Authors: Kyell Gold
For Jim and Justin, and Kevin and Mark,
who love both football and animal-people,
and whose teams have all won Super Bowls
since I met them.
This is a work of fiction.
All characters and events portrayed within are fictitious.
OUT OF POSITION
Copyright January, 2009 by Kyell Gold
All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book, or portions thereof, in any form.
Published by Sofawolf Press St. Paul, Minnesota
Cover art by Blotch
Interior illustrations by Blotch
This is not a story about football. It’s a romance that takes place in a world I created, loosely based on our contemporary world, in which football plays a large part. I point this out for two reasons: first, to encourage you to keep reading if you’re not a fan of the game, as I suspect the majority of gay furry romance fans are not; second, to partially excuse the inaccuracies in my representation of the game of football and the behind-the-scenes life of the athletes.
This is a story about relationships. It’s about different perceptions of what responsibilities you have in a relationship, and about the sacrifices you make and the rewards you gain. It’s about learning that the person you are in a relationship may be different from the person you were before the relationship, about not only accepting that but embracing it.
But yes, there is a fair amount of football in these pages. I enjoy watching the game, I enjoy the artificial fantasy world that the fans build up around it and that the athletes inhabit within it. If you like my depiction of it and would like to read more, I recommend Stefan Fatsis’s
A Few Seconds of Panic,
an honest and in-depth record of training camp with an NFL team by a journalist who is also training with the players. Football is a physical game on the surface, but what Fatsis finds is that it is much more a mental game. There are hundreds of young men who can throw a football, but only perhaps a couple dozen who can do so and make effective decisions under pressure. One mental slip at the wrong time can cost you a score, a game, a new contract, a career.
Sort of like, you know, being in a relationship.
Whether or not you enjoy football, or enjoy my accounts of it in these pages, I hope you enjoy the adventures of a fox and tiger trying to figure out their place in the world. As seems to happen often to me, I did not anticipate that this would become a novel, but the characters would not go away until I’d written more, and more, and more, and so you now hold the result in your hands. Thank you for giving them a chance to tell you their story.
–Ky, January 2009
I’m not saying that the Forester Universe cities are in the United States. But if they were, this is where they would be.
Someone asked me recently how this all got started. “Well,” I said, “it started with a girl.” He laughed. I changed the subject. But it got me thinking back to that night where everything changed. Jesus, I was young then. It wasn’t so long ago, but I was young. Know what I mean?
I was a junior at Forester University. When I think about it now, I see myself walking through the early morning fog that sometimes rolls in off the lake. My life was like that—walking along the paths I knew, not looking too far ahead, not worrying about what I couldn’t see. But me and Randy and Mike, we thought we knew it all. Hotshot athletes on a small campus, strutting around like we owned the place. We thought we knew about school. We thought we knew about life. We thought we knew about love.
Me, I thought love was climbing into bed, a pounding release, and falling asleep. Love was a pleasant scent, a softer shade of fur, a willing smile. Love was a sexy girl, a girl who wouldn’t wake me up in the morning, a girl who would wait until I called her. Mike wanted a cute ass; Randy looked for a big chest; but I loved the muzzle and ears. A girl with a nice face, whose eyes lit up when she saw me, whose voice made me tingle. At least, that was my dream. I never thought I’d actually meet her. Not ’til that night.
I spot her just after midnight.
I’m hanging out with the guys down at the Fang, drinking, laughing, joking, eyeing the cuties. Everyone knows the team goes there to drink every Friday night, so the ladies set themselves up down at the end of the bar. We look, we pick, we take what we want. Forester U. isn’t a big football school, but there are always a few girls ready and willing for any jock that comes along.
I don’t know how long she’s been at the bar, but she’s not giggling with the tigress who’s been trying to catch my eye for an hour, and she didn’t come back from the ladies’ room with the sweet-looking bitch who just left with my bud Randy. She’s in between the girls and boys, sitting in her own little world, and the thing of it is, the thing that gets me about her, is that she doesn’t seem to mind. She inhabits her world, fills it, and doesn’t need the rest of us.
The squirrel beside her keeps shooting looks from under her painted eyelids at both groups, jealous of the pretty girls, desperate for a date. But the little vixen is different. She ignores everyone as she sips something colorless from a tall, thin glass, tipping it expertly into her narrow russet muzzle. Chocolate ears swallow the dim light, but occasionally I can see the white insides as they flick back and forth. I know she’s listening to both us and the girls, and now that I’m watching more closely, I can see the small curve of her smile.
“Hey. Hey! Dev?”
I snap back to Mike, the cougar who plays opposite me in the secondary. “Huh?”
“I said, are you gonna go with that one or not?” He jerks a thumb towards the tigress, with all the subtlety of a fawn-colored brick.
I look again at the vixen. She’s wearing a plain white blouse, offset with a gold bracelet on one arm. Maroon skirt. Long, flowing, russet tail. “No.”
“All right, I’m gonna go for it.” He grabs my extended paw and shook it. “Seeya tomorrow.”
“Yeah.” I’m left with Jason and Eck, a wolf and coyote who back up our positions and the wideouts. They’re looking at the fox, too, and then at me.
I was never much for foxes, to be honest. Little things, and they’re always trying to outsmart you. Most of them think they’re so fucking clever if they get you to say something stupid. Yeah, they’re pretty, and they know it, but they’re more trouble than they’re worth.
The tigress takes another look at me, but my disinterest must be obvious, because she takes off with Mike.
Eck clears his throat. “Hey, uh, I was thinking about going for that fox.”
“That’s nice,” I say, getting up. “You keep thinking about that.”
Their mutters die down behind me as I walk up to the bar. The squirrel perks up for one hopeful moment, until I park myself on the other side of the vixen, then she slumps down again. I could give a shit.
Up close, the vixen is still striking, not one hair out of place. She pretends not to notice me at first, but I’ve timed it pretty well; she’s just finishing her drink. “Buy you another?” I rumble.
She turns to me now, and her eyes are bright and blue. Contacts, I think, but god, they’re gorgeous. So is the curve of her smile. “Actually,” she says, in a low, husky voice that reminds me of Lauren Bacollie, “I’m about finished here. I was just going to head home.”
“Oh.” I can’t tell whether this is a brush-off or not. Any other girl, I’d come right back with, “How about I join you?” but for some reason I’m hesitating here.
She looks straight ahead, so I can only see one eye. “This is the part where you offer to walk me home.”
That voice is turning me on something fierce. “So, can I walk you home?”
She shrugs. “I know my own way, and I’m not drunk.”
Damn foxes. Goddamn them. I’m about to walk away in disgust when I see that there’s a sparkle in her eyes, a challenge, and maybe, just maybe, this time it’ll be worth the trouble. “Yeah,” I say, “But it’s late, and dark. All kinds of unsavory people hanging around. I wouldn’t want you to get assaulted.”
“You don’t think I can take care of myself?” Her chocolate-brown paw plays with the matchbook on the counter, nimbly threading it between her fingers. I imagine those fingers engaged in other activities and feel myself getting hard.
“I’m sure you can,” I say, “but wouldn’t it be more pleasant to let me take care of you?” I work in a subtle double meaning there.
She hesitates. I decide to play a little of her own game with her, since she’s obviously interested by now. “But, if you’d rather fly solo tonight.” I pretend to get up.
She lets me get to my feet, even lets me get partway to the door. I hear her behind me as I’m passing the big jukebox at the front that’s only there for show. “Well,” she says, “if you’re going to be leaving anyway.”
I turn and see her leaning on the jukebox, small red purse over one arm, that satisfied grin on her muzzle. I offer my left arm, and she takes it, touching me for the first time.
Her arm is light but strong, and it feels good in mine. She barely comes up to my chest, but as we walk out of the place, I have the odd feeling that I am just an orange-and-black striped accessory, like the purse she has shifted to her other arm.
She lives in a run-down row house off campus, without a number or a mailbox, the kind where there are six rooms and twelve students and two bathrooms. She unlocks the door and flicks her tail, waiting for me to make the next move.
“Well… you’re home.” I look at the paint flaking off the door frame.
She gives me one of those smiles. “Are you going to ask me for a thank you for the escort?”
If I do, she’ll drag me into one of those games again. So I don’t ask.
Her muzzle is soft and sweet, and she doesn’t resist my tongue. I reach down to hold her shoulders, and she wraps her arms around my waist. I respond to the soft brush of her tail against my legs by wrapping mine around hers, keeping her in my embrace.
“So you were only drinking water,” I say when we part, panting.
She just smiles again and slides one of those delicate, able paws down my stomach, and doesn’t stop when she reaches the throbbing hard-on below it. “I think you’d better come inside.”
I can’t say anything. I just follow her.
She leads me up two flights of stairs, that bushy tail bobbing enticingly in front of me. I want to take the stairs two at a time, three at a time, but she’s walking slowly, her paws padding up the stairs. And it’s here, in the close, empty space of the hallway, that I first notice something odd about her scent. She’s tried to make it masculine, adding some kind of musk to her natural feminine musk and resulting in something in between.
That doesn’t bother me. I’ve always liked the girls who can throw a ball and read a book, and a lot of them use touches of masculine scent to distinguish them from the bubbleheads who are mostly good for fucking and looking pretty. I already know she isn’t one of those types.