• authoraprilkelley1

Asher’s Sexy Cat Costume by April Kelley

A Little Unsteady Short Story

Halloween looked different but also similar in a dragon shifter town versus in a human city. Wingspan’s Halloween night looked similar in that there were children in costumes with orange plastic pumpkins. They didn’t go door to door, though. Instead, they stayed in the park next to the community center. There were games and a giant blow-up bouncy house. They still asked for candy in that singsong way all kids across the United States did from those handing it out. The most significant difference was the dragon’s flighting overhead and the few who meandered around, keeping everyone safe.

Dragon shifters were protective. They were almost instinctive. Primitive in nature. During his time mated to a dragon, Asher had seen firsthand the lengths Nigel would go to keep him safe.

As the sun slowly went down and dusk took hold of the day, beginning the transition into night, the dragons made for quite the picture. They were all different colors and pretty in their ferocity. Their big wings flapped, creating a sound Asher had heard a few times when Nigel had shifted, but it was still new enough to take his breath away. With twenty or so dragons flying around overhead-and those were just the ones Asher could see-it was sensory overload.

Everyone who wasn’t keeping watch over the kids from the air stayed on the ground, either passing out candy or providing protection. Some chose to shifter into their dragon, but others stayed human.

Since Asher grew up in a group home, he had never been trick-or-treating. He remembered sneaking out with his brother, Leaf, and a couple of other orphaned kids one year. They walked around one of the wealthier neighborhoods mixing in as best as possible with kids who had costumes…and parents. They had managed to grab some candy from a house that had an unmanned bowled sitting on their porch. It had been fun. They hadn’t even gotten caught, which was the best part. At least back then, it was.

Halloween in Wingspan looked and felt different. Shifters weren’t in their animal form roaming the street with them, and no one looked out for him or his brother when they were kids. They had been on their own.

There was a sense of belonging that Asher had never experienced in his life. Apart of it was Nigel. And of course, it was Leaf and his two mates. They all lived together as one family unit. But a larger part was being part of the Wingspan clan. There was a sense of family in that too.

The clan members, who organized the festivities, assigned Asher and Leaf the bucket game. Asher let Leaf lead the kids through the game, and he pretty much helped by handing out little white ping pong balls. The kids threw the balls in a series of buckets. The further they could make it, the more candy they won.

Asher smiled at a little boy dressed as a pirate whose turn was next. He kept his head down and looked over his shoulder at a woman who gave him an encouraging nod. Asher tried to hand the boy the ball, but he wouldn’t take it, so he squatted down, getting on the boy’s level.

The kid was maybe around eight years old and had the same green eyes all dragon shifters did. His were more on the blue side, though. He’d seen the kid and his mom at clan meetings but hadn’t had the fortune to meet them yet.

Asher held the ball in his hand, not forcing it on the boy. “Hi, my name is Asher. What’s yours?”

“Matty.” Asher had to lean forward to hear him. Since he was a bobcat shifter, whose hearing was better than most other kinds of shifters, it said a lot about Matty’s voice level.

“I like your costume.” Asher tugged on Matty’s brown, jagged pirate sleeve.

Matty smiled. “My momma made it.”

“Your mom is very creative.”

“We don’t have enough money to get a store-bought one like the other kids have.” Matty’s hung his head.

Asher met Leaf’s gaze before saying, “You know what? My brother and I didn’t have money for store-bought costumes when we were kids either.” Hell, until recently, they hadn’t had the money for it as adults.

Matty met Asher’s gaze again. “Your mom didn’t have money?”

“We didn’t even have parents.” Asher tugged on the plastic sword strapped to Matty’s side before leaning in to whisper. “Out of all the costumes I’ve seen, I like yours best.”

Matty’s smile was big. Asher thought the kid’s face would split in two. “I like yours too.”

Asher dressed like a cat with leopard print ears and a tail sticking out of his black leggings. His spotted t-shirt hugged his body. He knew the costume was a little more provocative than a kids’ Halloween party warranted, but he wanted Nigel’s reaction. The cat costume would help him get laid, not that he needed it. He could wear a paper sack, and Nigel would still want to fuck him against a wall. But putting in a bit of effort was fun.

Since Nigel was one of those guarding from the sky and had left sooner than Asher, he was still waiting to get noticed.

Asher held out the ball. “Do you want to try?”

“What if I don’t make it?” Matty drew his eyebrows together as if that had been the thing that worried him the most.

Asher leaned in. “My brother will still give you candy. Don’t worry.”

“That’s right, kid.” Leaf grinned. “You get as many chances as you want on account of your costume being the best around.”

“Practice makes progress.” Such a grown-up statement coming from a little boy surprised Asher.

When Matty took the ball, Asher smiled. “I bet your mom says stuff that smart, doesn’t she?”

Matty nodded but didn’t respond otherwise, concentrating on throwing the ball into the metal bucket. He made the first one without a problem. He was worried for no reason.

“You’re a pro already!” Asher clapped, encouraging him as best as he could before handing him another ball.

As Matty was lining up for the second bucket, a shadow fell over them, changing dusk to dark. Asher looked up at the underside of Nigel’s scaly dragon’s belly. The shadow left as Nigel came in for a landing right next to Asher.

What are you wearing? Nigel asked through the bond link, but Asher could tell Nigel was amused. And horny.

A costume. It’s Halloween.

I mean the bottom half. I can see your ass from the air. It’s like you’re naked but with a tail. Oh, Nigel liked what Asher was wearing. That came through loud and clear through the bond link.

Matty stiffened, sliding closer to Asher.

Asher put his arm around Matty’s shoulders. “It’s alright. He’s clan. And my mate.”

Matty nodded and turned to the bucket again, taking Asher at his word. Being around dragon shifters his whole life, it was no wonder he didn’t question his safety further. The clan would protect him.

A teenager came over from one of the other games. She smiled before holding out her hands for the balls. “Need a break, Mr. Blackburn?”

“I think so. Yes.” Asher smiled at her. “Thank you.”

He stepped away from the game and into Nigel’s space, wrapping his arms around Nigel’s neck, forgetting, for a moment, about everyone else around them. Nigel had that effect. “Do you like the costume?”

You know you’re hot. Don’t pretend you don’t.

Asher kissed Nigel’s big dragon face before pulling away. “I think you should make me go home and change.”

Nigel let out a chuffing sound that would have been a laugh if he were in his human form. How about I fly you there?

One of Asher’s favorite things was flying. Having a dragon shifter mate was fucking awesome.

You should strip the costume off me and teach me a lesson about wearing inappropriate clothing in public.

Asher could feel how aroused Nigel was by his words through their link.

It’s not inappropriate. You’re covered. Most of these kids go to clan meetings, so they’re used to nakedness. It’s not a big deal for us. That was so not the point.

I’m not wearing underwear. They would leave a line if he wore them, and he didn’t own any thongs, although he had at one point in his life. He’d have to buy some to gauge Nigel’s reaction.

Nigel squatted, making it easier for Asher to climb onto his back. Hurry up and get on, baby.

Once he did, they took to the air. Asher had to hold onto his cat tail with one hand and Nigel with the other.

It wasn’t until they were over the town that Asher saw Matty wave. Asher waved back. It looked like he made a new friend.

Life was good.

Copyright OCTOBER 2020 April Kelley

April Kelley is an author of LGBTQ+ Romance. Her works include The Journey of Jimini Renn, which was a Rainbow Awards finalist, Whispers of Home, the Saint Lakes series, and over thirty more. She’s a main contributor at Once and Books. April has been an avid reader for several years. Ever since she wrote her first story at the age of ten, the characters in her head still won't stop telling their stories. If April isn't reading or writing, she can be found taking a long walk in the woods or going on her next adventure.

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