Slow and Steady – The Velveteen Tortoise – Chapter Twenty-One

There Be Mature Content Here

Please be advised that the following is intended for mature readers only.

Chapter Twenty-One

(Finished – 10/29/2021)

Luna the Baby Bunny

Pyx cards his fingers into my hair, firmly grips my roots without tugging, and slides his dick out of my mouth.

“Fire,” he heaves.

“What! No!” I say frantically. “That’s not a safe wor—”

Wait a second.

I look over my shoulder and—dangit.

I can’t see my hands. They’re tied behind my back because Pyx really gets off when he has an unobstructed view of my baby bump.

I shuffle on my knees, turning myself around. “I can’t see. Am I on fire?”

“It’s not you.” Pyx steps away from the bed.

“Wait!” And now I’m shuffling full-speed, trying to turn back around. “Then where’re you—”

Yep. I’m falling off the bed.

But it’s all good. Pyx is right there, snatching me to safety.

Only, instead of my face being planted back into his lap, he’s got me turned around, facing the wall, as he—

“Don’t you dare untie me!” I sound desperate and furious because I’m so unbelievably horny.

Where other pregnant women get food cravings, I need sex. I’m serious. It takes, like, six or seven orgasms a day to settle me. And since I know my mate is absolutely thrilled to give me those fantastically essential orgasms, I don’t abuse his generosity.

I give as good as I get.

That, and I think there’s something slightly addictive about his cum.

Huh. Then does that make Pyx’s cum my food craving?

“Luna,” Pyx says. “Listen.”

And his tone—sounding just as frustrated and impatient as I feel—at least lets me know that we’re in this together.

I freaking love being together with Pyx, so I listen.

There’s a commotion going on outside. I hear shouting and screaming. Yet one voice is hitting a particular, teeth-grating key.

“Benny.” I huff in aggravation.

It’s been months since I’ve seen that over-inflated jerk. 

The last time had been at Two-Four-Kay. I was there at to help escort the last few folks who wanted to join us in Briarwood. Our four Warriors-in-Residence—Pyx, Kin, Rez, and Ryorin—had stood around, simply looking like badasses. Whereas Gary was a bonafide badass. He gave a rousing ‘Rogers Sucks’ speech that’d gained us, like, three more people to become proud Briarwooders.

(Okay, so the list of possible ‘What Do We Call Ourselves’ is still tied up in committee. So, moving on…) 

And what badassery did I get to do?

Well, I asked people to ‘let me see your booboos’ while giving them discreet touches to kick-off their healing. Benny and his goons—by order of Rogers, Jr.—had been trying to ‘convince’ those folks to stay, and they’d let their fists do all the talking.

But for Benny to now be here, on our turf? He must be fulfilling a death wish.

Or a setting a trap.

Because it could be—

Outside, a woman is screaming Bianca’s name.

Death wish, it is.

In a flash, I’m outta bed. Pyx—because he’s way faster than I am—has managed to untie me as well as don his armor. Of course, I’m still tugging my dress over my tummy as we bolt outta the cabin and into The Brickyard. The open space—paved in my bread bricks—is our settlement’s human-Akupara mash-up of a market square and a baleship’s central chamber.

Benny’s standing right at the edge, where the bricks meet the tree-line. He’s got a lit torch in one hand. In the other, he’s gripping a woozy looking Bianca by her upper arm. The girl’s staggering as she’s pressing a hand to a gash on her forehead and—

Yeah. Fuck Benny.

I growl.

Pyx snarls.

It’s super fabulous that, in a moment like this, Pyx and I don’t even need to look at one another. We just zip over to Benny. I touch the hand holding Bianca. Pyx scoops the girl up.

And all is right with the world.

Benny swears as he staggers back. “What the—?”

But Pyx and I are already back at The First Cabin—the cabin that Pyx built—and gently passing Bianca to her mother. As we do so, I brush my fingertips over the wound. Bianca’s no longer gushing blood, but Jarvys will have to see to the rest.

When I go ‘all out’ doing my handsy stuff, it wears me out. Just another wonderful symptom of pregnancy. I have limited reserves for using my hands.

Benny’s still making a fuss, so Pyx and I go back over to him.

“You want the brat? Fine take her.”

“We sorta…” Pyx twists look back at Bianca, then pivots back to Benny. “Yeah. We already did that.”

“So what?” Benny’s cheeks are flushed, but the rest of his skin pales. He waves his torch. “That’s not gonna stop me from coming back and burning this place to the ground. And then where are ya gonna go? You come back to Two-Four-Kay and all you fucking alien lovers are gonna be sor—”

“Benjamin,” Joia says from behind him as she steps outta the trees.

Startled, Benny cries out and swings the torch at Jo.

Within a blink, Benny’s on the ground and Jo’s poking Ryorin’s chest with the burning end of the torch.

I gape, stunned. Jo just openly used her speed and—

Well, okay. Pyx and I had just done the same.

And now Ryorin, too.

Okay, then. I guess that’s just what we’re all gonna be doing from now on.

“You tried all this burning shit before, didn’t you.” Jo juts her chin at Benny. “Torched Pyx’s hut and then his stick shelter. Now he’s got a brick bread house. Don’t ya see the pattern?”

Benny’s limbs are shaking as he scoots backward. “What fucking pattern?”

Jo hunkers down, looking Benny in the eye.

Ryorin snarls again and steps closer to her.

“Shut it, Pompous.” She jabs him with the burning torch while keeping her gaze locked on Benny. “Each time, ya never really knock Fanboy down. Cuz he always rebuilds bigger and better.”

Jo sweeps the torch wide, using it to gesture to our new settlement. A dozen wood and brick houses are under construction. And The First Cabin? Those three Akupara-warrior-sized holes are gone. The first two floors of the cabin are now brick, making the structure look more like an oversize half-timber-half-stone tavern than a wooden lodge.

It’s still home and I absolutely love it here.

But Jo is talking some bullcrap right now.

“No. No way.” I start shaking my head. “You’re not gonna give Benny a lick of credit for Pyx’s awesomeness. No freaking way, Joia!”

Jo looks up at me and snorts. “That ain’t what I’m saying, Baby Bunny. I’m saying Benny, just like most assholes, underestimates our Fanboy. Benny burns all this down?” She gestures toward our settlement. “Pyx’ll just build a fucking empire.”

Oh. Well then.

“Pompous,” Jo says as she stands and tosses torch over her shoulder, “extinguish that, would ya?”

Ryorin snarls viciously as he catches the torch by its flaming end. He squeezes the torch and it disintegrates in his grip.

“Besides, the truth is,” Pyx gently turns me to face him, “it’s not Benny who makes me better.”

“Of course not!” I gesture to Jo. “Did you not just hear how fabulous you are and now crappy he is?”

“Luna,” Pyx cups my face and—

Oh boy. I love it when he cups my face and he’s wearing his helmet so I can’t see his face but I don’t have to see his face because I know how my warrior looks at me…

Deep breath.

“Luna,” he says again.

“Right here.”

He brushes his armored thumbs over my cheeks. “For the Akupara, the male ‘makes’ nothing. The male declares one thing and he declares it only once. Courtship. After that, the female favors him with her acceptance. She graces him with her consideration. She fucking humbles him with her claim. She makes him a better male as he fulfills her every want, need, and desire.”

My heart starts beating faster and—

“That’s all true.” Ryorin’s nodding his head. “That is why—”

Jo snags him by the wrist and tugs. “Nobody asked, Pompous.”

“But it’s important!” He stumbles after her.

“It really ain’t.” Jo flips her hand over her shoulder without looking back. “Carry on, Fanboy.”

“What I was gonna say…” Pyx shuffles on his feet and it’s so adorable. “Is that you, Luna, the Fabulous Baby Bunny, make me everything that I am. But then Ryorin goes and ruins—”

Benny barks in cruel laughter. “She makes you fucking weak, Fuck Boy! So glad I never made her be my woman.”

Pyx goes to move, but then stops to look at me, seeking permission.

I shrug. “Only if you really want to.”

“See!” Benny cackles again as his mouth foams. “I burned down your shitty houses, but you won’t even touch me to toss me out! Lunatic always stops you. So how’re ya gonna get rid of me? Huh?”

Pyx taps the side of his helmet, and the entire thing retracts. He crouches down before Benny and stares at him.

Benny’s eyes go wide. “Fuck! You ugly alien fu—”

The Akupara have very expressive faces. Probably because they don’t have a whole lot of practice cooling their expressions. You know, since they’re in their armor most of the time.

Right now, Pyx is looking at Benny with regret.

“I’ve been told,” Pyx says lowly, “that the War-naries taken into the mine sang, even when they were dying.”

“Wha—” Benny coughs, wipes his mouth, and blinks at the pinkish spit on his hand. “What the fuck does that mean?”

“Nothing fabulous.”

Pyx stands and I reach for him and—yep. I’ve got tears in my eyes.

“You’re crazy, Fuck Boy,” Benny wheezes as he staggers to his feet. “Fucking crazy.”

“You know he’s getting away,” Howie says.

The kid’s standing right next to me with his arms crossed and a fierce scowl on his face.

And, yeah. I have no idea how long he’s been standing there.

“Long enough to see that your warrior didn’t rip that asshole apart.” Howie points at Benny as he bumps into a tree and topples over. “What’s so special about that fuck—”

I sigh. “Language, Howie.”

“Eh.” Howie waves me off. “He’s a fucker and you know it, Lunatic. And you.”

“Me?” Pyx says.

Howie jabs his finger at my mate.”I thought you were finally gonna kill Benny.” 

Pyx nods. “I thought about it.”

He did. I saw the regret and disappointment on his face because he needed to restrain himself and not dismember Benny slowly.

And he really, really wanted to, too.

“Well, thinking ain’t doing.” Howie points to Benny, who’s leaning against a tree as he tries to pull himself up. “So get to the doing part.”

“There isn’t anything for me to do.” Pyx glances down at me. “It’s already been taken care of.”

Howie scowls. “By letting him get away?”

“Oh, no.” I laugh and it’s my ‘I really do have an evil streak’ laugh. “He isn’t getting away.”

“Yes, he is.” Howie again points to Benny. “Right there. That’s Benny getting away.”

“Actually,” I say, “that’s Benny barfing all over a tree.”

“Luna!” Howie whines and stomps his foot.

I groan. I can’t stand it when Howie acts like this—doing and saying things like a real kid.

It’s weird.

“Fine.” I roll my eyes. “Benny is ‘getting away’ for now. But,” I turn to my mate, “that’s just because Pyx is being real sweet and all.”

“What?” Howie rears back. Then he shakes his head and his voice pitches higher. “How?”

I sigh dreamily. “By letting me be the one to kill Benny.” 

I gaze up at my mate.

And you know what? Pyx is blushing and it’s the most fabulous, adorable blush ever.

His entire expression turns tender and heartwarming as he swallows thickly. “I love you, Luna the Fabulous Baby Bunny.”

“Oh, Pyx. I—” I burst into tears. “I love you so much.”

Stupid pregnancy hormones.

Because, of course, this what I would do when Pyx and I final speak our ‘I love you’s out loud.

“You didn’t kill him, Luna,” Howie says, like he’s bored. “He’s running off.”

Dangit, Howie! You’re really ruining this moment!

I think he knows it, too, because Howie will aways be a pain in my butt.

And because, like me, he’s got a teeny-tiny evil streak inside of him as well.

“Seriously?” I sniffle as I wave a hand toward Benny, who’s crawling on his hands and knees. “Did you not see the internal organ damage that I inflicted on that asshole?”

“Huh, no.” Howie looks at me like I’m an idiot. “Probably cuz it’s internal.”

I lean over to glare Howie right in the eyes.

“Muscle failure,” I say, holding up finger. Then I add a second. “Followed by—”

A rock smashes into the back of Benny’s head, splitting his skull.

“But yeah.” I straighten up and, with an open hand, gesture to the body. “That, right there? That’s what killed him.”

Howie nods his head once. “Fantastic.”

Then he turns and marches back to Bianca. She’s standing on the front steps of The First Cabin with a patch over her eye. Good ol’ Jarvys must’ve worked quickly.

Pyx pivots around, looks at Bianca, then twists back to look at Benny’s body. “But you wanted to—”

“It’s all right, Pyx.” I pat him on the shoulder as I give Bianca a thumbs up. “The killing blow really belongs to her.”

“You wanted it to be yours.”

Benny’d been seconds from dying anyway. I’m not gonna split hairs with Bianca.

But I am gonna praise my mate.

I turn Pyx to face me. I wrap my arms around—well, his waist. Because there’s no way I can reach his shoulders when we’re standing on even ground.

I gaze up at him. “What’s important is that you knew what I wanted, and you gave it to me.”

And I do this little ‘thanks so much’ shimmy against him.

“I gave you what you wanted because I love you.” Pyx growls lowly as his eyes heat with desire. “Now I want to give you what you need.”

He sweeps me up into his arms and sets off toward the cabin, taking long, swift strides. 

He stops. “Um, also because I love you.”

“I got that part.”

“Didn’t want to leave it unspoken.”

“You spoke it like a champ.”

“Fabulous.” Pyx nods enthusiastically and resumes his brisk pace. “I just want that to be clear. I love, need, and want you. I want to give you what you need, and I need to give you what you want.”

“Yep.” My body’s non-stop-tingling arousal starts to rev up. “That’s real thorough of you.”

“I’m your mate.” Pyx does his ‘I must have you now’ growl as he enters the cabin. “I’ll always be real thorough.”

“You—” my voice cracks, “will?”

Stupid voice.

“Luna, my thoroughness is me taking care of you.” Pyx gazes down at me and gives me the most heart-pounding ‘get ready to be rocked’ sexy smile of my life. “It’s preventative maintenance.”

Huh. Preventative maintenance.

What a fabulous idea.

THE END

Afterword

The story is complete! I’ve enabled commenting and have added my own thoughts as well.

As always, thank you so much for reading!

xo Bex

<<Previous Chapter / Afterword>>

From Slow & Steady: The Velveteen Tortoise
Copyright © 2020, 2021 by Bex McLynn
All rights reserved

One thought on “Slow and Steady – The Velveteen Tortoise – Chapter Twenty-One

  1. …AND THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER!

    Wow. It took almost a full year, but Luna and Pyx got their hard-won happy ending. Do you know who is super relieved about that?

    This girl, right here.

    My critique partner had to remind me that I wrote this during a pandemic, while selling our house, so we stayed at a hotel for months, and I trained a puppy.

    So, go me.

    This chapter added 2,500 words to the manuscript. Final count is 98,500 words. I hope to have an Afterword posted by the end of the weekend.

    For those of you who commented here on my website or my social media posts, I’d like to say:

    💜THANK YOU SO DANG MUCH!!💜

    Your enthusiasm for the story kept me going, and I greatly appreciate your support.

    To absolutely everyone, thank you so much for reading!💜

    Like

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