Driven and dominant advertising executive Emily Potter and her exceptional pet white fox morph Wynn have been through a lot together. After having faced Wynn’s assult by Emily’s own half-brother, she is especially horrified by the idea of being forced to share her pet company-wide at an executive retreat, but once again the bosses have spoken and cannot be denied.
Beyond The Softness of His Fur Part Two: Social Corruption is the second installment in TammyJo Eckhart’s provocative and edgy science-fiction trilogy. A tale of genetics, sex, and love between owners and pets, Part Two is concerned with the further exploration of Emily and Wynn’s world– which isn’t quite the sexually liberated utopia it might initially appear to be. With a corporate-run government, security cameras in every sphere of life, and the cultural expectation that Wynn will be shared among her co-workers and superiors at a business retreat, it would seem that Emily and Wynn’s lives together are not to be lived exclusively for themselves. It is only when they are introduced to the radical thinkers of Monroe Village– a commune where humans and morphs can enjoy equal freedoms– that Emily can fathom a way to keep Wynn from harm at another’s hand, even if it means giving up her beloved pet forever.
The story began in Beyond The Softness of his Fur: The Wonders of Modern Science and concludes with Beyond The Softness of his Fur: Private Revolutions.
About the Author:
TammyJo Eckhart, PhD, is the author of seven previous books of BDSM fiction, and has been part of the BDSM community since 1990. 2010 saw the publication of her first non-fiction book from Greenery Press (At Her Feet: Powering your Femdom Relationship). She has been a leader in several BDSM organizations ranging from the AppleMunch to two difference university groups (Con- versio Virium and Headspace) as well as a private support group for tops. As of the spring of 2010, her “kinky family” is comprised of Tom, her husband since 1992, and Fox, her slave since 1999. She loves visiting conventions as well as organizations to read, sell books, or offer her experience and insights on various topics in the form of lectures or workshops. Feel free to visit her website at http://www.tammyjoeckhart.com.
Look under the cut for a hot excerpt!
Chapter Eleven: Business Days I can see Lake Superior in the distance from one of my office windows. This, as far as I’m concerned, is the true perk of my promotion. Overseeing our three teams is more stressful than overseeing just one, which I did as team leader, or watcher, as we call them internally. I suppose my teammates had less kind words for me when I suggested to our previous VP that we shake things up, but after two years and the resulting benefits, everyone apparently gave me a good review, or I wouldn’t be sitting here today.
I look down at my desk, see the photo of Wynn, and smile at his furry face and bright eyes looking eagerly up at the camera and me. I can run the vid on the photoframe, but for now the stillness is reassuring to me, given that the R-H2O campaign is meeting in the conference room. Amber told me yesterday that there were some differences of opinion in the team, so they are presenting three instead of our normal two ideas. Rainwind Corp is one of our major clients, given their homeland status, and if the big dogs in Turkey aren’t pleased, no one’s allowed to be pleased. I draw my fingers across his face, and the image then moves, his head tilting to follow my finger before returning to the static pose. He pouts–foxmorphs are very needy, I’m learning–but I think about how at home, I don’t worry about whether or not a client is going to keep investing in us. I do worry about this executive meeting coming up in Egirdir, Turkey, a concern that makes me frown until I hear my door sigh, signaling someone is coming inside.
I look up as Lindsey enters with a cup of steaming mochaid. He hands it directly to me, then moves behind me and starts rubbing my shoulders. “Tight much?” he comments as I make a pained sound. In a few minutes his gifted hands have me relaxed enough that I can enjoy my drink.
“That’s better then, boss,” he decides and moves to perch on the edge of my desk. “Nothing yet from the pit, but they did send out for more drinks, so they are still talking.”
I nod my head. “That means they either narrowed it down, or they aren’t arguing as loud as they were yesterday. Hopefully not at all.”
“They aren’t arguing because I made sure both Vartan and Maggie had an extra treat in their mochaids this morning,” my executive assistant tells me with a grin.
I look at him over the edge of my glasses, and he waves one sparkling nailed hand dismissively. “Just enough to tone them down; got to put my chem degree to some use.”
Oh, that’s right–before he just gave up, Lindsey had been one of the top students in a highly-rated pharmaceutical program, India maybe, hard to say, since he also came with the promotion. A year in tech school and a few years here, and he’s up to First Executive Assistant for the Vice President of Administration. Looking at him you’d think he was a boytoy, but I know he’s smart enough to be more than this. I don’t bother with another suggestion for him to check out our education program, because that only gets me cool mochaids and warm water for a few days. He’s content where he is behind a desk, making drinks, ordering meals, and filtering anyone who wants to get through my double doors. He leaves the actual filing and data work to Connie, who likes to hide out behind her screen.
“Emily, they are going to be a while, and the other teams are active as ants,” Lindsey says as he slides off the desk onto his knees. “Shall we see if your feet are bit tight as well?”
This, too, is part of his job, and until I got Wynn I didn’t hesitate to use his full services, as he calls them. The world’s a competitive place where those not on the top find themselves doing things that my grandmother tells me could get you thrown in prison when she was my age. As long as there is a legal contract and you are a signatory, why should anyone care? If you can’t pay your way, you’ll find yourself outside the cities, outside the agribusinesses, and life is damned horrid beyond those zones. Of course that makes me think of the R-H2O campaign, and my body tenses again, so I nod my head and turn my chair so he can get to my feet better.
“Excellent,” he says as he grins up at me, flashing his brilliant teeth that offset his tan and blond hair to the fullest. “I was starting to worry that you weren’t going to use the full facilities and thus be wasting Inandirmak’s money,” he comments, just loud enough for me to clearly hear as he slips off my shoes.
“That would be foolish, so when you finish down there, go lock the door,” I tell him with a deep edge to my voice. My eyes lock onto his when he glances up, and his smile fades into his face, though his eyes light up more. “Yes, boss,” he says as he starts to tend to my left arch.
After a few moments I try to relax more, but my mind keeps wandering back to how much better Lindsey is at this than Wynn. That’s unfair on so many levels that my eyes glance over at the furry face in the photo frame. My pet didn’t know how to do much of, well, anything when I got him–and then there was my wanker stepbrother–and he’s smaller; his hands are shaped differently; there’s the fur.
“I know I am good at this, Boss,” intrudes Lindsey’s voice, drawing my attention down to him on the floor. “But you have to do your part, too. Try and relax. Deal?”
I give him a tight smile and lay back my head, closing my eyes, trying to focus on his firm, smooth fingers working the muscles, caressing my skin, moving my toes back and forth, side to side. A gasp releases further tension in my body as one of my toes pops and Lindsey makes a sound of triumph.
Wynn would be asking questions right now instead of just watching my body, feeling it change under his care, listening for heart rate and breathing to give him clues. I open my eyes again and look at his furry face. He doesn’t seem to know how to read humans at all. He’s constantly messing up pronouns when we watch television. I wonder if there’s something I can do to help him with that.
“Ahem.” Lindsey’s voice again interrupts the flow of my thoughts. “Seriously, Boss, the meeting will go fine. But if you can’t relax this foot you are not gonna be ready for my executive skills anywhere else.”
I frown. One of the reasons I went to college and got a degree was so I’d never have to spend time down on my knees to rise up through a company. My father and mother both did it the hard way, and I swore I’d never do that to myself or anyone else. Yet there he is, my first executive assistant, on his knees with a very concerned frown, holding one bare foot and looking at me like this is the biggest insult he’s suffered in years.
“Lindsey, go lock the door and pull the curtains. I think I just need less potential distractions.”
He arches an eyebrow but lays my foot gently back onto the floor and stands up gracefully, smoothing down his trousers before turning to the door. I take the few moments he’s looking away to turn off and lower my photoframe back into the desk. When he looks back he sees me turning down the lights on my desk and putting my computer on sleep mode.
Lindsey walks around the office and closes the curtains, bending unnecessarily and moving more than needed, giving me a nice view of his firm, round ass and nicely sized groin, which always seems firm but never demanding. He stops behind my desk and touches my shoulders again. “Let’s take your jacket off, too, Boss. Get your skin some air.”
This is another subtle difference between my assistant and my morph. Wynn is demanding, but it is always about him, getting me to play with him, to have sex with him. I sigh in frustration, which makes Lindsey look back from where he’s hung my coat up just a few feet away. “We getting on with this, or what?” I say, more roughly than I really should. Lindsey is contracted to the company, not to me; I should respect his position, even if it is on his knees or under me.
He just smirks and comes back, unbuttoning his shirt. “We are not yet ready for the advanced relaxation techniques, Boss. I will surely let you know when we are,” he says, letting his shirt fall to the floor, where he just leaves it. “Let’s face facts; I was assisting you well before you occupied that chair.”
That’s true. I always figured it was because he saw my star rising and wanted to make sure that if I got the corner office, he’d keep his position. Reynolds was a good VP, but he’d gotten comfortable in this chair, demanding evening work sessions that everyone in the office knew had little to do with reviewing the clients or campaigns. The fact that he took early retirement was an indication of how Corporate in Egirdir disliked his business attitude. The Turks are tricky about such things; they put a great deal at our disposal the higher up you go in the company, but there are also limits to what they consider appropriate. Or so Margaret told me the day before my promotion became official.
I let Lindsey set the parameters, figuring he was the reason that Reynolds left. How else would the big bosses on the other side of the world have learned about the overtime for a salaried employee unless his assistant revealed it? Business is a complex dance of power, authority, profits and debts. I learned to never take anything here for granted.
“I have always enjoyed being of assistance to you, Boss,” Lindsey continues as he unbuttons his trousers and lets them shimmer down over his hips and ass, his cock swinging free, half hard already. The rings on his nipples glint in the dim lights, and those in his ears swing as he strikes a pose. “Now that I’m clear about helping you relax, let’s get serious so all our transactions flow smoothly today.”
A giggle escapes my lips. I realize I’ve missed this banter after weeks of attention to matters at home. I push my chair back and turn so he has lots of space when he gets back into position down on his knees. I lift my bare foot and put it on his chest, stroking his flesh, tweaking his nipples and getting a soft chuckle from him in return before he catches it and places a solid kiss on the top.
Lindsey trails his tongue lightly along the top and works his way up my ankle and calf with tiny strokes while his hands knead the muscles. His deep mocha eyes are on mine as he works to the edge of my skirt. Then he glances down, placing the bare foot on the floor before turning to the shod one and rendering it equally pliant with his skills.
His tongue and fingers artfully work up my other leg, then he pauses at my skirt again, reaching out with one hand to stroke the first leg, which has lain neglected. “You’re feeling more relaxed now, Boss; time to add the right amount of good stress to fully ease your mind. Would you lower your chair a bit, please,” he instructs before turning his attention to lifting my skirt and nuzzling my knees.
These chairs were especially designed for Inandirmak, and the first time I tried mine out I just thought this feature was for napping, as the company’s public infosheet claims. It was a huge accomplishment when this firm bought my contract from Reman, Shire, and Niobi, where I’d been employed since earning my first master’s. Inandirmak always receives high ratings from both internal and external evaluations for workplace environment and public stewardship. They offer unspeakable perks to their officers, of which Lindsey is merely one, but also demand a certain level of professional conduct that stretches outside the office walls.
Oddly, one of those was getting Wynn. I feel the chair go down too fast as I push that furry face from my mind again.
“Whoa there, cowgirl,” Lindsey chuckles as he jerks back from the descending chair. “I’d suggest the floor if you really want me down to work, Boss, but I didn’t vacuum this morning.”
I frown, wondering if he forgot on purpose or because he’s also worried about R-H2O. Three types of people are happy in the position of first executive assistant. The first likes to be in charge without the stress of answering to the higher officials and finds a way to manipulate their bosses, generally through scheduling as well as the sexual benefits. I suspect that Connie does most of my scheduling. The second type of assistant wants to be totally submissive, barely exercising any authority and constantly needing direction with rewards and punishments meted out. I just can’t see that working in any of our branch offices, though perhaps at the main headquarters. So that makes my Lindsey, who is now looking at me after telling me he’s failed in one of his assigned tasks, the third type of executive assistant. These love to be of service but realize that those of us who must exercise authority over big decisions sometimes want to lead and sometimes need to be led.
When my stress is overwhelming, Lindsey knows what I need to bring me relief, as any decent service assistant would.
“You didn’t vacuum?” I narrow my eyes and pull one leg free from his hands as I sit up. “Well, now, Lindsey, that is just unacceptable.” I push him back onto the floor with one shove from a bare foot. He looks down at the toes then slowly up my leg until his eyes meet mine. “However, focus on the task at hand, and perhaps I’ll take that into consideration later. You have earned demerits, and I will pay them out.” I finish the promise by beckoning him back to me as I lie back down, carefully lifting my skirt up to bunch around my hips.
He’s grinning as he kneels up and parts my thighs with his hands. “Of course, Boss. I’ve really needed you to keep me on task lately.” With that he bows his head and begins nibbling at my outer lips.
* * * *
An hour later Lindsey walks a bit more slowly out of my office, and I watch with a grin tugging at one side of my mouth. While I tend to go a bit carefully with my pet back home, here Lindsey’s spanking was the real deal, his demerits paid off in the form of a sore, turning-purple ass that has him leaning down over his desk, not sitting. Connie’s eyes are wide when she catches me looking at her, and her blush is almost sweet until all our eyes spot the conference room doors swinging open.
I touch my hand to my hair, double checking to make sure it is in place as Glen escorts our clients through the door followed by Amber at his heels. Our liaison ignores me and the rest of the office to lead the trio from Rainwind to the elevators while Amber turns back to the conference room for a moment before heading toward me, folder in hand.
“Glen is taking them to the airport, and I’m planning a debrief with the rest of the team,” she tells me as she hands me the contracts.
“I’ll look it over, and we’ll meet back in the conference room as soon as he returns.” I glance at Lindsey, who has moved close, his pad in hand to confirm that the room will be open the rest of the day. “Guru and Click-back work it out?”
“Yeah, they were surprisingly calm this morning after a rough start,” Amber says with a tight smile. She looks exhausted but keeps her eyes on me, her back straight, and her hands behind her back, probably clenching and unclenching her fists. That’s what I would have done in her place.
“Lindsey, get them all something cool to drink,” I order, and he just smiles, nods his head and goes to the water cooler. I turn back to Amber and say, “Take a quarter break, tell everyone to get outside while we have a break in the sun, and then come back to debrief. Trust me,” I cut off her concerns just as her mouth opens slightly, “I’ve been there.”
“Yes, Boss,” she says with a more relaxed smile. Reassurance and acknowledgement that my team had just won a big client was rare when I was in her position. Offering more feedback and more support: that’s another change I was determined to make when I got the better office. Besides, it will give Lindsey some time to figure out what to add to their drinks to help them relax but keep them sharp for analysis.
“Connie!” She stands when I address her. “Let Nanna and Kaya know I want reports on their projects by tomorrow at noon.” With that I turn back to my office, leaving the door open but determined to look over the contracts and see which campaign R-H2O chose.
* * * *
After Glen has a few minutes to settle back into the office I walk swiftly pass the team pits, groups of desks where the leaders for each marketing team sits, even though their specialized units are on different floors or wings of our building. My movement causes everyone to look up, but only Team 1 knows where I’m heading and why. Soon they have all filed into the conference room, taking seats facing me at the head. Lindsey is still standing behind me, pad in hand to record, while Connie checks it as it goes into her computer for storage and quarterly reports.
I slap two separate contracts down on the table as I settle my gaze on each team member in turn. Glen and Amber exchange looks; as client liaison and team leader, they have the most to lose if I’ve found something wrong. Roger just looks at me blankly, unconcerned since his real work won’t begin until I’ve given my approval. The three whose differing visions are clear in these contracts and campaign proposals, Vartan, Thomas, and Maggie, all lick their lips nervously, though I see that Vartan still feels his idea is superior from the way he refuses to look at the table or the floor, keeping his eyes steady on mine.
It is Elsbeth Fluri, though, who speaks up. “Ms. Potter, I know it is very rare for clients nowadays to want to invest in more than one ad campaign at a time, given the current economic and habitation situation. However I believe strongly that this particular product requires a different approach, given the two very distinct demographics Rainwind wants to target.”
Amber moves in her seat, so I make a small hand gesture toward her, and she sits back, her mouth closing with an audible gasp that makes everyone flinch just a bit. I recall Margaret’s words during our lunch meeting after I received word of my promotion almost two years ago: “Approachable, helpful, respectful, all of that is wonderful, but if you are assigned to your home office as VP, never forget that a little fear is a wonderful thing.”
With that in mind, I say, “I reviewed the contracts, the proposals, and of course the meeting tapes.” I don’t know why that still makes people cringe. We all grew up being watched almost 24/7 in all public places, by cities protecting their water and companies protecting their employees. “I could see that you two,” I go on, aiming a look at both Maggie and Vartan, “were still in competition right in front of the client. That is not acceptable.” Both sink back into their chairs at my words.
“Thomas, you and Glen did a good job of reassuring the clients. Amber, your attention to the meeting’s needs was good, but next time do not allow anyone to leave the room as I saw. Once they leave those doors,” I explain, motioning to the conference room’s main doors, “there is always a chance they won’t come back. That’s why we have an in-suite restroom, folks.”
I look at Roger, who is hardly looking at me until my gaze pulls his eyes to me. “I know you feel like your part is rather vague until a campaign is contracted, but I want more next time. I think we could have cut this meeting by a good half hour if the clients could have had reassurances of both campaigns’ feasibility right from the start.” He agrees with both a nod and a verbal reply.
“Elsbeth, let’s get back to your strong feelings on these two approaches,” I say, turning my full attention to our strategist, whose research into the target audiences and the markets should be the foundation for any proposed campaign. The entire table looks to her as she sits up straighter and nods her head, her lips tight.
I smile as I speak, my entire body lit up with pride. “Well worth your defense, and you’ve won us the first multi-campaign contract in four years.”
The team members begin laughing or sighing, both chastising me and thanking me at the same time. Of course, that last multi-campaign was from my old team for Bio-Mandrema, who still uses our continental and gendered approach that many business leaders declared unnecessary two decades ago.
“Now don’t get too cocky,” I remind them all, “but take this evening out at Inandirmak’s facilities, and come in late tomorrow morning. Amber, Glen, Elsbeth, I want reports on the T-R Farms and BFC campaigns by next week.”
“Yes, Boss,” they say as they all start gathering up their things to head out to a much desired mini-vacation. My history classes told me that at one time families and individuals made vacation choices and had time off from work, but the impotence of governments and the short-sightedness of people required that corporations step up to protect their workers. Instead of the much-feared mega-corporations, though, smaller firms were able to provide more consistency for their employees and their customers, resulting in the regional web system that links various suppliers with consumers and support staff. Inandirmak has offices in North America, of which we are one, and in most other Earth regions, as well as on the lunar base and the Mars station, and our Asian branch has made headway into the Titan Project in regards to product placement. Corporate still claims that we are a small firm, though, part private and part employee co-op.
I have my time off, so I turn to Lindsey and tell him to get Connie. We have reports from the other two teams to begin looking at before we can head home today.
After what I feel is enough time, and a quick glance at the clock on my desk confirms this, I dismiss both of my assistants with the customary inquiry into whether or not they want a lift home. Connie is on my way, and I can drop Lindsey off at a club he often likes to relax at after work. I find having good relations with my assistants goes beyond using their services in the office.
As always, Connie accepts and collects her things from her desk quickly to meet me at the elevator. Lindsey turns to me while she’s gone and grins. “I can catch a bus from your place.”
I look at him and blink slowly, unsure whether I’m hearing him correctly. “You know your services really end at the building’s door,” I say stupidly.
“Actually they don’t, as buying plane tickets and getting meals attest to from time to time,” he replies, crossing his arms over his chest. “But my ass is still sore, so I’m not looking for that.”
I shush him and glance at Connie, who is locking her desk.
“I want to check out your pet, you know,” he intimates, making his voice into a low whisper as he leans toward me, “the kind they make you get when you get a big promotion.”
I sigh and do some quick calculations of the risks of taking him home versus not. “Just a quick visit. Wynn gets nervous around other people.”
“Wind? You named it Wind?”
“Wynn, no D sound,” I correct him and then smile at Connie as she looks at us patiently.
“Oh, sure thing, and yeah, a quick visit,” Lindsey says with an even bigger grin. It takes him seconds to grab his stuff and lock his desk.
Having three of us in the car along with the company card allows us to drive in the private lane and get to the residential area quickly. The buses and the trains move through, and the delivery vehicles are chugging along the slowest, but everyone needs to be off the roads before the sun falls and the highway’s electric supply decreases, and with it the right to travel on the streets.
Connie thanks me softly and scurries from my car into her building, a subsidized complex run by several companies, including Inandirmak. She lives there with her wife, their child, her mother, and I think her wife’s younger sister, or is it disabled sister? I try to be aware of all their families, but she’s so quiet that I rarely get more than a few words from her. Lindsey gets out and takes the front passenger seat with a smile.
With only two of us I have to switch to another lane, but we don’t have far to go. My house is right outside the corporate city proper, another perk from the promotion that came in the day after I heard the news. I had a year to get Wynn, and I pushed it to almost that limit.
“You sure?” I ask as I nod ahead to the usual club. Lindsey just shakes his head and waves goodbye to the neon-lit building as we go past it.
I can feel my hands start to sweat on the control panel.
To read the rest, download the ebook today!
Dominant Emily and her pet fox morph Wynn face new challenges when they learn he must be shared at her company retreat. Yet while Emily worries for his wellbeing at the hands of others, both are introduced to a commune that believes morphs ought to be free, leaving Emily with a difficult decision to make: keep her pet to be potentially mistreated by others or leave him to be free in the commune?
Omnibus edition now in print!