My Friend From Hell

    I shook as the familiar feeling took hold of my already fast beating heart. I clenched my knees, just trying to remain somewhat calm. I was sitting in a white waiting room on a metal stool while the overhead fluorescents beamed bright light down on me, “Why am I here?” I mumbled to myself. It was late at night. All the other stools were empty. I was alone. While I usually enjoyed being alone, I felt wholly uncomfortable here. I regretted even answering the newspaper ad. ‘Trouble finding love? Why not join our research?’ The pay was good and I needed it. After monster girls showed up, I had been put out of a job. I didn’t hate them or resent them for it, they were just better than me. They were pretty friendly too. I had thought that it would have made it a little easier to meet people if they were friendly like the mamano were, but the obscene friendliness made me totally uncomfortable. I felt like they were using me or just wanted something from me. I was struggling to exist and survive even more than I had been before. At least the unemployment was good. I just-- 
    “Mr. Anon?” A sweet sounding voice shook me from my day dream like a pair of hands gripping my throat and shaking me, “We’re ready for you,” I nodded silently and rose from my chair. I pulled my coat around me as I stepped into a reception area. The lady who let me in, a lamia led me down the passageway. She hummed a song to herself, some new song by Amanda Dawn, some demon country singer. She was good, but-- “Are you alright, Anon?” The lamia asked as she pushed her glasses back up. I nodded and said nothing. The lamia frowned as if she was concerned. I knew she wasn’t.  
    “That him?” A gruff voice asked. Tanned skin, grey hair, horns, a strange armored tail complete with a deadly looking heart shaped spade on the end. Definitely an amazonian. 
    “Yes, this is Anon. I trust the two of you have already viewed his file,” The lamia replied. 
    “Of course we have,” A third woman chuckled as if the lamia had just said the dumbest thing she had ever heard. She also had horns. But she also had cloven hooves on her two feet and wore a pristine white lab coat. She also wore glasses and held a clipboard and pen. A hakutaku, I assumed, “Now, Mr. Anon. I understand you are having some... Difficulties. Just know that we want to help you, no matter how strange the... Treatment may get.” 
    I nodded nervously but stayed quiet. The room we were in was essentially a warehouse. There was a few desks but in the center was a sort of cage. Tall iron bars stretched from the floor up to 10 feet, complete with a ceiling. There were two entrances to the cage, two wooden doors with no locks. In the middle of the cage were two benches parallel to one another, “Just get in there and sit on one of the benches,” The lamia explained. 
    “Yes, yes,” The hakutaku chimed in, “And pretend we aren’t here, we need as much raw data as we can get.” 
    I nodded and approached the cell. I quickly checked the door handle. I didn’t see any locks or way to put some kind of bar across to keep me from leaving. The door opened inwards, anyway so something like that wouldn’t work. I sighed and pushed it open and moved to one of the benches, “Participant 17, go,” The amazonian called. I couldn’t see the researchers, only the cage in the middle of the room had any light being beamed down on it. I couldn’t keep the feelings of dread, fear and anxiety from my heart as I waited for the first woman to show up. I breathed deeply as I tried to stay at least a little calm. There was an almost sickly sweet smell in the air as a black smoke wafted past my nose. I turned to the side. A woman had appeared at my side. There was a bit of space between us. She has white hair done up in a bun, pale skin, strangely grey and purple eyes and wore a black and white kimono. She puffed a bit of smoke out of her long pipe. It smelled sweet. She had a small, innocent smile on her face, “How are you tonight, my darling?” She asked quietly. I felt a strange feeling in my head as I tried to recall what kind of girl she was. She was obviously zipangese, but was she a spirit or some kind of succubus? Maybe a demon? I scratched my head, trying to think of it. I glanced up at the woman, she kept a strange, uncertain gaze on me. I struggled to speak, my mouth opened slightly but I couldn’t get much noise to leave my throat.  
“Participant 33!” The hakutaku called as she lost her patience. 
The woman smiled apologetically as I stopped trying to speak, “Well, at least this one didn’t shout at me like the last.” 
    “Sorry...” Was all I could muster. 
    “Think nothing of it,” She calmly collected the few things she had brought into the room with her and left through the door.  
She closed it behind her and the door immediately opened again. I didn’t see anything enter. I started to sweat as I heard a noise like scraping on the concrete moving towards me. I froze as it drew nearer and nearer. Suddenly it stopped and whatever it was plopped itself on the bench across from me. With a puff of glittering purple smoke and a loud pop sound, the girl appeared. Dull purple and black fur covered her arms up to the elbow. Her hair was the same color and her face had a grin from ear to ear. I recognized her instantly as a cheshire cat. She grinned at me, merely watching me as I squirmed uncomfortably in her chaotic aura. Its not like I was going mad in her very presence, I was just afraid of her from the stories I had heard of them. ‘Fear the faggot cat,’ anonymous image boards had told me. 
    “Cat got your tongue?” She asked as her grin stretched even further.  
    “Uh...” I scratched my arm anxiously as her gaze bore into my skin.  
    “I-Its fine,” She sighed, the smile wholly dropping from her face as she gave up, “I’m used to it,” She grimaced as her fur color quickly turned muted. With a less gratifying poof of smoke, she disappeared again. 
    “Ugh,” I heard the lamia groan sadly. 
    “Let’s try something different, not magical?” The hakutaku suggested. 
    The amazonian grunted, “Giving up on that already?”     
    “I’m not giving up!” The hakutaku snapped. It was late at night, they must all be exhausted, “No one is beyond help! Monster or human! Test subject...” She furiously flipped through papers, “Four!”  
    “What is this test even for!?” I found myself suddenly asking out of fear, “Isn’t there some kind of ethical science standards?” 
    “Ethical?” The lamia echoed in mock wonder. 
    I caught a glimpse of the hakutaku in the dark as her glasses reflected a bit of light, “We are past ethical science, Mr. Anon. Remember what you signed? That you would do anything to help adapt yourself to this new mamano controlled world?” To be honest, I hardly skimmed it because I hardly cared at the time. Mamano can do no wrong, the media had told me, “These girls desire the same thing, some way to help them integrate into this once human dominated world! We merely need to find a girl compatible with you! Four!? Where are you!?” She angrily shouted. 
    The door on the other side of the cell suddenly opened. I gulped as she walked in, seven or so feet of ashen skinned, black furred, pointy eared and red eyed woman. A hellhound. She didn’t move with the usual confident swagger of a hellhound, nor did her eyes burn and smolder. She didn’t look at me as she approached, merely sitting on the second bench as far away from me as she could get. We both nervously and awkwardly glanced at one another. Everything I knew about hellhounds, she was the opposite to. She moved slowly and looked sad and unsure rather than confident and smug as hellhounds usually are when they quickly tackle men and make them theirs. Our eyes locked for a few moments. We both stopped. She looked absolutely miserable. I could only wonder how long she had been here, “Hey,” She suddenly mumbled at me, turning away. Her hair seemed ratty and unkempt, same with her fur. She wore not much more than tight athletic shorts and a tank top.  
    “H-hi,” I greeted back quietly with the same uncertainty as she had in her voice. 
    “Ruth,” She put simply.  
    It took me a moment to realise she had just told me her name, “Oh, Anon,” I said back. I could hear the three researchers muttering to each other. One of them almost sounded mad. 
    Ruth had noticed too. She made a sad face then turned back to me, “Looks like our time might be up soon,” She sighed. 
    “Wanna bail?” My mouth asked before my brain could process anything. The rest of my body seized up in anxiety.  
    She looked me up and down, trying to discern my intentions. The tiniest bit of magical smoldering flames started in the corners of her eyes. It wasn’t very much smoke, it being magical also limited how far it could get away from its source, probably less than a foot above her head, not counting the ears. She frowned and glanced towards the researchers, “You don’t want me.” 
    “Huh?” My curiosity had been piqued. My usual demeanor of stress and anxiety had been eased by the woman’s cute face and sad frown. That same damn frown I gave myself in the mirror every morning. The sadness of one’s own situation.  
    “Those researchers are right. We’re all fucking broken. But I’ve been here so long, seen so many other girls happily go home with guys. I’m more than broken. Gotta be. Shattered?” She suggested with a large amount of ire in her voice. 
    “Okay!” The amazonian shouted back at one of the other girls, “We’re done! Go home!” The lamia slithered away in a huff.  
    “Easy for them to say.” 
    I turned back to Ruth, “What do you mean?” My anxiety rose a bit as I listened to the hakutaku and amazonian start insulting each other. I could only pray it wasn’t over my performance. 
    “They’ve got homes to go back to. I just sleep on a couch in the back. Same with a bunch of those other girls. Anyways. Bye, Anon,” With the fire in her eyes once again snuffed, she got up and trudged to the door.  
    “Anon!” The hakutaku called my name as the amazonian stormed off, “You may come out now. I don’t want to leave you in here all night.” 
    I watched Ruth leave the cell before I moved at all. I stood and excited the little cell as the overhead lights turned on. Ruth had already disappeared into the back. The hakutaku, her white coat now ragged, waved for me to follow her, “I apologize,” She began, still obviously seething over her arguments, “Today has been rough. If you wish to return and participate in a real study, please come back. I will still pay you for your time tonight. But, as we did not get you through every participant we had planned, I cannot pay you in full.” 
    I frowned, “Okay.” 
    “My colleagues are discouraged by the lack of progress we’ve made. Ever since the Jackson case--” She slapped a hand over her mouth as if she had said something she wasn’t supposed to. She glanced at me, only seeing how confused I was, “Well, we cannot get any real data on what magic or personalities help mamanos or humans. That man was exposed to many different magics and a whole heaping of love, we cannot really tell what fixed his blackened heart. I assure them that its magic, but as with your case, the calming magic of the first subject did nothing and the more chaotic and destructive magic of the cheshire, which was not effective either.” 
    “Why are you telling me all this?” I asked, eager to take my meager pay and leave. 
    The hakutaku suddenly gripped my shoulders, filling my heart with fear and dread, “BECAUSE THEY WILL NOT LISTEN TO ME! NO ONE WILL!” She held onto me quite a bit longer than was comfortable then released me, “Remember, you are under NDA,” She messed with something behind the counter before handing an envelope to me. I peeked inside at the crisp green dollar bills and the gift card to a pretty expensive restaurant in town. It wasn’t what I had been promised, but I might be able to live on this for a while longer. The researcher didn’t look up from the desk as she started writing something down. Without another word, I walked out of the building and back into the old industrial area. I didn’t know what used to be made here, but now it was almost abandoned. I was sure these ‘scientists’ weren't the only ones using these warehouses and old factories. I scrunched up my nose as I got the strong scent of sewage in my nostrils. I had quite a journey home. No carriage driver would come out here to get me and I didn’t have a car. It gave me a lot of time to think about the night, at least. I grabbed my bike and put my helmet on. At least no one had snatched it from where I hid it. The image of Ruth wouldn’t leave my mind no matter how hard I tried. I had felt strangely calm around her. Perhaps our shared misery was helping. I had to come back. I needed to see her again. 
 
    “You... Want back in? After the disaster last night was?” The hakutaku asked over the phone. 
    I nodded as if she could see me, “Yes. I would like to come back and try again,” A bit of confidence showed in my voice. 
    “Did one of the girls click with you!?” The lamia demanded as she snatched the phone from the hakutaku. I could hear the cow scientist shout in protest. 
    “U-Uh...” I stammered. I was kind of nervous to admit it, “T-that hellhound, Ruth. I want to speak to her again.” 
    “Her!? We weren’t even paying much attention when you two--”  
    The phone was snatched from the lamia, “Why? She doesn’t have any magic to mess with your heart or feelings,” The amazonian demanded. 
    “I-I don’t know...” I mewled weakly. 
    She removed the phone from her ear before a frustrated howl left her lips. The phone was grabbed by the hakutaku, “Mr. Anon,” She spoke as calmly as possible, “How soon can you get down here?” 
    I looked around my tiny apartment and down at myself. I needed to shower. I needed to shave. I needed to bike down there without getting incredibly sweaty, “M-maybe in an hour?” I squeaked before realising I hadn’t even eaten yet. 
    “Good! Hurry!” She hung up the phone. 
    I looked around at my one room studio apartment as I slowly put the phone down. I sighed and asked myself what I was doing quietly. It wasn’t like I DIDN’T want a girl in my life. But a hellhound? She’d keep me safe at least, other mamano were afraid of hellhounds just as much as I was. But I wasn’t really afraid of Ruth. I couldn’t really place the feeling I had when I thought about her. I didn’t have time to waste, I needed to get ready. I wanted to look a lot more presentable than yesterday. 
 
    I was led into the brightly lit hallway, the hakutaku scientist still made me nervous. She carried herself with an air of superiority, like she thought every person around her was a mere neanderthal compared to her intellect, “We usually do not do these on the weekdays, but we decided to make a special exception for you. Ruth stays here, as part of her pay, so it is quite easy to arrange another meeting for the two of you,” I started to nod silently in thanks. She didn’t even wait for me to finish, “This will be almost exactly the same as yesterday. But you will only be speaking with her. Take as much time as you need.” 
    I walked into the brightly lit room. The cage looked exactly the same. Two benches and two doors still, “Go,” The amazonian ordered. Her hair looked a little disheveled and her clothes were unkempt as if she hadn’t slept much. The lamia looked excited at least. The other two looked pretty unhappy. 
    I entered the cage without a word, “Participant four!” The hakutaku called.  
    My heart started to race as I waited. The other door opened and a confused looking Ruth walked in. There was a tiny bit more confidence in the way she moved. She was wearing the same exact outfit. Maybe it was a second identical shirt. She sat on the other bench without a word, “You came back? Just to see me?” I couldn’t really put it into words so I just smiled and shrugged casually despite my heart pounding at an almost painful rate. She gave me an angry look, “Look, I told you. You don’t want me,” She growled as she folded her arms and looked away from her. 
    My heart sank as I shrunk away from her, “I-I--” I stopped, unsure what to say. I felt despair. 
    Ruth glanced at me, “H-hey,” She got up and switched to the bench I was on, “Don’t look at me like that. You look like my little sister when I used to scold her.” 
    “S-Sorry,” I looked down at the floor as I clasped my hands together. 
    She sighed as a bit of smoke billowed from her eyes, “Look, if you really wanna give me a shot, I’m in. I don’t need you to take me out to some restaurant, I just need someplace to rest my head tonight. Something more comfortable than a mat on the floor would be nice.” 
    “I-I’ve got this gift card,” I pulled it from my pocket, the one I had been paid with. 
    She shook her head, “Save it for whatever girl you end up actually dating. How about your place and a movie? That’s cheap,” I  nodded. I was going to spend a night with the hellhound that had entranced me in our shared sadness. It was something, not the date I had wanted, but something at least. But Ruth was coming to my little apartment, I hadn’t planned for this. I jumped as a big paw was placed on my shoulder. She pulled her hand back as I suddenly flinched. We both looked at eachother and locked eyes. It would have been uncomfortable if it had been with anyone else. We both sort of half smiled awkwardly at each other. I could see her tail wagging out of the corner of my eye. 
    “I DON’T GET IT!” The hakutaku screamed as she threw her clipboard on the ground, “SHE DOESN’T EVEN HAVE MAGIC!” 
    “Oh, fuck this,” Ruth groaned as she hopped up from the bench. I hopped up too, hoping this wouldn’t ruin my night, “Come on,” She ordered as the overhead lights turned on. She grabbed my arm just above the elbow. I knew I was blushing, embarrassed as she suddenly got protective. The hakutaku approached us, she seemed pretty mad. Ruth growled at her, “Leave him alone you cow.” 
    “H-he-- How have you both--” 
    “Who cares,” Ruth stated matter of factly, “You’ve been at this for nearly a year and you have no data. I’ve been here this whole time you’ve been ‘studying,’” She says it with venom in her voice, “I’m not letting you delve into his brain like you did those other boys,” A raging fire burned in the corner of her eyes as I started to fear what I had really signed up for. 
    “B-but-- His contract! Your contract!” 
    “Shove it up your ass, would ya?” Ruth’s sadness was gone, now replaced with a ferocity, “Not like you’re gonna sue over that.” 
    “Okay, okay okay,” She tried to recover, “How about this? You two leave, date and whatever comes of that, I’ll pay you. I just need information about it. I HAVE to figure out why you two have suddenly... Fallen for one another.” 
    “We can’t--” The amazonian growled, starting to argue. 
    “SHUT IT!” The hakutaku screamed, “Look, I’ll pay you both handsomely, please. I need SOMETHING! You two are the first to actually make some kind of connection without magic!” 
    Ruth grunted and looked at me, “Your call. If you... Want to actually date me, even if it is for the money, I’ll agree. B-but I’ll need somewhere to live. I hope you don’t mind housing me.” 
    “Its for science,” I corrected her with a little chuckle, “I don’t mind taking you in. I-I--” I stammered before suddenly collecting myself as she gripped my arm tightly, “I’ll do it,” I repeated. 
 
    “This is it, the bachelor pad,” I announced quietly as I pushed open my front door. Two hours of walking were killing my legs. We had both been pretty quiet during the walk. The only thing Ruth had to her name was a little bag with some cash and some clothes in it. Not like I had much more than her, “I-Ignore the mess.” 
    “Its homey,” She assured me as she slinked into the room after me. She dumped her things on the floor and laid out on the couch. It was much too small for her but she still sighed dreamily as if she had just entered a completely new world of comfort.         “Can I get you anything?” I asked meekly as I stepped before the imposing and somewhat muscular form of the hellhound. She shook her head as she hugged one of the pillows on the couch, “Um,” I swallowed nervously as my stammering got her attention, “Thanks. For what y-you did back there.” 
    She sat up and looked at me with exhausted eyes, “I got a whiff of your sudden spike of fear. I couldn’t just let them terrorize you. Especially after seeing what happened to some of those guys that they probed for more information.” 
    “What--” 
    She shuddered, “Don’t ask.” 
    “What do you mean smelled my--” 
    “Look, not a lot of canine girls can do it anymore, very little even, but I can. Its really easy for me to pick up on emotions, especially negative ones, just by smell,” She didn’t seem to be proud about it.  
    “Weird,” I muttered. 
    “Its a fucking defect, I know,” She snapped. I flinched at her sudden hostility. Her face contorted into a fear filled frown, “I-I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to raise my voice at you. I didn’t want to snap at you,” Before I could respond and ease her worry, she snatched me up and placed me on the little couch. We both hardly fit but she managed to cuddle me in her strong, yet gentle grip, “No being sad now, alright?” She whispered as she put her chin on the top of my head. I got a faceful of her chest fluff, the little patch all hellhounds have right below their neck and above their shapely... Breasts. My face was pretty much in her breasts. My heart started to pound again. Ruth grabbed my shoulders and pulled me away from her at arm's length. I could see tears welling up in her eyes, “What is it!? Why are you afraid of me!? What am I doing wrong!?” She begged to know. 
    My nervous frown slowly shifted to a small, embarrassed smile, “M-my-- My face was...” I trailed off as I looked down at her form fitting tank top. 
    Ruth blinked at me and looked down, “What?” 
    “Between your breasts...” I admitted weakly. 
    “Pfft,” Ruth could hardly hold back her laughter, “I didn’t take you for a fucking prude!” She grabbed me again and pulled me back into a hug as she burst out into laughter. She made sure to give me a face full of breast before moving my head to her shoulder, “Rest now. If my legs are killing me after that walk, I know yours are fucked too.” 
    With those words, a wave of exhaustion hit me. I closed my eyes. I didn’t have any intention of falling asleep yet, I just wanted to absorb the heat from her ashen skin as I made myself comfortable in her grasp. I had a lot on my mind, but that would have to wait for another time.   

PT2

    I yawned and rolled over, accidently putting my face in Ruth’s chest again. Her body was warm, her paw and leg fur was soft and she smelled a little like campfire and smoked meat. It was pretty nice, probably just another way to attract men. Although it had never been confirmed online, I was sure they also farted rainbows and crapped gold for their husbands. That was a joke. I struggled as she squeezed me tightly against her breasts. She laughed as I pulled away, “If you wanna sleep, go sleep in your bed,” She yawned. We had just finished watching ‘Big Trouble in Little China,’ ‘Die Hard,’ and ‘Road Warrior’ together. Dinner had been some easy to make quesadillas that I had thrown together, “Where’d you get all these old ass movies anyways, Anon?” Ruth asked as she sat us both up. We had gotten back from the research center around five, started movies around six and now it was around eleven. 
    “Dad,” I stated simply. I didn’t have any of those new mamano movies, the ones with a lot of fucking, apparently. But Ruth seemed to enjoy badass action heroes. 
     “S-something didn’t happen to him, right? What about your mom?” I shook my head and she sighed with relief, “Why didn’t you move back in with them? If you joined that study, you obviously needed the money.” 
    “W-well... Mom... Sh-she...” I grimaced. 
    Ruth grinned and wrapped her arm around me, “Lemme guess. She monsterized and turned really hot, huh? You started to develop one of those complexes?” I started to get red in the face out of undeserved embarrassment, “I think those researchers talked about it. Oedipus complex? Boys who want girls to mom dom them? Maybe that’s what you want, Anon,” She had a big wide smile on her face.  
    “NO!” I shouted, only making her grin wider, “W-well she did turn into a monster...” You quickly add. 
    Ruth shook the couch with her laughter, “Oh, I’m just messing with you, Anon. What did she turn into?” 
    “A fish.” 
    “A mermaid!?” She laughed again, “Her and dad move to the bottom of the sea?” I nodded, making her laugh once again, “Visits must suck!” 
    “At least I got some sisters out of it,” I shrugged. 
She stretched out, “That’s cute,” She leaned on me making me a little nervous, “God you’re fun to tease,” She paused before she got off of me, “Y-You don’t think I’m gonna hurt you? Right? A-and you don’t hate it when I tease you, right?” I could hear genuine fear in her voice, she was facing away from me now so I couldn’t see her face. 
    I shook my head before realising she couldn’t see me, “N-no,” I tried and failed to put on my most confident voice. But I put a hand on her shoulder which she seemed to have a positive reaction to, “You don’t seem like you’d hurt anyone on purpose.” 
    “Hmph,” She glanced towards me with a smile on her face and a wagging tail, “Didn’t take you for a sweetheart either,” A bit of fire sparked in the corners of her eyes. She grabbed me with a grin and pulled me onto her lap. Her arms squeezed me again as they held me tightly, “Sure you don’t want me to be your mommy?” She giggled, “Maybe I can fill that fish shaped hole in your lonely heart?” I folded my arms and pouted. Ruth giggled again and pat my head a little condescendingly, “You just need a friend, maybe?” I stopped pouting and let myself relax in the heat of the large hellhound woman. I nodded slowly, “I can do that. You’re gonna be my friend too, alright? Maybe I’ll just have to take care of you too. Lord knows you need me.” 
    “What?” 
    “Oh look at you, just a little, adorable nervous wreck.” 
    “A-adorable?” I nervously stammered. 
    “Did I say that out loud?” Ruth whimpered, “Dammit. Whatever. I need to get up,” She picked me up and set me aside before sliding to the floor and started doing a few stretches. I gave her a confused look, “I missed my stretches today. Usually do them around dinner but I got caught up in the antics of John Mcclain,” She returned to her stretches. She twisted her upper body, popping her back loudly. I got on the floor too as I decided to join her, trying to ease my weary legs and back. I copied her and spread my legs in a V shape. I leaned towards my right leg, struggling to bend very far. Ruth put a hand on my back and pushed me a little further. I grunted, making her let up, “Other side now,” Ruth pushed me to the other side, “You’re as flexible as a fucking brick, Anon,” She giggled. I shrugged at her, “You’ve got the frame to be a runner, at least,” She ran me through a few more stretches.  
    “Uh...” I started. 
    “Getting nervous just from trying to talk to me?” She smiled softly. She helped me stand on one leg while grabbing the other, “How do those legs feel?” 
    “Fine,” I mumbled. 
    “Good, good,” She sat me down before doing the same stretch herself, “What was it you were gonna say?” 
    “W-well,” I swallowed. I decided against it. I wanted to get her settled in before asking anything more about what we had both signed up for. Or her past. I didn’t want to be invasive about it. Maybe it would be better to let her tell me herself? But my curiosity-- 
    “Anon?” Ruth shook me slightly, “You’ve been spacing out for a concerning amount of time,” I merely smiled apologetically, “Look, whatever you wanted to ask me is stressing you out. Just drop it until you feel comfortable asking,” I nodded and put my hands in my lap as I stared at the floor. I didn’t flinch as she put a powerful hand on my shoulder, “Bed time?” I nodded and got back up as Ruth plopped onto the couch, “Little small for me, huh?” I glanced towards my bed. She wouldn’t fit much better in that either, “No, no,” She scolded me, “I’m on the couch. Just gimme a blanket and maybe a pillow, alright?” A quick sigh escaped my lips before I nodded, “No lip, come on,” She lays out on the couch, her legs hanging over the armrest. I quickly gave her an extra pillow and a soft blanket, “Bet you never thought you’d have a hellhound staying the night, huh?” I shook my head slowly, “Well, night, Anon.” 
    “Night,” I replied before turning off the light and crawling into bed. 
 
    A pounding on the door woke me up, “Who the hell is trying to get a hold of me this early?” I wondered aloud as I grabbed a tank top. I glanced at Ruth. She had rolled off the couch and started laying on the floor. She clutched the pillow in her big claws, tearing the pillow case slightly. I threw the door open and looked into the dimly lit hallway. Of course, no one was there. Who would want to get in contact with me other than the landlord. As I started to close the door, I spotted something. Two envelopes taped to the door. I grabbed them, they felt thick, full of papers, maybe. I closed and locked the door before yawning and throwing the envelopes on the table. I glanced at Ruth again, still sleeping peacefully on the rug. She had thrown the blanket partially off of herself, exposing her chest. No shirt, no bra. I could see her dark colored nipples. They were right there. I could reach out my hand and poke one. I could FEEL a nipple if I just reached out my hands. Maybe that was too much? I had already seen them, was that enough? The first nipples I had ever seen on a woman. I couldn’t tell what this new feeling was, was it lust or was I already developing feelings for Ruth? W-well, I knew what the tightness in my pants was, but gazing upon her body and thinking about how she held me the night before... Is this what I wanted? Had I finally found-- “Hey,” Ruth’s grunt yanked me from my thoughts, “Why aren’t you still in bed? You need to get a good nights sleep,” She scolded as she threw the blanket off of herself. My eyes widened and my face turned red. She was naked. Completely naked. Her beautiful, ashen colored, toned body was laid bare for me to gaze upon.  I spun around quickly, not wanting her to see my embarrassment, “Huh? What is it, Anon?” 
    “You, uh, your...” I stammered, struggling to maintain my composure.  
    “Oh!” Ruth burst out into laughter, “This your first time seeing a woman naked?” I nodded, still not looking at her, “Good. Gimme a second.” 
    I checked the envelopes. One had my name on it, the other had Ruth’s. I wondered a bit on how someone knew she was here. Must have been those researchers, I shrugged to myself before opening the envelope. I gasped at what stared at me. A lot of bills-- green, crisp, one hundred dollar bills. It had to be the most money I had ever held in my hands. It wasn’t totally crazy, I couldn’t buy a house but I could pay the landlord back! I turned to look at Ruth. She had put on skin tight workout shorts and a sports bra. It was even more tantalising than when she had been naked, “Wow,” I mumbled as I gazed upon her clothed and shapely breasts and ass. I was definitely pitching a tent again.  
    I stared at Ruth as she approached me, toned midriff exposed. I had never known what my type was before. But I think I did now, “Yo, where’d you get that fat stack of bills? Thought you were broke!” 
    “I am!” 
    I offered her the envelope with her name on it. First name, last name and everything. She sliced the envelope open with her thumb claw. Her eyes widened as she pulled out her own stack of bills. She blinked in surprise, “Wow. I didn’t expect them to pay THAT much. But that's fine, better for us. What's this?” She grabbed the other paper in the envelope, “A test?” 
    I looked at my own, “Looks like a questionnaire...” Questions on mine pertained to Ruth. Looks, personality, scent and other miscellaneous things. I blushed as I thought of my answers. 
    “Looks like they’ll come pick these up tonight at midnight,” Ruth considers something silently before shaking her head, “We had better fill them out. I don’t wanna piss them off.” 
    I nodded silently, “Hey... What do these people do?” 
    “Well, I think I already told you. They’re trying to help people. Ones like you and me who can’t find anyone. Different reasons for each of us. I just gave up, struggled to keep living. If I had to guess, your thing is your fears and anxieties,” I scratched my neck and frowned but nodded, she had gotten it pretty much right, “We’re broken and these researchers think they can fix us. I doubt they really care, they just want to write their papers to pretend they can do something for us and get more funding to line their own pockets. You and I are the only real success they’ve had, and even then that's not even in the way they want the program to work. There was the Jackson case, though. They chalk that success up to how much and varied magic he was exposed to rather than that sweet kobold, Daisy. Hopefully I see her again someday. Anyways, Daisy was part of the program, but she met Jackson outside of it. They paid her to keep an eye on him and report back his condition. Then when he was cured by her love and by proxy she was healed then she dropped out of the project and the two live a normal life now. Of course the researchers didn’t accept that reason.” 
    “So now what?” I asked. 
    Ruth shrugged, “We play along until they get intrusive. Then I get violent-- Mad. I mean mad. I’m gonna be mad if they try to mess with you,” I gave her a confused look, I had never heard of a hellhound that was above violence, “Look, just because my instincts are screaming at me to be protective over you, doesn’t mean I wanna throw them all in the dumpster. They might deserve it, but mom taught me better than that.” 
    I had a lot of questions for Ruth, she mentioned her own issues and her mom. My curiosity was piqued, I wanted to know what had turned Ruth into the woman she was now. I knew I needed to pick my words carefully, but what did I ask about first? I didn’t want to set her off. I shuddered as a knock came from the door. It was firm but polite. I sighed but moved to the door. Ruth followed me silently, envelope still in hand. She hid behind the door as I opened it. I shook myself as my landlord stood in my doorway. A short woman with glasses and a fluffy looking brown raccoon tail. A tanuki, “Good morning, Mr. Anon!” She smiled at me. 
    I swallowed nervously. I owed her money, she had been so kind thus far and had been forgiving about me not being able to pay my whole rent, “J-just the person I wanted to see,” I lied, “I-I have the money to pay you back, p-plus interest,” I assured her.  
    “Oh, we’re past that, Anon. I have other ideas on how you will pay me back,” She licked her lips before her mouth spread into a devilish grin, “Don’t look so nervous, I’ll take care of everything, sweetie,” She started rifling through a bag on her hip as I backed away in fear. I glanced at Ruth, the flames in her eyes was a raging wildfire as the tanuki started to walk into the room after me, “I brought a lot of fun toys too! Some rope to hold you down as I force you to--” 
    She stopped talking as a firm, black furred paw clamped down on her shoulder. My landlord turned pale as she turned slowly to face Ruth. The furious hellhound utters a low, menacing growl as she gets in the tanuki’s face, “What makes you think you can talk to my man like that?” 
    “Y-your m-m-man?” She stammers, obviously shaking in her boots.  
    “Yeah. You wanna act like you own him? I know how you raccoon bitches work, got a fetish for putting poor boys struggling to even survive even further into debt. Huh? You wanna say it? Say you own him?” 
    “N-no, no!” The tanuku struggled to pull herself from the hellhound’s grip, “I-I had no idea you two were together! M-my nose isn’t as sensitive as other girls!” 
    “Good,” Ruth calmed down a little bit, “Just leave him alone, alright?” The tanuki nods repeatedly, “How much does he owe you. It is a legit thing, right, Anon?” I nodded. 
    “N-nothing! He doesn’t owe me anything! Please just let me go...” 
    Ruth looked at me. I told her roughly the amount I owed my landlord in rent. Ruth grabbed some hundreds from her envelope and put them in the tanuki’s hands, “Make like a tree, and get out of here... Before I lock you in a trashcan,” The fearful tanuki nodded and began apologising profusely as she backed out of the room. Ruth made a disgusted face, fixed her medium length hair before slamming the door and locking it, “Sheesh. Maybe I should answer the door from now on, huh?” She giggled to herself, “Maybe the next woman that comes to your door won’t be as much of a pushover,” She put an assuring hand on my shoulder before giving me the rest of the money in her envelope, “Before you say anything, I don’t need it. If you’ve got any more debts, pay them off with it. I REALLY don’t wanna turn your next potential rape into a real murder,” She started to laugh, “I barely held myself back on that tanuki. People like her made my blood boil more than usual.” 
    “Why are you so protective of me?” I blurted out suddenly.  
    Ruth looked down at me, right into my eyes. I caught myself staring back for once with fastly waning confidence. There was merely a smolder of smoke in the corner of her blinking eyes. I found her black sclera framing her fiery red and orange pupils to be enchanting. I looked away again, confidence completely crushed, “Didn’t I already say that you seem like you need my help? On top of that, you remind me of someone who is really important to me,” She very gently put her hand under my chin and made me look up at her, “Do you hate that I care about you like this? Am I being too pushy?” Her face contorted from an assured smile into a fear filled stare. She swallowed nervously and looked at me with pleading eyes. 
    “Y-you’re fine. I’m just not used to this,” She sighed with relief, “A part of my brain keeps telling me that mamano are only so nice to get something from me.” 
    “Well,” She chuckled quietly before grabbing my face with both hands, “With me around, other girls won’t get what they want from you.” 
    “But what do you want?”  
    Ruth released me and shrugged, “I dunno, really. I know I want to take care of you, but other than that I couldn’t really say,” I gave her another confused look, “Its just something deep in me that burns with a fiery passion. I want to take care of people like mom did. And right now, I want to take care of you. Simple as.” 
    “You’re... One of the weirdest mamano I’ve ever met or read about,” I scratched my head. 
    “Don’t worry about it. Come do some more stretches with me,” Ruth pulled me back to where she had slept and walked me through similar stretches, “So, you do a lot of research?” I nodded, “Nothing to do or out of curiosity?” 
    “Both,” I grunted as she pushed me a little further into my stretches. 
    The hellhound nods, “Probably kept you safe, huh? I saw that fear when you saw the cheshire. I’m kinda nervous around them too, don’t worry about it.” 
    I looked at her as she focused on her own stretches. I felt calm for once as I tried to find the words I wanted to say, “Hey, Ruth?” She looked at me nervously, “Thank you. Do you wanna fill out those forms and get some pizza?” 
    Ruth smiled, “I’d like that. Can I get a large meat lovers? I haven’t scarfed one of those down in ages! Oh! And a root beer!” I nodded. She had given me enough money to feed her as many pizzas as she wanted for a year probably. I couldn’t tell her no. But there was still a part of my mind that questioned what she REALLY wanted. But for now, I was just happy to spend more time with someone I actually felt comfortable around.  

PT3

Ruth finished inhaling her fries and downed a ton of her root beer. She sighed with contentedness before turning to me. She eyes the rest of my fries hungrily, “You gonna--” 
“Yes!” I scoffed as I tried to finish my first burger. I inched the fries away from her as she began to pout. The pouting didn’t last long as she picked up a controller and started playing video games again. 
    The hellhound grunted, “What are we gonna eat tomorrow?” We had been living together for a little less than two weeks now. We really just hung out, watched movies and played video games. The seven and a half tall hellhound was starting to bulk up. Her home weight lifting had been doing wonders for her body. She had forced me into a light workout regimine as well, mostly because she was afraid of my muscles atrophying away. I already felt stronger. Not as strong as her, of course. She got gains at an incredible rate. Twice now, we had filled out forms for those researchers. The money was nice, but I felt like I couldn’t put it in a bank. What if they started asking questions? I couldn’t tell them where the money was coming from. I had them hidden in a few locations around my apartment. I wondered if--  
Ruth nearly knocked the wind from my lungs as she smacked me on the back, “You monologuing to yourself again?” She grinned. I would have been mad if she wasn’t so pretty. I nodded, “You’re such a goof. Can we do grilled cheese tomorrow? Maybe some soup too? I bought soup when we went out today,” I nodded as I kept slowly eating my fast food, “Thank the maou they finally lifted that food delivery ban. We can get more than pizzas when we get lazy now!” She laughed, “Just wish I could get some good ass ribs delivered,” Her grin turned to a somewhat pained sigh. I shrugged apologetically at her and returned to my food, “Yeah, yeah. I know you love shitty fast food. And fuck, so do I! I’m gonna have a heart attack if I eat this shit though... But... Dammit I want more!” She lunged for my fries. 
    “No!” I barked. 
    Ruth stopped a few inches short, “Getting bold huh?” She stood to her full height and looked down at me, “Think you can stop me? Huh? Nerd?” Without a word, I grabbed the little cardboard container and placed it between my thighs, right against my crotch. I shifted slightly, daring her to go for it. She pouted again and slammed herself down on the couch making my end jump up a little. She picked up the controller again and sank into the couch. I held up a single fry for her, a nice long one, “Thanks, sweetheart,” She smiled before eating it out of my hand. I rolled my eyes at her but she didn’t seem to mind. She returned to her game as I looked out the window. The moon was pretty big. Not quite a full moon, but it surely was getting there. Maybe tomorrow? I wanted to go to bed soon, it was getting late and we were eating dinner later and later. I glanced back at Ruth just in time to watch her sneakily snatch another fry from between my legs. I pretended not to notice. 
 
    I woke up in the middle of the night to a loud commotion. A pan falling on the floor maybe. With my heart pounding from the sudden burst of fear, I sat up in bed. Ruth was in the kitchen, I could see her flaming eyes. She let out a low growl as she picked up the pan and folded it in half. Her breathing was ragged while she stomped across the room, head in one hand and the destroyed pan in the other. I reached to my bedside dresser and grabbed the flashlight. I flipped it on and pointed the high powered beam at Ruth making her drop the pan and cover her face. I was really glad the landlord had these apartments soundproofed a while ago, “R-Ruth?” Was all I could squeak out.  
    The hellhound slowly uncovered her face revealing the trails of tears running down her cheeks. Her teeth were grit, and the flames had receded into light smoke. She was naked again, but that didn’t matter right now. I was more concerned than horny at the moment. Her face was glowing red as I hopped out of bed and approached her, “A-Anon. Please go back to bed,” She whimpered.  
I frowned at her, “Ruth,” I said her name again, “What is it?” 
    “I don’t want you seeing me like this.” 
    “You folded a pan in half!” I gestured to the floor at the cooking pan. I was more worried about her than the pan, of course. It was a nice, trusty pan, but Ruth was more important. 
    “Anon. Leave me alone. You don’t need to worry about me. I don’t want you to have to worry about me,” She dried her face and tried to turn away from me. I grabbed her arm as I gave her a stern look, “Where’d this sudden boost of confidence come from?” She growled as a bit of rage came forth. Taken aback, I released her and stepped away, a little afraid of her suddenly growling at me, “Don’t look at me like that,” I could hear her voice seeping with fear and desperation as she pleaded with me, “Anon, please, stop,” She kept begging as she backed into the corner of the room. She slid down the wall, “I don’t want to hurt you,” She sobbed as she curled up on the floor in a delirious state. I grabbed a big blanket as I inched towards Ruth. She cried quietly on the floor. This was the first time she had ever really been emotionally vulnerable around me, but I had to help her in some way. She was always there for me when my negative emotions flared, I should be able to help this lonely and lovely hellhound as well. I took the blanket and draped it over Ruth. I lifted it up and got underneath it with her. Her wails slowly slowed down to a sniffle as she glanced at me, “Anon...” 
    “Shh,” I hushed her as I pulled her into leaning on me. Her head planted firmly on my shoulder. I gently ran my fingers through her hair. Her soap made her smell like lavender. It didn’t completely mask the campfire smell. She suddenly grabbed me and pulled me into her lap facing her. She once more buried her face in my shoulder and pulled my head into her own shoulder. It was nice and toasty under the blanket, “Talk to me,” I requested quietly.  
    “Y-you don’t need my baggage,” She whined. I pushed her head off my shoulder and frowned at her, “Okay. Okay. I’ll talk. H-how about in the morning? We both need to sleep,” She yawned. I sighed, but I knew she was right. I gave her a nod as I tried to slide off of her lap. Ruth grabbed my wrist and blushed, “W-would you hold me tonight? I need you.” 
    My heart started to pound. Was this finally it? Was she going to bed me? Were we going to get down and dirty tonight? I nodded with a small smile. Ruth picked me up over her shoulder pretty easily. She grabbed the blanket and dumped me on my bed. Without another word, she pressed her nude body on top of my shirtless chest. Her legs hung off the foot of the bed until she wrapped her legs around my own. One arm rested under my head and the other on top of my chest as she lay next to me. She looked at me with her beautiful eyes before pulling me close and pressing her chin into my scalp. She let a long, elated sigh escape her lips. I reached a hand up and rubbed the nape of her neck gently. She seemed to grumble happily before finally drifting off to sleep. Well, at least I got to keep my virginity intact for a while longer. 
 
    I woke up as light streamed into the room. Ruth was clutching me tightly in her arms. She had shifted around in the night so I was now on my side, back against her chest. I could feel heat radiating from her soft skin and tough muscles. Laying in her strong arms, her massive mammaries pressed against my head... It was nice. I still wasn’t quite sure what my feelings were for Ruth. I loved having her around, but did I love her? Or was that just my dick doing all the talking? What did my heart say? Was that constant pounding in my chest fear? Anxiety? Love? I didn’t know. I had never felt this way about a woman before. Especially one like Ruth.  
    The only thing I knew right now, was that I needed to pee. I eyed the bathroom door and tried to push one of Ruth’s big hellhound paws off of me. She snarled and clutched me even tighter. I jerked my head up as my heart began to pound with fear. I was terrified that I had set her off somehow. Was that inhuman fury from last night still present? Her eyes were still shut as she peacefully snoozed. I sighed with relief, but my movements were only making Ruth squeeze me more. It was nice and comfortable at least. At least until I heard my back pop. I groaned. Was it pleasure or pain? I didn’t know, “Ruth,” I called weakly. I felt her hot breath on my face as her lips gently curled into a smile. It was almost malicious looking, “Ruuuuth,” I called a little louder. 
    Her smile turned into a sleepy grin, “Mmm... Anon... How did you know I wanted ribs? Oh, of course, I’ll slather you in some sauce too...” Her head pushed down towards my face and her tongue rolled out of her mouth. She ran her tongue down my face once then went back to sleeping even happier than before. I sighed and tried to say her name again. Suddenly, her claws dug into my skin, “No, mom, I won’t!” She growled.  
Her claws began to drag painfully across my skin, “RUTH!” I shouted. 
Ruth’s eyes started to well up with tears again as they flew open, “Its just you. Thank the Maou,” She grumbled as she loosened her hug. 
“Bad dream?” I half joked as she got comfortable again. 
“It started really good! It was...” She trailed off, suddenly really nervous, “You... Kept bringing me food. Y-you were... Wearing...” She swallowed nervously, “Something just WONDERFUL. And you kept bringing me delicious homemade food,” She started to salivate a little. I hoped it was over me, “I had just gotten home from work, we had kids, I think... And I felt really happy,” She smiled and I smiled back, “Bu-But then my mom showed up. And she started telling me how I could never be with a man over how destructive I was when I was younger. I kept hurting others, and making people cry... I did it for fun, Anon.” 
    “But you’re not like that now,” I assured her. 
    “Yeah. But I’m sure mom still wouldn’t think that.” 
    “D-do you want to talk about it?” I asked, ignoring my need to pee and the saliva coating my face. 
    Ruth looked at me nervously, “I’ve been keeping this in too long, haven’t I? Well, I’ll talk,” She nodded slowly, “Go clean.. Whatever that is off your face and lets talk over breakfast, alright?” 
    I nodded as she released me. Before rolling out of the twin sized bed, I gave her a firm hug around the neck. I pet her hair gently as she just lay there, pressing herself against me, “R-R-Ruth--” I started to stammer, struggling to get the words out of my throat and into my mouth. I wanted to tell her I loved her, that I wouldn’t think less of her no matter what came up. I just wanted to see her smile again. 
    “Save it,” She instructed as she pushed me off herself, “You won’t wanna say it when I’m done with my story.” 
I frowned at her as I slowly got off the bed, “D-don’t run off, please.” 
    Ruth looked a little surprised before smiling at me. Her tail wagged gently, “I won’t do that to you. Go clean yourself up.” 
    I nodded and slipped into the bathroom, giving the whole apartment to Ruth to do whatever she needed. 
 
    I emerged after taking a quick shower. Ruth was in the kitchen, the folded pan was next to the sink and she had some pancakes and sausage going. She was definitely sulking, but she was still here. I was happy about that at least. She had a loose fitting tank top on and a pair of tight sweatpants. I scooted to my dresser and threw some clothes on. Ruth was staring at me when I turned back around to her. I frowned at her blank expression and sat at the table. She put a plate of pancakes in front of me as she sat across from me at the small table. A small plate of sausage was between us to share. I stared at her expectantly, “Could I borrow your phone?” Ruth asked quietly, “I need to call someone. Maybe more than one person.”  
I nodded and passed it to her, “Calling your mom?” 
Ruth’s lips contorted into a sad frown, “Wish I could,” She started putting in a phone number. She brought the phone to her head as she quietly ate a bite of sausage. She sighed sadly, “Hey, sis... Its Ruth. Just, uh... Wanted to talk. I’m doing fine, no need to worry about big sis. J-Just give me a call on this number, sometime. Anon will probably answer. H-He’s a good kid. I, uh... Love ya,” She put the phone down and put her head in her hand.  
Before I could speak, she picked up the phone again and put another number in, “Hey sis,” She said again, a bit more chipper now, “Its Ruth, ya know, ya big sis? Hope you and your husband are well. Just gimme a call sometime, alright? Love ya,” She put the phone down again. She was an inch away from breaking down into tears. She called two more numbers and went to voicemail again, leaving similar short and loving voice mails on both. She put my phone down before slamming her fist down on the table. The plates clinked and a sausage rolled off the small plate, “They don’t need me anymore...” She mumbled. 
    “Ruth,” I said her name firmly, “Th-they’ll call back.” 
    She gripped the edge of the table and looked at me, “What if they don’t? I fucking raised those girls when mom died. Maybe they think I fucked up. I shouldn’t have called. T-they probably hate me.” 
    “Ruth!” I snapped, “Stop! I can’t stand hearing you talk like this!” I covered my mouth, unsure of where that outburst had come from. 
    She wiped her wet eyes and smiled at me, “A-at least you care.” 
    “I do care. Just like you care.” 
    “I should have known, you sweetheart. Well,” She wiped her eyes again and shoveled a pancake in her mouth, “I hope they call back. You probably wanna know what I’m on about, huh? Promise you won’t hate me no matter what?” I nodded, “Alright,” She took a deep breath, “Lemme just rip the band aid off. My parents died in the wars back home. A lot of mamano and human violence, and not the good, sexy kind. Sorry, I shouldn’t be making jokes. Me and my sisters, there were five of us being raised by the old woman. Never talked about why she never had her own family. She passed a few years before those portals opened to bring us here. Never got to see this beautiful world. Being the oldest, it was my job to take care of the others. I grew up really fast. Way too fast. Three of us got jobs while we tried to send the youngest two to good schools. A tiny apartment, just like this, was all we had. One by one, I paid their way into school or I got them married to really great guys with good jobs. I wanted them all to be happy. I wanted them to have good lives without poverty and war. Eventually, they were all gone. Just me in that tiny, cold ass apartment.” 
    “Then what?” I asked quietly. 
    “I stopped. I couldn’t get myself to do anything. Couldn’t care for myself or even go to work. Lost my job, the apartment, sold most of my stuff. I was ready to lay down and die like the old woman but my sisters wanted to hear from me every so often. But I guess not right now. I still love them, of course. But I did my job. I miss the old lady. Wish she had made it so I could take care of her too. I owed her for what she did for us, even if she was incredibly hard on us. Didn’t want us to turn out like her I guess,” She started to cry softly again.  
I reached across the table and grabbed her hand, “Thanks, sweetheart,” She smiled and dried her eyes, “At least I’ve got you now. You’re giving me something to live for right now. We should drop out of that research soon. I’ll find a job and take care of you,” I gave her a confused look, “I know the research money is really good, but I’m worried about you. I’m terrified they’ll do to you what they did to those other poor guys there,” She shuddered. I frowned, also nervous about that now, “Stop acting so scared. We’ll move, live in a nicer part of town... Maybe have some kids, huh?” 
    “Y-you want kids? W-with me?” I gasped. My heart started to pound. 
    “Anon. I dream about you in compromising poses. Last night I dreamed about you in nothing but an apron and I kept grabbing your ass and I slathered you in barbeque sauce and I licked all--” She stopped herself, “I like you. Maybe I love you. I don’t know. I don’t know what these feelings are. Stop acting so nervous. I know you like what you see. You think I don’t see those boners?” She laughed, “Your pants are much too loose to not make it obvious. Anyways. Finish up eating. Its movie and cuddle day.” 
 
    I lay in Ruth’s arms on the couch, “Hey, pass me some candy,” She demanded, “Dear Maou... Arnold is pretty cool.” 
    “He is!” I laughed as I passed her the candy she wanted. I ate some crackers as Total Recall played on the TV. It was getting late. We had been watching movies all day. Mostly Schwarzenegger movies.  
    Ruth sighed and nuzzled her chin against my scalp. My phone started to ring, Ruth snatched it off the couch and answered, “Hellllllooo~” She greeted the unknown number warmly, “Kylee!?” Ruth jumped up, throwing me off the couch, “Oh, fuck. Sorry, Anon,” She whimpered as she grabbed the back of my shirt and pulled me back onto the couch. I shook myself and went for a drink of Sprite as I paused the movie, “Anon. Yeah he’s the guy I’m staying with. He’s really sweet and--” Ruth paused, her face suddenly glowing red, “You know I haven’t! Mom raised us all good!” Ruth barked.  
Her face turned to something cheerful yet sad, “Thanks. I needed to hear that I didn’t fuck up with you kids. Why’d I call? I just miss you four and... I’ve been having those bad dreams again. Real bad ones. Yeah. The violent ones about the people I love. I-Its mostly just Anon now...” She swallowed nervously, “Yeah. I-I folded a saucepan in half after I woke myself up. Yeah, I can’t tear them in half anymore. You know what happened to me, lost most of my bulk when I stopped functioning. At least I can throw Anon around pretty easy,” She grinned at me, “Yeah, he’s a total cutie too. You’ll have to meet him sometime. We haven’t gotten married or anything yet. No, no sex either. We’ll do it traditionally, like mom would have wanted. I want his consent too. Mom would have wanted that.”  
Ruth’s smile suddenly dropped off her face, “What? No, its Tuesday,” She assured her sister. Ruth hopped up and stared out the window, “OH FUCK!” She suddenly shouted with a fearful expression on her face, “IT IS WEDNESDAY! SHIT!” Ruth turned to me with wide eyes, “I’ll call you later, Kylee!” She hung up suddenly and stomped over to me. She put her hands on my shoulders after putting the phone in my hands and planted a kiss on my cheek, “I have to go tonight. I-I’ll be back tonight if I can find that medication anywhere. Or I’ll just crash somewhere else tonight. I-Its for the benefit of both of us. I-I love you,” She kissed my other cheek and rushed out of the apartment after grabbing some money. 
I sat alone. My apartment felt cold now. But holy shit, she said she loved me. I grinned then frowned, I hadn’t said it back. I had been too stunned to even speak. I got up and looked out the window. I stared at the big full moon. I had thought the whole full moon rape mode thing had been just a myth. Most girls apparently were immune to it now, our moon here on Earth wasn’t as strong or something. But Ruth was a special girl. She could smell my emotions and was seemingly affected by this moon thing too. I sighed, wondering where she was going.  
Medication? Maybe it made her immune to the moon thing. I had definitely read about that somewhere, but like I said it was something I didn’t even realise was a real thing. Its not like I had ever shopped for mamano focused snake oils. I started putting snacks away, I wanted to keep Ruth’s soda from going flat. I yawned. Maybe I should just sleep? If Ruth comes back she could just slip into bed with me or get on the couch. God, I hoped she was alright.  
I heard a noise behind me, towards the door. It creaked as the door slowly opened. Was she back already? Maybe I should say it back right now? I swallowed nervously and turned around slowly, “Ruth? I--” My words were cut short as something hit my chest. I felt my limbs go numb as I fell to the floor.  
“This is Angel One,” The woman said as she lightly stepped over to me, “Got him,” A voice replied in a garbled manner through a radio, “Repeat. Successful. Send in the movers,” She slipped a bag over my head and tightened it, “Uhuh,” She replied to the voice again.  
I couldn’t even move my mouth. I wanted to call out to Ruth to help me like she always did. But she wasn’t here. Big hands manhandled my body and lifted me over their shoulder, “Wow, he's a light one.” 
“Shut up and get him to the lab,” The woman who shot me growled. 
My heart pounded as fear wracked my body. Tears rolled down my face as I begged for Ruth to show up and help me. The two quietly stomped out of the building. It had to be the back entrance. I was loaded into the back of a wagon and wheeled away, “Knock him out,” A third, familiar voice ordered. 
I whimpered in response, “You got it, boss,” The bigger one grunted. I felt something prick my arm and my world behind the bag started to spin. 
    I blacked out.  

PT4

    Ruth returned to the apartment. Just the thought of Anon was driving her mad. Thank the Maou she had found that medicine she needed. The front door was closed, “Yo! Anon!” Ruth called, “I need you to hide in the bathroom, alright? I might get set off if I see you. I just need some water to take these with,” Ruth was quiet, even then she didn’t hear a response. Was Anon playing? She wondered, “Look this is serious! I wanna go back to watching Total Recall and cuddling! I need you to do this, alright?” No noise at all. Had he gone to bed? It wasn’t that late. She groaned to herself and pushed the door open, “At least he had left it unlocked for--” 
    Ruth stopped dead as the scent of fear hit her like a wall. A few snack containers had been knocked to the floor, the TV and DVD player were both still on as was the lights. Anon wasn’t in his bed. Something was horribly wrong. The hellhound sniffed the air, trying to get the scent of anything she could. She smelled someone, no, two people. They smelled... They smelled like... “No,” Ruth whispered, “No, no, no...” She dropped the medicine on the counter as the inhuman rage overcame her being. The fire in her eyes burned brighter than it ever had. Ruth let out a bestial roar, waking up half the apartment before slamming the door and running as fast as she could through the halls then down the stairs. She had his scent, the smell of fear mixed with his shampoo as she charged down the street. She was horny, and with the Maou as her witness, she was incredibly pissed. 
 
    I awoke in pain with a foggy head. I was sitting in a comfortable chair with my hands tied behind me. I wasn’t gagged or blinded, thankfully. A few bright lights overhead illuminated the warehouse. Warehouse? I looked around. I had been here before. I was sitting in a cage, the same one I met Ruth in, it seemed. The two benches had been removed, instead there was only the simple chair I was on. I glanced over as I finally tuned into the conversation, “Why would you bring him HERE!?” The lamia screeched, “Why would you even kidnap him!?” 
    The hakutaku scoffed, “No one person is too important for this. He has vital information that could help all of monster kind!”  
    “What info? All he did was hang out with that hellhound for two weeks,” The amazonian sighed. 
    “Are you questioning me?” The hakutaku hissed at her, “Do I need to report you to the director once more?” 
    “Fuck it, do it. I don’t give a shit any more. We are actively hurting people!” 
    “But this could be it! This could be the breakthrough we need! We just need to quantify how these two changed. This man holds the key! There is no way that hellhound will comply!” 
    “I don’t like this. I just have this horrible feeling,” The lamia muttered.  
    The hakutaku ignored her and approached the cage with a chair and clipboard in hand. She propped up the folding chair in front of me, but still outside the cage. She put on a fake smile and adjusted her glasses once she sat down in the chair, “Good evening, Anon. How are you doing tonight?” I didn’t respond to her. I wanted to believe it was defiance, but it was probably fear, “Come on, Anon. You could hold the potential to help scores of humans and monsters!” Still, I said nothing, “Tell me about you and Ruth? You two have been together non stop, right?” I did not grace her with a response. I couldn’t. 
    “The poor thing is terrified, look at him! Shaking in his boots,” The lamia whimpered for me. 
    The amazonian sighed, “You’re not gonna get anything out of ‘im, lady.” 
    “I won’t... But maybe someone else can,” The hakutaku laughed maliciously, “You had better just talk, Anon,” Her threats only made it harder for me to speak as the fear overtook what little defiance I had in me. She waited a few minutes before she sighed, “Alright, Anon. You chose this. Bring her out!”  
    There were a few moments of silence before a door opened and slammed shut, “I am not some beast at your beck and call,” Another voice growled. It was strangely echoey and wet. A moist sloppy noise seemed to drag across the floor. I watched behind me nervously as whatever it was dragged itself into the light. A squid woman of purple and pink colors slid into view. Mindflayer. She wore a white lab coat over her slime covered body. 
    “Its supposed to be intimidating,” The hakutaku groaned, “Touch his mind and figure out what we need, would you?” 
    The mindflayer frowned, “That’s not what I’m here for. You know that. I am here to help fix others, not rape their minds.” 
    “Yes, I know, but this is different! Need I involve the director?” The hakutaku threatened. 
    “What do you want from him?” She asked with a discontented sigh.  
    “I need to know what makes him tick! Him and that hellhound just spent some time together and they’re suddenly happy now!” The hakutaku demanded.  
    The mindflayer took the clipboard from the head researcher and paced for a few moments, “These notes look like the ramblings of a mad man.” 
    “I am mad!” The hakutaku snapped, “We need to figure this out! We’re nearly there and--” 
There was a loud noise silencing the entire room. All four researchers looked towards the front room with confused expressions, “Oh, sweet Maou,” The lamia muttered. 
 
    Ruth threw a gazer through a window. The gazer’s tricks had done nothing against her. She panted as another terrified guard approached her with a shaking sword in her hand. That little bit of humanity still whispering in Ruth’s ears wondered why they didn’t just surrender. She didn’t really want to hurt these guards, she just had to remove them from her path. Ruth deflected a sword slash with her forearm before decking her opponent in the head. She was smart to stay down. Two more guards charged forward with fear on their faces. Ruth ran towards them and drop kicked both of them at the same time, a single foot to each of their upper bodies. Despite the armor, they both got the wind knocked out of them before they flew to the floor. Some of the other guards started shouting at each other, trying to coordinate. 
Ruth growled, scaring off a few of the more fearful guards, ‘Mom be damned,’ Ruth told herself in her head, ‘If someone hurt my Anon, they’re fucking dead,’ She howled in pain as a demon silver sword was shoved into her back. The guard got an elbow in the face before getting kicked and sent tumbling away, ‘This is all my fault isn’t it? We could have moved away sooner, but I didn’t push for it when I should have. Stupid movies distracted me. I left him alone and he got nabbed!” She pulled the sword out and threw it at another person who dared to get in her way, ‘Now’s not the time for that shit,’ She reminded herself as she decked a poor dragon girl, “I may be a fuck up,” She said aloud with a hellish snarl, “But I’m not fucking this up!”  
Ruth chased after the few remaining guards as they fell back, most screaming in horror as the murderous hellhound charged after them.  
 
I recognized that growl. Ruth! Ruth was here! I smiled, I should have known she would show up, “What do we do!? What do we do!?” The lamia asked in a panic. 
    The amazonian drew her long sword and sighed, “This is her problem, she should deal with it!” She pointed an accusatory finger at the hakutaku. 
    “Me!? We’re all a part of this!” The researcher screamed, “What would the director say about this!?” 
    “Who gives a damn? We’re all DEAD because of you! A horny, enraged hellhound that's actually still affected by the full moon! She is an ACTUAL monster right now!” 
    “Well, maybe you and your girls should have done your jobs and stopped her! Don’t any of you have a gun!?” 
    “Of course not! We--” The amazonian was cut off as the screams got louder. There was a loud thud then the shouting went silent, “Tell me that door is locked.” 
    A thunderous slam came from behind the door. Then another. And another. The hinges gave as the massive hellhound stepped into the room and onto the destroyed metal door. Her imposing aura made her look bigger than normal, “WHERE IS HE!?” Ruth screamed as her eyes blazed bright. She stomped towards the researchers, her tank top and sweats were both torn and her body was beaten. She glanced at me then kept stomping towards them. She knew I was safe, but she was still pissed and couldn’t let my kidnapping slide.  
    The amazonian stepped forwards with her sword in both hands, “I’m only doing this so I can get paid this month, alright? Don’t rough me up too bad. I got a husband and kids to go home to.” 
    I watched as she leapt into combat with Ruth. While the amazonian landed blows, they did little to slow Ruth down. She shrugged off hit after hit as she wildly swung. My chair was slowly pulled backwards towards the cage. A long snake tail was pulling me along, “Please,” The lamia begged on the verge of tears, “Keep her from tying me in a knot.” 
    “And me too! I wasn’t going to hurt you, I swear!” The mindflayer whispered with fear in her voice as she untied me. I leapt up from the chair and crept to one of the wooden doors leading out.  
    I looked up as the amazonian took a powerful jab to the stomach and a jumping knee to the chin. She was out for the count. She didn’t seem to actually be unconscious, merely staying down to avoid further wrath. The hakutaku backed away from Ruth and towards the cage, “Stay back!” She demanded as she drew a little two shot derringer. It had a glowing red seal on the side, it was definitely live, “I-I’m not afraid to use this! Its got real bullets!” Ruth stopped, unsure of what to do as she stared down the barrel of a loaded gun. Even in this enraged state I was terrified of what some bullets would do to her. I opened the cell door, outside of the hakutaku’s vision, “Look at you,” She hissed, “What would your mother say if she was here? You always went on and on about what she taught you,” I growled at the hakutaku’s question and shoulder checked her right in the side. In her surprise, she dropped the gun as she spun, her back now to the hellhound. I kicked the gun under something. 
Ruth lurched forwards and grabbed the nerdy cow in a bear hug, “My mom isn’t here,” She growled before suplexing her, slamming her onto the hard ground. I winced, from the way the ground shook, that had to have hurt. Ruth grabbed me now, her tail wagging at dangerous speed, “I was so scared,” She started to sob, “DID THEY HURT YOU!?” She suddenly and angrily demanded. 
    “No, I’m fine,” I assured her as I hugged her back, “Can we go?” Ruth glared at the lamia and mindflayer, both of them cowering in the corner together. 
    “You know... I think I get it now,” The hakutaku coughed. Ruth and I carefully stepped over to her, “You two, both putting your lives on the line for each other. Its just love. Unconditional and incredibly strong love. I-I think I was the only one broken here.” 
    “Whatever. I still hate your fucking guts,” Ruth grabbed her by the horns and lifted her high up, hanging her from the old disused hooks on the ceiling by her horns, “The cops will get you down, I’m sure.” 
    “W-well... Thanks for giving me the answers I wanted, I guess. This whole operation is probably going to get dissolved. The director is gonna be mad,” The cow woman sighed.  
    “Tell the director if they ever fuck with me or my man, I’m gonna personally shove their own head up their ass.” 
    “For what its worth, which is next to nothing, I’m sorry,” She sighed as she resigned herself to just hanging by her horns. 
    “Well, you got one successful pairing at least,” I shrugged. 
    Ruth grabbed me and picked me up over her shoulder, “I gotta get this one home. Past his bedtime and all,” She exited through some back rooms and into the cold streets, “Don’t worry I got us a ride,” Ruth walked about a block into another alley and loaded me into the back of a taxi sitting a block away. It was driven by an automaton who merely smiled knowingly at Ruth. The cops had shown up to the warehouse along with the paramedics. I leaned on Ruth as the taxi drove away from the warehouses. She was fidgety and breathing hard. She probably hurt all over too. She squeezed me tight, “I’m so glad they didn’t hurt you,” She sighed. I just nodded and closed my eyes. I thought about sleep, but I knew I wasn’t getting any tonight. 
 
    Ruth followed me into the apartment, “Anon,” She was panting and sweating. Her sweat pants were starting to soak in the crotch, “I-I don’t wanna hurt you tonight. Maou help me, I’m gonna break soon and--” She reached for the small bottle of pills on the counter. I grabbed it before she did, “Anon,” She said firmly. 
    “Look, Ruth,” I swallowed nervously as I looked at the tiny glass bottle, “I know I don’t always have the words I want to say to you. I usually can’t say what I want to you. But... I know what I want to say right now. I love you, Ruth. I-I want you to... Push me down and go to town. Make me yours.” 
    Without another word, Ruth started to strip, “Clothes off. Now,” I nodded and took them off, “Hey, no matter how crazy shit gets tonight,” She kissed me on the lips, “I love you,” She grabbed me and threw me on the bed. She stared down at me with hungry, heart shaped pupils and a bit of drool coming from her mouth. 
    I reached up and put my hand on her cheek as she grabbed my shaft and lined it up with her pussy, “You’re beautiful,” I told her. 
    “Yeah and I’m fuckin’ horny too. Holy shit this is UNREAL!” She growled as she pierced herself on my manhood. She was still for just a moment as her flames suddenly sputtered out. She took a deep breath and the fire in her eyes suddenly came back at a much higher volume. I felt a twinge of fear as she grabbed my shoulders to hold me down while she slowly kept piercing herself using my cock. Her pussy was incredibly tight, amazingly hot, and completely wet. She howled again as she arched her back. Oh god did she orgasm already? Her claws dug into my shoulders as she picked up the speed in her fucking. I leaned my head back as I exhaled. Ruth leaned over me, putting her breasts right in my face as she continued slamming her hips against mine. I wrapped my arms around her, holding her sweaty body close to mine. I wanted to touch every inch of her gorgeous body. She growled again as her body shuddered, her pussy quivering announcing her second orgasm. She panted, taking a short break before she started getting even more aggressive. It should have been painful as her claws raked across my back, as those powerful legs slammed herself into me, but I only felt intense pleasure and love. I reached and gave her a firm slap on the ass cheek, “You little--” She cut herself off with another snarl. 
    “L-Love you, honey!” I hardly squeaked before she shut me up with her breasts again. 
    “Shut it!” She growled, “I... Love you too, dammit,” She added sheepishly as she put her hand on the nape of my neck. The bed was creaking and shaking from Ruth’s merciless pounding. My hips were starting to hurt but Ruth wouldn’t slow down even if I begged.  
    I felt a pressure building in my loins. A pressure that threatened to burst at any moment, “R-Ruth!” I cried as her relentless fucking continued. 
    “Hold it in a little longer!” She demanded as she started even faster and harder. I cried out with a moan, hardly holding my own orgasm back, “Now! Give it to me!” She bellowed as she slammed herself down, stopping as her body shook signalling another orgasm. I blew my load in her, coaxed out by her shaking pussy. We both yelled in pleasure as we came in unison. Soon, the waves of pleasure dissipated and I was left with a wonderful, sweaty after sex sensation as Ruth sat up, my cock still firmly held by her vagina.  
    “Oh god,” I panted, my body now aching, “I-I-I need--” 
    “Thrust,” Ruth instructed as she propped herself up, still over me. I groaned and wiped my face. I still had the scent of her sweat and campfire smell in my nose, “Do it or I’ll make an Anon shaped imprint on the bed!” She growled at me. I nodded and did as she instructed. I gently thrust my manhood into the hellhound making her throw her head back and howl from the pleasure. We were gonna wake up the entire apartment and I didn’t give a shit. I ran a hand down her stomach before planting both hands on her hips and going to town giving her exactly what she wanted.  
There was a sloppy wet slapping noise as I thrust into her from our love juices. Over and over again the sound rang out as I thrust myself into her, penetrating deeper and deeper with each thrust. Every so often, Ruth would bellow and shake again. Her tail was wagging the entire time, she was really enjoying this. With one last thrust, I stuck myself in her and moaned, cumming again while she orgasmed. I collapsed, completely spent, “I’m out,” I wheezed.  
    Ruth frowned and grabbed my flaccid dick. She stroked it a few times desperately trying to get me back in the mood. I shook my head as I continued to pant, “I’ll take an IOU,” She chuckled as the fire in her eyes sputtered. She climbed off of me and got next to me in the bed, pulling me into a little spoon position, “Love ya, sweetie,” She whispered as she kissed my neck and shoulders. 
    “Love you too,” I echoed with a small laugh.  
    “What's so funny?” 
    “Us, really. Just thinking about how we got here, is all.” 
    Ruth gently bit and kissed my shoulder, still feeling the passionate, burning love, “Yeah. Its been something. You want kids right?” I nodded, “Good. It’ll give you something to do while I’m at work,” I tried to turn and give her a confused look but she bit into my shoulder as I struggled, “I gotta get a job to support you, don’t I? Those researchers aren’t gonna pay us anymore.” 
    “I-Isn’t that my job? To be the bread win-- Aaaa!” I jumped as she slapped my ass. 
    “Your job is to look cute, be a loving husband and an amazing father,” She scolded, “Go to sleep. I think I have to get out a bit more sexual frustration.” 
    “I’ll do it. Roll me over,” I demanded. My sudden forcefulness made Ruth comply. I put her nipple in my mouth as I rubbed her loins. My fingernails grazed across her inner thigh making her shudder as I showered her with love and affection. I gently stuck my fingers into her, gently wiggled them around and moved them up and down.  
Ruth moaned and hugged me tightly. One of her hands moved to my crotch and quite roughly grasped it and began to stroke. I thought I was done but she was pulling me right back in as my little soldier stood at attention again. Soon enough she had me on my back and my cock was in her. She grinned at me, “You did this to yourself!” She laughed maliciously as she rode me again, just as hard as the first time. 
 
“This is the place?” I asked as Ruth pushed open the door to the pub. 
“Yeah,” She scratched her head, “Its where Kylee said we’d meet,” She shook, obviously nervous to be seeing her little family again after so long. I took her hand and gave her an assuring smile before pulling her in. She nervously glanced around. There was another hellhound behind the bar who smiled warmly as she served drinks to a massive jinko that might have been even bigger than Ruth and a tiny kobold, “Holy shit, is that Daisy?” Ruth gasped as she suddenly dragged me to the bar and plopped herself down next to the kobold who gasped in shock. 
    “Ruth!?” She shouted before the two hugged. The jinko looked just as confused as me. She had an eyepatch on her left eye and a katana on her hip. I wondered if she was the real deal or not. The two started to catch up as they skirted around the topic of those researchers. Neither seemed to want to bring it up, “I should have brought Jackson! He needs more friends!” 
    “So does this one,” Ruth chuckled as she nudged me with her elbow. I glared at her, I knew she was in the same boat as me. 
    “Is he not playing that dice game with my husband and a few others? The dungeons one?” The jinko muttered. 
    “Kimiko, they said they needed one more, right?” Daisy asked as her tail wagged, “And he looks nice.” 
“He’s a sweetheart,” Ruth boasted, making me blush, “We should catch up soon and hang out. I’ve gotta go introduce Anon here to my sisters soon.” 
    “Here, my phone number,” The kobold scratched the string of numbers into a napkin with a dull pencil, “Gimme a ring sometime!” 
    “I will,” Ruth started to get up, “Those guys never contacted you again, right?” She suddenly asked. Daisy looked confused, “That lamia and the amazonian--” 
    “No,” Daisy said firmly, “Last I heard they all got beat up and disbanded.” 
    Ruth grinned, “Yeah. Me too. Just checking. Sorry,” She got up and took me with her to the back and slid us both into a booth, “Looks like we gotta wait,” She wrapped an arm around my shoulders and kissed me on the scalp, “Love ya.” 
    “Love you too,” I smiled before stretching out, merely content to just hang out with Ruth. I didn’t get a lot of time to just rest before someone else arrived at the table. 
    “Sorry we’re late!” A cheery voice called as someone slides into the opposite booth. Two girls, big ones, a griffon and a high orc, “Is this him, big sis?” The high orc asks. 
    “Yeah. Kylee, this is my big sweetie, Anon,” Ruth grabbed my shoulder and shook me a little playfully. The griffon flared her nose at me but nodded in approval, “Don’t be like that Gee!” She shrugged in response to Ruth’s somewhat angry growl. 
    “Ignore her,” Kylee chuckled, “Tell me how you two met!” 
    Ruth looked at me and sighed softly, “Alright. I’ll tell you. I guess we can talk about it since... They’re not around any more. Its been what, two months now? You see I met Anon in a warehouse under strange circumstances. We were in a cage, quite romantic circumstances, if I do say so myself!” I strapped myself in for a long explanation of a strange journey.  

One response to “My Friend From Hell”

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