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The Last Dryad

CWs: dryad creature, size difference, sex in the woods

Meshisawataki. That’s his name. “But Taki is fine,” he says, ears drooping a little. “That’s what everyone calls me.”

We’re not allowed to give out their names, not to the guests on our tours. While I’m walking around the park introducing each of our resident monsters, explaining their diets and their behaviors, I refer to them by what they are: Demon. Merman. Centaur. I talk about them like they’re exotic animals in a zoo, and with every surprising new fact (“Did you know Merpeople have a fully polyamorous society?” or “Dryads are strictly vegetarian.”) everyone on the tour oohs and ahhs. I hate dehumanizing the residents this way, but it’s my job, and I make a pretty livable wage in exchange.

It’s generous of Taki to make conversation with me on a cloudy day like today when there aren’t many people visiting. I’m not popular with most of the monsters at the Menagerie—understandably so.

“But your full name is so pretty,” I tell him. He perks up again, and a little smile dances at the edge of his mouth. “I like it.”

“Thank you.” I’ve always enjoyed how musical his voice sounds when he’s pleased. “I don’t think anyone’s said that to me in a few hundred years.”

Right. Dryads live a long time—forever, if they have everything they need and don’t meet an untimely end at the barrel of a hunter’s gun. Unfortunately, since humanity has done such a thorough job of destroying the dryads’ natural habitat, that’s not the case anymore.

I’m sitting on a bench next to his exhibition wall, twisted around so I can look through the plexiglass. His voice is a little muffled by it, but I can still hear him. Every once in a while he leans too far forward and his antlers tap the surface, making him cringe.

Finally, I ask the question I’ve been meaning to ask every time we sit down and talk together on my lunch breaks.

“What happened?” I ask. “Why did you come here, where there aren’t any trees?” Sure, the decorators have put in a whole host of indoor plants and even some fake evergreens inside his apartment, but it’s not the real thing.

“There was nowhere left to go,” Taki says. “Someone cleared the wooded area where I was living to plant a vineyard. I can’t pay rent. So I was fined for trespassing, and that was it.” Taki’s eternally cheerful attitude doesn’t match the story he’s telling me, but I’ve gotten used to that. Somehow he’s always so pleasant, so optimistic, even though he’s lost so much. “When I got to the city, everybody was staring at me. I didn’t know what to do. Then I met a very kind manticore who gave me a card for this place.” He looks around at the little habitat they built for him in the Menagerie. “It’s the best I could ask for, I think.”

He has such low standards. You would think we’d protect monsters and their natural habitats given how rare they are now. The spotted owl has more legal protections than Taki does. Instead, people expect them to get jobs, to live normal lives, as if they could. Who would employ a four-hundred-year-old forest nymph with mossy legs and antlers? It’s not like he can wear pants or shoes with haunches like his. Technically he’s always naked, but it’s not like the word really applies to him. You can’t see anything at his crotch—it’s all hidden under the leaves that grow naturally out of his body.

The Menagerie is a perfect place for someone like Taki to land. He’s taken care of here, in exchange for a little show-and-tell with tourists.

“What will happen to you living away from nature?” I ask. It must be awful for him not to live in the forest where he belongs.

“I will die, eventually,” he says, and again, his upbeat manner undercuts the sad words coming out of his mouth.

“That’s horrible!” I can’t believe humankind would do this to him. “You need to get out of here.”

Taki simply smiles at me with an unfathomable gentleness. “This is the best place for me, Ana. I’ll still get a long, happy life here. It just won’t be forever.”

“Happy” doesn’t sound right at all for a forest creature forced to live behind a plexiglass wall. Surely a peaceful, kind being like him deserves better. But it’s not as if I have anything else to offer him, or suggestions for how he could possibly return to the wild in a world where every inch of land is owned by somebody.

“You look worried,” Taki says, frowning. “I think I’ve upset you.”

“No, no. It’s not you.” I shake my head and sigh. “It’s us. I hate that humanity has done this to you.”

Again he smiles, and it’s a warm, affectionate one. “Thank you for being so concerned for me. But it was not a malicious thing. Humanity simply moved on, grew, and changed, while some of us didn’t. I’m an artifact.”

A beautiful one, I think. Taki has a slender nose, a sturdy chin, and high, distinctive cheekbones. He reminds of an elf from Lord of the Rings, with his long ears and perfect dark hair that falls straight and shiny around his face. His bare chest is muscled but sleek, his shoulders broad but not huge.

It all seems very unfair to me that he should be trapped here.


That night, I have my weekly phone call with Mom, who likes to check in on me as often as possible. Since Dad died and I’m an only child, she’s directed all of her attention and affection toward me. I don’t mind it, though—she doesn’t hassle or nag me. She just needs someone to talk to.

“How’s the job going, honey?” she asks, same as she does every time we talk.

I give her the usual “It’s fine” line, and prepare to move the conversation on to my roommate’s latest drama, or the last novel her book club read. But I haven’t been able to stop thinking about Taki since our conversation the other day, so it comes out of my mouth without me realizing what I’m saying.

“Actually, there’s this dryad at work,” I tell her. “One of the residents.”

“Oh?” The tone of her voice has changed to indicate she’s keenly listening now. She loves any tidbits I drop for her about the Menagerie, and comes on my tour every time she visits. “What about him?”

I suddenly feel quite flustered, not sure why I opened this door. But I proceed to explain the story that Taki gave me about how he ended up there, and Mom tsks at the proper places.

“Terrible,” she says. “He sounds like a very nice young man.”

“He’s a dryad, not a man. And he’s like four hundred years old, Mom.”

“But he looks young, doesn’t he? I seem to remember seeing him last time I visited.” It’s true that Taki doesn’t look a day over twenty-five, even though it seems there are more lines under his eyes now than when I first started this job. “He must miss the great outdoors so much living in just that little apartment.”

“It’s not really like they organize field trips, either,” I say. “Sometimes everybody goes to the Safeway on a bus for snacks and that’s about it.”

“That’s so sad,” Mom says, and all I can do is agree. But I can’t change Taki’s situation, not unless I had a whole nature preserve of my own to give him.

Suddenly, Mom shrieks on the other end of the line.

“What? What is it?” I’m clutching my chest, hoping my heart is still inside it.

“The cabin!” Mom starts her token super-fast talk, her words running over each other as she tries to get the whole thought out at once. “Remember how dad’s parents had that cabin up in the mountains? We took you there all the time growing up. It’s on twenty acres or so, isn’t it?”

“Wait, Mom.” I can’t understand everything she’s saying. “That place is still around?”

“Sure it is. Grandma and Grandpa didn’t take that good of care of it in their later years, but it’s still there. We pay the property taxes.”

I wonder what kind of shape it’s in now after all this time. Does the plumbing still work? What about the heating?

Twenty acres. That’s nothing to sneeze at. Maybe it’s not the woodland paradise where Taki spent most of his life, but it’s secluded, and the other plots of land out there are just as big and mostly unoccupied.

“Ana?” Mom asks at my silence.

“Yeah, I’m here. Just thinking. Are you suggesting I take him out there?” I don’t know if they’ll even let me. Then again, Taki is a voluntary resident—he’s not a prisoner or anything. He can leave anytime he wants, he just chooses not to. Not like he has a car, though.

But I have a car. I wonder if his antlers will fit in my little hatchback.

“That is what I’m suggesting.” A speck of mischief creeps into Mom’s voice. “Go out there on one of your weekends with him. Let him enjoy nature again. Your dad’s parents didn’t develop it at all, not past that little garden they used to have.”

She’s right. It could be perfect—if Taki is even interested.

“Thanks, Mom. I’ll ask him and see what he says.”

I get a thoughtful little hmm in return. “If you do go, have fun, dear.”


It’s a few days before things calm down enough at work that I can have a private conversation with Taki again. I’ve been trying to think about how best to float the idea so it doesn’t sound like I’m trying to kidnap him.

Finally there comes a day when one of my tours is cancelled thanks to the rain. Holding an umbrella, I sit down at the bench in front of Taki’s exhibition room, getting the underside of my jeans soaking wet.

“Ana,” he says, smiling widely when he sees me. “It’s good to have your company again.” He puts down the knitting needles he’s holding.

“What are you making?” I ask. I didn’t know he had taken up knitting, but then again, there probably isn’t much for a captive dryad to do in a modern world.

“Not sure. A blanket, I suppose. Is that too ordinary?”

I have to giggle a little. “I think that’s a great place to start. Everyone likes blankets.” Time to broach the subject. “Hey, Taki?”

He tilts his head. “Yes? Do you have something on your mind?”

“What if you could go out and be in nature again? Just for a day or two? Would that... help you?”

His eyebrows go up. “I do miss the trees,” he says thoughtfully. “The ivy. The soft forest floor under my feet. But where would I go? I don’t have any means of transportation.”

“Let’s say you did. And let’s say there were twenty acres of land with nothing on it but woods. Would you want to go?”

Now he’s studying me with interest. “What do you have in mind, Ana? You seem to be formulating a plan.”

He sees right through me, of course. “Look, my mom reminded me that my grandparents had a cabin out in the mountains, about a three-hour drive from here. We still own it. There’s nobody out there—it would just be you and the forest. I could take you up there on my weekend, if you want.”

His dark green eyes are surprised at first, and then they crinkle with pleasure. “This is a very generous offer,” he says. “But I wouldn’t want to put you out. You would have to drive me there and bring me back again only two days later.”

I shrug. “Not like I’m doing much else.” I don’t have a boyfriend, and my roommate is kind of a drag. My friend group is small and mostly made up of introverts. It would be nice to get away. Besides, there’s a not-so-insignificant part of me that wants to spend some alone time with Taki and maybe, just maybe, get to know him a little better. He’s beautiful, and preposterously kind, and I feel like he deserves to have everything.

“If you truly mean that,” Taki begins, uncertain, “then I would be delighted to accept. But...” His face drops. “I don’t know if management will allow it. Any sort of relationships between us and staff members are strictly prohibited.”

He sounds like he’s read the rule book, even though I’m pretty sure he can’t read. You don’t do a lot of book learning living alone in the woods for centuries.

I hadn’t considered that angle. We were warned early on not to make friends with the residents. But Taki is a free agent—he should be able to do what he likes with whoever he likes, right?

“I’m sure I can convince them.” Dana, the staff manager, will see that what I’m offering is harmless. She’s a pretty decent boss. “Just wait here, okay? I’ll talk to someone.”

Taki gives me a wan smile, like he doesn’t share my hope. That’s the first glimpse I get that maybe the dryad isn’t showing me his full self yet.

“Thank you, Ana,” he says. “Know that I won’t be disappointed, and I’ll always value your friendship.”

It sounds like a breakup text. But I shrug it off and give him a thumbs-up, then head off to ask my boss.


Taki’s antlers do manage to fit inside my little hatchback, but it’s a tight fit. He can’t move his head all that well unless he sits just so, and he’s going to have to hold that position for the whole three hour drive each way.

“Are you sure this will work?” I ask, starting up the car. “You’re going to get a crick in your neck.”

“What is a ‘crick’?” he asks, slouching his shoulders slightly to ease up the pressure on his horns. “My neck will be fine. My body is much more resistant to pain and fatigue than yours.”

It took a little ass-kissing and sweet-talking to get Dana—and then by extension, her own boss—to agree to let me drive Taki out to the woods. But I argued the point that as a dryad, he needs the trees. Already he’s showing signs of age living inside that apartment. Dana agreed that he was a resident with certain special requirements, and they couldn’t very well import a forest for him.

Besides, it’s better for the Menagerie’s bottom line if their resident dryad lives longer.

So her boss’s boss reluctantly wrote me a three-day pass to take Taki out to the cabin for the weekend, and had me sign a half-dozen forms to clear it.

Already my heart is fluttering high in my throat as we head out of town, into the farmland. Taki is strangely quiet, staring out the windows as we pass fields full of hay bales and big irrigation systems.

“This was all forest,” he says after a while. His voice sounds far away. “Most of what you see here.”

“How do you know?” I ask. I wonder if dryads have magic powers. Some monsters do, even though the scientific community debates as to whether it’s a placebo effect or not.

Taki sticks a hand out through the open window, and gasps in surprise as the wind blows it backwards. “I can feel them,” he tells me, testing the air a second time. He starts to anticipate the wind, and curls his hand into a fin so he can cut through the air, the way a little boy would. “Their presence is still here, their roots holding the earth down. Their ghosts will always inhabit this land.”

“Wow.” I can’t imagine what it's like to feel so much. I don’t have to be tormented everywhere I go by the memory of a place that no longer exists. “I’m sorry.”

“Why are you sorry?” In his rush to turn his head towards me, Taki bumps his antlers on the ceiling of the car with a grunt.

“Humans like me did this. We cut down all those trees to grow feed for cattle.”

His smile is gentle. “None of this falls on your shoulders, Ana.”

I like how kind the words sound, but they don’t make me feel better.

We talk of other, less serious things as the car winds up into the hills, then hills grow into mountains. As my little car bumps along on the dirt roads, Taki’s antlers are constantly rubbing the ceiling, to his obvious discomfort.

Then, finally, we’re there. Nostalgia sweeps through me as the car comes to a gravelly stop in the dirt driveway outside the two-story cabin. There was just enough room here for my grandparents, my parents, and me whenever we did a trip. The kitchen was cramped, but that was fine when I spent most of my time outside anyway, running through the trees and reveling in my freedom.

I’d almost forgotten how much I loved visiting here as a kid until we step out of the car, and I’m hit by fresh, cool air and the familiar, savory scent of pine trees. My lungs inhale it all in, feeling new and soft and clean.

“Oh wow,” I say, locking the car up. “It’s beautiful out here.”

But Taki hasn’t said anything yet. He’s simply standing there, arms held out to either side of him, head tilted up to the sky. I get the sense that something is happening, even if I can’t see it, so I hold my breath and wait. After a moment, he turns to look at me, and all the grey under his eyes has vanished. He looks young and spry and his cheeks are full with color.

“Ana.” It comes out a breathy whisper. “Thank you. Thank you for bringing me here.”

I swat him gently on the arm. “Stop. We literally just got here. You can’t thank me for anything yet.”

“But I want to.” He takes my outstretched hand in his, and squeezes it. His eyes are soft—so damn soft—as he looks at me, as he cups my hand inside his. “It means so much to me that you would go out of your way to bring me here.”

God. I must be blushing like a spilled can of tomato sauce. He releases my hand and I use it to rub my cheek surreptitiously. “Seriously, no big deal. I’m going to just unload. If you want to, you know, go out there...” I gesture into the woods. “Go on ahead. I know it’s been a long time.”

Taki tilts his head curiously. “Go on ahead?” he echoes. “What do you mean? I’ll help you unload.”

“Well, we came out here so you could like, go frolic through the forest, right?” I wave him off again. “So go. I brought some books and stuff to entertain myself.”

A look of hurt crosses his face. “You had not intended to spend the weekend together?” His voice is heartbreaking.

Aw, fuck. I just want to cradle his cheeks in my hands and assure him I want nothing more than to spend the weekend with him. But wasn’t the whole point of this trip so he could have his “return to nature” moment? He doesn’t need me for that. He probably wants the time alone, if anything.

“It’s not that,” I say. I pull one of the bags out of the trunk. “I just thought you’d want to enjoy your time in nature. Run wild with your hair blowing in the wind or whatever.”

His expression morphs into one of pleasure. “There will be plenty of time for that,” he murmurs. “Let me assist in unpacking and making a meal.”

I blink. “You can cook?”

Taki laughs at my expression and takes the bag in my hand. “Yes, I can cook. I prefer to make my own meals because I don’t eat meat.”

I hold up one of the bags of groceries, which is full to bursting with produce, then start repeating my line from the tour: “The dryad is a strict vegetarian. You wouldn’t eat one of your forest friends, would you?”

I’m surprised when Taki laughs, a sound bigger than his usual quiet chuckle. “Every guide has a different line, but I like yours best.”

I’ve always thought the monsters found us annoying with our little canned jokes.

“But that’s not why we don’t eat meat,” Taki continues. “It’s not why I don’t, anyway.” Together we carry the bags inside.

“It’s just a joke. I never even thought about it, honestly. But why don’t you eat meat, then?”

Taki sticks out his tongue. “It disgusts me. I just hate the taste, honestly.”

After I locate the key under a rock, the front door of the cabin opens with a heavy creak. It’s warm inside, and has a faintly musty smell. Even with the lights on, everything is surprisingly dim.

As soon as I get the groceries unpacked, Taki locates a knife and starts cutting up the vegetables. I’m riveted to his hands while he slices everything just so. It had been my plan to cook for him, but he takes over the reins without even asking, and soon there are vegetables searing in a pan and he’s making up some kind of thin pancake bread to eat it with. There’s still a full pantry here, with all the dry goods inside big plastic containers so mice and bugs can’t get in.

“Your grandparents had a very nice home,” Taki says as we sit down to eat. I feel as if I’ve been carried along in his whirlpool this whole time, and now there’s a nice, hot meal sitting in front of me, like magic.

“Oh. Thank you. I mean, I really shouldn’t take credit. I just came here as a kid.” There’s still a neat layer of dust on everything, unfortunately. “It’s all my grandparents’ doing. They liked to come out here on weekends, too, and in the summer we’d come and visit them.”

“I like learning more about where you’re from.” His eyes are just so green, and right now they’re the brightest I’ve ever seen them. Why do I feel like he’s seeing through me? I get another little shiver in my belly.

“Would you like to go for a walk?” Taki asks, rising from the table. It’s so strange to see him in this place that has so many memories for me, half covered in moss and leaves, the other of half of him bare, perfect skin. It’s like bringing a wild animal into your living room. “Ana? What do you say to a walk—together?”

My eyes snap up to his. Right. He was asking me a question that I definitely know the answer to. “Yes, please. I’d like that.”

But we’re only a few yards into the trees when I realize just how dark it is out here without the ever-present glow of city lights. Reflexively I grab onto Taki’s arm, and he chuckles.

“Don’t worry,” he says. “Your eyes will adjust.”

“Can you see in the dark?” I ask.

“I can navigate, if that’s what you mean. The trees and plants tell me where they are.”

So not only can he feel their presence, but he can talk to them, too? You learn something new every day.

Before too long my vision is taking in more and more of the shadowed trees and hidden shrubs, just like he said. As much as I don’t want to, I finally let go of Taki’s arm as we wade deeper into the forest.

“Watch your step!” he says sharply. Unfortunately it’s too late, and I’ve already slammed the toe of my shoe into an invisible log. Now I’m careening forward like the Titanic.

Two slender arms wrap around me, halting me in mid-air. Taki is leaned over me, his chest so close to my face that I could practically lick him. He smells like a cool wind blowing in over a lake with a hint of freshly-cut grass. Slowly he releases me, keeping one hand on the small of my back.

“Whew,” I say, grinning with relief. “Thank you. I almost took a nosedive there.”

“I’m glad I could catch you.” But his hand doesn’t leave the place where it’s ever-so-lightly touching my body. It feels like he’s electrified, and his fingers are sending little shocks up my spine.

The air is thicker between us as we continue on our walk, and his hand falls back to his side. His step grows lighter the farther we get into the woods. Soon we hear the ghostly babble of a creek up ahead, and when we reach the edge, Taki crouches down to run his hand through the cold water.

“It’s so fresh and pure up here,” he says with wonder. “A marvelous place, truly.”

“I’m so glad you like it. It’s nice to see you happy.”

He turns to me and smiles radiantly. “It helps to have such good company.”

I thought I must be a burden for him, tripping over logs and wandering through the dark like a lost lamb. “You’re sure you don’t want to be alone for a while? Talk to the trees and stuff?”

Taki turns so he’s facing me, and then most unexpectedly, takes a step closer. He peers down at me, some of his dark hair escaping from behind his antlers.

“No.” With a slow, quiet ease, he brings a hand up to my cheek. It’s so intimate and gentle that my heart freezes up. “I don’t want anything but to be here, enjoying this place with you.” He strokes a thumb over my cheekbone. “I can’t figure you out, though.”

I’m mystified by that. “There’s not much to figure out.” I’m pretty simple, overall, being a tour guide at a home for monsters with a mostly unused English degree.

“Oh, there is much to learn about you, Ana.” Taki’s tone has dropped an octave, and his dark eyelashes fall low over his eyes. “You keep insisting that I don’t want you here, when you’re most of the reason I came along on this trip in the first place.”

That can’t be right. He wanted to be out in the forest, out in nature, to reclaim his connection to it. The act of being here has clearly made a difference already. His smooth skin is shining in the moonlight, and the leaves that cover his body from the waist down ripple in the breeze. But I can’t explain why he’s looking at me as if none of that matters.

“Me?” My voice comes out a little too high pitched and squeaky. “You came because of me?”

Silently, his thumb drops to the edge of my lips and they part of their own accord. What is he doing? I search his eyes for some sign, but all I see there is a growing heat, steady and hungry. Does he want me as much as I’ve been wanting him?

Taki leans down towards me, and that’s when I realize his answer. He’s seeking me, asking for permission to take a step further. And I will happily take the leap with him.

I open my mouth and draw my tongue over the pad of his thumb, and the gasp Taki lets out is delicious. He traces my lip, spreading my saliva along it until it’s smooth and slick. Somehow his touch went from sweet and innocent to fully and completely erotic in a single breath, and it’s making every last blood vessel in my abdomen pulse. I bring his thumb into my mouth, circling it with my tongue, and his green eyes close with pleasure. His other hand falls to my hip, his fingers sinking into my flesh under my shirt as he pulls me closer. With our hips almost touching I can feel his leaves grazing my belly, and my breath sticks in my throat. I don’t know what we’re doing, or what Taki’s body entails underneath the greenery, but I’m interested to find out.

When I release his thumb, his eyes open again, and they’re the same dark, deep green as the trees around us. I don’t have to ask him to know what he’s thinking because I’m thinking the same thing. I reach up to push some of his long hair back behind his pointed ear, the one now standing at full alert. Both of his arms are brushing up and down my back, hinting at what could be an embrace if I want it.

Do I ever. I lean into him, face tilted up so I can look into his, and this time his smile is mischievous. I knew he had another side.

“I want to kiss you, Ana,” he says, drawing a line with his hand from my lower back to my hair, showing me with feather touches what else he would like to be doing. “And much more than that, if you’re willing.”

This beautiful man—dryad, I suppose—is offering himself up to me? I’m more than willing.

Instead of answering I kiss him first, and immediately he sweeps me up so I’m pressed tight to his chest. I gasp into his mouth and he devours it, dragging his fingernails up and down my hips. Suddenly Taki is ravenous, traversing every inch of me with those lovely hands while his mouth sinks into mine. His tongue is eager and his teeth pluck at my lips, making me ache in the most delicious way.

That’s when I feel it against my thigh, and I break away from our battlefield of kisses to look. The leaves have parted, revealing a cock darker than the rest of Taki’s skin. The shape is strange, long and segmented halfway up with another layer of skin, and it has a firm head pointed down rather than up.

A tremor runs down my belly, between my legs. I want to know what it feels like. What does he plan to do with it?

“Ana.” Taki’s voice is husky and soft in my ear. “I’ve wanted you since you first sat down on that bench and spoke to me.”

I shiver under the sensation of his breath on my neck. “I didn’t realize,” I say. “I... I want you too, Meshisawataki.”

At the sound of his full name, Taki groans. He kisses my ear, then my jaw, then my throat as his hunger spills through. His cock swells even further, rising upward to press insistently at my belly. Now that it’s out there—now that we both know what the other wants—I’m eager to have more. I need more, so I reach down and gently take him in my hands.

Taki buries his face in my neck, his grip tightening around me as I stroke up, then down, then up again. When I reach the head there’s slippery pre-come sliding out the tiny slit at the front. Rubbing it around to lubricate my fingers, I continue pumping him, relishing the sensation of each of his foreskins moving back and forth. He grunts and his hips buck, and he sucks on my neck in a way that will surely leave a hickey later.

“Wait.” He gently wraps his hands around mine, drawing me away from his cock. “I want to touch you. Please.”

Before I even send a conscious command to them, my fingers are unbuttoning my jeans and pulling them down my thighs, where they get stuck on my shoes. Taki slides a hand down my belly, under the band of my underwear, seeking out the warm place between my legs like a heat-seeking missile. I gasp as his cool fingers meet my wet, swollen folds, and he chuckles into my ear.

“You’re so soft down here.” His gentle voice caresses me. “And so ready. Ready so soon.” He nibbles the shell of my ear.

“Yes,” I whimper. “I’m ready.”

But Taki just shakes his head and leans back, so he can look in my eyes. His fingers slowly pry me open, and then he slides one from my hyper-sensitive clit down to the wet slit below it. “I was going to take this slow,” he says, that mischievous look returning to his face as he slips his finger inside me, “but I’m not sure that you want that.”

No, I don’t. We’re out in the middle of the woods, for god’s sake, and there’s no one else around for miles. I know exactly what I want.

“I want to feel you. Show me how you fit inside me.”

There’s a rumble low in his chest, something I haven’t heard before. He presses his mouth hard against mine, sucking on my lips, fucking my tongue, all while he dances around my clit.

Then, suddenly, he pulls away. “Turn around.” The command takes me by surprise from someone as demure as Taki. He withdraws his wet fingers, and brings them down to stroke his cock. There’s a thirst in his eyes that’s new, that thrills me. I do as I’m told, and my entire lower half is shivering with the knowledge of what’s going to come next. Then I bend forward and place my hands on the tree, exposing myself to him as much as I can given that my jeans are still around my ankles.

“Ah,” Taki groans. I watch over my shoulder as he rounds on me from behind, and his fingers return to my most sensitive place. He teases my nub, while something larger, something wider and firmer, presses into my small opening.

“Oh, god.” It’s been months since I had sex with anyone, and I’m tighter than I’d hoped. Not to mention that his cock is bigger than any human’s. The head sinks in, and I gasp and drop my forehead to the tree bark.

There’s no way he’s going to fit.

Hands find their way under my shirt, running up my back and then down again, over my hips and my ass in a slow, comforting gesture. As Taki’s hands stroke me, he pushes in just a little more, then a little more still, and my tight muscles start to give way underneath him.

Oh, does he feel good. Better than good—like thick silk. I’m relaxing for him, softening for him, as he tests each depth and settles into it, hands still roving over my skin. When I glance at him over my shoulder, his eyes are intent on mine, his hips almost flush with my ass. I can’t fathom how he fit all of that into me, but now I’m fuller than I’ve ever been, and that mouth-watering pointed head is pressing against something sweet and taut deep down inside me.

I moan when he pulls back again, withdrawing almost all the way. I feel his hand reach underneath us, teasing my clit, spreading my juices all around my swollen lips.

“You are so wet and hot and tight, dear Ana.” He leans forward, and slides all the way back in. It feels like nothing else. My back arches up into his belly, and his hand travels to my breasts where they still hide under my shirt. I didn’t read anywhere about dryads being incredible lovers.

His thrusts gradually speed up, and now his hand is tangled in my hair, holding me in position firmly as he owns me. Every time his hips connect with mine I feel his leaves glance over my clit, over the soft flesh of my ass, and I’m starting to swell up like a balloon. Soon, if he keeps up that agonizing, perfect pace, digging deep inside me for treasure, he’s going to find it.

“Taki!” The cry that comes out of me echoes in the trees. “Faster, please!”

The sound he lets out is almost a roar, and that’s when I feel him starting to change. He’s growing inside me, and suddenly I’m full, so full, and he’s towering over me. When I turn my head I find him taller, his antlers sprouted bigger and broader, leaves and vines winding up his body and toward mine. One vine wraps around my thigh, holding me in place as he moves again, spreading me wider than I ever thought I could possibly go.

“Oh, god!” I gasp as he pulls himself out.

“Sing for me,” Taki murmurs, and I barely recognize his voice. It booms over me. “I’m going to take you until you scream my name.”

When he sinks all the way in again, I cry out and grip the bark of the tree. The vines are winding under my shirt, tearing it open, freeing my breasts from the bondage of my bra. Taki’s huge hand suddenly lands next to mine as he falls forward, and there’s a wood-like texture to his skin. His other arm explores underneath me, from my clit up to my nipples, rubbing and plucking and tantalizing them until I’m shivering. My knees are getting weak now, but Taki’s huge new body is holding me up as he pounds himself into me. Every thrust fills the balloon bigger and bigger, until I’m so tight that I can hear the sound of our commingled juices squishing with every thrust.

“Yes,” he whispers, running his hand over my belly and pressing me even closer, even tighter against him, making us even more deeply connected. “Just like that, Ana.”

Fuck. His girth is stimulating every single nerve ending inside me, and the balloon is ready to burst. I scream, and I think it’s his name, but it’s so tangled up with my gasps and pants that even I can’t tell. My cries drive him even harder, and soon he’s plundering me for all that I’m worth.

That’s when the balloon pops.

“Taki!” The sound comes out strangled as I crumple forward, and Taki’s arms catch me. He roars as I clench tight around him, my immeasurable pleasure sending spasms racing through me, and he plunges deep one last time. There he stays, nestled in my squeezing, rippling channel, and I feel like the bones have been sucked out of my body. His hot come fills me up, dripping out around us to the forest floor.

Taki pulls me into one strong arm, still buried inside me, and supports us against the tree with his elbow. There are bits of bark wedged in my palms, but I can’t even feel them. My body is just a husk filled with bliss.

Taki has returned to his normal size, and eventually he slips out of me. I can somewhat hold myself up now, so I reach down to pull up my pants and button them back on.

“I’m sorry about your shirt,” Taki says as he helps me unwind some of his vines from my thighs.

“That’s okay. It’s not like anyone’s going to see me out here.”

“No one except me.” He grins a wolfish grin, and I think I’ve seen the other side of him tonight. We walk back to the house together, hand-in-hand.

“You can’t like, get me pregnant or anything, right?” I ask as we approach the cabin.

Taki laughs. “No, I don’t believe we are compatible.”

“So... You need lady dryads to make, uh, dryad babies?”

He tilts his head. “I suppose so. But there aren’t any left.”

I pause at the doorway to the cabin. “How many of you are there?”

He shrugs. “I don’t know. It might just be me.”

But he doesn’t seem bothered by this, as if he knows his time on this world has already ended, and he’s become a relic of a time long past.

When he fucks me on my childhood bed that night, he is gentler and sweeter, and doesn’t become the monstrous creature that took me out in the woods.

But I know he will again when we go for a hike tomorrow.


I hope you enjoyed reading. If you liked this, consider preordering my upcoming monster-fucker anthology, The Monster Menagerie!

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