Story (c) 2000 by Hikaru Katayamma/Keith Dickinson. All rights reserved. The character Sheila Vixen (c) Eric W Schwartz. All other characters are (c) Hikaru Katayamma.  This story contains adult situations and language. By reading it the viewer agrees not to hold this or any other person responsible for any content they may find objectionable. If you don't like it, don't read it.

Identity Crisis
Act II
Chapter 12

The scent of a vixen.

  I must be dense. It's the only excuse I can come up with. How else can you explain me being stupid enough to take a bath in a world without fur dryers and then expect to be able to dry of in a reasonable amount of time? Here I thought I'd done some stupid things as a man. Fortunately, the Duchess and her handmaiden offered to assist me.

  Even after spending time wringing the water out of my tail and fur I still almost exhausted their entire supply of towels. By the time they had gotten me to the point where I was no longer dripping I looked like something that had been left out in the rain. My fur stuck out everywhere. I was about ready to cry. And I had been having such a good day.

  "Come," the Duchess commanded, "let us retire to our chamber where we can take care of you properly." Once the two of us were wrapped for modesty's sake, we proceeded back up the stairs. Theolin had been waiting at the base of the stairs for me, but was dismissed for the rest of the evening by the Duchess.

  It was a long climb from the sub basement up to the sixth floor and I was breathing a little hard by the time we reached the top. That trip would make for a good aerobic workout. Curiously, the Duchess led us down a side corridor used by servants rather than the main hall. "This way is more private, and we will be less likely to run into others," she had explained.

  As I stepped into her chambers I was stunned at what I saw. The room was twice the size of the one I was staying in, and was lavishly decorated. This appeared to be was her personal chamber, not the one she shared with the Duke. A full body mirror stood between a large makeup table and a writing desk, with an oversized armoire a convenient arm's length away. There were a couple of comfortable looking bench seats by the dressing table as well as some ornately carved chairs. Several large bookshelves were placed along one wall by the windows. Placed in front of the windows themselves was an oversized bed with an abundance of pillows piled on it. A long fireplace dominated the other wall, while knickknacks adorned the mantel overhead.

  Intrigued by what I saw on the mantel I walked over and saw that it displayed a small porcelain menagerie. People, animals, mythical creatures and castles were all represented in the collection. I was enchanted with the detail of the workmanship. Some of the patterns had to have been painted with a single brush hair. It was a stunning sight to behold.

  "Do you like our collection?" the Duchess asked. I gave her a large smile and nodded. "Yes, my lady. It's quite extraordinary," I complimented eagerly. "It is our pride and joy. We have had it our entire life. Some of the pieces are over three hundred years old, or so we have been told," she said proudly. It was incredible. I could have spent hours examining the detail in the figures.

  "That's enough for now, child. Come over here so that we can take care of you properly," she directed, drawing me from the objects of my fascination. After her handmaiden removed my housecoat they had me stand near the large mirror while they brushed my fur out. Both of them seemed fascinated by my fur as well as the way I was built. Neither was shy about asking some of the most personal of questions. To my disdain I became somewhat aroused watching them in the mirror as they groomed me.

  I think my tail was the part that the Duchess was most intrigued with. She alone worked on it, spending almost as much time brushing it out as the two of them had spent on the rest of my body. Satisfied with her workmanship, she had me sit so she could work on my hair. I was mildly surprised when she dismissed her handmaiden.

  "So, tell us of this curse," she directed, brushing out my hair. "I don't know what to say, my lady. I was human, now I'm not," I said, trying to dodge the bullet. "Surely there must be more to the story than that," she inquired. She wasn't going to be easily dissuaded. I had no idea just how much I could trust her.

  "OK. Once I was human, then, poof, I was not?" I said, trying to make a joke of it. I yelped as she smacked my head with the back of the brush. "That is not what we meant and you know it," she said, scolding me. As I tried to think of what to say I looked down at the sheathed Tanto I was rolling around in my hand. I drew the blade out a little ways, looking at the blood. I had forgotten to clean it at the pool. I was as bad as Sheila.

  "What are you doing with that dreadful blade?" she asked. Drawing it all the way out, I held it up so she could see the blood. As I looked in her murky, distorted reflection I saw the revulsion in her face. "Sheila forgot to clean it. I had intended to do it while I bathed, but I forgot," I finally admitted, not paying attention to what exactly was being said. "Sheila? Who is this 'Sheila'?" she asked.

  DOH! "Sheen-ra," I said, making it sound like a correction. "It's kind of a title where I come from." I had a sudden urge to bang my head against the wall, repeatedly, but settled for putting the Tanto back in its scabbard.

  The Duchess paused for a moment, digesting what I had said. "Curious that you never used that term before," she said, worrying at what I had said. "There are many things I haven't said in your presence, my lady," I said offhandedly.

  The Duchess stopped brushing my hair and moved over to lean against the desk. Crossing her arms in front of her, she studied me. "What aren't you telling us? You refuse to talk about the change, and now you refer to you lord as 'Sheila'," She said, eyes narrow at me. "Sheen-ra," I corrected her. She slammed the brush down on the table, the sound echoing like a gunshot in the small room. "You said Sheila. Don't lie to us. We have watched you and we can tell," she said forcefully.

  She had a pretty big nose for one with such a small snout. "Has anyone ever told you that you're too nosey?" I asked. She laughed at me. "Never to our face. Now answer the question, young lady," she demanded, "Do not try our patience."

  So, she wants to intimidate me. I laid my ears back and growled while climbing to my feet. I had the satisfaction of seeing her eyes get a little wider as she realized she might have overdone it. Taking a sudden, small leap I landed well within her personal comfort zone. With my eyes locked predatorily on hers, I pressed forward, trapping her arms behind her.

  "You want to know about me?" I said, my voice a low, gravelly growl. Putting my muzzle down by her neck, I exhaled onto the skin next to the jugular, watching her throat as she swallowed. "You want to know about my curse?" I asked, my snout brushing her ear. Sniffing, I smelled her fear mixed with lilac. "You want to know about the dangerous animal you've left yourself alone with?" I asked, now rubbing my jaw against hers as I swung my muzzle over her face, pressing my body against her. "Do you really want to hear about the people I've killed? The friends I've lost? " I whispered in her left ear, and was gratified to see that she was trembling. "Do you really want that?"

  I pulled my face back so I was a mere inches from hers. "Do you even know what you want?" I softly rumbled, aroused by the musk of her fear. As I looked into her eyes I realized that I had just made a very big mistake---and she knew it! I let out a small shriek as she threw her weight against me, shoving me back. I silently cursed, making a mental note to myself: I'm a vixen now and not an immovable, testosterone based object.

  As I fell away from her she grabbed my wrists. With a spinning motion she reversed our positions, slamming my back against the desk, bending me over, my arms held high above my head as she used her superior size and strength to pin me. "You want to know what we want, little one?" she said, a dangerous gleam in her eye and predatory smile on her face.

  "We want you," she said, and then she kissed me.

  I just laid there, my eyes closed, enjoying the feeling of my fur being stroked as the Duchess lightly caressed my body, my head in her lap. "I take it that you enjoyed yourself?" she asked, a knowing smile prominent on her face. "You know I did, my lady," I responded. "None of that required while we're in private, my dear. You may call me Gwen," she instructed.

  What had I gotten myself into? I was utterly horrified when she had kissed me. The real shocker was when I started to return it. I had gotten myself so turned on trying to intimidate royalty I'd managed to somehow seduce her. That, or she seduced me. Maybe it was some sort of  mutual seduction thing. Whatever the case, it was a hell of a ride. She knew tricks Sheila had never told me about. He'd been holding out on me. It was obvious I wasn't the Duchess' first female conquest.

  Thinking about what I had done, I realized it wasn't all that illogical. I had spent the first thirty-eight years of my life as a man. I guess there was enough 'guy' left over in me to make a serviceable lesbian. In fact, from her enthusiastic responses to my ministrations I'd have to say there was more than enough. I inwardly chuckled thinking about Sheila. I knew she'd played the bisexual game. You don't work in that industry without doing it sooner or later. I guess it just came naturally.

  "Are you ready to tell us about 'Sheila'?" she asked, grinning like a cat. She wasn't going to give it up. "Really, Gwen, I'd appreciate if yoOOo..." I was unable to continue what I was saying. Being a 'natural' woman, she really did know some good tricks with her hands. I was definitely going to have to make Sheila pay for holding out.

  As I approached climax, she slowed her pace, torturing me. "Are you ready to tell?" she asked. "Don't do that to me," I practically whimpered between clenched teeth. "I could stop if you want," she offered, pulling her hand away. Looking up at her, I could see she was enjoying herself tremendously. "You are evil and must be destroyed," I said, watching her laugh.

  I intercepted her hand as she reached out to continue teasing me. "Enough," I said with a sigh. Looking in her face I could tell she would continue to dig---in a most sensitive place!---until she had the truth. Even if I didn't talk I knew she'd eventually get it out of Sheila somehow. After all, the woman was a Duchess, and was well-versed in the art of manipulating people---and in the most pleasant of ways, too.

  "If I tell you, Gwen, you must swear not to tell anyone," I said, forcefully stating the terms. "We shall be the epitome of discretion," she stated, her face serious. "I mean it. You don't tell your husband, the sorcerer, your priest confessor, you don't even PRAY to the gods about it," I demanded. She nodded in acceptance. "I swear, it shall not pass my lips unless you first give permission," she promised. I suppose that would have to do.

  "When I said I had once been human, I was serious. In fact, you've actually seen what I looked like," I stated, enjoying the look of confusion. "The magic item that cursed me took me from my world and transported me to another world, one where I was transformed from a human and into a bear. A walking, talking, bear, not unlike the form you see now," I explained, watching as she wrapped her mind around what I had said.

  "So you're saying that you are not from our realm? Not of this world?" she asked. "Exactly. I was a very large, very male bear. Sheila was a very beautiful vixen. Or should I say Lord Vic Sheen was a 'vix-een'." I again watched as she digested it, not quite seeing what I was getting at. "Sheila made a crucial mistake. She triggered the magic that transports me between worlds, only this time she caused it to take her with me. The magic is designed to take only one person, move them and adapt them so they fit into their new surroundings. It was never designed to handle two people."

  "So when it brought you here," she said slowly, "it restored your old human form, but couldn't change your mate's form." I nodded. Now she was getting it. Or was she? "I don't understand---how is it you're in this body and not your proper one?" she asked, still confused. "I don't know, Gwen. Like I said, the magic was never designed for two," I replied. "All I can think is that it got confused as to who went where."

  As I watched her I could almost see the mental gears turning in her head. After a few minutes she began to laugh. At first, it was just a few giggles, but soon evolved into a real gut buster. Not understanding the joke, I sat up and turned to face her, staring. I could see she was trying to control herself and failing miserably. Finally, exhausted from laughing, she leaned back against the wall and just moaned.

  "Now that you're done mocking me, would you mind letting me know what's so damned funny?" I asked. She started to chuckle again, but managed to maintain control. "When you tried to intimidate me by rubbing against me, I thought you had a taboo about women sleeping together. And here I thought I was seducing someone who had never slept with a woman," she explained, loosing it again. Thinking about it, I could see the humor and began to laugh with her. Sure, I'd never slept with a woman as a vixen, but I had definitely done so as a man.

  Pausing for the occasional breath, it didn't take much for us to loose control again, laughing at the cosmic joke that had been played on the both of us.

  Note to self: We love getting our fur brushed.

  Gwen had declared an end to our fun about half an hour ago. That gave us plenty of time to clean up, brush out our hair and prepare for dinner. I had already brushed out her hair and now she was doing the same for me.

  "All done. Now for the big surprise," she said. Curious, I followed her over to the armoire. Gwen gave me a conspiratorial wink as she opened the closet and took out a dress. It was a semi-formal evening gown. Far superior to my own dresses, it was of a deep green color, lightly dusted with specks of bronze glitter. Looking at the back I could see it had been modified for my tail.

  "Gwen! This is gorgeous," I said, holding it up in front of the mirror. "How in the world did you get one made so quickly?" The dress was almost perfect for my size. Gwen was taller than I was and a bit more bulkier. There's no way this was hers.

  "Put it on, child," she instructed, dodging my question. Gwen helped me don the dress, threading my tail through the slit in the back. The seamstress had used buttons rather than ties to keep it closed. Once everything was settled into place and buttoned up I checked out my profile in the mirror. Turning side to side I examined how the green contrasted with orange color of my fur. The bronze glitter caught the light giving a subdued sparkling effect. There was only one problem. The chest was a bit tight. It was pushing my breasts up and inwards with a bit more force than comfortable, but it certainly showed them off well. I tried to look at it in a 'guy' frame of mind and decided I liked it.

  I turned back to the Duchess. "How can I ever thank you, Gwen?" I asked. She had an odd look in her eye as she smiled at me. "Just seeing it worn is enough," she said, embracing me in a hug. After a moment though, I felt her rubbing her nose against the side of my face.

  "Gwen! We're supposed to be getting ready for dinner," I complained with a smile, pushing her away. She had that smile again. "I know. It's just your scent," she explained. Confused, I felt the smile fade away. How could my sent have anything to do with it? "I don't understand. What scent?" I asked. Gwen got a surprised look on her face. "Your natural musk, child. It's most... erotic. When you were rubbing up against me on the desk I found it quite overpowering," she said, arching her brow for emphasis.

  Her words drove me back with fear. My scent was affecting humans? How could this be? I didn't dream they would be susceptible. I mean, if humans could smell it wouldn't Sheila have warned me? This didn't make sense. Christ on a crutch! If that were true, then what happened in the mews...

  "Arden? What's wrong?" Gwen said, reaching out to me. "Get back!" I yelled, slapping her hand away from me. I gasped, unable to catch my breath. The room felt like it was closing in on me. I backed into the desk with my Tanto laying on it. Snatching it up, I continued backing away from Gwen. "Just stay away from me!" I yelled and bolted for the door.

  As I fled the room I charged headlong down the servants' corridor, knocking more than one out of my way in my panic. I flew down the steps of the castle, taking them three and four at a time. At the bottom of each turn, I would painfully slam into the wall, ricocheting off to continue my flight.

  Finally reaching the floor where my room was, I charged down the halls, ears laid back, snarling at anyone that got near me. Each face seemed to stare at me lustfully as I ran by, dodging out of their reach.

  As I reached my room I slammed into the door with my shoulder, flinging it open. Safely inside, I slammed the door closed and bolted it behind me. My mind was going a million miles a second. How could this be happening to me? If my scent truly acted as an aphrodisiac, how could I be safe in public? Everything that had happened to me had been my fault.

  The young man who had ordered my capture---he had surely gotten a whiff of my scent at the restaurant. If it was as powerful as Gwen had described it, he couldn't help himself. This can't be happening. The men in the mews---there must have been some decent ones there. They wouldn't have been able to resist me either. Oh God! It was all my fault!

  I was startled by the sound of banging on the door. "Arden? Are you in there?" I heard Gwen call. "Go away!" I shrieked, my voice high pitched with panic. Christ, the door wouldn't hold them. Oh God, why? This can't be happening.

  I had slowly backed up against the wall opposite of the door. Hugging myself, I squatted down low to the floor, trembling with terror, never removing my eyes from the door.

Chapter 13