THEY GROW UP SO FAST

By tercio

Every hellhound goes through an awkward phase in her life. This period may be long or blessedly short but there is no straight line between a goofy, tail waggy heckpuppy and an unstoppable, ebon skinned, flame wreathed hellhound. Sometimes the transition will start early with the confused and frightened girl expressing her burgeoning aggression via childish bossiness, or even bullying. More frequently a hellhound girl will come into her own during or shortly after puberty. These girls experience a burst of confidence well matched to their body's growth. This new power and desire to dominate usually manifests in healthy ways like a keen interest in fiercely competitive athletics. More rare, but hardly unheard of, are late blooming hellhounds. These "nerdwans" don't gain the full power or confidence of an adult hellhound until later in their lives, sometimes much later. Telltale signs are shyness and a preoccupation with hobbies stereotypically pursued by bookish young men (something which many suspect is a manifestation of the well known hellhound sweet tooth for nerdy "white bois").

One would be hard pressed to find better examples of the latter two types than Elerthrae and Kiaran. Elerthrae, star of her school's track and field team, moved with languid confidence. Her bold eyes continually flamed strongly as she regarded the world with smirking bemusement. Her insouciant attitude only ever seemed to change when she was seriously challenged. Then her eyes would flare even brighter and a genuinely excited smile would dawn on her face. Kiaran was the opposite. She moved slowly, even timidly, and was constantly hunched over as if she were cringing in anticipation of some dire challenge she knew she could not surmount. She kept her expression inoffensively neutral and affected to always carry an innocuous object like a book or knapsack which she could hold in front of herself like a shield.

Despite these differences there was an odd sort of rivalry between the pair. Each had her eyes set on a different boy from the local nerd herd and each pursued their target in her own way.

***

"Hey White Bois! Where you goin'? Why don't you sit and have a drink with us? We promise not to bite! Too hard..." Elerthrae and her teammates guffawed at the crude jibe as they leered at the passing Science Fiction / Fantasy Club.

Under different circumstances being confronted by such an imposing gang might have broken the morale of the boys. Having a hellhound, manticore, ushi-oni, minotaur, and ocelomeh flagrantly undress one with their eyes is enough to unnerve all but the staunchest of paladins. If even one boy had faltered and strayed from the group he would have been snapped up by the predators. With each loss the group as a whole would have become more vulnerable. It was hardly beyond the realm of possibility that each boy could have found himself sitting in the lap of a monster girl, awkwardly holding a bottle of chocolate holstaur milk, and blushing at the fumbling but sincere advances of the young women. From there who knows where the night might have taken them?

Fortunately for them they had a queer sort of sheepdog. Kiaran, head down and book clasped in her arms, blew by the catcalling letterwomen without giving them so much as a glance. In this case her counterfeit obliviousness was just what the boys needed. Buoyed by "their" hellhound's example they found the bravery to turn a deaf ear to the (literally) unnaturally aggressive girls and crossed the green without incident. The dynamic was a familiar enough sight on school campuses. Boys would band together for protection, often around a "safe" monstergirl like a submissive type or someone's sister. There was very little to set this exchange apart from countless others witnessed at that school every day. However, a particularly astute observer might have noticed a brief flick of each hellhound's eyes. For just an instant their gazes met. And for just an instant each one knew something of the other. Just enough to draw a completely incorrect conclusion.

Kiaran was disgusted at Elerthrae's crude tactics. The brash hellhound was practically an incarnation of AntiMa "hellnigger" propaganda. She despised how Elerthrae lived down to the broadest caricatures of hellhound behavior... caricatures which Kiaran despaired of ever living up to. Elerthrae's confidence was alien as it was desperately envied. Kiaran KNEW that Elerthrae would have had the courage to confess her feelings to the boy she liked by now. She KNEW that in her shoes Elerthrae would have sealed the damn deal already. Deep down Kiaran wanted to be Elerthrae more than anything.

For her part Elerthrae simply could not comprehend Kiaran's behavior. What kind of self respecting hellhound has that much access to boys and does absolutely nothing with it? It wasn't fair! The meek little bitch might as well have been a kobold! If Elerthrae could hang out with boys like that... but Elerthrae didn't hang out with boys, did she? All of Elerthrae's strength and bravado hadn't turned the head of a single guy, and certainly not the one she wanted. Kiaran had probably exchanged more words with Elerthrae's crush today than Elerthrae had all year. Sometimes Elerthrae hated the fire burning in her breast and the bold words she seemed unable to prevent from leaping out of her mouth. Would she only be able to get her guy by FORCING him to be with her? Deep down Elerthrae wanted to be Kiaran more than anything.

***

Public animosity and secret envy proved a solid foundation for a sort of truce between the hellhounds. Elerthrae pushed herself hard to excel at her athletics, in part for the sheer joy of it, but also hoping that her achievements would somehow make the boy she liked notice her. Kiaran threw herself into reading and art, in part because she loved it, and in part because it let her spend time with the boy she liked. For both of them it was a time of halcyon stasis tainted by frustrated desire. They could have gone on like that indefinitely until events inevitably intervened.

As graduation neared letters started coming back from colleges and universities. Elerthrae and Kiaran were both overjoyed to see that the objects of their affection had been accepted by the local men's technical institute. Being monster run (read: danuki run) the school focused on setting its male students up for success. No mere diploma mill, it was a feeder for countless businesses in the region. You'd have to try pretty hard to not land on your feet after graduating there. If the school also did its level best to get its students married off to nice local monster girls... well, you really should have read the admission contract more carefully boyim! The two hellhounds eagerly signed up for the technical institute's sister academy and finishing school, agonizing over which pictures of their beloved to attach to the "special" section of the admission papers.

They weren't the only ones to take notice of this turn of events however. Shortly after the acceptance letters started arriving a strange human girl joined the Science Fiction / Fantasy club. The human girl was strikingly pretty with long, jet black hair and soft dark eyes. Kiaran didn't like how the boys in the club acted around her. They keyed off of the girl's subtly projected sexuality in a way they never had with the shy Kiaran or the brash Elerthrae. The boys showed the girl a deference Kiaran hadn't seen before. An extra pause to see if she had anything to interject. A look in for approval after a statement rewarded by a smile. Kiaran felt totally out of her depth. She didn't fully understand what was happening but it was obvious the interloper was wrapping the boys around her little finger.

Worst of all was when the human girl started focusing her attentions of Kiaran's beloved. Just a little bit more attention, a little bit more eye contact, the occasional soft touch on the forearm or shoulder. Kiaran panicked and tried to counter, but she still couldn't bring herself to outright confess to the boy. Unfortunately it turns out that "Hey, want to come over and paint mini's?" is no match for a coquettish laugh and a head rest upon a shoulder. Each reverse made Kiaran feel increasingly inadequate until she became convinced that she'd lost completely. Her parents couldn't help but notice the cloud of despair hovering over their precious little girl but neither of them could get her to tell them what was wrong. If she couldn't admit her feelings to the boy she loved how could she let her parents know that she'd loved and lost?

***

Kiaran's mood had devolved to the point of being practically masochistic by the time the fateful day rolled around. Seeing the boy she loved and the human girl together tore her heart to pieces but she couldn't stop spying on them. The couple had taken to going on short walks together to various secluded places on campus. Kiaran, following with stealth unusual in hellhounds, watched despondently as the trysts escalated from convivial discussion to intimate conversation to light snuggling. Today they'd gone further than ever. The girl had guided one of the boy's hands to her breast an another to her vulva. The girl was still fully clothed but this was getting dangerously close to what monsters would consider a marriage ceremony. A cold pit opened up in Kiaran's stomach and she was about to finally give up once and for all when the boy suddenly pulled his hands away. There was a harsh exchange of words and the human girl's face took on an ugly cast. Kiaran perked up her ears to catch what they were saying.

"I- I just think we're going too fast..."

"Goddammit! How slow do you want to go?"

"W- we only met a few months ago and this is like, marriage level stuff!"

"So what? You're so fucking pro-monster, I thought you of all people would be fine with a quick courtship."

"What if I don't want to marry you?"

The girl's voice went dangerously cold, "Excuse me?"

The boy quailed before the girl's anger, "It's just... we haven't known each other that long..."

"Oh, excuse me, Mr. Picky. I guess I'm not good enough for you. I didn't realize you had so many options. Tell me, what other girls were interested in you before I came along?"

The boy's face fell and he looked dejectedly at his feet, "No one..."

"Exactly. But it's all right. I'm here now. I'll take care of you. Clean house, healthy meals, sex on the regular, I'll take good care of you while you get your career started. Then you can take care of me."

If anything the boy looked even more depressed now, "You make it sound so transactional..."

The girl sighed in exasperation, "It's called being pragmatic. Do you WANT to be alone? I don't."

The boy stared at his feet for a long time after that before responding, "I think I want to take a break for a while."

"What...? Are you dumping me?! How...? But... I... How dare you?! YOU FUCKING FAGGOT!" the girl's face contorted into a hateful mask, "I put up with all of your nerd bullshit, give you a chance because you have prospects, give you a little taste of all this with the promise of more, and YOU dump ME?! YOU FUCKING FAGGOT!"

The storm of rage on the girl's face cleared only to be replaced by a cruel smile, "You know, after what we just did we must be covered in each other's mana. If I went to the police and told them you forced yourself on me, I have actual proof you felt me up."

Up until now the overheard conversation had merely made Kiaran uneasy. Nothing the girl had said was really THAT wrong. Far be it for a monster to criticize an aggressive girl who knew what she wanted. To be sure there was the niggling suspicion that the human girl's motives were different than Kiaran's, but the hellhound couldn't quite put her finger on it. It certainly wasn't enough to justify interceding. But that last part, the threat to falsely accuse the boy, that was something different!

She meant to leap up and object strenuously. But to her surprise when she opened her mouth all that came out was a low rumbling growl. And instead of jumping up and pointing her finger accusingly she found her jet black body slowly uncoiling itself into a low, ready crouch. Her growl deepened and the hellfire dancing around her eyes intensified to match it. By now the humans had noticed her and were staring at her with naked terror. She wondered for a moment why they were so scared. They'd all hung out plenty of times before. Why would they be afraid of her now? A simple enough question in retrospect, but at the time she didn't even bother to meditate upon it. She was distracted by a very novel and very disturbing emotion: she found herself glad they were afraid of her. Their fright was intoxicating, her satisfaction utterly visceral.

Kiaran even knew why: she was furious. More furious than she'd ever been before. Now to be fair, no hellhound is a stranger to anger. As a good girl Kiaran had more than once needed to choke down hot frustration or irritation before it blew up. But this was different. This anger was less of an emotion and more like an epiphany. In a way she didn't even feel mad. She was strangely, horribly calm as the white hot rage filled her core. It gave her strength, both of body and of purpose. It was quite simple really. She was going to FUCK UP that BOYFRIEND STEALING WHORE.

You didn't have to be a genius to figure out that a flame wreathed, growling hellhound was a threat and whatever else she was the human girl wasn't stupid. She drew her self defense pistol with admirable alacrity and even managed to land a hit with her first three round burst. Unfortunately she couldn't have contrived a worse tactical situation for herself. Kiaran reacted to the shots by sprinting forward with unholy speed. She couldn't literally dodge bullets but she could watch the human girl's trembling hand well enough and, more importantly, keep herself more or less clear of the shaking muzzle. No more hits were forthcoming.

The silvered, mana charged bullet which had already hit her could have been a problem however. Mana spurted out of her side in great invisible gouts. But the leaking mana burned with the monstergirl's unconstrained rage and converted to hellfire the instant it hit the air. This flaming mana achieved something very much like a combination of coagulation and cauterization. As a result the wound was a scar by the time Kiaran had closed the distance to her opponent. Admittedly this did involve a high cost to Kiaran's stored mana reserves. But Kiaran's body was operating under one of the most primal monstrous instincts imaginable: "PROTECT HUSBAND". She would have dropped dead before giving up.

Once the enraged hellhound reached melee range it was all over. Even a hardened paladin veteran in full enchanted armor would be hard pressed in close quarters against such a foe. A teenaged human girl had no chance whatsoever. Kiaran's initial running knee strike to the gut bent the human girl in half and sent her flying. The hellhound's follow up punches managed to keep the human girl airborne for three agonizing paces. Then, finally, Kiaran relented by body slamming the girl and finishing the fight with a flurry of savage claw strikes. The hellhound's claws tore through the human girl's meager mana reducing her to horny, insensate helplessness in an instant. Satisfied, Kiaran stood and gave the boy a baleful look.

Even at this late date the boy had a chance. Kiaran had spent almost her entire life as a cerebral, polite hellhound who respected boys' boundaries. If he'd responded verbally, thanking her for her help but chastising her for her brutality, he might have pulled her back from the brink. A stern and intellectual rebuke at this key juncture could have snapped her back into the shy, uncertain "nerdwan" persona. But for better or worse Kiaran's beloved did no such thing. Terrified by the suddenness of her assault he gave in completely to his dread. Body language, facial expression, breathing, mana: everything about his demeanor screamed 'submissive fear'. Most fatal of all by far was his physiological reaction to Kiaran's utterly dominant behavior.

An erection.

This was more than ample invitation for Kiaran in her current state. She was upon him in a single pounce. Before he knew what was happening their clothes were in shreds, he was held immobile beneath powerful paws, Kiaran was kissing him passionately, and his manhood was buried deep in her maidenhead. For a time it was all he could do to steal the occasional breath between kisses as the hellhound used him to satisfy her long frustrated libido.

Eventually, after several climaxes, the violence of the assault wound down to merely vigorous and Kiaran regained enough of her senses to speak intelligibly, "Y-you dummy. Why'd you say 'no' before?"

The boy was a little confused at this. While he was definitely in the process of being raped, he technically didn't remember saying 'no' at any point. He was about to ask for clarification when, to his shock, he realized hot brimstone scented tears where falling on his naked chest, "How could you say no other girl wanted you? Noticed you? I've been here this whole time! I've wanted you this whole time! Why didn't YOU ever notice ME?!"

The boy didn't know what to say to that. Should he apologize? Explain? Argue that he had no way of knowing? The decision was made for him when he felt Kiaran's claws grasp his arms tightly, pulling them up to force him to arch his back and bring his chest muscles into tension. Kiaran's eyes flared as she admired his body and hungrily growled, "It doesn't matter. You're MINE now."

Then the fierce expression softened and she looked him in the eyes. The boy marveled at how alien yet familiar Kiaran's loving gaze looked on the monster's face as she ardently promised him, "I will NEVER let anyone hurt you."

***

Kiaran got more than a few strange looks walking through campus. Her spent, sleeping husband was cradled in one arm and she was dragging the human girl with the other. It didn't help that Kiaran wasn't wearing much more than a crude loincloth and top wrap constructed from the remnants of her clothes. Before she would have been mortified to be seen in such scandalous attire. Now she only cared about what her husband thought and he seemed utterly sated. Who cared about whispering human bitches or enviously staring ratatoskr? The proper disposal of her rival was the only reason she hadn't taken her husband home yet. Finally she saw a centaur in the blue uniform of campus security.

"Here, take care of this." Kiaran causally tossed the still unconscious raven haired human girl at the feet of the security guard, "Threatened a false rape allegation. I'll fill out a police report later. First I need to get my little sweetie pie home safe."

With that Kiaran carefully shifted her sleeping husband into a princess carry. She took a moment to wistfully look at his face before heading off towards her parents' house, dreams of the lair she wanted to build for her family swimming in her head.

As chance would have it both Elerthrae and several of her teamates as well as the other boys from the Science Fiction / Fantasy club were present to witness the scene. For their part every maiden monstergirl watching was consumed by a sense of yearning and inadequacy. Moments ago they'd felt pretty bold for catcalling some nerds. Now they felt like innocent little girls. Shy little Kiaran hadn't used her words to make a boy feel slightly uncomfortable; she'd claimed her man in the most old school monster way imaginable. Why if you looked closely you could actually see a little bit of her husband's seed dribbling down the inside of her leg! No wonder her mana flared and surged, combining with that of her husband, marking him as hers to anyone who cared to look. Kiaran was a true monster.

The boys were overcome as well, but not by envy. Their friend, their guardian, their trusty watchdog had turned on them. Kiaran's lusty smirk, state of undress, and possessive hold on their friend was ample proof of the fate which seemed certain to overwhelm them all in the near future. Perhaps even the immediate future! Weren't there monsters much more aggressive than Kiaran right in front of them? Monsters who'd been propositioning them mere moments ago? Cold, implacable fear slowly but surely seeped into the mind of every boy there.

To their credit they didn't break immediately. Whether by virtue of shock or instinct they stood their ground and benefited from safety in numbers. It wasn't until Elerthrae shook her head as if to clear it and started striding toward them that they scattered. Of course this was the worst possible thing they could have done. It's very difficult for a monstergirl to resist running after the boy she fancies, especially in the literal sense. The nerds led the monsters on quite the merry chase. Some even managed to escape. One made it all the way to the Insect Forest zone where he befriended an old paladin and his adopted soldier beetle daughter. But that's another story.

Only one nerd stood his ground. The boy Elerthrae liked could see that she was coming right for him. He knew damn well that he had zero chance of outrunning her so while his companions panicked and fled he remained, buttressed by grim resignation. To his surprise Elerthrae didn't pounce on him. She didn't even leer at him. He briefly thought that she might be trying to physically intimidate him with her physical presence alone. But then he noticed her downcast eyes and the tail between her legs.

"Um... hey... I guess with graduation coming up you're probably not going to be able to be in that club anymore, hunh?" the boy was flabbergasted to see such an indomitable menace struggling to speak and wringing her paws, "I'll be going to school right next door to you though. If... if you want... I could play some of those games with you. That thingie with the outer space knights looked really cool. Maybe... maybe you could teach me how to play that?"

The boy couldn't believe what he was hearing. A hellhound was courting him. Politely?! He was genuinely touched. He'd always assumed that the constant come ons were just something monstergirls did, nothing special. Simply a prelude to raping whatever boy happened to be nearest when her lust finally overcame her reason. He'd never imagined that she might like him specifically. He'd never imagined anyone at all might like him specifically.

That depressingly familiar thought quickly brought down his mood. She probably only liked him because of a chance combination of proximity and overcharged hormones. She'd be much better off with someone else. What would a statuesque ebon goddess even want with a guy like him anyway? On the other hand... He didn't actually remember her ever catcalling anyone but him. Now that he thought about it every time the school's team had won Elerthrae had made a point of boasting about it in front of him. And the times he was certain a monster was following him home he had been pretty sure it was a hellhound. Could it have been her each time? Could it be true? Could a girl like her really like a guy like him? He decided to risk something a little selfish. He felt vaguely guilty for trying to test her seriousness but he wanted to know her true feelings.

"Um. Maybe. I don't know. Do you think you could do something for me?" he was encouraged when her eyes lit up, "You're into all that fitness stuff right? Maybe you could help me out with that?"

He'd half expected the reminder of his less than stunning figure to dissuade her but she just got more excited, "Sure! I'd love to! Are there any sports you're interested in?"

The thought of athletically competing with other boys intimidated him more than he cared to admit and he mumbled, "Not really."

"That's OK, we can just work out together." now it was the hellhound's turn to be tentative, "I-If you're OK with that..."

It was a surreal experience watching a such powerful, confident monster reduced to a stammering wreck. The boy's heart melted as he realized just how much power he had over poor Elerthrae. He held her fragile, girlish heart in his palm; he could destroy her with a single word. In response his breast swelled with protective sentiment. It might be strange for a weak human to want to protect a nigh indestructible killing machine, but he decided that he would do anything to defend her smile.

"That sounds great. It's a deal."

Elerthrae's heart sped up when the boy smiled at her and accepted her offer. She almost fainted when he reached out and held her paw. It was amazing how his clever human fingers seemed to fit perfectly between her paw pads. The realization that she'd actually succeeded at her long dreamed of goal dawned on her. And it had turned out to be as easy as just asking! Her tail started wagging furiously of its own volition as she gave in to a big goofy smile.

Maybe she should have gotten into this nerd stuff a lot sooner.

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