Juvenalas Penitatas: Confrontation

Original Series by Vaahn

As always, I’d like to give a warm thanks to all of the parents and teachers who tuned into our station today, and all of our listeners, penny and non. Before I sign off for the evening and leave you to our after-hours playlist of soothing classics, we’ll be enjoying a violin duet played by two of our very own Red Kestrels – something lulling for any of you little ones with earlier bedtimes today. And, lastly, we’d like to extend the best of luck to our audio technician Spencer, who will either be leaving us tomorrow or returning to turn the station’s knobs with much smaller paws.”, the voice of an eleven year old boy spoke into Isabelle’s earbuds with his best of “radio voice” mannerisms; the smoothly slipped joke at the end making the fox faintly chuckle, subtly folding her ears into the buds they held as she walked.

Oh, don’t look at me like that Spencer, you know you’ll do fine at your hearing! Now, so long and goodnight! This is Radio Northrock out of N.C.E.”, the school-run station’s host bid his farewell without missing a tonal beat, sounding pleasant and professional until the calming hum of a beloved Karrian lullaby began.

With the dull sky turning an aging evening’s orange above her tall ears, a radio station operated by soft-time Penitatas couldn’t be on air all evening, and such closing words were something she had heard a lot over these many years. It was the first time she heard them from a personal radio tucked into her pocket though, having just bought it in town with her newfound Completas allowance for the lengthy walk she planned to take down the rain-dampened sands of Northrock’s coastline. She could only hope the poor guy running the show didn’t have much in the vein of homework and chores waiting for him at home, seeing as a penny didn’t have much time left in the day, even if just to eat and shower by the time he’d finally make it back to his front door. Surely getting to be one of the “good ones”, allowed to run a literal radio station, earned him a perk or two like a later bedtime and lack of punitive assignments, at least at his phase of things. Isabelle felt she should have known for sure as a girl wearing silver ‘C’s, but what others got tended to vary, and those permitted to dabble in such “secured” activities were already exemplary Penitatas in a league of their own.

But, not needing to be lulled to sleep, Isabelle flicked her radio off and stuffed her earbuds away, steeling the nerves prickling about the bases of her fur follicles upon seeing the three story house at the end of the dark, grassy sands finally come into view. It had to be her persistently poor luck that Talek and Rilka’s house was the furthest away from the south end of town, but the trip alone gave her plenty of time to cook up what all she’d say to their father in wake of the “message” he had Talek give her at school today – so harshly learning of what her “friendly hug” had earned the boy, and with words tainted by how upset he was. Told its severity was in part to teach her a lesson, punishing her for her role in breaking the penny’s chastity, Isabelle had to huff at trying to find those last firm words she wanted to throw at the man, baring the tips of her vulpine fangs from beneath the shroud of her white muzzle.

She didn’t appreciate that “lesson”, and nor did she intend to accept it.

Treading around patches of coarse sea grasses and stones, the fox worked her shoes through the muddy sands until they grew steadily firmer, headed up a shallow climb into the home’s cleared niche beside the waves. Steadily falling into dusk, the scrawny little trees dotted about looked no more than twigs in the dimmed, colored light, but it was the call of a thudding instrument out in the yard that caught Isabelle’s scanning ears. Having a real good hunch it wasn’t a Penitatas outside at that hour, she followed a path around the side of the house leading toward the rear of the property until she found its source; a dusky silhouette of a man chopping wood with an ax beside an old woodshed. The moving shadow took figure and color as she drew near, and with the crunch of her shoes to dingy sands and grass, turned its head to her.

Hey.”, Isabelle greeted as soon as she was noticed, sounding somber and with weight upon her shoulders, “Think you and I could talk?”

Well, if it isn’t Isabelle!”, Shon didn’t seem to mind, nor even seem surprised that she’d suddenly appear before him like that. The ax in his grasp took a big, imbalanced flip, sending its heavy head to the base of the decayed stump he had been working upon; ashen bark splintered about among strewn pieces of firewood, quite possibly to be carried and cleaned up by “a big strong lad” at the first frigid break of sunrise. Such was an easy thing for a veteran ex-penny to assume, and it made her wilt.

I’d like to invite you inside to sit with me in front of the fire on a day like this, but my wife is working on turning Rilka and Talek down at this hour. We’d be best not to disturb the ‘penny routine’, punishment as it is. Something tells me you’re not cold anyhow, wearing a short sleeve shirt and no jacket.”, the dark green scaled man socialized, lifting and guiding his tail to sit back upon his woodcutting stump’s crosshatching of ax wounds. Isabelle shook her head.

“… Are you chopping all of this for Talek?”, the fox frowned with fret for the lad’s sake, but Shon merely treated her to a fatherly smirk.

Don’t forget about Rilka, living here too. It could be for them both, for all we know.”, he failed to give any kind of answer one way or the other, in typical penny-parent fashion.

Never mind that, then.”, Isabelle crossed her arms uneasily, losing track of the sway of her tail when she would have preferred standing calm and tall, “I wanted to talk to you about what Talek said to me today at school.” It made the Karrian man sigh through his nostrils, forming a faint puff of vapor from each.

Yes, I would imagine so. He was told, rather short and sweet, to let you know what he got in your little spot of ‘play’. It was not my intention for him to yell at you.”, he explained of his boy’s behavior, unwittingly sparking feisty chagrin in the muscles near Isabelle’s fangs.

Oh, he’s allowed to yell.”, she corrected harshly for a young one, nearly stepping on the toes of Shon’s last words. “I’ve been in Northrock too long to not know what that was. He didn’t want to yell at me – he wanted to yell at you, and couldn’t for his own sake.”, came with enough sizzle off the tongue to catch the fatherly man off guard; Isabelle darting a paw up to point a polished claw downward.

I don’t wear that problem on my paws anymore, and that’s why I’m here. You had no right to crank his punishment all the way to eleven and then make him tell me it was supposed to be a ‘lesson’ for me too! Hurting someone I consider a friend, making him… hate me… ”, the fox’s voice raised, rattling off until it slowed and seethed in memory of Talek’s angry eyes earlier that day; continuing only by Shon’s right paw leaving his coat sleeve like he was going to place it firmly forward in chiding gesture, “No – that was penny-unfair to make him some sort of whipping boy, and I’m not a Penitatas anymore for you to be doing that to!”

I’m glad it hit home hard enough to be taken this seriously Isabelle, because it is. You should feel very guilty for what happened to Talek, if your so-called ‘hug’ wasn’t something he at all solicited from you.”, the reptilian father’s scaled brows stiffened, seamlessly shifting into his ever-so familiar “corrective” tones amidst the sharpened timbres of a little girl’s voice.

Call it a ‘punishment’ in your name all you like, but Talek earned what Talek got. You only have to bear the consequences of your own actions… something you’ll always have to do, no matter if you think those repercussions are ‘fair’.”, he shot down so easily, and so gently with the true nature of his “lesson” being no more than a basic fact of life, Isabelle squeezed her paws into fists and threw her tail in frustration.

I’m not going to let you weaponize me against everyone I care about like I’m just some trap waiting to be sprung on my friends! I learned about ‘giving Penitatas a rope’ from Miss Bassal, and I’m not going to be a rope for you! I thought you’d forgive the kid for being a kid! I asked permission and everything!”, she stood up for herself, having done what she needed to do to make things right, stamping a vulpine-made shoe into coarse dirt and flecks of dried wood. She was a Completas, she was allowed to fool around! She was beyond these twists of the knife! The man’s dark green snout merely drifted to and fro.

Not from me you didn’t, and you know very well that’s how sexual activities work between normal rejuves and Penitatas. That ‘permission’ you got from your teacher was him handing you the rope… you just went and wrapped it around your friends’ necks yourself.”, Shon remained collected, letting his words bite hard enough on their own to make the fox’s whiskers twitch and flick about in her discomfort. “And, so you know, Talek was caught masturbating without permission shortly before the two of you had your ‘cuddle’. If you were still a Penitatas and did that, and then went and immediately messed about, humping some friend of yours’ leg, you don’t think your parents would have come down on you hard, as I did my son?”, he countered to appeal to her understanding, causing Isabelle’s body language to falter and flounder even more spectacularly; her paws moving more sharply, like a dial was slowly being turned back on her mental age and maturity. It made the tips of her fangs peek out, reaching inside to be firmer against the wall he had put up.

But I was hard-timer! He’s not! You punished him with fire cream and cut him off from doing anything with the only gender he likes! That’s way, way worse than what Ki`reth got for doing the same thing with me, and he’s in hard-time for literally ripping someone’s throat out!”, she threw a paw to the wind at her side at the same time Shon’s claws dug into his trousers; pupils nearly narrowing at how hard his entire snout stiffened.

Isabelle, that is never yours to share! Ever!”, the man explosively shouted to the gleam of sharp Karrian pearly whites, staggering one of the fox’s shoes back upon the grit.

It was cutting, and it was as uncharacteristically angry as his piercing glare. A silence befell the dull, broken crashes of waves against the shoreline; eye to eye, with Isabelle frozen solid, immobilized by more fear than she normally felt when even a Penitatas. In the light of a coming sunset, Shon’s deathly serious face was laced with threat and warning – something Isabelle tried to push past, even as the lips of her muzzle betrayed her and refused to cease their curl.

I know his wishes – you don’t!”, she countered back to excuse herself, actually being the one who was friends with the forthcoming bare-furred boy. Shon’s harsh scoff felt like a slap to her rattled emotions.

Did you ever to stop to think in your selfish temper-tantrum that Ki`reth was given a lighter penance because you had already made him feel completely violated?”, he sharply questioned, laced with chiding accusation.

The fur up Isabelle’s spine stood on end, and their bases ran cold from the damp sea air. The fox’s muzzle contorted differently, mixing the look of a scorned child with that of a deer in the headlights; her tail locking up mid swing, frozen in a curl. She knew what Ki`reth got – he told her with his own words today! A warmed backside and time in the corner! He didn’t say anything about feeling violated, and how would this man even know that he-… ?

I’m wholly aware of what happened to that lad too! How upset he was after he spilled himself into your fur! We have a very up-front manner in regard to approaching intimacy here in Northrock, but that doesn’t mean everyone who comes into the town is going to happily be engaging in casual sex, Isabelle! His age got the best of him, he wanted to be a part with his friends, and in the end he went home and cried his eyes out, thinking you took advantage of him!”, hit as a cold, hard truth for the fox’s folded ears, breaking Isabelle’s verbal stride with the painful squeeze it viced her chest with. “You really think we’re going to throw the book at a first-time offender when he’s that kind of distressed?”, the man grated his tone upon ‘that kind’, making it clear that they weren’t going to obliterate a Penitatas who accidentally crossed his own red line. It wasn’t like the lad was merely shy about squirting into some fur, naked all the time as he was – he hurt himself, and was a sorry that couldn’t be remedied with recompense alone.

Isabelle shrank, shattered into the throes of inner, mortified regret. And, if only to make things worse, Shon’s snout twitched, keeping a hint of teeth in the open air; fingers intertwining, like they needed someplace to be.

And you even just outed why he’s here to someone he’s never met, with a straight face. He can be as open as he wants about that in private… but don’t you dare disrespect another Penitatas like that in front of me again, making their words come out of your mouth. You’ll learn real quick how little those letters matter.”, the man duly growled, rife with absolute assurance of heavy, unbridled discipline if ever such a trespass were uttered again. It compelled fright strong enough to even make the likes of Isabelle sick to her stomach, like when Mister Titus railed upon their school’s worst and tiniest of convicts; her breathing labored, and body stiff.

I… ”, the fox squeaked weakly, unable to regain purchase over her own ears, “I’ll… need to talk to him, and apologize.”, she forced out, feeling like she had gone and hurt every single person she interacted with. It was easy, because if Shon was right, she really did. Why wouldn’t Ki`reth have talked to her? Would he hide something that serious just for her own sake, or … was it because Talek had already gone off on her, and he felt too bad to pile anything else on top of her? Oh – oh, no.

Lifting her muzzle toward the reddening, mustard hue of the coast’s broken clouds, a deep breath trembled with a sniff that couldn’t fully be hidden; her paws rubbing her muzzle, if just to hide her face for a moment. They fell revealing a frown that had lost all of its fiery, confident luster, and a set of pretty, colorful eyes against the snow of white, that couldn’t seem to look at anything but vegetation and rocks anymore.

Why does Ki`reth get your defense… and not Talek? You can’t be understanding with him the same way? He’s sixteen years old – you can’t expect him to say no if I’m stupid enough to get frisky with him! Why would you do this to him?”, her gaze came back with the pleading lift of open paws; voice higher in pitch, and quieter, hinting to the burn in her eyes. Isabelle humbled herself, admitting her foolishness not only to appeal to the father, but because she was feeling that sick with herself.

Because my son is a Penitatas, and this is part of his punishment as one.”, was the shortest, simplest answer to why Talek suffered the massage of ‘fire cream’ into his thinnest scales and flesh, and was placed on such stringent restrictions. He was meant to be, regardless of who “started” the physical interaction that released the boy’s seed. Simple as it was, the intimidating reptile squinted, sweeping his tail through flecks of lost bark.

On that note, little ‘not-penny’, are rejuvenated children of any kind permitted to interfere in the punishment of Penitatas?”, Shon inquired, permitting his dagger-laced words to growl through his teeth with calm ease. Such words were familiar ones, and thrown to the air toward her like that, made Isabelle’s blood run cold as ice; face weakening more.

No… no one is, but-… ”, her traipsing was cut short.

And if one was to be punished for such a violation, what would happen?”, the ‘knowing’ line of questioning went on, tucking the fox’s tail to the seat of her pants.

Anything from a penny-grade spanking up to judicial, but-… ”, her shoulders reached for her folded ears.

Then it’s only ‘fair’ of me to warn you how dangerously close to that line you’re towing. The teacher that ‘made you a rope’, or so you’ve tried to frame, must really like you… because if he told you no to your special little request, and you got caught doing it behind our backs, that is exactly where you’d be. An adult giving you, and you alone permission, was your only saving grace Isabelle. Now it’s a lesson for our pennies, and a harsh reality for you.”, certainly was leveled with her harshly, but no louder than Isabelle herself had begun to speak. The chastisement not falling on deaf ears, despite them being folded so hard against her head, the scalded, nearly whimpering Completas clasped her paws together.

Then let me pay for Talek making a mess of my fur! Don’t you remember being his age at all? He’s upset for a reason!”, she argued to sway Shon over expecting a sixteen year old boy to turn off his libido – offering her hide and fur as she was so often willing. Again, she was treated to a pensive yet steadfast shake of the man’s head.

Talek could take breaks from a penny’s lack of pleasure without having to pay it back with a single sting. There was understanding, so long as he asked and it was deemed appropriate. He took advantage, made a pattern of misbehavior, and had that taken away. Nothing that should be at all surprising to you, but your attitude has you focused on his ‘J’ and forgetting his ‘P’. He’s still just as much a Penitatas, regardless of the slack he gets for his age.”, he sought to close the door on her pleas once and for all, and as gingerly as his need to correct her expectations would allow. He was a penny-parent first and foremost, and his duty would be upheld.

That’s where you in particular scare me!”, Isabelle’s vulpine teeth flashed, barking aloud to it – wearily, and far more shaken after all she had been told and come to learn, still so unwilling to leave everything in a mess because of her. Beside herself and wounded, the fox’s tail snapped outward and flailed as she paced a couple of steps, turning in a half circle with a thrown gesture of an arm.

That poor kid is still a ‘J’, so where the hell is there a ball in this mess of a yard? Some sign that you’ve taken him outside and thrown a round, trying to be a dad when all I see his him being just as scared to breathe wrong as the rest of my class?”, she turned her frustrations outward to their source, using her own guilt to channel forward a child’s anger – words, and tone, going someplace none would normally look at Shon and dare say, in regard to Talek’s place in Northrock as a whole. Shon suppressed an earnest snarl, though the tighter curl of his tail gave away what those criticisms drew forth behind his eyes.

For your information, young lady, Talek has no interest in sports or that kind of play at all! He’d rather be in his room playing video games if he had the choice, but since he doesn’t, I’ll let him choose his own penny-appropriate activities at his own pace!”, he answered of himself and that “lack of a sports ball” in the yard, looking awfully penny-centric to the fox’s scathing umbrage. She practically danced in place she was so riled and anxious, unable to stand still with the constant lash of her white brush of a tail – and this time, her emotions let him have it.

How long are you going to wait to see if he magically settles in here before you start making some suggestions? You’ve taken a sixteen year old and shoved him into a nine year old’s head – he was a Kindern before, and way more of one now! Immature, impulsive – he’s cute but doesn’t know his snout from his ass! You’re not re-raising one of us old criminals – you’re actually raising Talek! First time, from scratch! It’s not a do-over – he didn’t make it to the cliff to fall off like the rest of us did, and it hurts us – all of his damn friends to see him so sad when we damn well earned what all we got!”, her shrill, caustic whipping of words tore into Shon, throwing her paws squirmingly about with a tucked away secret Talek’s companions all agreed upon when he wasn’t present – how terrible it was that the lad was even here, suffering with real convicts.

My son is getting exactly what he’s supposed to be getting, and I’m not sharing those details with a little girl who’s suddenly gotten too big for her britches!”, a cloud of dust and bark shrapnel kicked up behind the stump with a snap of the man’s tail, launching up from his seat in counter-accusation; towering over his confrontational little visitor.

I didn’t ask you for any details! Why are you being so obstinate?!”, Isabelle slammed her foot down, unable to fathom how the man could close his ears so tightly and hear only what he wanted.

You only know that word because you’ve been called it enough times yourself!”, Shon chided with a snarky punitive ring to his voice, crossing his arms to the rustle of his coat.

Beneath his steely gaze, Isabelle’s muzzle wrinkled at its base, daring to let forth a low, quiet vulpine growl. She stared right back at him, whiskers trembling.

“… You could always assume something about a penny in Mister Titus’ class, but it’s looking to me like that extends to their parents too.”, that tone-of-growl crept into her voice, coming across as low-key snide to realize and say aloud. Her focus broke only with her need to pivot on the heel of a shoe, slicing an open paw through the air toward the man’s house without minding her tail – it smacking his leg like a bushy feather of fur.

Look at this place – a seaside house so ‘rustic’ it’s heated by fire! A place a kid of any kind would hate! Neither Talek or Rilka have ever mentioned the Northrock radio show either! Do you even turn a radio on for them? Do they even have one in their room, even if they aren’t allowed to touch it? Like my old one? How extreme do you go for Rilka, dragging Talek into it?”, the long-time Penitatas deduced of Shon’s punitive stature and the punished life Rilka must have been living in a place like this, wondering how far inside of the girl’s “higher tier” of discipline Talek was stuck existing within – and, without softening the blow, the sort of parent he was having to put up with. It must have struck a nerve and rang with merit, as Shon inevitably confirmed the assumption with just his face alone.

Those aren’t questions for you to ask, and not ones that I’m going to be answering! This has gone on long enough, and you’re worrying me that you’ve been paroled too early, acting and speaking the way you are!”, gnashed Isabelle’s face from the immediate wound, slapped upon her hubris with a penny-parent’s prowess.

You’d say that to someone who served a century?”, the fox’s voice trembled with the rest of her.

You’re certainly not acting an adult who’s learned all they needed to learn, laying into me and thrashing your tail about! It’s hurtful, and going nowhere!”, Shon’s guardian-like overtones lost their edge, and with a grasp of her own muzzle and a sailing flail of her tail; thrashing just as the man pointed out; Isabelle growled more shrilly.

No, I’m not, because I’m upset out of my mind!”, she admitted, sounding like tears were threatening after all that had been exchanged; her ears quivering against her skull.

When I screwed up something important for Miss Bassal, she punished me in private and spent more time talking to me than spanking me! That she trusted me and wanted me to be a teacher… she was so nice!”, the white fox steadily broke down into weaker and weaker words, hiccuping and mewling until her eyes glistened.

But you – you can’t stop yelling back at me for long enough to realize I just want you to say ‘yes, I get it, I’ll be supportive of Talek!’ an’ ‘we know you’d never do this again!’ and help me feel b-better!”, Isabelle could hold back no further, breaking down into tiny gasps before sputtering sobs escaped her maw; muzzle-base’s furled wrinkles easing with honest, saddened tears. At the end of the day… why else would she have come here?

Still, as pools that shimmered in the light of the sunset crested upon her eyelids, seeping into her fur, her eyes managed to stare judgmentally – as if ready to punish, here in this new leg of her life.

Now I know you don’t have a single clue how to raise a Kindern!”, she spat through her lament where she stood, rife with fang, if he couldn’t even figure out how to console a humiliated Completas who felt like absolute dirt.

After a moment of staring into that scorned, tearful little Aspatrian face, Shon somberly closed his eyes to break the contact. He took a deep breath, loosening his fingers and letting his tail go slack – a moment taken, before his belt drew off his waist in one fell swoop.

Come, we’re putting a stop to this and calming you down.”, the father’s stern, castigating tones all but disappeared into something solemn and quiet, though that did little to stop the prompt jerk of Isabelle’s body once the sound of oiled, cared-for leather lit up every old penny-sense in the fox’s keen ears.

Like I’d let you after-… !”, she deftly kicked backward off the ground to the stream of vulpine tail, but barely got to scream her evasive intentions before her left upper arm was caught at a speed matching her own. It was over for her the moment his fingers latched on.

With practiced skill and force, Shon wrenched her arm and swung her forward, forcing her footpaws to stagger and catch her weight to not fall; splinters and grit trampled noisily beneath her chest-tightened yelp. Well before she could get back upright, still within her stumbling lurch, a large, masculine paw; metal buckle in its grasp; snatched the waist of her trousers above her tail and gave the heartiest of yanks, jutting the girl’s front outward. Its push-button fastener popped free of her vulpine appendage in spectacular fashion, and the garment and its hidden baby-blue cotton underneath slipped down the fur of her bottom half way amidst squealing, huffing protest; tail defensively curling; but all it took was an upward jerk of her arm over her head and a sweeping downward tug at her clothes to wrench them to her thighs against her will.

By then the snarling little Completas should have been prepared for the inevitable, accepting it with the grace she was known for, but being so lost in the moment made the first swift crack of the belt against her come as a jarring shock, clipping the base of her rear at a diagonal to dodge her tail. Not even the leather’s throaty break through the air was enough to register within her ears, and that blazing blow of sting and fire blew her eyes shut, tearfully howling a whining, screeching cry; prancing off the toes of her shoes, held upright as she was. Instinct shoved her bushy tail flat down the valley of her vulpine cheeks, tip curled and quivering toward the sky, but she wasn’t the only one with an instinctive tail – that belt came right back across her hip as if expecting it, wrapping its folded, whippy end around the side of her leg to bite a trailing hint of its front. The resulting leap had the ex-penny dancing around the Karrian father, kicking her legs to the hellacious snaps of the leather strap the moment her fox tail darted out of the way of her backside to spare her limbs. Stripes of hot, angry red seared across her trembling, muscle-flattened white furred mounds, and terribly fast at that, sending her in a thrashing, pain-stricken scurry that went nowhere with her arm hoisted to the sky.

Stop it!”, Isabelle screeched above the rapid-fire swing of the belt knocking her about, thrashed the hardest she had copped in absolutely forever – deep into the realm of ‘penny-grade’. It was a hastened, desperate plea through thick tears as briskly as Shon could spank her standing; tufts of bark and sand going through the air with her shoes scuffing clear through the ground, struck as hard as she was every fraction of a second.

When the heavy, beating drive of that snapping leather failed to stop coming, turning her backside as white-hot as her fur, the frantically bawling and snarling fox twisted her arm in Shon’s grip, pivoting at her waist to turn her rear away. The pitiful dance shoved her left haunch up against the man’s leg, craned so awkwardly to quell the sting piling up from the tops of her thighs to nearly the base of her tail… but all that got her was a new punch of venomous heat somewhere she liked less, when the parent held no qualms over lashing his belt just as harshly across her front – the brown streak spanking a little nick of its punishing sting into her groin, while the rest went clear across her lap. The crying yowl that came from it was far more defeated and broken, and almost the entirety of her weight had to be born by Shon’s hoisting paw in her clamber to untwist her figure; maw agape with earnest sobbing. The price for that, it seemed, was a disciplinarian’s surgical scalpel – the very next lash dove beneath the base of her tail, rapping across its tuck to treat the peaks of her anal gnarl’s folds to the sensation of a hot metal spoon’s touch.

His belt spanked her rear, again and again, no matter where she swung her tail or screamed aloud. His manicured, punishment-pristine leather cracked deafeningly, as if she had no fur to dull its blows. It took little time further to weaken her dancing and stop the kicking all together, with bands of cherry crimson painted one welt on top of the other all hidden beneath her messy, scraggly, well-spanked fur. It was the very moment her will collapsed, taking her punishment with a forceful wail tainted by the timbres of a vulpine howl in the back of her throat, that the belt abruptly stopped coming; her squirrely attempts to escape the strap having ceased, leaving nothing more but a sorry, exhausted, submissive little kit.

And now that your little legs don’t feel like running, we’re going to sit!”, Shon’s metal buckle clambered to the ground, announcing as if it was merely the next step of a baking recipe.

With thoughtful care did he help Isabelle’s shaking legs walk those few steps he needed, minding the bunched up wad of black trouser and blue underwear binding her thighs together. Same as earlier, a sweep of his long, lizard-like tail had him seated upon his woodcutting stump, but this time with his visitor in tow, pulled into an embrace within his lap. The burning heat emanating from the girl’s bottom soaked instantly through the man’s pants, giving good reason for Isabelle’s growling, whining discomfort amid all her crying, trying to offload as much of her weight onto a single hip as she could. With what could only be described as a fatherly smile, Shon wrapped his arms tightly around the hiccuping, heaving little fox, making a warm, markedly softer seat than the one he sat upon himself. It was there against him that he let her cry it all out, held and comforted, until she could catch her breath and settle down.

So… ”, the older Karrian spoke up once he could, with his chin nearly tucked between Isabelle’s ears; folded so hard, for so long, they were sore at their bases. They loosened faintly to the vibration of his close, soft voice – her messy Aspatrian nose clearing with a sniff, so she could listen.

I promise to be supportive of Talek. He’ll be fine, and I do know that you’ll never do what you did again without permission.”, Shon spoke as encouragingly as Isabelle had originally wished, saying the exact things she said she wanted him to. The soft, kind words made the fox sputter; her whiskers plastered to her muzzle, and her paws pushed into her lap. Shon sighed a little, catching a bit of breath himself.

“… Turns out, Isabelle, some of us just hold you to a standard, knowing you as long as we have. I’ll be sweet, so long as you are too. I have more than one tone of voice, but I’m never afraid to use the harder ones – not for any rejuve of any letter.”, he explained of himself and how he parented, having been prepared to always return Isabelle’s attitude in kind. She would have gotten those words from the get-go if she didn’t so quickly raise her voice and get personal – that was nothing he would reward, no matter the child, as the father he wished to be. Such a lesson made the lightly sobbing Aspatrian frown more deeply, feeling even more foolish and mean, but Shon didn’t give her any time to wallow… he actually chuckled, no worse for wear, taking a paw off her tummy to make a flick of gesture toward his belt sprawled across the cold, darkening detritus.

I did just that very thing to a Voluntarus once, ripping off my belt for something he did to a son of mine! Triple what I gave you! Pretended not to see the smirk the boy was trying to hide with his paws when I was done with the other lad, too!”, he proudly told as a story, widening Isabelle’s eyes awkwardly even in the middle of crying. That belting was top-tier, and an absolute ton of quickly painted lashes! What did the other boy do, outright grope his bare son against his will, trying to make fun of him out in town?

“… This is a really hard home. You’d be far more upset with me if you saw what was originally just Rilka’s bedroom, that Talek is sharing now.”, might have been the first thing Shon openly admitted, referring to the pair’s Panopticon, to Isabelle’s blubber.

But that’s… so unfair to hi-him… ”, the Aspatrian’s voice cracked and stumbled as her cheek fur soaked, sounding nothing more than regretful. She could tell Shon nodded his head, as his chin rustled the fur between her ears.

Unfairness is a tool sometimes, Isabelle. We know what we’re doing, even if we can’t share the specific details of what comes down from the courts. Things got better after they were hard though, didn’t they? Time and effort changed things for you?”, he questioned, making it feel almost like a vague, fleeting hint to be patient.

You’ll just have to learn to trust us. There’s a lad needing some steering in there, and I’ll raise him up once he’s fallen and scraped his knees. I know he wears two letters.”, Shon permitted his snout to come upon Isabelle’s head with a gesture toward his home, completing his swaddling cradle of the fox; calm, and seemingly happy to be there.

“… And I do love that lad, even if you’re a tad on the nose with the whole ‘not knowing his snout from his ass’.”, he cheekily admitted away from the prying ears of Penitatas, making Isabelle sputter in a wholly different way – the weak, surprised sound of a tear-ravaged giggle making off like a wet, sniffling snicker. The man shook her a tad, in turn.

We all get to teach him! Just make sure those lessons of yours fall within his rules, and no one has to sting!”, Shon capitalized on his efforts to make Isabelle feel better and accept matters; an appreciated thing from the poor fox, locked half way into a child’s happier face even if it still quivered with sniffles and tiny sobs.

You’re not mad at me, s-sir?”, she had to ask, as well as Shon sounded after everything she had said.

You’re not the only one seasoned by the last century. I’m sure I faded into the crowd of grown-ups, but I was there sometimes, too. Wasn’t ever hard to spot your white fur, you know. It’s not the first time I’ve been yelled at, and it won’t be the last. I have patience… though it must seem like I don’t, from the outside. Some paws are firmer than others, and have a responsibility to be that way.”, he assured, already well aware that he was a good man with fine, adept paws; a confidence left unscathed.

You were upset. I do get it. I’m just not going to coddle in the same way as Miss Bassal… I will, in my own.”, would be his way, and ultimately why he belted her so harshly. Isabelle swallowed a tad uneasily at the words that came to the tip of her tongue, taking a moment to wipe at her eyes and at least dab her nose.

But… you can’t tell me if Rilka will eventually get dragged into Talek’s privileges, instead of the other way around? Everyone making sure he has more, instead of making sure Rilka has less?”, she really would have liked reassurance there as well, wanting Talek to be happy, but that brought about a lower, gruffer hum.

“… I can’t. I’m not a fan of being asked, either, but I won’t scold you any further. You’re learning, and that involves asking questions.”, Shon accepted, especially with certain debts having been paid, “I’ll simply say that balance comes equally from above, as well as from doing my job – and I know that job well. I’m here for him, and teaching him to be more open, honest, and direct with his wants and needs.”

He’s not the best at telling people what’s on his mind… is he?”, Isabelle mused aloud, after today. Shon let off a single, airy chuckle.

That enough of a cuddle for you, Isabelle? You’re speaking more clearly now.”, he extended, to the fox’s slow nod. She carefully eased herself out of his lap with the help of both his paws, getting her weight back upon her shoes with a throbbing protest from both her bottom’s cheeks. The casual disciplinarian of Northrock’s rejuves got up behind her, patting her shoulder while she took the bullet of pulling her trousers back up.

Let time run its course, and comfort your friends within all those rules I’m sure you have memorized. Not even Talek can remain ornery forever. I can’t say he’s speaking to me as much as usual either, but he’ll come around. You’ve not ruined anything for anyone.”, he did imagine he could safely reassure her on, sharing his viewpoints in confidence, “Honestly, the lad would have done this to himself some other way, and it was going to happen very soon. You gave him a lovely moment before I had to crack down. Nobody’s going to hold it over you, except for the teenager acting as one does.”

“… Fire cream, though?”, Isabelle questioned with the tiniest, meekest voice, trying really, really hard not to be bad. A scaled finger came upon the top of her ebony nose.

Two letters.”, he gently reminded, “And if this lesson sticks, we won’t keep having to repeat it, will we? Maybe its gone and saved the lad from getting more later?”

“… I guess. I’m sorry.”, the girl sighed, accepting her defeat. She was out of things to argue, and was feeling too dumb and guilty to bother making any sort of fuss. Shon clearly knew what he was doing, and there was a parenting lesson for her to learn here for sure… like upholding punishments as a teacher that she might not have personally liked.

It’s going to be dusk before you know it, and it gets dark fast, as long as it takes to walk back to the central pier from here. I’m sure you must have a curfew. I’m going to hail you a car – and I won’t take ‘no’ to my hospitality after strapping a little Completas as hard as I did, no matter if your sorry tail was looking forward to walking with all those bruises to punish herself with, knowing you.”, the dark green gentlemen spoke within the realms of parental and casual all at the same time, sweeping a PADD from his coat to begin tapping at; the light from the sky dimming enough to notice light being cast from its screen against his clothing’s buttons. Isabelle huffed sheepishly, considering that was exactly what she had been planning to do. She’d feel better soon, knowing no hard feelings were left behind here… she’d just have Ki`reth to tackle, and she suspected the drake-raised fox would be acceptant of her apologies if she explained her reasons for being so loose with her tail at times, trying to have fun after a whole lifespan of scraping the bottom of the barrel. Talek, though, would have to wait for his restrictions to be lifted before he could get the “apology” she had in mind – granted she was allowed, and with the assurance of no catches for Talek. Honest, guilt-free tail.

Muzzle down in thought, imagining how to make things up to her boys, a white plastic vial came to be held just beneath the tip of her nose toward the sand. With a breakable twist-cap, Isabelle blinked in surprise, looking up to see she was being handed it by Shon, already well finished with summoning her hover-car; a twinkle racing up the coastline from its headlamps.

I’m sure you’ve seen single dose packets of nano-lotion before? I keep two on me at all times; one for each of my children, in the event I have to rectify a wrong.”, his protective side came out and extended to her, placing the tiny rod into the pad of her right paw… an amazing feeling, never having held such a thing in all her years, “A Completas doesn’t need to carry the sort of spanking I gave you. Rub it everywhere you need once you’re in the car, and you’ll feel better by the time you’re saying hello to your folks.”

Clutched tight, like holding liquid forgiveness, Isabelle’s vulpine whiskers flared with a child’s glee, throwing her paws around the man thankfully. Actions always spoke louder than words. The landing pulse of a hover-engine reverberated in her ears, and with a farewell spoken more kindly than her prior “greetings”, the two parted ways so the fox could make her short-yet-brisk trek to the clearing the car used – very happy she had that nano-lotion, as bothersome as that walk was!

By the way!”, her ears flicked, pivoting behind her by the time she had gotten to the car. She looked up the hill at the darkened shape of Shon with his ax thrown back over his shoulder, paw lifted in wave.

Talek might ask you about the school’s radio program sometime soon! Just a heads up!”, he lifted a little veil on, sounding modestly playful as he did. A little fox showed the tips of her fangs, for happy reasons that time.