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Chapter 06

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      Marlot was the first one to arrive at the gym a few blocks from their office. He and Trembor tried to squeeze in at least three training session a week. Since he was first he grabbed the clipboard by the entrance and checked the list of fighting rings, looking for those which were available. This gym didn't have any weight machine, it catered to those who preferred to stay in shape the old fashion way, by fighting each others. The patrons were all predators; not even the biggest and strongest herbivore would dare set foot here.

      "Has anyone reserved ring two over the next hour and a half?" he asked the badger behind the counter.

      "Nope," he replied after checking his own list, "feel free to take it."

      "Thanks," Marlot wrote his name in the time block for that ring and put the clipboard back.

      He was almost done changing when the lion walked in. He bent down and licked the wolf's ear, making him put his fighting gloves over his groin and freeze with worry. "Morning," Trembor said softly.

      "Don't do that," Marlot growled once he'd regained some of his composure. Trembor simply chuckled and undressed. Marlot knew they were alone for the moment, but that hadn't helped, and he'd known the lion would do something like that. It was his way of trying to get him to relax about demonstrating their involvement in public. Marlot watched the lion pull down his pants and made sure his gloved hid his hard on. "You're just doing that to torture me, aren't you?"

      Trembor smirked and turned, putting himself on display for his lover, "It's only torture because you're not willing to do anything about it."

      Marlot rolled his eyes, "oh, Grebor would just *love* the idea of us going at it in the locker room." He gulped as he found himself imagining lying back on this bench, legs in the air with Trembor pounding in him. The lion scented the air and grinned at him. "Thanks a lot," the wolf said bitterly.

      "That old badger wouldn't give a damn," he said as he pulled up his shorts up, "come on, lets go fight so we can cover up that lust with some good old fashion exhaustion."

      "I'll be out in a moment," Marlot said, moving his gloved to show the lion the tent in his training shorts.

      Trembor chuckled, "just tell them it's because you're looking forward to fighting." The wolf threw him a dirty look. "Fine, I'll be waiting in the ring, but don't take too long or I'll find myself another partner," he said as he left the locker room.

      Marlot sat in silence for a moment and then focused on putting on his gloves; they were made of slightly padded leather and covered the top of his hands and tip of his fingers. Straps at the base of the fingers and the wrist ensured they stayed in place. They were used mostly to prevent serious injuries caused by claws. He then put on the slippers over his feet. His fighting style didn't make use of his feet, that was Trembor's thing, but Grebor required them to avoid accidents.

      Satisfied he had his lust under control he left the locker room. Most of the fighting rings were occupied, but there wasn't anyone watching. That was the advantage of coming here first thing in the morning, the gawkers were still sleeping. His steps faltered a bit when he saw Trembor moving in their ring, punching and kicking the air. He felt his cock harden as he watched the lion's muscle ripple under his short golden fur; at how his mane flowed over his shoulders and down his chest, narrowing as it moved down and disappeared under his trunks.

      The wolf climbed in the ring and did his stretching exercises, avoiding looking at the lion. He guessed that every time he looked at him that way he gave himself away to anyone who watched him, and as much as the thought frightened him, he hoped that he would never 'not' be turned on by the sight of his lover's majestic body.

      They went from warming up to fighting directly, exchanging a few light blows. Trembor tended to remain still while Marlot moved around him. The lion's advantage was strength, while the wolf had agility on his side.

      "I think we might be looking at Aiden's case wrong," Trembor said as he threw a punch in the wolf's direction.

      "Ok," was Marlot's only reply as he moved under the punch, put a leg behind the lion's and pushed him back with an arm across the chest. Trembor fell back, but Marlot still barely moved in time to avoid the foot that swung at his head during the fall. He knew from experience that if it had connected his head would have been ringing for a few minutes.

      Trembor let the momentum of the fall roll him on his back and then in a crouch. He looked up at Marlot. "What if we have the importance of the attacks backward," He said as he lunched himself at him.

      Marlot threw himself to the floor to avoid being bowled over by the lion's superior mass and quickly jumped to his feet, in time to block a kick. "You think rape is the motivation?" He aimed his next punch at the lion's throat, but it was swiped aside with a hand and he was sent back against he ropes by the strength behind the fist that hit him in the chest.

      Trembor stayed back, giving Marlot time to regain his breath, "Murderers tend to be connected with the victim, it's an act of passion. Rape is one of control and power; all the perpetrator really needs is an opportunity."

      "She let him in," Marlot said as he charged the lion, dodging the punch that came. He placed his foot behind Trembor's leg again, but this time the lion saw it coming and turned, exposing his back, exactly as the wolf had expected him to do. He elbowed him hard in the kidney.

      Trembor cursed under his breath as he reeled forward, lifting his leg back in time to catch Marlot in the chest as he tried to press his advantage, and decking him. Trembor leaned against the rope while the pain passed. "Someone knocks at your door offering to show you a selection of, I don't know, in your case, computers. What do you do?"

      Marlot didn't bother lifting his ringing head. "I let him in. I'm a predator, what do I have to fear." The ringing stopped and he got up. "But I wouldn't let in someone who looked strong enough to over power me, I'm not stupid."

      Trembor smiled at him, it was a caring smile, "no, but think about Aiden, she's the vice president of one of the largest Pharma Corps, could someone in her position even afford to think there might be someone out there who was more powerful then her?"

      Marlot nodded, "overconfidence."

      "Yep," Trembor replied as he spun and sent flying at the wolf, only to end up on his back as Marlot threw himself under it, sliding on his knees next to the lion and elbowing him in the back of his knee.

      "You were implying?" Marlot said as he stood and offered his hand to the lion.

      "The wrong thing," he answered taking the hand and being pulled up, "obviously."

      "That still leave the question of why he didn't bring the body back with him." Marlot pointed out as he went to a corner, indicating he was taking a momentary break.

      Trembor went to the opposite corner. "Maybe he didn't realize she was dying. He might simply think that she'd finally submitted to him."

      "Alright, but why go after Aiden? You said a rapist needed opportunity, I don't see that here."

      Trembor chuckled. "I don't know. The little I remember from rape crimes dates back to my days at the academy, and I wasn't exactly paying attention, I already knew I wasn't going to specialize in that. Maybe it's a status thing."

      Marlot nodded, "I know someone in the vice division, maybe we should pay her a visit before we get back to the office."

      * * * * *

      Trembor ran his fingers though his wolf's lustrous fur, wondering why it was that his lover, who cringed every time he touched him in public, became comfortable with it, in a public shower, simply because everyone one else was doing it. The lion smiled as he continued to lather Marlot's back, eliciting moans when he dug his fingers in the sore muscles and massaged them.

      Unlike him Marlot's muscles were dense, you could barely see them through his almost black fur. They didn't bulge like his, they were always solid, ready to strike, ready to defend him. He loved to touch them, to feel them under his hands, knowing that when they were alone he got to feel that strength in a very different way.

      They effect his lover had on him didn't show as he washed his back. The advantage of being a few years older he guessed, and then wondered if eight still qualified as a 'few'. He did have to resist the temptation to just nuzzle the wolf's neck.

      They used the dryer once they were done washing, still together as they used towels on each other to help dry their furs. As they were dressing Trembor saw something he rarely did in public. Marlot looked up at him and he could see in his eyes, and that smile, the love the wolf felt for him. It only lasted a moment before he grew self conscious and looked away.

      Trembor wanted to hug him, to show him how much that had meant to him, instead he simply smiled back when Marlot looked at him again.

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