duh! Hey, don’t give me that look! I knew what I was doing. A Wyvertii’s fire magic can never hurt them. Even its aftereffects. I’m pretty sure we went over this already, Spike.”

“Well, sure we did. But I don’t remember you or Onyx mentioning something that specific. Is there anything else I should know about my fire magic that’s mind-blowing or useful?”

Sunset dumped a pile of dried wood by the shark carcasses. “Here’s a helpful tip: so long as you’ve got a chipping stone, enough sand, and the technical knowhow, you can create obsidian blades pretty easily. That’s how I got this sweet dagger.”

Sure enough, when Spike looked over towards Sunset, she had a wicked looking obsidian dagger strapped to her ankle, secured by two strands of homemade rope spun from plant fiber. The craftsmanship was superb. It reminded him of the weapons the natives used in the Daring Do series. He wondered just where Sunset would have gotten the idea to do such a thing and remembered that she was equal parts: badass survival expert and nerdy bookworm. Not for the first time did he wonder how he’d managed to win the heart of such an amazing woman.

Given their innate magical abilities, it didn’t take too much effort to get a bonfire started. They’d dug out a hole in the sand and filled it with rocks to serve as a crude firepit. In no time at all, the sharks that Ember had caught earlier were efficiently butchered and roasted thereafter. Everyone enjoyed some more coconut water as they sat around the fire, chatted, and chewed on their dinner of shark steaks and assorted tubers that Sunset had found in the jungle.

Just as the Dragon Lord and his mates were about to relax and watch the tropical sunset together, he noticed something emerge from the surf a few meters away from their makeshift basecamp. Or more precisely, three individual beings. They were clearly humanoid, but unlike any race of people Spike had seen before. It became immediately apparent that their race had no qualms when it came to nudity. Logical, given the fact that they must have lived deep in the ocean. Their lack of attire also made it very obvious that the trio were females.

The tallest one, who led the other two, Spike assumed must have been their leader. Her skin (or scales rather) was a rich, golden-yellow hue that practically glittered in the setting sun. The leader’s poofy orange “hair” resembled the tentacles of a sea anemone but more uniform in structure and shape. The second woman had turquoise scales and her “hair” was tied up in a cute ponytail. While the last woman’s scales were lavender. Her “hair” was styled in twin tails that hung behind her. Otherwise, all of their bodies were sleek and completely smooth.

Both their hands and feet were webbed with pointed claws at the end. Segmented, fan-shaped fins protruded from the sides of their arms, legs, and ears. They were no doubt meant to make the women more hydrodynamic while they swam underwater. Or at least, that’s the conclusion Spike came to. It made sense, biologically. All of them had slitted eyes, but they more shark-like than reptilian. Their teeth were sharp and serrated like a shark’s as well.

It struck Spike as odd that the ocean dwellers had breasts, but he wasn’t entirely certain if their race could even be considered true “fish” in the first place. However, none of the women had particularly large busts. Only slightly larger than Rainbow Dash’s. Probably to cut down on drag while they were swimming, most likely. Still, it was interesting to see that the women’s nipples were only a few shades darker than their scales.

The golden-scaled woman approached the camp, head held high. “Who is in charge here?”

Spike slowly raised his hand. “That would be me. My name is Spike. Prince of Equestria, and Dragon Lord to the Wyvertii. Nice to meet you, ma’am.”

“Charmed. I am Princess Adagio Dazzle of the Hydronepitan Empire. First in line to the Emerald Throne, and daughter of Emperor Tidal Wave. Now that we’ve gotten all of the pleasantries out of the way, I have come here to inform you that surface dwellers are forbidden to step foot here. The punishment for trespassing is death.”

“Your highness, with all due respect, none of us really had a choice in the matter. We were swept off of our ship by a rogue wave during a fearsome storm. My mates and I are simply trying to survive. I’m sure that Princess Celestia will send a search party to rescue us in no—”

Adagio held up her hand. “Be that as it may, our laws are clear. I have no intention of allowing your people to encroach upon our great empire. We have thrived for countless millennia without the surface dwellers interfering in our affairs and we shall continue to do so at ANY cost.”

Delmira let out a heavy sigh. She’d met Emperor Tidal Wave centuries ago when he’d decided to travel to the Forbidden Continent to collect some rare fire diamonds that only formed near the volcanic vents. The dragoness was well aware of how xenophobic the Hydronepitae could be when it came to outsiders, but she hoped that she could convince the emperor to spare the lives of her mates as a gesture of goodwill for allowing him to take some gems all those years ago.

“Princess Adagio, might I interject for just a moment?”

Adagio narrowed her gaze at Delmira. “Proceed as you will.”

“My name is Delmira. I am the Goddess of all Wyvertii. I’m… currently in my mortal form, of course! Perhaps you’ve heard of me?”

“I may have. What of it, Great White Dragoness?”

Delmira chuckled awkwardly. “Oh, well… you see, I met your father a few centuries ago. I was wondering, if perhaps, you would allow me to speak with him in person? This relates directly to my children. Specifically, the ones you see before you. They are my mates. I can’t imagine you’d want to anger a goddess by killing them, would you?”

The turquoise scaled woman bounced up and down. “Dagi, you should probably listen to her! I know I wouldn’t want to piss off a goddess. And besides, the male’s pretty handsome. It would be such an awful waste to kill a hunk like him. Erm—not that the other ones aren’t cute too~”

“Sonata, what have I told you about interjecting in important ROYAL affairs?!!”

Sonata shuffled her feet in the sand. “That I should keep my mouth shut when you’re talking about important royally stuff. But before you yell at me again, I want you to know that I think it’s a reeeeeally bad idea to kill these poor dragon people. It looks like they’re just trying to survive after being marooned here, ya know?”

The lavender scaled woman nodded in agreement. “As much as I hate to admit it, your Highness, I’m inclined to agree with Sonata. They have no obvious means of communicating with their comrades or mode of transportation. At least, as far as I can tell. If this woman speaks the truth, then we may very well be making a grave mistake. Would it not be prudent to show mercy?”

“Point taken, Captain Blaze. Very well then, Miss Delmira. I shall spare the lives of your… mates and take you to see my father. But… if I find out that you’ve been lying to me about what you are, I will personally see to it that you are all swiftly executed. Do I make myself clear?”

Delmira breathed a sigh of relief. “Of course, your Highness. And thank you for showing us mercy today. I won’t forget it!”

“Duly noted. Let us move on to more pressing matters. I can’t very well take all of you to see my father as you are. Surface dwellers are incapable of surviving underwater. Some changes shall need to be made to your bodies. Aria! Sonata! Come assist me with the transformation spell.”

The three women gathered around Spike and his mates. They all closed their eyes and began singing. It wasn’t any song that Spike had ever heard before but their voices were haunting and beautiful. As they continued their melody, magic auras that matched their scales radiated from their bodies. When the trio opened their eyes, eerie green wisps of mystic energy danced along the edges. Before Spike knew it, there was a brilliant flash of light and everything felt… strange immediately thereafter. Like he wasn’t quite himself.

Spike looked over at the girls and noticed that their bodies had changed. Quite drastically, in fact. They now resembled Princess Adagio and her entourage. Their “hair” color had remained the same. However, their skin now became scales. Sunset’s was a vibrant yellow color, Ember’s was cyan, and Delmira’s was snow-white. Spike looked down at his arm and noted that he was purple. Everything else about the girls’ anatomy pretty much remained the same otherwise.

The young Dragon Lord walked a few paces and realized that something was off. A familiar weight that was always present in-between his legs suddenly was missing. Hesitantly, he looked down at his crotch only to recoil in horror when there was absolutely nothing there. One very manly scream of terror later, Spike began pacing back and forth in the sand during a full-blown Sparkle Brand® panic attack.


Adagio laughed despite the situation. “Relax, Lord Spike. Your testicles are now on the inside and your penis is retractable. It rests within a sheath-like cavity just below your stomach. A physical adaptation of our race designed to protect your family jewels from harm and make it easier for you to swim underwater. Honestly, I’ve never understood why surface dwellers have their squishy male parts dangling about out in the open. It leaves them quite vulnerable.”

“But how do I even know that my dick is in there? I can’t exactly feel it.”

Adagio shot Spike a predatory grin. “Oh, that’s a simple matter~”

Before Spike even had the chance to ask what the princess meant, she bent over and presented her backside to the Dragon Lord in the sultriest manner possible. She slowly spread her lips apart, revealing the golden-hued flesh inside. The princess took the opportunity to play with herself, rubbing her clawed finger along the glistening surface of her folds. She made it a point to make sure that Spike saw the thin trail of her arousal drip onto the sand below. As he watched, entranced, Spike felt the familiar sensation of his loins stirring to life.

He looked down, and sure enough, his mauve colored penis stood proudly at attention. It was substantially more curved than before and the head was pointier at the end. Tiny bumps and ridges coated its entire surface. Not unlike some of the more exotic dildos he’d seen on the market. His manhood, however, had not lost any of its girth during the transformation. The Hydronepitae stared at him with blushes on their cheeks and a hungry look in their eyes.

Adagio gasped softly. “By the oceans! That thing’s thicker than a sea cucumber!”

Delmira didn’t waste any time inspecting her mate’s new appendage. She knelt down in the sand in front of him and gently poked his penis a few times to test how stiff it was. With a satisfied smirk, she then went about rubbing her fingers along its bumpy surface. She only stopped when Spike whimpered softly and a tiny bead of precum oozed from the tip.

“I can’t wait to test out such marvel of aquatic engineering~”

Adagio gave Spike’s butt a playful squeeze. “I have to admit; Sonata was right about you being handsome. Who knows? Perhaps, if you play your cards right, I might be persuaded to invite you into my bedchamber for some afternoon fun. What say you, Aria? Isn’t he marvelous?”

Aria fidgeted in place while she found a seashell particularly interesting. “It’s not my place to question your taste in male suitors, your Grace.”

“Oh, don’t be such a spoilsport! You have my permission to speak freely, Captain.”

Aria adopted a sour expression while she blushed. “He has… merit as a male specimen.”

“That means she thinks you’re cute, Lord Spike.” Adagio whispered in his ear.

“Not to abruptly change the subject but… you seemed so serious earlier. Why are you acting so differently all of the sudden? Is it because we’re both the same race now?”

Adagio sighed while she rubbed Spike’s shoulders. “I’m not normally such a serious woman. My birthright demands that I act decisively and in the best interest of my people from time to time. I’m sure you understand. The burden of being a ruler and all that.”

“Yeah, that makes sense. Princess Adagio, I have a somewhat awkward question that I feel needs to be asked. Uhh—for the sake of understanding your cultural norms.”

“Please, do go on. The only stupid questions are the ones never asked.”

Spike wiggled his new toe claws in the sand. “Are your people open-minded when it comes to sex? I kind of figured that was the case since you—ah—didn’t seem to mind being watched while you were playing with yourself in front of me…”

“Well, to be fair… I do consider myself a staunch exhibitionist. As you can see: I’m perfectly comfortable in my own skin and I’m certainly not afraid to flaunt what I’ve got! But to answer your question: yes, we are. Much like your own people too, if the rumors I’ve heard have a shred of truth to them. The Wyvertii, I mean. Not those stodgy Equestrians. It’s quite clear to me that you’re more the former than the latter. Were you, per chance, adopted?”

Spike shifted uncomfortably. Partially because of his erection, but mostly because he was unnerved by Adagio’s perceptiveness. “Yes, actually. My parents died in a shipwreck when I was still a baby. Afterwards, I was raised by Princess Celestia in Canterlot. I also lived in Ponvyille with my sister, Twilight Sparkle, for a few years.

“The whole: ‘becoming the next Dragon Lord’ thing is a relatively recent development. It wasn’t… always like that. I just happened to get back in touch with my Wyvertii roots while I was staying in Brimstone for the Gauntlet of Fire. And, in the end, it felt like the most natural thing in the world continuing to live as they do. I don’t regret it either. Otherwise, I never would’ve met my wonderful mates.”

Adagio bowed slightly. “My apologies, Lord Spike. It seems that I may have been a bit hasty in my judgement of you earlier. I hope that you can find it in your heart to forgive my transgression. My people have always been deeply distrustful of surface dwellers. In the past, they’ve often been quick to exploit our precious resources and scorn our physical appearance.”

“I’m sorry about that. If it’s any consolation, I think you’re very beautiful, Princess Adagio.”

“How refreshing,” Adagio purred as she traced her clawed fingers along Spike’s chest, “A man who is honest both with his actions and his words. You’ll make a fine ruler of your people someday, Lord Spike. I can feel it in the very marrow of my bones. Come along, everyone! We’d best not keep my father waiting!”

The Royal Family

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Chapter 29

Underwater, The Southern Tropics

Spike and his mates swam at a brisk pace while they followed Princess Adagio and her entourage close behind. While the whole “changing races” thing was still a bit jarring to all of them, the former Wyvertii found that their new physiology was surprisingly intuitive. Swimming underwater felt like the most natural thing in the world, as did breathing through gills. It wasn’t quite the same sensation as, say, breathing air on the surface but at least it wasn’t difficult.

Never having dived before, Spike found that just underneath the surface, the ocean teeming with life. Colorful fish swam about, finding food, hunting, or just getting from place to place. Crabs scurried along the sand. The seabed was littered with colonies of coral, ranging in all shapes and sizes, beds of seaweed swayed gently in the current as if they were being blown around by the breeze. In the distance the deep, resonating cry of a Blue Whale echoed through the water.

Spike’s mouth gaped much like the fish around him when he saw Sonata swim up to a rather large Tiger Shark and affectionately stroke its scales like one would with a pet dog. Given how similar the Hydronepitae were to sharks, he supposed that it wasn’t too unusual for them to share a bond of kinship. However, Spike wasn’t about to start petting the toothy torpedoes just yet.

Adagio looked back at the Dragon Lord’s cautious expression and laughed, showing off her own set of dagger-like teeth. Which, in of itself, was both terrifying and funny at the same time because he could actually hear her voice carry through the water. She paused for a moment and oriented her body so that she floated directly in front of him.

“You’ll find that aquatic creatures are, generally speaking, quite amicable towards us. Sonata is… well, she’s a special case. She’s always had an affinity towards beasts. In your case, I would highly suggest showing any creature you encounter respect, and they shall return it in kind.”

Spike nodded. “My friend, Fluttershy, told me something very similar. Don’t worry! I will. I’ve always treated animals with respect. But—umm—I won’t be cozying up to Tiger Sharks like Sonata anytime soon…”

As if on cue, Sonata petted the Tiger Shark one last time and kissed the end of its snout. Aria rolled her eyes and sighed while Sonata waved goodbye to the predatory fish. The girls looked over at Princess Adagio’s handmaiden with dubious expressions, puzzled by the bizarre contradiction of an affectionate shark. With a collective shrug, they continued swimming towards their destination.

Adagio waved her hand and everyone abruptly stopped when they reached the edge of a cliff that led down to a deep, underwater trench. It was so vast that Spike couldn’t even see any light penetrating beyond a few meters of the surface. The desolation and eerie silence that pervaded the area sent shivers down his spine. An inexplicable feeling of foreboding dread gnawed at the back of his mind. It was as though the trench itself were whispering directly into his ear. The message was quite clear: turn back and stay away.

“Your highness, with all due respect why have we stopped? I can’t exactly put it into words, but this place is giving me a serious case of the creeps. Like there’s something dangerous lurking about. I really don’t think we should stick around here too much longer....”

Adagio bowed slightly. “Forgive me, Lord Spike. I nearly forgot how powerful our concealment spell is. You may have gained the physical aspects of our race, but the barrier does not recognize any of you as one of our own. It’s… a bit difficult to explain.”

“Concealment spell? I’m not sure I understand.”

Sonata raised her hand and waved it violently. “Oh! I know how it works! Ask me!”

Aria rolled her eyes. “You might as well let her explain. She won’t shut up otherwise.”

“Go ahead, Sonata,” Spike encouraged, “I’m curious to find out how Hydronepitaen magic functions.”

“Sure thing, Lord Spike! Ok, so I’m pretty sure that you’ve already figured out that we aren’t fond of surface dwellers, right? I mean, it’s not like you guys would have an easy time getting down here in the first place but we don’t like to take chances. That’s what the barrier is for!”

“Umm ok. I’m not sure I understand what you’re getting at.”

Sonata giggled. “Oh yeah! I totally forgot that you guys can’t see past the illusion spell. Well, there’s this big ole’ barrier that our most powerful mages cast over Megálo Margaritári to keep it hidden from outsiders. And, as an added bonus, it also keeps everything weighed down inside the city. Pretty neat, huh?”

“Weighed down? Like an artificial gravity field?”

Sonata cocked her head to the side. “Hmm. In a sense, I suppose. If we didn’t have it in place, everyone and everything would just sort of float around. That’d be really inconvenient. Especially when you’re trying to walk around town or have a quickie. Know what I mean?”

Delmira gasped in a theatrical manner. “Oh, my goodness! Floating around helplessly while attempting to make love would indeed be a terrible inconvenience! I’m sure glad that the Hydronepitae are such forward thinkers.”

Spike rubbed his temples and sighed. “Of course, you would say that.”

“Come now, Spike. Don’t be such a sourpuss. You can’t blame a girl for wanting to test out some new equipment~ Plus, with that wonderful ribbed cock of yours, I wanna see what if feels like when you pump it back and—”

Spike’s cheeks flushed. “OK! That’s enough. I get the picture. Can we please focus on the task at hand?”

Adagio laughed. “You’ve certainly got your hands full with that one, Lord Spike~ I can already tell that Delmira and I are going to get along just fine. In any case, it will only take a moment for Sonata, Aria, and I to ping the barrier so that we can all pass through it safely.”

Spike shook his head, trying to play off the massive blush that still colored his cheeks. He knew that the girls always meant well whenever they complimented his physique (even while in his Hydronepitaen form) but it embarrassed him to no end whenever they referred to his manhood in such blatant terms. Such was the life of a Dragon Lord, the young man mused.

In the meantime, the Dazzlings joined their hands together and formed a rough circle. Each one sang a single tone, while the other harmonized with it until they began singing a wordless, ancient tune. It was unlike anything Spike had ever heard before or since. There was an ethereal quality to it that was further amplified by the underwater acoustics. He found himself memorized, melancholic, and calm all at the same time. It was a strange feeling to say the least.

A deep rumbling shook the seafloor. In a matter of moments, a translucent bubble rippled around the trench. Adagio was the first to break free from the circle and motioned for everyone else to follow her lead. The Wyvertii put their trust in the princess and passed through the barrier with a watery “schlorp” sound. When the four of them finally reached the other side, their mouths hung agape in awe at the sight they beheld.

In the distance, a bustling metropolis bathed in a pale turquoise glow rose above the surface of the seafloor. To compare the city to Canterlot or Manehatten would be like saying that a revolver and an artillery piece were both firearms. Technically, they were similar in function but… the two were so completely different from each other as well.

Before Spike could ponder the matter further, Adagio sang a short melody that echoed through the water. A few moments later, two slate gray, fish-shaped craft sped towards her location and hovered above the seabed. The same, eerie turquoise glow lit up their eyes and the seams that ran along their surface. Without the slightest hesitation, Adagio mounted the craft closest to her like a horse and beckoned him to follow her example.

“What the hell is that thing?!!”

Adagio looked back at Spike. “The fastest way to get to Megálo Margaritári and the palace, by extension. Don’t worry; it’s perfectly safe. I’ve been piloting these ever since I was a teenager.”

“Ah well, ok then. It’s just that I’ve… never seen anything like it before.”

Adagio chuckled awkwardly. “Right. Of course, you haven’t. Erm—suffice to say: we are far more technologically advanced than any of the surface dwelling races. Like, by matter of centuries. It’s one of the many reasons why we go to such great lengths to stay hidden.”

“Why’s that? If I may ask.”

Adagio stroked her chin in thought. “Hmm. One of the major contributing factors is our longevity. We Hydronepitae can live for thousands of years. Aria, Sonata, and I are still relatively young. We’ve yet to reach our 300th birthdays. I mean, we ARE considered adults but… it’s really all a matter of perspective, I suppose.”

“Uh huh. So… how advanced are we talking? That thing you’re riding looks like it came straight out of the pages of a comic book or a science fiction novel.”

Adagio shrugged. “I honestly couldn’t say. My education, while excellent, only covered the basics of how things work. You could always ask one of our scientists later if you want. What I do know is: all of our technology is powered by magically infused crystals. That’s where the glow comes from. Weapons, lighting, transportation… all of it uses crystals.”

Sonata jumped up and down excitedly. “Don’t forget vibrating sex toys!”

Aria groaned. “What is it with you two? I swear, I’m surrounded by nymphomaniacs.”

“Awww. C’mon, Aria! Don’t be such a grumpy grouper! You’re just feeling frustrated because you haven’t been laid in, like, forever!! Be honest with me, girlfriend. How long’s it been? A week? A month? I know you’ve been pretty busy with guard duty as of late but—”


Sonata’s ear fins drooped. “You didn’t have to yell at me…”

“That’s enough you two,” Adagio admonished, “We can help Aria get laid after we get back to the palace and introduce our guests to my parents. There will be plenty of time for fun later.”

Aria crossed her arms underneath her breasts and pouted. “See? This is what I’m talking about. You two can’t ever mind your own fucking business. Always gotta drag me along to your wild orgies or set me up on blind dates. The last guy you set me up with sucked, by the way.”

“Hmm? Oh! You must be referring to that seaweed farmer. Zerron, I think his name was,” Adagio said. “He was fairly handsome, as I recall. And quite charming. Was he not good enough to satisfy your exacting standards, Aria?”

Aria’s lips scrunched into a sour expression. “Sure, he was decent looking. But that idiot was totally obsessed with my ass! He kept feeling me up when we got back to my apartment from dinner. I wanted to take things slow but he wouldn’t take no for an answer. So, I had to kick him in the dick to get the point across. Fucking loser waddled outta there like a lame penguin.”

Sonata shuffled her feet. “To be fair: you do have a really nice tushie, Aria.”

“I—you know what? Fine! Maybe I do. At least someone around here seems to appreciate all the hard work I put into keeping my body in top physical condition. I mean, it’s all part of my job but I do like to look good from time to time too.”

Adagio shot Aria a sympathetic look. “Yes, and you’re a damn fine guard at that. Look, I’m sorry if our… techniques have left a lot to be desired. We both love you, Aria. That’s why Sonata and I want to help you. Neither of us like to see you so down in the dumps.”

The poofy-haired princess hopped off of the hovercraft and encouraged her honorary sisters to come join her in a welcoming embrace. They all shared a group hug together and Aria reluctantly promised that she’d try to loosen up a little and have fun when the opportunity arose. Adagio and Sonata both agreed that they’d try to be a bit more understanding when it came to Aria’s personal preferences as well.

Without further ado, Adagio got back onto her hovercraft and motioned for Spike and Delmira to ride along with her. Unlike Adagio, Aria insisted on wearing a protective helmet and advised Sunset and Ember to do the same while she inspected the hovercraft’s controls.

A slight crackling noise filled Ember and Sunset’s ears while they put their helmets on. They were surprised to hear Aria’s voice a moment later. “Just so you guys know, these things have a communications array already built inside. All you gotta do is think of the person you wanna talk to and it’ll transmit your voice.”

In the span of a few seconds, the pair of hovercraft hummed to life and everyone sped off towards the capital of the Hydronepitaen Empire.

“Awww. That’s so sweet. They really are like sisters.” Sunset remarked.

Ember nodded in agreement. “Mhmm. Although, I can totally understand why Aria was so upset. Some guys can be real scumbags. Especially, when they start doing lewd stuff without even asking. I hate that! Just because I’m interested in going out on a date or talking, doesn’t mean it’s ok to jump straight to the part where we have sex.”

“Uhh… no offence, Ember. But you don’t seem like the type who’d have that kind of problem.”

Ember shifted in her seat uncomfortably and blushed. “Not anymore. When I was younger, there was a time when I tried my hand at dating for a while. Heh. I even grew my hair out past my shoulders and wore makeup. Nothing major. Just enough to get some attention from the boys around Brimstone. I wanted to get in touch with my feminine side, you know?

“Anyway, my makeover seemed to work. The blacksmith’s son, Flint, started talking to me one day while we were at the baths. Looking back on it, I don’t think he realized who I was because I’d changed my look so drastically from before. Otherwise, he probably would have kept his distance. Happens a lot when you’re the Dragon Lord’s only daughter.

“Long story short: we ate lunch together the next day and then he took me into the forest to find some firewood for his father’s forge. When we finished, we sat down in the grass for a while to get some rest and chat. That’s when he kissed me. I liked it at first, but then he started to get aggressive with me. You know, like groping and stuff. I didn’t want to seem like prude, so I just… went along with it.

“I knew things had gone too far when he finally decided to pry apart my legs. I told him to stop but he just kept going like I never said anything at all. While he was busy fiddling with his penis, I punched him straight across the jaw and kicked him while he was laying on the ground a couple times for good measure. I don’t think I broke any bones, but he did have a massive black eye for a couple of weeks afterwards. Cried like a baby too. At least that part of kind of funny.

“I was way too embarrassed to tell my father or anyone else about what had happened in the forest. And umm—he would have gone ballistic anyway. For as much as I hated Flint for nearly raping me, I didn’t want him to die. He was just a hormonally charged teenager like me who let his eagerness get the best of him.

“Ah—it’s probably a good thing that Flint never said a word about it either. Especially, when he put two and two together and finally figured out who I was. He did eventually approach me while I was bathing one morning and apologized for what he’d done. I could tell he was sincere but I just couldn’t bring myself to do anything more than forgive him and move on with my life.”

Sunset gently rubbed Ember’s shoulder. “Ember, I had no idea you went through something so traumatic. I’m sorry. If you ever need someone to talk to, I’m here.”

Ember sniffed. “Thank you, Sunset. Believe it or not, you’re the first person I’ve ever told that story to. Not even… Spike knows about it. He’s nothing like Flint, of course! I just—I don’t want him worrying about me. Spike’s already got enough on his plate as it is.”

“Yeah, I know what you mean. But I really think you should tell him at some point. Maybe when things start to calm down a bit. Look on the bright side: you two seem pretty comfortable having sex together. At least, that’s the impression I got when I walked into the sparring room…”

Ember’s cheeks flushed a deep crimson. “It did take us a while to get that way, though. But… I’m really happy that he’s my mate. Spike’s always been very gentle and understanding whenever we make love. I can’t even begin to tell you how much that means to me.”

“I think I may have some idea.”

Ember grinned sheepishly. “Oh, yeah. I nearly forgot that you two went to the charity ball in Canterlot. Ah… what do you think of Spike’s skills?”

“As a lover? Hmm. I was technically still a virgin up to that point, so I’m not sure if I can answer your question properly. But—uh—we did have great time bumping uglies. Spike definitely left me feeling satisfied, that’s for sure. Makes me wonder how he’ll handle more than one of us.”

“I honestly don’t know,” Ember admitted quietly, “The thought of making love to either you or Delmira terrifies me. I’m not sure how good I’d be at it. NOT that you two aren’t beautiful or anything like that I just happen to… prefer men.”

“Don’t sweat it, Ember. We’ll figure it out together as we go along. It’s not one of those things that has a set of strict protocols to follow. Just do what you feel is right and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. It’s a process, you know.”

Ember let out a deep sigh. “I suppose it is. How much longer do you think it’ll take to get to the palace? This floating fish thingy is going pretty fast but—”

“About five minutes,” Aria interrupted, “Sorry, didn’t mean to cut you off. The capital and the surrounding area’s a lot bigger than it may first appear. One word of advice though: stick close to me when we disembark. I don’t want anyone to get lost.”

Sunset and Ember chorused their agreement. With nothing further left to say, the fiery-haired amazon wrapped her arms around Ember’s waist just a little bit tighter and ran her fingers along Ember’s stomach as a sign of affection. The tomboy tensed for a brief moment, but returned the gesture in kind by gently sliding her foot along Sunset’s ankle.

It was a small step towards deepening the intimacy of their relationship together as mates, but a crucial one nonetheless. Neither Ember nor Sunset could honestly say that they’d ever been attracted to or in love with another woman before, but they definitely trusted one another and considered themselves much closer than mere friends. More akin to sisters, perhaps.

Given enough time and the right opportunities, they figured it was entirely possible that strong feelings of passion might very well develop between them. However, that time had not arrived just yet. Instead, the girls sat in comfortable silence for the remainder of the ride, content to enjoy the sensation of each other’s silky-smooth scales and the warmth of their bodies.

Everyone disembarked from their respective hovercrafts after they were parked in the docking bays near the barracks attached to the palace. Two guards armed with a pair of beam rifles and clad in royal armor stood at attention and saluted Adagio as she led everyone into the side entrance that was typically reserved for staff, servants and guard details. The princess apologized for the faux-paus in proper royal decorum but insisted that it would attract far less attention if they went in that way instead of the front gate.

Spike cleared his throat. “Adagio, you don’t have to apologize. It’s totally fine coming in the back way. I might technically be royalty but I’ve never been much of a stickler for all of that pomp and circumstance stuff. None of us are, for that matter.”

“While I appreciate your humility, Lord Spike, I still can’t help but feel somewhat guilty. Under normal circumstances, you and your companions would have been welcomed with a grand entrance ceremony. If my father is feeling gracious today, I’m sure he’ll hold a feast in your honor and allow everyone to stay in the palace as honored guests.”

Delmira arched her brow. “Indeed? Unless, your father wishes to incur the wrath of a goddess and the Wyvertii all within the span of a single day…”

“Again, Ms. Delmira, I mean no disrespect. But I have no way of confirming your identity. Of course, it was quite obvious from the start that you are all Wyvertii but… even you must admit that you don’t look anything like the massive, white dragoness of legend.”

Delmira pouted. “Hey! I’m not fat! Even in my dragon form…”

Spike reached over and gave his mate’s bottom a playful squeeze. “I dunno, Delmira. You seem to be pretty soft in your mortal form. Maybe you should consider going on a diet.”

“You’re lucky I love you so much, or I’d roast you alive for blaspheming a goddess. Besides, fucking totally counts as exercise and we do plenty of that, Mr. High & Mighty Dragon Lord.”

Ember and Sunset snickered at his expense, but Spike too it all in good humor. Sonata seemed amused by the whole situation and Aria simply rolled her eyes. As they all continued to pitter-patter along the marbled floor of the hallway, the young Dragon Lord took notice of the architecture. Stylistically, it was very uniform in both color and construction. Mostly in varying shades of greenish-grey and silver. It reminded him of a sleek, highly modernized version of ancient Roaman villas.

The walls had sconces molded straight into them, which emitted the same turquoise light that seemed endemic to all forms of Hydronepitaen technology. There were murals of famous warriors, diplomats, and other important figures throughout their history placed on the walls. They wore jewelry, cosmetics, and the occasional tattoo but their vibrantly-colored flesh was left uncovered otherwise.

Hydronepitaens, despite their advancements, didn’t seem to have any qualms when it came to showing off their bodies. In fact, both males and females of the race seemed proud of them. Even though Adagio hadn’t explicitly mentioned it before during their previous conversation, Spike figured that it was not only culturally acceptable to be seen unclothed in their society but was a matter of practicality as well, considering they lived underwater most of the time.

Unlike the Wyvertii, the Hydronepitae did make a conscious effort to wear protective gear whenever the situation deemed it necessary. Such as in the case of the royal guards. It made sense; Spike mused. Their skin, although plenty tough on its own, probably wasn’t quite durable enough to withstand the kind of punishment that the Wyvertii were accustomed to. Their acoustic based magic was also a complete unknown to the Dragon Lord. He knew it was quite powerful based on what he’d seen so far but how exactly it worked, Spike couldn’t say.

Spike’s reverie was abruptly cut short when they finally reached the throne room. It was a grand, if somewhat garish setup. The entire room was covered in the finest decorations, gems, and precious metals that one could possibly imagine. Sculptures of nude Hydronepitae set in various athletic poses stood in carved alcoves along the walls. The throne itself was in the center and carved from what Spike could only guess was some kind of exotic coral.

Upon it sat Emperor Tidal Wave himself. His face set in a stern, but thoughtful expression. He was an imposing figure of a man. Even while seated, it was clear that he was about two meters tall. The Emperor was just as naked as his daughter, save for a pair of gold bracers on his wrists and a pointed crown fitted with several red diamonds that rested atop his head.

The man’s bronze-hued scales practically glowed under the sconces; it rippled with taught, powerful muscle underneath the surface. His rusty orange “hair” was long and curly, it flowed down past his shoulders and partially covered his wide chest. Strangely enough, he seemed to have a full beard and moustache as well. Tidal Wave’s emerald-green eyes softened when he saw his daughter walk up to the throne. He immediately got up and wrapped her in a loving embrace.

“Adagio! You’re finally back from the surface with Captain Blaze and Sonata in tow. And I see that you brought some additional guests with you as well. You’d best explain why you brought them here before me. Our laws are quite clear when it comes to trespassers…”

Adagio blanched slightly but looked her father straight in the eye. “From what I gather, the white-scaled one refers to herself as Delmira. She claims to be the goddess of all Wyvertii. While we were still investigating the disturbance on the surface, I did confirm that they all were indeed dragon folk. Physically, at least.”

“Hmm. Is that so? Their kind being this far away from the forbidden continent is… unusual to say the least. They are nearly as reclusive as we are, my dear. However unlikely it is for them to travel outside of their homeland, such a thing is not entirely unheard of.

“Stand before me if you would please, Ms. Delmira. I wish to test your claim.”

The transformed goddess did as she was asked, mostly to ensure that no harm would come to her beloved mates. But it wasn’t as if she disliked Tidal Wave in the first place. He had asked politely and his daughter had also been very reasonable when it came to postponing any harsh punishment for intruding upon his empire. She bowed slightly and smiled.

“It’s been a while, Tidy. You look great, by the way. Must be keeping up with your training regimen and eating properly, huh?”

Tidal Wave chuckled. “By the oceans, I haven’t heard that nickname in centuries! A good first impression, to be sure, but I still require more… tangible evidence of your divine power. Please place your fingers over the magma diamonds on my crown. If you can make them glow, then I will no longer question your identity.”

Sure enough, when Delmira touched the diamonds, they glowed with a crimson light. Thus satisfied, Tidal Wave laughed and wrapped Delmira in a hug. She returned the embrace with gusto and placed a chaste kiss upon his chest. When they finally broke apart, Delmira let out a relieved sigh and gestured towards her mates.

“My apologies for intruding upon your empire, Tidy. But… we didn’t really have much of a choice in the matter. My mates and I were originally headed to Zebrica but our ship got hit by a rogue wave and we wound up marooned on a deserted island. That’s where your daughter found us.”

Tidal Wave frowned. “How unfortunate. The surface of the ocean near our capital has been known to be rough around this time of year. It is one of the reasons why the seabed just outside of the barrier is littered with shipwrecks. Was your captain not aware of the danger?”

“I’m not sure. Perhaps he was. I never thought to ask him. He seemed experienced though.”

Tidal Wave rubbed his chin. “My scouts did not report any recent sinkings. It is entirely possible that your ship continued on sailing to Zebrica without you. Even so, you know that I cannot allow you to attract surface dwellers here.”

Delmira shuffled her feet. “Yes, I know. It’s just that we… don’t have any supplies or a boat. We all have our magic and survival skills of course, but that’s not going to get us across the ocean. What would you have me do, Tidy? I can’t very well turn into my dragon form right now.”

“For the time being, all of you may stay here in the palace as my honored guests. I will need to consult with my advisors on how to send everyone to Zebrica without compromising our security. Will that suffice, Delmira?”

Delmira grasped his hands and shook them. “Thank you so much! I won’t forget what you’ve done for me today. If you ever need a favor, just ask and I’ll do whatever I can to—”

“They’ll be none of that. You already helped me obtain the magma diamonds for my crown. Consider this repayment for an earlier debt. And I’d like to think of this as helping a friend.”

Delmira abandoned all decorum and kissed Tidal Wave on the lips. “You’re the best, Tidy!”

“Be careful, Delmira. My wife might get jealous.” The Emperor joked.

A tall, slender woman with the build of a ballet dancer gracefully entered the throne room. Her smooth, wine-colored hair billowed softly behind her as she sauntered towards Emperor Tidal Wave. Atop her head sat a crown made of silver and garnets, a matching necklace fashioned from the same metal except with an orange topaz in the center hung loosely around her neck. Otherwise, she wore nothing else.

Her breasts were relatively small, but firm and pear-shaped. It was quite clear that she was in excellent shape: the slight muscle tone in her arms, legs, and stomach attested to that. The light from the sconces made her deep burgundy-hued scales glisten ever so slightly. Or it may have been the Hydronepitaen version of sweat. The jury was still out on that. She placed her hands on her hips and looked over at Tidal Wave with a mischievous expression in her violet eyes.

“I leave you alone to go out for my daily exercise routine, and find that you’re kissing another woman? Have you no shame, dearest husband?”

Tidal Wave walked over to his wife and wrapped her in a loving embrace. She squeaked in delight when he planted a few butterfly kisses along her neck. “Melodia, my love, you know that you’re the only woman for me. I was just catching up with an old friend. She just happens to show her affection more openly than most.”

Empress Melodia Maritime ran her fingers along Tidal Wave’s stomach and chuckled. “Oh? Is she the infamous albino dragoness you spoke so highly of? I didn’t realize that the Wyvertii were known for their shapeshifting abilities… but then again, transforming into a human female shouldn’t be too much an issue for a Goddess.”

“You know I’m standing right here.”

Melodia nodded politely. “Yes, dear. I know. Please understand that I meant no disrespect towards you or your kind. I was merely… thinking aloud. Hmm. I must say: you really are quite a beautiful creature. White is a very fetching color for your physique. Makes your scales shine like freshly fallen snow.”

“Well, I do like to take care of myself. The same could be said about your body, Empress Maritime. How do you manage to keep in such good shape?”

Melodia tittered. “Mostly through a healthy diet and regular exercise. Dancing has to be my absolute favorite physical activity. Next to sex, of course~ Just ask my daughter and husband, they’ll tell you how passionate I am about it.”

“Sex or dancing?”

“Both. And at the same time on occasion.” Melodia proudly proclaimed.

“Ooooh, kinky~ I bet you two have all kinds of fun together!”

Melodia waggled her eyebrows. “Like you wouldn’t believe. I consider myself fortunate to have a loving husband who spoils me and satisfies my needs on a daily basis. Isn’t that right, dear?”

Emperor Tidal Wave took the opportunity to swat his wife’s bottom and nibble on her ear fin. “Indeed, it is, my beautiful starfish. I think you and I could very well have some of the fun Delmira was referring to while the feast is being prepared. What do you think?”

“My thoughts exactly! But I get to ride on top this time~”

Adagio took a seat on one of the many cushioned chairs that adorned the throne room and let out a long, suffering sigh at her parents’ antics. While embarrassing, she was grateful that their marriage was still healthy and strong after four centuries. Captain Blaze had long since left the throne room to attend to her royal guard duties, and Sonata sat next to her princess, eyes sparkling with glee, happy that everyone was getting along so well. The handmaiden looked over at Spike and beckoned him to come closer.

“Psst. Hey! I’ll make sure to set you guys up with the BIGGEST guest room we have available. Oh, and if you give me just a little bit more time, I’ll stock with all kinds of scented oils, lube, toys, whips, gags, ropes and—” Sonata whispered.

“Erm—thank you, Ms. Sonata. The girls and I really appreciate your thoughtfulness.”

Sonata giggled. “No problem, Lord Spike. There’s nothing quite like Hydronepitaen hospitality! One word of advice though: if you’re gonna have sex, do it before the feast rather than after. ‘Cause you might get a tummy ache, otherwise. Nobody likes those!”

Sunset laughed out loud. “Wise words to live by. You know, I’m actually pretty curious to see what it feels like to give this body a go. I wonder if Hydronepitaen orgasms are structured differently or happen to be more intense due to their non-mammalian physiology. I know one thing though: that big ole’ ribbed schlong of yours looks like it’d be a blast to try out.”

Spike wasn’t quite sure what he was more embarrassed about: Sunset talking about sexual intercourse like she was narrating a nature encyclopedia (it reminded him way too much of his sister) or that his penis had, once again, become the centerpiece of the conversation. Delmira chose that very moment to saunter across the room and sit atop his lap. She placed an affectionate kiss on his lips and rested her head against his chest. Once she got settled in, he began stroking her hair softly while the royal couple conversed amongst themselves.

Princess Adagio got up out of her chair, stretched out her arms with a satisfying pop, and watched her father carry her mother off to who knows where. Probably out to the gardens, she mused. They were infamous for having wild, outdoor romps whenever the mood struck them (which was quite often). And all without a shred of shame or decency if anyone happened to be walking by. Not that Adagio herself, had much room to talk.

Adagio clapped her hands together. “Alright, everyone. Follow me if you would please. I’ll give you a tour of the city while Sonata prepares the guest suite. And don’t worry about spending money for souvenirs. I’ll cover anything you want with my allowance. Erm—within reason, course. Now, let’s get to it!”

The Market

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Chapter 30

Royal Palace Guest Chambers, Megálo Margaritári

Sunset cracked open her eyes slowly as she observed the pale light that trickled into the bedchamber through the window. The Hydronepitaens certainly knew how to keep track of time, as evidenced by the clock mounted on the wall. However, natural sunlight simply did not reach this deep underwater. Instead, they’d opted to use a massive, yellowish orb of light (magically based no doubt, but Sunset had no clue how it worked) that functioned just like a miniature star.

Since their numeric system seemed to be virtually identical to surface dwelling cultures, Sunset had no trouble figuring out that it was about five forty-eight in the morning. Her natural circadian rhythm prompted her to wake up, rather than any innate desire to leave the confines of her luxurious, comfortable bed.

Sunset was about to get up, do some stretches, and grab a cup of coffee, when she felt something warm pressed up against her side. She smiled when she glanced over and saw Ember cuddled up next to her. At some point, the young tomboy had decided to use one of Sunset’s voluminous breasts as a makeshift pillow. Not that Sunset particularly minded. It had been a long time since she’d enjoyed the company of another bedmate.

Ursas were plenty fun to snuggle with in their own right, but it just wasn’t the same as having another person lying next to you in bed. Without even thinking, Sunset shifted her arm so that she could play with Ember’s hair. Although she made sure to be very gentle, the affectionate gesture managed to rouse Ember from her slumber. Rather than be upset about it, Ember sighed happily and hugged her mate closer.

“Good morning, Ember. Did you sleep well?”

Ember kissed Sunset’s breast and stretched out the rest of her body like a cat. “Mhmm. Is anyone else awake yet?”

“Nah. It’s just us.”

Ember yawned. “Figured as much. Still pretty early…”

“For sure. Hey, since we’re already up, how’d you like to spar with me?”

Ember glanced over at her other mates. Delmira was snuggled up against Spike’s side, her legs intertwined with his own and very much content to be in such a position. It was a bit strange, she had to admit, to see Spike without his signature morning erection. Ember supposed its absence made sense, if only because Hydronepitaen physiology was so vastly different from what they were accustomed to. It was equally bizarre not having the urge to answer nature’s call either.

At least, not in the traditional sense. Hydronepitaens excreted all of their bodily waste in a concentrated, film-coated ball (it looked far more disgusting than that, Ember was simply trying to find a polite way to describe the thing) that slid out of what they considered to be an anus. While the hole was located in the same general vicinity as a human one, taking care of business was a completely different process that Ember hadn’t been prepared for.

She’d accidentally relieved herself right in front of a palace guard while trying to ask where the privy was. Fortunately for Ember, the female guard handled the situation with the utmost professionalism. She understood that the Emperor’s newest guests weren’t used to their new bodies just yet and explained the basics of what to do if the need arose again. Despite her extreme embarrassment, Ember accepted the fact that it was just how things were now.

“Hmm. I don’t see any reason why not. I could use a good warm up to help get the blood flowing. Umm… just one problem though. Where’s the sparring room?”

Sunset leaned over and nibbled on Ember’s ear. “I’m sure one of the place guards will know.”

Ember giggled in response and traced her fingers along Sunset’s stomach. She continued to slide her hand down further and further until her fingers rested atop Sunset’s vulva. Thus encouraged, Ember proceeded to rub her thumb along the outer edge of Sunset’s silky folds as a gesture of trust and affection between mates. Much to her delight, Sunset seemed to enjoy the act of intimacy with great enthusiasm.

“Should we wake up Spike?”

“No, I think those two deserve some alone time together.” Sunset hummed.

Ember nodded emphatically. “That’s… probably for the best. Delmira was really worried about him. Especially, right after we got marooned on that tropical island. Not that I can really blame her, of course. I was worried sick about him too. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen her so upset before. She’s usually quite good at keeping herself together in situations like that.”

“I think it just goes to show that Delmira shares the same concerns we do, despite being a goddess. Even more so, because she knows how fragile mortal life can be. One of these days, I’d like to sit down and have a talk with her about it. You know, to make sure she’s ok.”

Ember got up and walked over to the windowsill. “Yeah. I think she’d appreciate that.”

Sunset padded over to the window and wrapped her arms around Ember’s stomach, pulling her mate into a loving embrace. She too lamented that they weren’t still in their original forms. While their Hydronepitaen bodies were streamlined and aesthetically pleasing, they lacked the subtle scents and textural imperfections that their human skin did. Ember must have felt much the same way because she let out a frustrated sigh.

“Staying in the palace is nice and all but I—”

“Can’t wait to get your old body back?” Sunset finished.

“Mhmm. I guess you feel the exact same way I do about this whole situation, huh?”

Sunset took hold of Ember’s hands and squeezed them gently. “Don’t get me wrong: it’s pretty cool visiting the Hydronepitaens and seeing all of their advanced tech. But I want to go back to being me. The real me. Do you know how weird it was when I noticed that my scars had disappeared? I had those things on my stomach for years. Now they’re just gone. Poof!”

Ember looked down towards her waist and blushed. “It is a bit disconcerting…”

“Huh? OH! You mean going full smoothie down there? Yeah, that was a bit weird too, I guess. Wait a second. I didn’t happen to stumble upon some major Wyvertii taboo, did I? Shit! I totally did! I’m sorry, Ember. I didn’t realize that it was such a sensitive subject.”

Ember shifted uncomfortably. “No, it’s ok. You couldn’t have known. In our culture, pubic hair is often seen as a rite of passage into adulthood. A sure sign that someone, be they a boy or a girl, has matured and is ready to start looking for a potential mate. If one were to completely remove it, they’d be stigmatized by the entire village as appearing juvenile.”

“Wow, that’s kind of harsh. Even for a tribal society.”

Ember bit her lip. “Yes, I suppose it is. Being somewhat of an outcast myself, I’ve always felt that people shouldn’t be ridiculed for how they choose to groom themselves. On the other hand, I feel childish without having any hair to cover me. It’s as though I’m not a woman anymore.”

Sunset hugged Ember tightly to her chest and kissed her neck. “I’ll have none of that kind of talk. Don’t worry about what you can’t help, Ember. We’re all going through the same thing right now. Even Spike. I promise that none of us will think any less of you for having doubts.”

Ember let out a long, frustrated sigh. “I know. It’s just hard for me to shake this feeling of unease. It’s like I’m shamelessly exposing myself to everyone. Delmira might not have a problem with being hairless but I—it’s like I’m… naked.”

Unsure of what else to say, Sunset chose to remain silent, lest she upset Ember any further. Instead, she focused on giving her mate as much physical affection and comfort as she was able. Much to Sunset’s relief, the strategy seemed to work. After plenty of intimate cuddles and kisses, of course. After a while, Ember reluctantly broke the embrace and headed towards the door, urging Sunset to do the same. After walking a few paces down the hallway, sure enough, they found a guard who was willing to point them in the right direction.

Under normal circumstances, Ember preferred to spar without the aid of weapons or even her own magic. She figured that if worst came to worst, it was better to hone her most basic hand-to-hand combat skills with deadly efficiency rather than rely upon anything else. Today was a bit different though. She wanted to take full advantage of the Empire’s state of the art training room and equipment. When Ember looked over at her mate, Sunset agreed with her wholeheartedly.

Mounted along the wall were various melee weapons: knives, swords, staves, and polearms. Both women went straight for the retractable staves as their implement of choice. After depressing a button in the center, they transformed into full-length staves with mild polarity fields on either end to help prevent combatants from injuring themselves. A good thing too, as both Ember and Sunset had a tendency to get a wee bit overzealous when it came to fighting.

Once they finished up a set of pre-spar stretching exercises, the two warriors stood on opposite sides of the mat and readied their stances. Ember was the first to strike. She charged forward and swung her stave towards Sunset’s chest to try and catch her off-balance while she simultaneously spun around to deliver a kick to Sunset’s undefended side. Years of hunting in the forest had honed Sunset’s reflexes to the same caliber of a professional athlete. She easily parried her opponent’s strike, and swiped her stave across the floor to try and knock out Ember’s foot.

The blow struck true but Ember’s legs (as Sunset would find out) were sturdier than tree trunks. She took a moment to admire the taught muscles that rippled across Ember’s body before elbowing her straight in the gut. This time, the attack took Ember completely off guard. She hadn’t tensed her abdomen quickly enough to absorb the impact of the blow. Instead, it wound up knocking the wind right out of her. After wheezing for a few seconds, Ember staggered back a few paces, placed her hands on her thighs, and took a moment to catch her breath.

Sunset rushed over to her mate. “Are you ok? I didn’t mean to hit you that hard.”

“I’ll… be… alright,” Ember rasped, “Just…. gimme… a second.”

“Seriously! We can stop if you want. There are plenty of other things we can—”

Ember’s cheeks lit up in a fierce blush. “NO! We can keep going. I just… forgot how strong you were. I agreed to sparring, so it’s my fault for letting my guard down. Take your stance.”

Sunset could tell that the injury to Ember’s pride as a warrior was far more severe than what she had just endured physically. Through her many bedroom conversations with Spike, Sunset got the impression that he was still a little frustrated with Ember’s reluctance to embrace her desires or discuss them openly with him. Particularly, when it came to intimate situations.

While not an expert on such matters herself, Sunset deduced that Ember was going through the process of becoming an adult and the responsibilities that came with it. Through trial and error, she was just like any other young woman at her age. She was simply trying to figure out who she was and what she wanted: both emotionally and sexually. Not entirely unlike Sunset herself.

Spike always took the time to listen and possessed a keen sense of empathy that could rival even the best professional counselors Equestria had to offer. It was one of the many reasons why Sunset fell in love with Spike in the first place and didn’t hesitate to come to him with any problems she might be experiencing. But some things just needed to be discussed between girls. Sunset hoped that Ember would eventually open up to her about whatever misgivings she harbored regarding their relationship and just life in general.

In the meantime, Sunset would continue to get to know her fellow mate better. One day at a time, if necessary. What transpired earlier in the bedroom between the two of them was definitely a step in the right direction. It showed that Ember was starting to get more comfortable around Sunset and willing (by small degrees) to show intimate affection towards another woman.

It was quite obvious that Ember was having a difficult time hiding her embarrassment. To Sunset it appeared as though the stance her mate took was a bit sloppy, but when Sunset charged ahead with a well-placed lateral strike, she was taken completely by surprise when she slid in-between her legs and performed a low sweeping kick. Sunset promptly crumpled to the floor with a meaty thud. Although her bare bottom was sore, Sunset shot Ember an impressed smirk.

“Damn. You really had me fooled there, Ember.”

Ember grasped Sunset’s arm and helped her stand up. “Well, to be fair: I wasn’t actually faking my embarrassment. But like my father always told me: exploit any advantage over your opponent you can get, even if it’s just a distraction.”

“Your dad seems like a really smart guy. A good leader with plenty of wisdom to share. As for me, I never had a father to look up to when I was growing up. Makes me wonder how different things would be right now if I… hadn’t been abandoned. Sorry, I didn’t mean to get sentimental all of the sudden. I’m just so happy that you guys have accepted me as part of the family.”

Ember slid her arms around Sunset’s waist and hugged her tightly. “We all love you, Sunset. Don’t get me wrong: I love Win—Delmira too, but… she’s always been more like an aunt to me. With you, I feel like we connect on a deeper, more personal level. I think I can finally—”

Not wanting to waste an opportunity, Sunset cupped Ember’s cheeks and pulled her into a passionate, tongue-filled kiss. In a matter of moments, the two of them became lost in their own little world, oblivious to their surroundings. What surprised Sunset the most was not Ember’s willingness to return her affection in kind, but the sheer amount of lust that proceeded it. Sunset hummed with pleasure when she felt Ember begin to massage her breast and roll the nipple in-between her fingers ever so slightly.

Sunset slid her hand down Ember’s stomach at a deliberately slow pace. She wanted to relish the feeling of her mate’s hardened abdominal muscles as they brushed up against her fingers. She only stopped when her palm made contact with the smooth surface of Ember’s lips. Sunset took her mate’s lack of resistance as a sign of consent, so she carefully rotated her hand in order to make what she was about to do more comfortable.

Ember let out an audible squeak when she felt Sunset rub her clit in a series of slow, lazy circles. In her mind, Ember had always pictured a moment of shared passion with another woman as awkward or unwarranted, but it wasn’t like that at all with Sunset. It made the fire in her belly burn with desire just as much as it did with Spike. And most importantly of all: it felt right.

The tomboy didn’t waste any time returning the favor. She squeezed Sunset’s breast a little bit harder and leaned forward to envelop the other woman’s nipple with her lips. With a few affectionate nipples and some teasing with her tongue, Ember giggled when she heard Sunset let out a strained gasp. A short time later, she gasped as well when Sunset started pumping two of her fingers in and out of her womanly folds. Ember found it increasingly difficult to stay on her feet afterwards.

Sunset laughed when she felt Ember’s walls tighten around her fingers like a velvety vice. “I guess Spike wasn’t kidding when he said you were tight. Almost wish I had a dick right now just so I could feel what it’s like to be inside of you. Would you like me to keep going?”

“Oh Goddess! Yes! Please don’t stop!” Ember whimpered.

Just as Sunset was really starting to get into the mood, she saw someone enter through the training room door out of the corner of her eye. Loath as she was to leave Ember hanging on what she assumed was going to be a pretty intense orgasm, taking care of a potential intruder was far more important. Sunset immediately turned around and took a defensive stance.

“Hey! Just what do you think you’re doing—oh. Erm… Princess Adagio, it’s you. What an unexpected surprise! Ehehehe.”

Adagio at least had the decency to appear surprised. “Yes, well… I was just heading back from my daily exercise routine when I heard some strange noises coming from the training room. It would seem that I have discovered their source!”

Sunset found herself blushing but was more concerned about Ember’s well-being than her own. It was obvious that the tomboy was incredibly aroused and couldn’t possibly hide that fact from anyone else standing in the room. She promptly cupped her hands over her privates and fidgeted in place. The awkward silence that soon followed felt like it was going to last for an eternity.

Adagio rubbed the back of her neck. “If it makes either of you feel any better, I’ve fucked the guard trainer in here a few times before. There’s something about sparring together with someone that gets the blood running hot. I’m not sure if it’s because of the close contact or—”

“I get what you’re trying to do Princess, but can we just not talk about it and move on?”

Adagio chuckled awkwardly. “Yes, of course. Whatever suits your needs! Why don’t the two you take some time to freshen up a bit? I’ve got a proposition for you once you’re finished.”

Cleaning up was a quick affair. Partially because Hydronepitaen technology made it so convenient, and neither Ember nor Sunset wanted to drag out the process and keep Princess Adagio waiting for too long. Despite their mutual embarrassment at being caught in the throes of passion together, Sunset took it as a good sign that Ember gave her an affectionate kiss on the lips as they parted the bathroom.

As expected, Adagio was patiently waiting for them in the hallway, with a somewhat smug expression plastered upon her face. Sunset sensed that Ember’s rage was at its boiling point just underneath the surface of her barely contained, polite smile. If it wouldn’t have caused a diplomatic incident, Sunset would have been half-temped to punch Adagio too. On the bright side, Adagio seemed aware of the tension building in the room and immediately switched her expression to something more neutral.

“Ah, welcome back ladies! All freshened up, I presume?”

Ember crossed her arms underneath her breasts and scowled. “Yeah, we’re clean now.”

“Erm—so it would seem. In any case, I was wondering if you two would like to accompany me to the market district for a bit of shopping. I know we toured that area once before, but I had to keep it brief for the sake of punctuality. Oh, and don’t worry about money! I’ll cover whatever you’d like to buy. Consider it an apology for interrupting your… training session earlier.”

Sunset shrugged. “Sure, why not? It sounds like a good offer to me. Can’t even tell ya how long it’s been since I’ve gone out on a proper shopping excursion. Around a decade, at least. Uh… mostly because I lived in the Everfree Forest with Ursas for most of my adult life.”

Adagio cocked her brow. “Oh? That has the makings of an excellent survival story. If you wouldn’t mind indulging my curiosity, I’d very much be interested in hearing about it.”

“No problem. We can chat on the way to the market. Is it far?”

Adagio shook her hea