Yet another belch rang out from the beast seated on the sofa, befouling the air with the stench of burritos and beer even worse than it already was. The creature, a grey wolf-dragon hybrid, just smacked his muzzle open and shut a few times after the gas escaped from it and let out a contented groan of pleasure. He then moved one of his stocky limbs towards his stomach, placing the thick paw at the end of it onto his large hide and beginning to rub it in circles. His free paw clutched a large, overstuffed burrito and rested on the opposite side of the sofa. The wrapped calorie-bomb was half-eaten, and looked to be one of several that had been shoved down into the sprawling factory of fat which rested on the hybrid’s torso judging from the sea of wrappers surrounding him. Cans also littered that landscape, further emphasizing the slovenly nature of the obese, currently-stuffed beast which was sinking slowly into the couch. The TV lit up that scene, barely, and had a kangaroo on it droning on about some sort of deal at a car lot. The wolfdragon didn’t even pretend to care though, he just smacked his muzzle a couple more times before grunting with the effort oh having to raise his meaty arm to his maw. The poor burrito contained in that paw was about to meet its end, joining a multitude of its brethren inside the wolfdragon after a few thick, dripping bites. Before it did though, the wolfdragon stopped and peered down his muzzle at the morsel which would push him into that blissful, and painful, feeling of being too full to even move.
“Damn I’m fat…”
Sasuke sat on the steps of his newly-acquired manor, looking out over his lawn. The impossibly-rich hybrid, clad in a loose suit and matching fedora, surveyed the acres of sprawling, neatly-cut grass and smiled to himself. He had nothing in particular on his mind as he grinned and continued to let his eyes wander over the serene scenery before him. The beast was just drinking in the sheer grandeur of it all; he had worked long and hard to be able to see this view. Some could say the wolfdragon had worked a lifetime to get the money and empire he had, but in actual fact it was closer to three. The ageless demigod had devoted over 100 years to securing a mass of self-sustaining wealth that could rival entire countries, and was finally allowing himself to use some of it. The house itself had barely even been a knick to the mammoth stockpile of wealth, thus proving the sheer size of the wolfdragon’s hoard. Nonetheless, Sasuke had forbade himself from getting it until he had achieved his goal of complete and utter fiscal security for the foreseeable future and beyond.
“Sasuke,” a gruff voice rumbled out behind the reveling hybrid. The furred animal jumped slightly, whirling his head around to see a portly panda clad in a pressed, albeit tight, suit.
“Oh, Hyede, hi,” Sasuke responded with a certain familiarity in his voice; he and the ursine had a lot of history. The panda just gave a light nod and then lowered himself down slightly closer to the wolfdragon. Sasuke arched an eyebrow, but leaned in a little closer towards the bear. Once the pair were slightly closer together, Sasuke piped up again. “Do you need something?”
“No, just wondering why you are sitting on the steps when you have chairs, a butler, and more in money than anyone could spend ten lifetimes,” the panda fired back. Sarcasm dripped from his words, making the pair of beasts chuckle faintly with one another for a moment before Hyede continued. “Really, what are you doing out here?”
“Looking out at what I waited for and just letting it sink in. Doing a lot of reminiscing about what it took to get here, and where I’m going to go from here. I mean… I have the whole world as my oyster now; what am I going to do with it?” Sasuke responded, trailing off slightly after he posed the rhetorical question. He then turned back towards the lawn in front of the house, his gaze seeming to go back to one of deep thought. Hyede stayed squatted beside the wolfdragon for a moment after he had turned away, then grunted and stood back up straight. He then moved right on beside the hybrid and sat down rather ungracefully; Sasuke’s lithe figure was far more maneuverable than the panda’s bulk. The padding of his ample rear meant that Hyede felt little from the rough landing though, a trade-off he accepted quite willingly. “Going to join me?”
“If you’re going to sit here and reminisce, how could I not? You and I have known one another for more years than I can even pretend to remember; you can’t reminisce without me.” Hyede’s voice was both sad and sarcastic as he said that, a tone which Sasuke picked up on immediately. The wolfdragon spread a wing out as his arm went right to Hyede’s far shoulder and wrapped over it, the far-taller hybrid drawing the panda in for a gentle embrace. Hyede reciprocated, taking both of his arms and wrapping them in turn around the thin midsection of the grey beast beside him. The height difference between the two made the hug look almost awkward, but neither cared and let it go on for a few moments before separating again. Sasuke still left his arm on the panda though, as well as his wing; his concern for the bear hadn’t ebbed just yet. “It’s been a long time coming for you Sasuke… A damn long time.”
“I know it has, I know…” Sasuke replied with a slightly melancholy tone, making Hyede slide himself right back closer to the wolfdragon. The pair obviously cared for one another, and it showed as Hyede’s form pressed its soft self into Sasuke with neither beast even paying it any mind aside from the obvious closeness which they both needed. “I just hope it can last for good this time.”
“This time?” Hyede said, backing off a little from Sasuke and turned his head up to the wolfdragon. The hybrid’s gaze hadn’t left the lawn, but it did droop just slightly as the panda asked.
“Yeah, there was someone I knew before you, believe it or not… Someone who helped me escape, who taught me the basics, and who played a hand in turning me into me. He and I tried to start something small, something innocent where we could both just live without all the… “Sasuke paused, looking to be searching for a word for a moment. “That I gue-“
“That?” Hyede asked, his tone showing more worry than even he wanted to at that point. The wolfdragon caught it, and turned his eyes down towards the panda with a faint sigh. He then placed a paw on the ursine’s head and patted it gently, leaving it there after a couple of those pats. “Well?”
“You know the story. Labs, the war, the experiments… The things I don’t bore you with.”
“It’s hardly boring first of all; you sound like an action movie hero if we’re honest with one another. Second, I don’t know the story because you never tell me the whole thing. You always give me tiny bits, but as for the over a thousand years before I met you… I don’t know a damn thing about you. Hell, there are still things that I don’t know about you to this day, and we’ve been around one another for eons. Lastly though… Open up a little.” Hyede finished, looking up at the wolfdragon the whole time and giving that same speech for the umpteenth time. Sasuke responded as he always did, a light but pained smile and another pat to the panda’s head.
“I’ll tell you so-“
“You are done fighting. You got what you wanted, and you are finally in a spot to let your guard down enough to open up. Some other time will be soon, or so help me…” Hyede snapped, letting the end trail off as he saw the surprise coating Sasuke’s face. The wolfdragon had barely any idea where that came from, as Hyede was far and away the most docile anthro he knew. He and the panda had been having that same conversation for countless years, and this was the first time Hyede had any retort for it, so to say the wolfdragon was stunned was nearly an understatement. The panda saw that too, and immediately wilted once that brief bit of anger had simmered down. “I’m so so-“
“Tonight on the back deck, bring a big bottle of tequila and I’ll tell you anything you want to know.”
“You sure?” Hyede asked, an air of excitement bubbling up around the panda.
“A big bottle.” Sasuke replied, taking his turn being the sarcastic one and giving the bear a playful wink. Hyede just nodded, then slid away from the wolfdragon slightly so that he could stand. The bear let out another grunt as he had to heft his fairly out-of-shape frame from the ground, but he managed fine and was back on his feet after a moment. “Going to go get it?”
“I have a few things that need doing out in town, so might as well get started. Would you like to know your day?” The panda questioned, his mind reverting back to the butler that he was rather than the friend he had always been briefly. Sasuke nodded, and thusly Hyede continued on, “Okay. Luc should arrive in a few hours if his flight hasn’t been delayed, which I can check on if you’d like. There’s an appointment for the security agency to come install their system at about 3, and then from there the day is empty as you asked.”
“Alright, that sounds easy enough. News from the others on their way?”
“Tyler has yet to respond to your request, but Kai just responded to be and should be here by the end of the week. Saro said he’d be by sometime tomorrow in order to start setting up shop, which makes sense as the system won’t be ready for him until tomorrow. Riley… Who knows with him, so keep an eye out. Cerval and Pads are coming together and should be here by the end of the week as well; they’re driving thanks to that husky’s fear of flying.” Hyede finished that with a light eye-roll, making Sasuke frown at him. “Anything else?”
“Take it easy on the husky, he is a skittish one after all. As for anything else…” Sasuke stopped, bringing a paw to his chin so that he could think. He ‘hmmm’d’ a few times while Hyede stood there patiently, and then looked to brighten up as a thought entered his mind. “Yes, there is. The designer, when is he getting here?”
“Tomorrow at around noon. Both he and the initial run of servicing companies will be coming through tomorrow to start getting everything settled in. You shouldn’t have to deal with the servicing companies save for signing a few things, but the designer I will leave to you.”
“Ok, that all sounds good. Thank you.” Sasuke said, giving a light nod to Hyede. The panda returned it, then smiled somewhat before starting to walk down the steps towards the twelve-car garage located to the right of the mansion’s main entrance. Sasuke watched the panda go, his eyes lingering on the pair of sloshing rump-cheeks behind the ursine for a few moments longer than he would admit to himself before his eyes turned away. He slumped slightly, giving his head a light shake in order to clear a few of the thoughts that were rushing into his mind and clouding it with rather perverse things. He and Hyede had passed any opportunities at things along those lines long ago, and hybrid knew that deep down. He still did find the panda attractive regardless though, and had to remind himself that it would not be within his best interest to pursue that more often than not. “Drive safe!”
Hyede gave a casual wave before entering the garage, signaling his acknowledgement of the wolfdragon’s sentiment. Sasuke sighed to himself again and slumped slightly back to his staring position. His eyes wandered back over the lawn, his mind beginning to clear again as it started sending the flurry of thoughts through it that had been there before. Again he decided to focus on nothing and just let his mind amble around before tackling anything major. This meant losing himself in his head once more, and by proxy losing all awareness of what was going on around him. The wolfdragon barely paid that any mind though, as he knew both of ‘neighbors’ were almost two miles away, and any intruder would be merely an annoyance for the demigod rather than a threat. This meant he was free to peruse his thoughts at his leisure, and he intended on doing just that as he slumped a little more in his sitting position and placed his elbows on his knees.
The wolfdragon sat like that for a while, time seeming to slow down around him as he just let his brain move from topic to topic. He barely noticed the slowly-falling sun, nor Hyede’s return from the store with several items in tow, and had barely even spoken to Luc when the purple lynx had arrived. Room arrangements, the final changes he would make to the house, plans for what his new ‘servants’ would do, and a myriad of other decisions filled the hybrid’s mind to the brim, sucking away nearly all of his attention. He had eventually started making mental notes of what held priority, what could wait, and what was just his overactive worry getting the best of him. Many of those thoughts turned out to be little more than worry or things that would resolve themselves quite easily, and that lowered the stress in the beast greatly. He still had a lot to do though, and from his spot on the stairs he wasn’t going to get any of it done. He could at least decide what to do once he moved again, and that was his task mentally for the time being; outside influences would have to wait.
“Sasuke!” The hybrid jumped, his feet and with his claws bared faster than the feline behind him could even blink. Instead of shock and fear at this, Luc just stood where he was and looked almost annoyed at the wolfdragon’s attack position in front of him. Sasuke quickly retracted his claws and stood up straight, dusting himself off haphazardly as he tried to regain his composure. “You have a phone call from Saro about the security company, which is set to arrive in one hour.” The purple lynx then passed a phone to the wolfdragon, who took it and raised it to his head slowly. Luc smirked back at the wolfdragon, clearly amused by his new boss’ jumpy reaction.
“Hello?” Sasuke said, a hint of ice in his tone which the feline caught and immediately returned to the stone-faced look he had held before. The wolfdragon looked up and down the lynx for a moment as the canine in his ear said his hellos and then began to prattle on about something with the security system being installed an hour later. The wolfdragon listened, but let his eyes size up the feline who was still across from him. Clad in a deep grey suit with a matching grey tie, the colored lynx looked to the epitome of professionalism. He was fit, trim, and save for a scar along his cheek, had no blemishes on his figure whatsoever. His shoes were shined to mirrors, his clothing was creased without a wrinkle in sight, and even his purple-spotted fur was perfectly combed out. At 5’11” and with his toned build, one might even call him a touch intimidating with such a pristine look about him, but once one looked into his eyes that opinion would be assured. The red orbs had a glow about them which looked to be utterly sinister; not a single good thing came out of the lynx’s gaze as he looked back at the wolfdragon. Sasuke knew Luc wasn’t as evil as his eyes, but could sense the aura of malice the lynx barely tried to hide. His fur did hide it somewhat visually, the vibrant purple giving off a far better air than his eyes or his mannerisms, but it was like placing a band-aid on a severed limb. Overall, the feline was not a beast to be trifled with in the slightest, but then again the wolfdragon was hardly one to double-cross either.
Sasuke kept his gaze locked with the feline’s for the short phone call; Saro had just wanted to be extra sure that spare parts would be included and that the buttons for the controls were larger than normal for his thick digits. The wolfdragon barely even paid heed to that conversation though, instead staring down the lynx across from him for nearly the entire phone call. Luc’s aggression had wilted well before the talk ended, but Sasuke hadn’t relented for even an instant. As the wolfdragon said his goodbyes and hung up the phone, he could see the lynx starting to shift from one foot to another in nervousness. It was the wolfdragon turn to smirk as he took the phone and dangled it above the feline, using his ten feet of height to his advantage for a moment. “Remember your place cat. I can send you back to where you came from, and I don’t mean that jail cell,” Sasuke said coolly, sending a shiver down Luc’s spine. “Do as I say De Lacourse, watch who you smirk and glare at, and you’ll be fine. Otherwise…” The wolfdragon just trailed off and broke his gaze with the feline, handing him back the phone without a word. Luc took it and then gave a light bow to the wolfdragon, which was returned with little more than a nod of acknowledgement.
“Understood,” Luc returned flatly, his voice showing a hint of a shake; he was clearly thinking about the ‘otherwise’. He then left the wolfdragon, turning and briskly walking back into the house with the phone in-paw. Sasuke smirked again inwardly at his display of power as he watched Luc go; he hadn’t needed to do it but just wanted to get it out of the way early. He knew Luc just well enough to know that the unruly cat could be trouble if left unchecked, and that meant that Sasuke had to put him in his place quick or suffer the consequences. The hybrid was well aware of those consequences as well, and he had no wish to have to see them first-paw. He knew his method of doing so was slightly petty and unnecessary, but it was what he wanted to do and he did love that feeling of being more powerful than another beast, especially one who seemed to think they overpowered all. The wolfdragon was just intent on doing what worked too, and he knew that not doing as he had would be ineffective. He just hoped that it would not be too effective and scare Luc off from living there; the feline wouldn’t fair well in the world on his own.
Sasuke shrugged it off as a worry which he would have for a while longer, starting to return to his sitting position. He stopped halfway though, and instead just moved to lean against one of the pillars in front of the door. He didn’t know what he was going to do if he sat down again, but he did know that it would not be in his best interest to do so. It was not going to get anything done, and he felt confident that he had taken care of thinking about all that he could at that point in time. Most of what the wolfdragon had left to do involved him actually doing things, and with that fact in mind he knew that he was going to have to leave his perch on the porch soon. He didn’t want to, but reality was beckoning him to return as the bliss of both ignorance and accomplishment gave way to life’s crushing truths. The wolfdragon couldn’t stop that from happening either, as not all was in his control.
“Sasuke,” Hyede’s deep voice called from behind him. The hybrid turned around to face the doorway which the sound had come from with a faint smile, getting one back from the panda. “It’s almost time for the security company to get here.”
“I know Hyede… Do we need to make any preparations for them?” The hybrid asked, getting a response of a shaking head from the ursine. Sasuke smiled a bit broader at that, “Okay, then what is it?”
“A reminder is all… And you may want to change your pants.” Sasuke looked down after the bear said that, dusting himself off once or twice before sighing and just looking back up at the ursine. Hyede nodded fervently to the wolfdragon, making Sasuke sigh again and then step towards the door. The panda opened it fully, giving just a hint of the opulence the house possessed to the outside world as he did so.
“Damn Sasuke, that was a really bad one…” A sole voice came from somewhere behind the wolfdragon. The blob of flesh, fur, and fat just sighed as he felt his entire rear-end continue to quake with rippling aftershocks of his flatulent outburst. The utter slob of a beast barely cared as he sat in his own filth, his pungent smell filling nearly a third of the mansion he had worked so hard to turn into an opulent palace. He barely cared about that though, or really much of anything for that matter, at this point in his life. He was far more concerned with food and when he would be getting more of it. That was his one and only thought, that and growing even fatter of course. He loved every single pound which encased his truly obese form, which tied him to the very spot he sat unless he had a crane or used his powers, and which kept him constantly aroused. Sloth and laziness had overtaken the once-proud wolfdragon, and though his descent into a life of gluttony had been a slow one, he had not regretted a single thing. He was still proud of who he was, and as the source of the voice began to round his head and enter what little eyesight he had left over the mounds of cheekfat which infringed on his vision… He remembered why.
The rest of the day went as planned, with the security team taking nearly five hours to finish their tasks and needing to pester Sasuke for details before they left. The wolfdragon was exhausted from just dealing with them by the time their van pulled away, and he showed it as he slumped against the same pillar he had been against hours earlier in the moonlit entryway of his manor. Hyede stood beside him, also tired from the ordeal, but not nearly as mentally drained as the wolfdragon who towered over him. Both just wanted to get that drink and talk, but neither wanted to broach the subject quite yet. Instead, they just stood and let the day melt off into the night, the barely-audible sounds of the ocean on the other side of the house taking chunks of their stress away with every crash. Hyede had less that needed hauling out to sea, as it were, so he was the first to speak.
“So, shall we?”
“That bottle had better be big,” was all the wolfdragon responded with. The panda laughed lightly, clasping a hand on the hybrid’s lower back and giving a nod of assurance.
“The biggest one I could get my grubby paws on Sasuke.”
“Ok, good. I’ll meet you back there after I change into something less… Proper.” Hyede arched an eyebrow as he heard that, as he rarely saw the wolfdragon without a suit and tie. “You should too Hyede; we’re drinking on the beach after all.”
“O-Ok… Don’t keep me waiting.”
“I should be saying that to you butterball,” Sasuke said with more than a hint of sarcasm before turning towards the house with a light giggle. Hyede just frowned and scowled up at Sasuke, but the hybrid paid the look no mind as he walked over to the doors and pulled both of them open in one grand gesture. Sasuke then held that pose, and the doors, as he turned his head back to the panda and beckoned the shorter beast on through.
“Showoff…” Hyede muttered as he walked in through the doors and into the entryway. Sasuke chuckled to himself as he followed suit once the panda was clear, not wanting to instigate more so instead just enjoying the little fire he had started. The panda didn’t like that though, and gave another glare to the hybrid. All that he got in response was a stuck-out tongue and a playful wink. “Ugh… Go get changed mutt.”