A multi-tailed vixen ran through the forest, looking for something. Meanwhile, a bored teenager ambled through the trees, absentmindedly gazing upwards.
The vixen stopped as she saw the teenager and grinned. "Yes, he'll do." she said, causing all but one of her tails to disappear.
The teen heard a shuffling sound and turned around to have a look. "Interesting," he thought, keeping his distance. "You don't see many foxes around here." The vixen walked up to the teen slowly, trying to look curious. The teen backed away from the vixen slowly, trying to watch while staying out of biting distance. She barked lightly and pawed even closer.
Something about the bark seemed hypnotic to the boy, and against his better judgment, he bent down to pet the fox. She murred and licked the boy's hand "Aw, aren't you cute?" the boy muttered as if in a trance as he continued to stroke her soft fur.
She continued to murr and barked again before asking, "so what's your name?"
"Zach." The boy droned.
She smiled. "My name is Maya." She said. "Perfect!" She thought.
"You're a very nice person Maya." He said mumbling more and more. "And your fur is soo soft..."
She murred again and lightly nipped Zach's hand, breaking the trance and sending fur flooding up his arm "Ow!" He cried, not noticing the fur yet. "What was that for?"
She didn't speak, since he'd freak out if she did while not under the trance. She whimpered and put her ears down. Zach thought about getting up and getting out of there, but when he tried, he found he couldn't stand right. Then he noticed the fur on his hand.
Maya pawed over to him and lightly nuzzled Zach, making him almost instantly lose several feet in height as the fur covered him. "Wait a minute!" Zach said in a fox's voice, "You're doing this! You're turning me into a fox!" He turned to run, but tripped over his own feet.
Maya sighed and instantly grew back her other three tails and saying, "Yes dear, I am. You see, being a Kitsune is lonely..."
"So you just changed the first person you saw into a Kitsune?" Zach said as he grew a tail and muzzle of his own. "That's selfish of you."
"Not exactly. You'll be a normal fox. But you see...I need a mate." she said with a grin and a gleam in her eyes. Realizing what she just said, Zach charged off as his transformation finished. She giggled and disappeared, reappearing in front of Zach. "You can't run from me."
"Uh oh!" Zach thought to himself. "The old 'Sonic Sez' about saying no and getting out of there isn't working. What do I do?"
Maya moved closer to him and rubbed up against him, smiling. "Get away from me rapist!" Zach said, biting down on Maya's leg and running again.
Maya sighed and appeared in front of him again. "I'm not going to do anything like That..."
"Kidnapping a victim for the purpose of unwilling sexual relations sounds like rape to me."
She growled. "Just because I want you as a mate doesn't exactly mean I want that right away..."
Scared, Zach took a step back. "So there's a chance if this relationship doesn't work out, you might turn me back... or at least, not 'do it'?"
Maya smiled. "Yes. I'm not evil."
"WOOHOO!" Zach shouted in relief. Then a thought came to him. "Hey, if those stories about Kitsune are true, why didn't you just shapeshift into a woman and start a dating relationship first?"
Maya giggled. "Because when I do that..." she said and changed into a human, but with fox ears and a tail. "...This happens."
"Oh. Well..." He didn't quite know how to finish. Maya sighed and changed back to a Kitsune. "So, what now?"
"Time to take you to my den."
"Okay," he said, following her.
She giggled. "Bite my left tail and I'll take you there." He gave her an odd look, but complied.
She yelped as he bit too hard and warped, both of them appearing in front of her den. "Whoa!" Zach said, a bit shocked by the sudden change of scenery. Then he realized he had bit too hard. "Ah! I'm sorry!"
"It's alright. Come in."
"Okay." He looked around the den. It was very homelike, and very large. It was actually large enough that it had human furniture in it.
"Wow. It's pretty impressive." Zach said.
"You're probably wondering why there's human furniture..."
"I don't really think I'd need to guess." Zach said. Maya giggled and changed to her human form, picked up Zach, and sat on the couch. "This is very comfy."
She petted him and smiled. "Thank you sweetie." Zach started to fall asleep. Maya kept petting him, still smiling. Zach absentmindedly began to hum a bit of his favorite music.
Maya set Zach down next to him and shifted to Kitsune, licking Zach's muzzle. Zach woke up and shook his muzzle a bit. Maya giggled and nuzzled him.
"Isn't it a bit early for kissing?" Zach asked. "You're moving the relationship a bit too fast for me Maya." Zach said, not really resisting her nuzzling anyway.
"Oh, sorry. It's in my nature."
"I guess I really shouldn't worry about that too much though..." He mumbled, nuzzling her in return. She smiled. Looking at her, he couldn't help but smile back. She giggled and licked his muzzle. Zach's stomach began to growl. "I guess I'm a bit hungry right now. What do we eat?"
She smiled and shifted back to human. "Just a moment. Now, I'm going to make you an almost human like me. Don't try running."
"Great!" Zach replied. "I won't run away."
She changed him to be human with fox ears and a tail and grabbed his hand. "Hold on tight." He nodded. She warped and they were suddenly in a house, a very large one at that. "You see..." She said, "I wasn't always a Kitsune..."
"Did some male Kitsune pluck you out of the forest and change you into his mate?" Zach asked.
"Actually, yes." she said, blushing. Just then, an adult vixen ran out of a room and tackled Zach, licking his face.
"And, who's this?" Zach said, trying to pick up the vixen.
"That's my daughter...Vira."
Zach gulped. "So
What happened to the male Kitsune?"
"So, he could, hypothetically," Zach asked nervously as he got Vira off him, "come back at any time, see a new guy in your life, and take steps to eliminate him?"
"Actually, no. I don't understand it very well, but he's gone for good."
Zach seemed a bit comforted by that. "So, anyway, I guess this was your house when you were still human?"
Zach decided to take a moment to introduce himself before fixing a meal. "Hello Vira. I'm Zach."
Vira smiled. "You're my new dad, right?"
Zach hesitated, "Probably. We're going to see if things work out first."
Vira's tail swayed back and forth through the air. Maya touched her and she changed to a very hot human teen with fox ears and tail.
"Whoa!" Even though Zach had been through several changes himself that day, he still found them a bit surprising.
Maya giggled. "Don't look into her eyes for more than ten seconds. You'll fall in love with her almost instantly. Magic spell."
Hearing this, Zach quickly turned away from Vira. "Why would she have a spell like that?"
"I have a small library here in my house. She found an odd book there and when she read it, she had the spell."
"I think of about two-hundred ways that can go badly daily."
Maya laughed. "She rarely leaves the house."
"So, where is the kitchen?"
"Through that door." she said, pointing to a door to her right.
"Thanks." He said, as he started looking through the refrigerator and pantry. Maya and Vira sat on the couch and waited for him. After fixing a sandwich, Zach sat down next to them.
"Hey Maya," he asked, "How do you manage to afford such a big place like this?"
"Well...I should probably tell you that no one can see this house. Anybody who sees this place sees a burned patch of land. Have you ever heard how millionaire Maya Shuya was supposedly kidnapped and her house was burned?" Se said, looking down.
. How old were you when it happened?"
"Your age. Right now, I'm about three years older than you, and it's been fifteen years since then. I've aged slower since becoming a Kitsune."
"Wow." Zach remembered something. "Wait, if you have this place to yourselves, how did you get that food, and why do you live in the den while your daughter lives here?"
"Personal reasons. As for the food, Vira can go fully human."
"Oh. How'd she learn that?"
"My library has many spell books."
"But what kept you from using that one to change back?"
"Because I've already messed up that spell." She said, looking at her tail sadly.
"Oh. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to bring up unpleasant memories." Zach said before finishing the last of his sandwich. Maya moved closer to Zach on the couch. Her tail wrapped to the other side of his waist. Trying to show affection back, Zach tried to do the same to her with his tail, but he still wasn't very good at using it, and couldn't do it right. Maya giggled and wrapped her tail around Zach's tail. She rested her head on his shoulder. Zach blushed a bit. Maya smiled and Vira suddenly turned back into a fox and pawed back to the room she first came out of.
"Well, I guess since I'm done with lunch, it's time to make me a normal fox again." Zach said, sighing.
Maya shook her head. "Not yet."
"Really?" Zach smiled, glad he'd get to walk upright a little longer.
"First of all, it's late, and second, I want you to see the house. Although, not the second floor. It's dangerous up there right now. "
"Why? What's up there? Or is it just in poor repair?"
"I'd rather not say..."
"Whatever you say." Zach said, making a mental note to ignore any sounds he might hear from upstairs during the night.
"A problem you might have is that there's only two bedrooms down here, and Vira doesn't like people in her room. You'll have to sleep in my bed with me."
"Do you have sleeping bags? I'd rather not get so close in one date."
"Sorry, no. I could turn you back into a fox when you go to bed, if you'd like."
"I guess that's okay..."
"I know it makes you uncomfortable, and I'm sorry." she says, giving him a quick kiss. He blushed again, before whispering, "I could always sleep on the couch or floor..."
"I want you to be comfortable in a bed, not on the floor or couch."
"That's very nice of you, but I can manage, especially at a fox's size."
She hugged him. "Please?"
"You're very nice, but I just don't feel comfortable being in the same bed as a girl I just met."
"You could sleep at the foot of the bed." She said desperately.
"Okay, I'm a bit more comfortable with that."
"Good." she said, smiling.
"But before that, you said you would show me around..."
"Oh yeah. First, I'll show you the library." she said, taking Zach's hand and leading him to a door just before the set of stairs.
Zach smiled "Great, I'd love to see it. I love books." Maya opened the door and went in, sighing as she saw her massive collection of books. Zach rushed to the walls of books, scanning for anything interesting. Maya looked at one of her favorite chairs and picked up the book set down in it. It was a spell book, labeled Transformation.
Zach took a look. "Boy, I wonder what sorts of spells that book has." He said sarcastically. Maya giggled.
"Is that where you found out how to change me, or does that come as part of being a Kitsune?"
"I found out from this book." Maya said.
"What else is in there?" Zach said hesitantly.
"All kinds of spells. If I wanted to, I could turn you into a fox kit and give you the mind of one too. I could even turn you into a girl."
Zach reeled in horror. He was tempted to run away again, but decided that hard as might be he would keep his promise not to try to get away. Maya giggled. "I wouldn't do that to you..."
"Y-Yeah..." Zach stuttered, "P-please don't."
Maya giggled and quickly read a spell from the book and she suddenly disappeared; now swimming in her clothes as a kit. A little surprised, Zach Bent down and picked Maya up. "Why'd you do that?"
Maya let out a small bark. "I tend to like turning myself into a kit."
"Okay then" Zach said, setting her down again.
Maya giggled and suddenly re-grew back into her clothes as a human, though they were a little looser than before.
Are there any other species in there?"
She nodded and read another spell, turning into a large Gyrfalcon and flying up to Zach's shoulder.
"Wow." Zach gasped. "I'd like to try one of those bird spells sometime."
She smiled. "Before I do, let me try something on you."
"Alright..." Zach said, getting ready for the worst.
She giggled and jumped back into the chair, changing back. She then read a previous spell and watched Zach begin to slowly shrink.
"Oh no! You're not turning me into a kit are you?"
She giggled again. "Maybe..."
As Zach's fur began to grow again, he worried. "You aren't going to change my mind are you?"
"I won't change your mind." She assured him
Zach gave a high-pitched sigh of relief as the change finished. Maya smiled down at Zach and picked him up. "You're so cute."
"Thank you." Zach said, feeling full of energy. She kissed his little forehead and changed him back.
"Whew." He mumbled something to himself before saying, "I think I've had enough changing for now. I'll wait on the bird spell."
She smiled and yawned. "Time for bed. Come on sweetie."
"Okay." He said following her to her bedroom. She changed to an anthro Kitsune and looked at Zach. "You sure you wanna be a full fox?"
"It'd be more comfortable for me. Plus, I'm still sleeping by your feet."
"Yeah, but I want you to sleep with me..."
"I'm sorry, I just can't do it. It doesn't feel right when I've only known you for a day."
"Please?" she asked, a tear in her eye. A slip of paper suddenly hit Zach in the face. Curious, Zach glanced over it.
It was from Vira. It read, "Mom's been looking for a mate for months. If she cries, it'll be utter chaos."
Zach thought carefully. He didn't want to compromise his morals, but he didn't want Maya to be unhappy, or find out what sort of Chaos, would come. He finally gave in. "Okay, I'll sleep next to you, just, please don't cry."
Maya was beginning to cry and gasped as she heard what he said. "You mean it?" she said, sniffling.
"Y-yes," Zach muttered, "I'll sleep with you tonight in human form if you want..."
"Oh thank you!" she said, licking his cheek and making him anthro too. He hesitantly followed her into the bed. She smiled as he got in, trying to get comfortable, which wasn't hard, given how great the bed felt.
"This bed is magically softer than any other bed. You'll fall asleep very fast."
"Well..." Zach yawned, adjusting his tail so as to avoid sleeping on it oddly, "That's... ni...." He fell asleep before he could finish. Maya giggled quietly and her clothes disappeared. She snuggled up against Zach.
The next morning Zach slowly woke up, and rolled out of bed in surprise after seeing that Maya was right next to him, undressed. Maya woke up and saw Zach on the floor. "Morning."
"Er, yeah, hi." Zach said looking away. "Would you mind putting some clothes on?"
Maya looked down. "Oops." she said, showing a little sarcasm. She made a bikini appear on her. "I've got a pool. Wanna swim?"
"Eh, why not. Do you have a swimsuit for me though?" She smiled and suddenly a set of swim trunks appeared on Zach. "Oh, right. Magic." Zach mumbled. "After you. I don't know my way around this place yet."
She led him out a small, secret door in her room that led to a very large indoor pool.
"That's got to be the biggest pool I've ever seen!"
"Yup. Remember, I was a millionaire before a Kitsune."
"A seventeen year old millionaire... You must have lived the good life."
"Yeah..." she said, a tear in her eye
"Oh, Sorry. I didn't mean to..."
"No, it's okay."
"In that case
." Zach jumped into the water, splashing Maya. Maya giggled and jumped in after him. As she came to the surface, Zach took the opportunity and splashed her again, laughing. Maya laughed and splashed back.
Tired of splashing around, Zach swam up to the pool wall. "Wanna race to the other side?"
After both of them braced themselves against the pool wall, Zach counted down. "Three... Two... One... Go!" Maya blasted through the water, swimming a lot faster than Zach. After tiring himself out reaching the other side, Zach panted "How... did you... do that?"
"I was also a champion swimmer."
"That... explains... a bit..." He panted. Maya giggled again.
"Well after that workout, I'm hungry. Should I make some breakfast for you?"
After Maya changed his swimsuit back to his normal clothes, Zach headed to the kitchen and began to prepare pancakes. Maya made the bed and sat on it while she waited.
Zach came over to the bed. "Fresh pancakes! I hope you like them. I left some on the kitchen table for Vira."
Maya looked over at the table as she grabbed her plate and saw that Vira's plate was gone. She laughed, still wearing her bikini.
"So," Zach said between bites, "would you mind showing me around the rest of the house?"
"In a bit."
"Hm?" Zach wondered. "Did you have some other plans today?"
"No, I'm just tired for some reason."
"Maybe it's cause you waited on that magic bed."
"Maybe. I'm gonna in take a nap."
"Eh, Alright then. I guess I'll just look around myself." Maya yawned and went back into her room.
Zach started his exploration in the living room. It was quite ornate, with many fine rugs, among other things. Wandering the halls, Zach Passed a closet, and then Vira's room. He considered talking to her, but after remembering that she had that love spell on her, decided against it.
Getting bored, he headed to the library again, wanting to look through that spellbook. After a few minutes of searching, he found "Transformation." "Here we go." He thought to himself. He looked through the contents page, seeing spells for all sorts of changes: gender, build, age, and finally, species, the one he was most interested in. He diligently scanned the pages, amazed by all the creatures, and levels of change. Then, his eyes came to rest on the "completely human" spell.
Zach thought for a moment. "This could be it! I could easily lose this tail and get out of here, and Maya would never know!" But he quickly reconsidered. From the sound of it, performing the spell wrong meant he could never use it again. And if Maya had some way of finding his home, his whole family could suffer her wrath.
But more than that, he couldn't find it in him to break his promise with her. She had been kind enough to let him enjoy a mostly human form, and he couldn't bear to break that trust, even if he didn't have any feelings for her.
"No." He thought. "I won't run away." But still, he wanted to try one of these spells. After memorizing the "reverse" spell, he found the "complete Robin" spell. "This will be as good a test as any." He thought. He read it silently, and after being sure that he understood it, said the words.
"Oookay... Let's try again." He spoke the spell, but again, nothing happened. A giggle was heard from just outside the room.
"Oh!" Zach said, startled. "Hi Maya. How long have you been awake?"
"A minute or two. Trying a spell?" she said. She was wrapped in a robe.
"Yeah. I was curious about them. Do they only work for Kitsunes, or am I not doing something right?"
"You need Kitsune blood or a magical transplant."
"Oh, I see..." Zach muttered.
"Would you like some magic? Oh, and in case you're curious, I had Kitsune blood before I was captured."
"How?" He asked.
"'How?' to both, really. How would I get Kitsune magic, and how did you have Kitsune blood as a human?" Zach asked coming closer.
"I could do a magical transplant, and as to the second question...my father was actually part Kitsune..."
"Wow." He paused, then asked, "This transplant, it won't hurt, or have any side effects, will it?"
"Well, You'll get a second tail, and your aging rate will be halved."
"That's not so bad..." He carefully considered his next question, not wanting to offend Maya, "But would being a Kitsune mean I would never have a chance to be fully human?"
"...Yes. And I know that means a lot to you."
Zach sighed. "Yeah. I'm sorry but I want to hang on to my old life, just in case this doesn't work out..." He paused "...though, if I do ever ask for a transplant, you could consider it a marriage proposal."
Her ears perked and she tackled him. "You mean it?"
"Yeah, since I'd never be able to see my family or friends again if I became a Kitsune, becoming one would mean I love you enough to give up all of it."
She smiled and kissed him on the lips. "Thank you..."
"Whoa! Hold on now! I haven't asked yet, I'm still considering." He tried not to hurt her feelings.
"Well," Zach said, "I want to say thanks for letting me choose." He hugged her and she smiled back at him. "So, would you mind showing me the rest of your house, now that you're awake?"
"Sorry, but I'm still tired. I'm gonna take a nap again. You can go upstairs if Vira calls her...boyfriend... downstairs." she said with a sigh.
Zach gave her an odd look. "Wait, I thought you said it wasn't safe up there?"
Maya sighed again "That's because of Vira. Her wolf boyfriend lives up there."
"I take it he's one of the first things to go wrong with her love spell?"
"Yes. Vira!" she yelled and Vira walked out of her room as a full fox and let out a loud bark. A wolf came downstairs and ran into Vira's room.
Part of Zach's fox instincts shrieked at the sight of the wolf, and he quickly took cover behind a nearby table. Maya giggled and walked back into her room. "She sure does giggle a lot." Zach thought as he quietly headed to the stairs, trying to avoid attracting the wolf's attention.
After reaching the top, he began examining the rooms again. His first few looks didn't bring up anything interesting, though. Just a bathroom and a linen closet. The third however, was a bit more interesting. It was a playroom, full of all sorts of toys. Zach, still being a child at heart, almost couldn't resist playing with them, but he realized that he had a lot more to see. His next stop was the guest bedroom, which was apparently where the wolf stayed, given its poor condition and smell. He figured he was better off staying out of there.
The last room was the master bedroom, where Maya's mother and father had slept. It was quite impressive to look at with ornate furniture and beautiful paintings on the wall. They even had a nice TV. (Well, it would've been nice 15 years ago anyway...)
But Zach's attention was more on the photo album on a table in the center of the room. Glancing through it He found many wedding pictures, which he assumed belonged to Maya's parents. Her dad seemed quite fond of wildlife too, given the number of animal pictures, but that wasn't really surprising, given what Zach knew about him. Eventually, he found shots of young Maya as well, Learning to walk and talk and read.
"She certainly has changed over the years." He noted. There was a single picture set after that showed Maya's father with fox ears and a tail.
Finished with the photo album, Zach put it down, and began to look through the draws, wondering if Maya's father wore anything his size. The first drawer contained a heaping pile of jewelry; quickly telling Zach this drawer was Maya's mother's. Curious, Zach looked closer. He wasn't normally into jewelry, but something about these felt odd. He reached to pick one up but stopped himself.
"Given that her father was into Magic, there's no telling what those might do if I put them on." He thought. A note suddenly appeared on the front of the drawer. Zach picked it up.
It read, "Blue = temporary magic. Red = read minds, Yellow = Free Transformation of self and others." The yellow ring especially surprised Zach. Did Maya know about these? And how far did the temporary magic and free transformation go?
"Only one way to find out." Zach said picking up the yellow ring. The ring flashed for a second. He wasn't sure how to use it, but he figured he could try imagining himself changing first. He started with an easy one. He would try making himself less like an anthro fox, just for a little while.
It flashed again and Zach started to change according to his thoughts. As he envisioned his fur vanishing, he felt it really happening. Soon, his muzzle returned to a mouth and nose.
"Whoa!" He imagined himself as an anthropomorphic fox again, and almost instantly, the changes reversed. "I should show this to Maya if she doesn't have on already." He thought. A small gecko watched from a corner of the room.
Zach, not seeing the gecko, examined the other rings. He thought about trying the red ring, be decided against it, people's thoughts were private. The gecko climbed across and looked at Zach in the eyes. "Ah!" Zach jumped back in surprise, as the gecko hung on for its life. "Who are you?" The gecko made a familiar giggle.
"Maya?" Zach guessed. "Did you know about these?"
Maya jumped off the wall and turned into a micro version of her anthro self, with no clothes on. "Yup. I wear a red one when I sleep."
"Why just when you're asleep?" Zach asked, turning away again.
"Like you, I think thoughts are private."
"Then why wear one at all?"
"I get amazing and vivid dreams from other people's thoughts."
"Oh. I guess that is an interesting experience. By the way, what sort of magic is in the blue rings, and how "temporary" is it?"
"Enough magic for about an hour or two."
"So it wears out after two hours. What can you do with it?"
"Anything I can." Maya assured him with a smile/
"Cool." Zach said, "I guess I can get a small taste of what being a Kitsune is like with these, huh?"
"Great." Zach said, putting one of the blue rings in his pocket. "Is the wolf almost done downstairs? Unless you've got a hidden room up here, I've seen all there is to see on the second floor."
"Actually, yes." She said and walked out of the room. "There's a third floor. Only I know how to get up to it."
"Should I wear a blindfold before I enter?"
"Okay, if you really wanna show me, then lead on." Maya smiled and pressed a very small button on the doorknob of the toy room. A doorway opened up next to the toy room that led to a set of stairs.
"Neat. Next time I'm looking around, I'll have to be on the lookout for more buttons like that."
"Believe me, that's the only one." Feeling a bit disappointed, Zach started his climb up the stairs. The stairs led to a long hallway.
"Want me to let you explore?" Maya asked.
"You're not coming?"
"I've seen everything up here."
"Well, okay. I guess I can look by myself."
Leaving Maya yet again, Zach entered the nearest room, quite surprised to find a fairly large telescope. Apparently, Maya's father had a personal observatory. Taking a look through the lens, there wasn't much to see but clouds. Zach figured it probably was more impressive at night.
The other doors seemed to be empty, or just used for storage, save for one at the end of the hall. Opening it, he found a sunlit balcony on the roof, calm and serene. Zach looked over the horizon. For several miles on all sides, he could see the forest his house had sat next to. To the west, he could see his old neighborhood. He couldn't make out his house, and it felt disheartening to know he might not see his family again.
As he leaned on the rail, tail swishing in the breeze, he saw several birds flying to the east, His new ears easily picking up their songs. He longed to go home, to see his family, to at least let them know he was being kept healthy.
As Zach turned around, he saw Maya standing in the doorway. A portal opened up next to Zach. She looked him in the eyes.
"Go see your family sweetie." She said. " And don't forget your promise. I'll keep this portal open so you can return."
Zach nodded and stepped through the portal. "Thank you." He said. Maya smiled and sat beside the portal.
In a flash of light, he appeared in the back of his old house. He could see a police car parked out front, probably called to look for him. Hiding his tail uncomfortably in his pant leg, and using his hat to hide his ears, Zach Entered his old house. His timing was great; the officer was leaving just before he walked in. "I'm home!" He shouted.
"Zach?" His mother cried. "What happened? We were so worried about you."
Zach decided to tell them right up front. He took off his hat and pulled his tail out of his pants. "In short: this."
Back at the house, Maya was thinking hard. She stood up after a second or two and muttered a spell. She turned invisible, changed into a complete Kitsune, and pawed through the portal in time to see Zach revealing himself.
Zach told his stunned parents and siblings the whole story including how he promised not to leave Maya unless it was clear that it wouldn't work.
"Zach, I know you made a promise," His father said, "But we can't let you go back. Who knows what else this Maya might do to you?"
Maya went back to a human with fox ears and tail and turned visible. She had a sad look on her face.
After recovering from his surprise, Zach's father started shouting. "You! You're the one that kidnapped Zach! You better reverse this, or I'll..."
Maya had a tear in her eye as she was yelled at. "Dad, please, be gentle with her!" Zach said, "give her a chance!"
"The same chance she gave you?" His brother, Nathan, asked.
"Nathan! Stop it!" Zach ordered. "You'll make her cry!" Maya started to tear up.
"Her kidnapping literally worried your mother sick!" Zach's dad pointed out. "I don't think crying is bad compared to that!"
"But if she cries, things will get even worse!" Zach ran to Maya's side. "I'm sorry. So, so sorry!" She held Zach as he came to her.
Hearing that was enough to stop Zach's family from making any more protective advice, though his dad seemed to be considering if it might be worth whatever would happen if the Kitsune cried. Maya sobbed a little and looked at Zach's family.
"There, there Maya." Zach whispered, hugging her. Maya sobbed into his shoulder. Zach was seriously questioning whether showing his family this had been the right thing to do. "Mom, Dad, I'm sorry, I think it's time for us to go Back."
Zach escorted Maya out the back door, to the portal. Before they left, Maya heard Zach's mother. "Keep him safe please." There was no malice in her voice.
Maya looked up, tears in her eyes. "I will."
Once they were both back at Maya's house, Zach quickly went to bed, stressed out by the eventful morning. But before he fell asleep, he apologized again to Maya for his family. "They didn't mean any harm."
Maya smiled lightly. "It's alright. I have an idea. Can I invite your parents here?"
"I don't know how they'll take that invitation. They probably won't trust you. But you can try, if you want."
She smiled and opened a new portal. She walked through it into Zach's home.
"Ah, She's back!" Zach's brother Nathan shouted, running for cover in his room.
Maya's ears went down. "Maybe this is a bad idea..."
"What do you want?" Zach's mother quietly asked, cowering on the couch "Please, I'd give anything to have Zach back."
"Although I know you all dislike me, I'd like to invite you to my house for lunch and dinner. I want to show you that I'm taking care of Zach."
Zach's mother thought for a moment. "Okay, we'll come." She said, much to the shock, (and in the kids' cases, horror) of the rest of the family.
"Thank you..." Zach's mother and father followed Maya through the portal easy enough; however, his bother and sisters were much more frightened by the magic, and followed through much more hesitantly.
"Where is he now?" His mother asked.
"My room. First door on the left down the hallway."
Zach's parents rushed down the hall to make sure he was okay, while his siblings grouped together, worrying about what Maya might do to them. Maya looked at Zach's siblings and smiled. She turned herself into a fox kit and pawed over to them. Zach's siblings kept their cautious attitude, to Maya's disappointment.
"Please don't be afraid of me." She begged.
Zach and his parents returned, his mother was apparently satisfied with his condition, but his father still didn't trust Maya. Maya returned to her anthro form. "I guess it's time for lunch. Follow me."
She led Zach and his family to the dinning room table, which was covered in magically prepared food. They sat at the table. There was an awkward silence.
Zach's mother spoke. "So, Maya, what was your family like?"
Maya's ears perked. "My mother was like you. Sweet, but can be angry when needs be. My father...he was kind, for the most part. He had some strange hobbies though."
"What kind of hobbies?" Zach's father asked.
"He'd go off for months on end looking for rare magic items. I never got to see many of them."
"Still," Zach's mother said, "I'm not really comfortable with the idea of my son sleeping with a girl he's not married to, even if it's nothing sexual."
Maya sighed. "I knew that would come up. I'm sorry, but it's all I can do for now until Vira gets rid of that wolf that stays on the second floor. That thing is a nuisance."
Nathan sat up. "I've got a whistle that drives dogs crazy. I bet that could get that wolf out of there."
"Tried that. And besides, it'd drive Vira and I up the wall again."
"If you've got all these magic powers," Zach's dad said, "Then why don't you just send him to the other side of the Earth, or just put him down?"
Maya groaned. "Two problems with that. I can only send things a short distance, and two, I would never kill something."
Nathan shook his head. "Eh, I'm sure we can figure something out, one way or another."
"I don't mean to come off as insensitive," Zach's Mother said, "but did you really need to turn my son into a fox? I don't really think he'd have been bothered by your ears and tail nearly as much as feeling like a captive."
Maya sighed again. "I'm sorry about that. Although this may be insensitive to you, I had to do it so he couldn't run."
"Well, he hasn't run yet." Nathan noticed. "Shouldn't that be proof you don't need for him to be one?" Maya's ears went down.
"Well," Zach mumbled, not sure what his family would think about what he would say, "I don't really mind being one as much now." Maya's ears perked again and she smiled at Zach. Zach's family stared at him in surprise. "...It sort of grows on you after a while..." he mumbled.
"Perhaps we should go for now," Zach's mom said, not having eaten a bite. "I mean, we know Zach is safe, and that promise he made means he probably won't leave if he could." She seemed very sad that nothing would get her son's freedom.
"Wait, I've got an idea. I'll be right back." Maya said and ran upstairs.
"Okay." His mother said, not really wanting to stay any longer than she had to. Upstairs, Maya giggled and grabbed several yellow rings from the drawer in her parent's room. Maya came back down, holding several rings. Seeing the rings, Zach's parents were a bit concerned.
"Are those the magic rings Zach told us about?" His mother asked.
Maya nodded and handed yellow rings to Zach's siblings, and green rings to his parents. "The green ones are like yellow and blue ones."
"So wait, you're just GIVING us the same sort of power you have?" Zach Father asked in surprise.
"Yes. I want you to be able to do what I can." Maya confirmed. "And to be able to visit me anytime. I'll give you a spell book too."
None of them seemed to know what to say. "...Uh, thank you." His father said. The other Family members said their thanks as well, and left.
"Well," Zach said, "I'd say that you made a positive impression on my family with that."
Maya smiled and gave Zach a kiss on the lips. Zach blushed, and hugged her back, wrapping his tail around her waist. Maya giggled.
Interrupting their moment, Vira came downstairs, carrying the wolf in her arms. "Last night was the last straw boy!" The young vixen said to the wolf. "You leave now!" Vira all but tossed the wolf out of the house, screaming: "And don't come back!" Before slamming the door and stomping back upstairs.
"Whoa!" Zach said in surprise. "Vira can sure be nasty when she wants to be. But I guess it's safe to go to any of the floors now."
"Yup." Maya said. "I can't wait till dinner."
"You know, Zach said, looking at his yellow ring. "I haven't really put this to use yet. Want to go fly with me for a little while?"
"Sure." Maya said and shrunk into a hummingbird
"Then let's go!" Zach said turning into hummingbird too. It felt so exhilarating to fly through the treetops, with Maya right next to him. After a while, Maya tapped Zach's tail and he turned into a large gyrfalcon. She changed into the same bird and flew ahead. Zach followed her curious to see if she was leading him to someplace special.
Maya had led him to her forest den again. Zach landed and turned himself back into a normal fox. Maya turned into her Kitsune self and pawed in.
"So, here we are again." Zach noted. "About the same time as yesterday too."
"Yes." Maya said as she looked through some of her furniture. "But this time, I don't want you to feel like a prisoner." She pulled something out of a drawer. "Before we head back home, I want you to have my last green ring. It'll let you shapeshift and use magic as easily as a natural born Kitsune. This way, I won't have any advantage over you. You won't have to feel like I'm controlling you with the threat of magic."
"Wow." Zach said, changing to an anthro fox and putting the green ring on. "Thanks a lot Maya. I'm glad to know you trust me with this." He picked her up and cuddled her.
Maya smiled. "We should he home now." In a flash they were back in the mansion.
"I better get going if want to get the wolf's room relatively decent smelling this week." Zach said, heading upstairs after getting some cleaning supplies.
Maya laughed, and left him to his work, until her keen ears picked up Zach saying, "It'll be nice to have my own room once this wolf's is clean."
Maya walked into the room. She had a sad face. "Please don't move out of my room..."
"Er, that's not what I meant Maya. I meant I could have I room to put some of my things in." Zach quickly stammered, lying. He wanted to sleep by himself, but it became clear that nothing would truly convince Maya to let him do otherwise.
"Oh." she said and hugged him as Zach sighed.
"Well," Zach said. "Time sure does fly. I'd say it's almost time for supper. But I feel so tired from trying to clean this place, I feel like skipping it entirely."
"Did you forget already? Your family is eating here."
"Oh yeah... I forgot about that." Zach mumbled. Maya giggled and kissed Zach before opening a portal to Zach's house. She walked through. Zach's sisters were surprised to see Maya coming through the portal. "Mom, Miss Maya is here for supper."
Maya smiled and led the way back through the portal. "Come on sweetie, lets go set up the kitchen."
"Alright." Zach said. Soon, the meal was fixed, and the family was sitting at the table again.
"Well," Zach said to his dad, "You'll be happy to know that we finally got that wolf out of the guest room. I spent the afternoon cleaning up the room."
Maya smiled at Zach. "And I thank you for that, sweetie."
"Oh, that's wonderful." Zach's mother added. "Now I won't have to worry about where Zach is sleeping tonight." Maya's ears went down as she looked at Zach's mother.
Zach's mother was a bit confused. "That was the only reason you had him sleeping with you, wasn't it?" Maya shook her head. "Why then?" Zach's mother pressed.
"I know you won't like this answer, but He's my mate. I wanna be near him at all times."
"But you're not even married yet!" Zach's mom said.
One of Zach's sisters chimed in, "Plus, most marriages between people who lived together before marriage usually end in divorce." Maya's ears stayed down and she looked at Zach.
"Now, Maya, please," Zach said gently, "Don't let them worry you. They're just trying to help us both the best way they know how. But I'll stay if you want."
Maya smiled and kissed him. "Thank you."
Zach's parents gave each other sad looks, and just sighed, though they were careful to make sure Maya didn't see it.
Maya did see it however and her ears went down yet again. Zach leaned closer to her to try to comfort her. Maya smiled and quickly changed to anthro, and nuzzled Zach
"I'm sorry Mom, Dad, but I feel like I need to be here." Zach said.
Maya smiled and kissed Zach. "Thank you sweetie."
With dinner finished Zach's family thanked Maya for the food, and started out the door. Maya smiled as they walked through the portal, then tackled and kissed Zach.
"Take it easy Maya," Zach said affectionately, before kissing her back.
Maya giggled. "Thank you so much..."
"Would you..." Zach thought for a moment, "Like to watch the sunset on the balcony with me?"
"I'd love to." She said, smiling. Zach and Maya headed upstairs to the secret passage to the third floor.