Karl was a little surprised when Josh put a paw on the middle of his chest and pushed him away. And Karl thought he saw a little flash of irritation or pain slip across the husky's face before the enthusiastic grin returned.
"No time for that, wuff - need to clean up and get over there pronto. I'm starving and I bet you must be too," Josh chuckled.
"Yeah, now you come to mention it, I am a bit peckish," Karl laughed.
Quickly the two canines worked soap into the other's fur, Josh working the dried spooge out of Karl's fur as he cleaned the grime and dust from Josh's. The odd squeeze and grope of balls and butt cheeks didn't go unnoticed by either of them.
Once they had rinsed the soap suds out of their fur, they reached for the taps at the same time, their paws wrapping round each other as they turned the water off.
"Better get dried off quick before they run out," they said in unison. Giving each other a surprised look, they burst into laughter and started to dry themselves off. Leaving their fur slightly damp to help lose some body heat, they pulled on their fatigues and headed for the mess hall.
Grabbing a tray each, they joined the line and soon were sitting down at the table the rest of the squad were occupying. Karl looked round the table to get the first real idea of what his squad mates actually looked like. There was a fair mix of different sizes, shapes and species - from a big burly tiger through a mix of canines and felines to a shorter, lithe otter and a small wiry ferret. Naturally, the table was headed up by the big Rottweiler and they were all looking at him expectantly, wide grins plastered across their muzzles.
"Err ummm," Karl stuttered. "Guess you all know me now, I suppose I will get to know who you all are over the next day or two. If it's ok with you lot, can I eat now?"
The table dissolved into laughter as Karl and Josh each shovelled a large forkful of food into their muzzles, their movements a mirror image of one another's. They looked sideways at each other and then down at the other's plate, both noticing that they had the same choices piled up in front of them. Shrugging their shoulders, they attacked their food with gusto and soon pushed their empty plates away with a satisfied belch.
"What?" they rumbled at the rest of the squad who were watching the pair curiously.
"Come on, girls. Let's get out of here before this gets any weirder. I feel a poker night coming on," the sergeant grumbled.
Over the coming days and weeks, Karl got stuck into the routine of the squad, finding out how they functioned as a group and developing the team work between himself and Josh. It soon became clear that most of the squad had a speciality. Brute force was the reserve of Brice, the big tiger, who didn't seem to understand the term "immoveable object". Dan, the ferret, was the team's tunnel rat, no hole was too small or space too cramped for him to get into. Unsurprisingly Chris, the otter, was the swimmer, any water-based task was his domain. Neither Karl nor Josh had a speciality, and Karl wondered what skill they would be trained in to add to the squad's effectiveness.
As a team, the wolf and the husky were unmatched; it was as if they had been twins separated at birth. They had an almost telepathic link, instinctively knowing where the other was and anticipating their every move. It even went so far that one would start speaking and the other would finish the sentence. Sexually they took care of the other's needs with the same instinctual understanding, and while they joined in with the rest of the squad it was clear that they really only needed each other.
But through all of this, Karl was conscious that Josh was keeping him at arm's length, and it confused him. If he tried to do anything even remotely amorous or emotional then the husky would push him away just like that first night. The same pained expression would briefly slip over the dog's muzzle, fading as quickly as it came.
One evening, Sergeant Roland was called in to see the CO; after ten or fifteen minutes he returned to the squad room and ordered Josh to report to the CO's office. It seemed to Karl that he had only been gone a few moments when the door crashed open and a distraught Josh blundered into the room, blindly pushing past everyone to get to his locker. Grabbing a few things he rushed back out again and, as he pushed past, Karl could see the tears streaming down his muzzle.
"Josh, what's up?" Karl called to him but got no response. "Josh?" he shouted to a closing door, starting to follow after him but Sergeant Roland caught Karl by the wrist and held him back.
"Give him ten minutes to get where he is going and then follow after him," the Rottweiler growled.
"Let me go, I am going now," Karl snapped.
"Listen to me, pup," the dog barked. "He needs a few minutes to think first, then he will need you to be there for him. But make no mistake he won't want you there, he will try and push you away to start off. You MUST stick it out whatever he does, he needs you to be strong, be an anchor for him. Can you do that?"
"Whatever it takes Sergeant," Karl retorted. "So where do I find him?"
"You know the copse of trees on that hillock behind the assault course? He will be up there."
"I thought that was fenced off and all OB," Karl replied.
"It is, but there is a hole though the fence behind the tunnels and scramble netting. Go through there and follow the path to the top. He will be there, now go."
Karl ran out of the squad room, across the parade ground and out over the assault course. Following the Sergeant's instructions, he fumbled around in the dark until he found the gap in the fencing and started to climb the hill. As he got closer to the top he could hear sobbing. Reaching a clearing, he could see the glow of a cigarette on the other side.
"Josh, is that you?" he called to the shadowy figure slumped at the base of a tree.
"Fuck off and leave me alone Karl," Josh snarled back at him.
"Come on, Josh. Talk to me please. You are hurting right now and I am here for you, buddy."
"Just fuck off, will you? I don't need you - or anybody else for that matter," the husky growled.
Karl walked slowly across the clearing until he was standing beside the sobbing dog. Squatting down, he put a paw on Josh's shoulder and squeezed gently.
"It will be OK, buddy. Whatever it is I will help you through it," he whispered.
"What the FUCK is it about FUCK OFF you don't FUCKING understand?" Josh yelled in his face. Swinging a paw he connected an uppercut to Karl's muzzle, knocking him over onto his back.
Josh leapt to his feet and loomed over the wolf clenching his fists, "I won't say it again, Karl, just fucking LEAVE ME ALONE!"
Karl scrabbled to his hind paws, wiping a trickle of blood from his muzzle.
"Go on Josh, hit me again if that's what it takes but I am NOT leaving. You need to let it out and if that's the way then so be it."
Josh swung a fist punching Karl's arm and then another to his chest and another and another, each blow getting weaker and weaker. Finally Karl reached out and pulled Josh into a hug, the dogs muzzle fitting under his chin, his tears soaking into Karl's uniform. Karl stroked the husky's back and head, as the sobs wracked his body.
"It's OK buddy, let it go; I've got you," the wolf crooned. The two canines stood entwined for an eternity as the dog's convulsions slowed and Josh started to gain control. Karl licked the husky's muzzle, tasting the salt tears on his tongue.
"Feeling better now, buddy?" he felt the dog nod against his chest. "Want to talk about it?"
"OK," Josh croaked.
The two disentangled themselves, and Karl sat at the base of a tree, leaning back against the trunk. Josh sat between his legs, leaning back on the wolf's chest with Karl's arms wrapped round him.
"I am not sure where to start," the dog began. "This may come out all jumbled up but I will do my best," he sniffed.
"That's OK, Josh, take as long as you need."
"I suppose it all started when I joined the squad. Like you there was a man short, so I was teamed up with the spare squad member, a big buff Doberman. Also like you we just hit it off and got real close, I suppose we fell in love and we were making plans for our lives together when we left the service.
"As you are probably aware, everyone has a speciality and we were short a demolition expert, and Trent was picked for the task. So he was sent on a training course to give him the skills he needed." The dog paused, gathering his thoughts.
"When I told you my team mate had left the army, that wasn't strictly true. He didn't leave, rather he was invalided out. You see there was an accident during the course; the soldier Trent was working with was killed outright in an explosion. Trent however was severely wounded, he lost both legs and had third degree burns, also he was brain damaged and in a coma. But he had never come out or told his family about us, so I couldn't go and see him, and it has been driving me nuts.
"This evening the CO told me that his family had given instructions to turn off his life-support machines, and he passed away two hours ago. I never got to see him to tell him how much I loved him or even to say good-bye," Josh sobbed.
Karl hugged him tightly, "It's OK Josh, cry if you need to, I understand. Every-one here will understand."
"So when you arrived to take his place in the squad and we started to mesh like we have, it just seemed like it was all happening again. But this time Trent was still alive and I still love him, so I couldn't let myself get close to you, I had to keep pushing you away. I am just sorry I didn't tell you this before, and I am sorry for punching you out like that. Anyway, the funeral is next week and Trent's family have asked for representatives of the squad to be present, so we will be flying out at the weekend."
"We?" Karl asked.
"Yeah, you and me buddy."
"Oh, are you sure? I mean, you and him, rather you and me, I mean. Oh, I don't know what I mean," Karl stuttered.
"Yeah, we are team-mates, Karl. I need you at my back, buddy."
"OK, if you insist. Are you ready to go back down now?" Karl asked.
"Not yet, I like being up here with you holding me like this. Makes me feel good. Besides I dropped a bottle of scotch here somewhere."
"Looks like we will be here a while then," Karl chuckled.
It was the early hours of the morning when two half-cut canines stumbled into their bunks, quickly drifting off to sleep. In the shadows at the end of the barracks, Sergeant Roland grinned to himself and climbed into his cot, content that his boys were finally home, safe and sorted.
Two days later, Karl and Josh were on a C-130 heading home, dress uniforms packed and ready to pay respects to a lost comrade. They parted company to spend some of their leave with their families, before they met up at a hotel on the outskirts of Trent's home town the day before the funeral.
They rose bright and early the next morning and made sure they were immaculately turned out and as prepared for the coming day as they could be. An hour before the service, a taxi arrived to transport them to the cemetery where they joined the funeral party and awaited the arrival of the hearse. A smartly dressed Doberman approached the two soldiers. Josh gasped in surprise, seeing a smaller version of Trent step in front of him.
"Hi, I am Trent's brother, Thomas," he said quietly. "Mum and dad would be pleased if you would act as pall bearers for the coffin. Sorry to spring this on you at short notice."
"We would be honoured," Karl replied, knowing that Josh would be unable to speak.
"Thanks. If you would wait here for the hearse, the undertakers will show you what to do," Thomas sniffed sadly. "Oh and mum said to make sure you join us at the wake, there will be room in the car with me so I will take you there."
"Thank-you, we will see you after, then," Karl smiled.
Thomas left them and went into the church as the hearse drew to a halt beside them. Instructed by the funeral director, together with two others, they hoisted the coffin onto their shoulders and at a slow march carried it into the church.
After the service and the eulogy, the two soldiers helped carry the coffin through the churchyard to an open grave. As it was lowered into the earth, they snapped to attention, a single tear running down Josh's muzzle. They remained at a rigid salute until the interment was over.
Thomas came over and thanked them again for acting as pall bearers, and led them over to a car which carried them off to the wake. They mingled, making small talk with people they had never met, until an elegant female Doberman approached them.
"Hello, you must be Josh. I am Trent's mother. he told me so much about you, I am so glad the colonel granted my request that you attend. Can we talk in private, you and your friend?"
"Of course ma'am," Josh deferred, "and this is Karl."
"Hello Karl, and please call me Martha - ma'am makes me feel so old," she chuckled. "Please come this way both of you," she said, leading them into a study and closing the door behind them.
"Could you pour me a G and T, and have something yourself," Martha asked indicating a tray of bottles.
Karl poured some drinks, handing her a gin and tonic, with a brandy for Josh and himself; somehow he thought they were going to need it.
"I am so pleased to finally meet you, Josh. You are just how Trent described you. I will be blunt and get straight to the point. Josh, did you love my son?"
Josh spluttered into his drink. "Err, I don't think I can answer that question, Martha. What did Trent tell you?"
"Oh, Trent didn't tell me anything, he didn't have to. A mother knows her children. I could see that he loved you deeply from the way he acted whenever he talked about you. A smile would beam across his muzzle, his eyes would come alive, he would just be so happy. That told me all I needed to know, and I was happy that he had found love. I didn't ask you to come and visit him, because I want you to remember him as he was, not what he had become. Can you forgive me?"
"A few days ago, I would have said no, but I do understand now, so there is nothing to forgive."
"Thank-you Josh. Trent left this, to be given to you only in these circumstances. I don't know what it is, so don't ask - just open it in private." She passed Josh a small, padded envelope.
"Thanks Martha, I will treasure it."
"Well I must return to my guests. Please don't mention this to Trent's father, he is not as astute as myself, he wouldn't understand."
"My muzzle is sealed, Martha."
"Oh and Josh - to have found love once is something special, to have found it twice is something rare. I see the same look Trent had when Karl looks at you, and you look at him the same way. Cherish it; don't let it slip through your paws."
Later that night, the two canines sat on a sofa in a hotel room sharing a bottle of wine. The envelope sat open in front of them, Josh holding a DVD in his paw waiting for his laptop to power up.
"Wonder what in God's name is on here?" he mused.
"Will soon find out," Karl retorted.
The computer was finally ready and Josh set the DVD to play as he sat back, nestled under Karl's arm. The screen flickered and an image appeared causing Josh to yelp with shock. A big, buff Doberman waved at them from the screen.
"Trent, I assume?" Karl whispered.
"Shhh!" was all Josh could manage.
"Hi Josh," the Doberman spoke. "If you are watching this, then it means that I am no longer around, and my feelings have come true.
"I don't know why but ever since I got drawn for this course I have had bad feelings about it. So I decided to record this before I left just in case and pray that you never get to see it.
"Josh I love you more than I could ever express but I am gone now, and I don't want you to put your life on hold in my memory. I want you to live and have fun and, yeah, I want you to love again: you are too special not to.
"Remember me with the love we felt and I will live my life through you, I will be watching over you always, my love.
"Goodbye Josh, please don't cry for me. I will love you for all eternity but when your time comes let them say of you that you had a life well lived and I will see you on the other side eventually. Good luck babe, live a good life."
The Doberman pointed a paw at his eyes, clapped it to his chest and pointed at the screen which flickered and went blank, the room plunged into darkness.
An eerie silence reigned.
"Take me to bed and hold me," Josh whimpered.
As the morning sun streamed through the curtains, it fell across two bodies entwined as one.
"You know she was right, don't you?" Josh whispered as Karl stroked his cheek.
"I have known for a while, I am just happy that now you do too," Karl replied, kissing him on the nose.
For the first time, Josh didn't push him away but pulled Karl closer, kissing him back, gently at first then with increasing passion as their muzzles opened and tongues duelled for dominance. As the kiss deepened, paws roamed over their bodies. Tenderly stroking and caressing, they drew soft moans and yips as they passed. Their mental dams cracked and broke, flooding their senses with repressed emotions.
They lost track of how long they lay there enjoying the moment, luxuriating in the intimacy. Eventually Josh rolled Karl onto his back and started to nibble down his neck and across his chest, as Karl's paw stroked the back of Josh's head. His tongue probed through the fur, seeking out the wolf's nipple, teasing the nub as it hardened.
Karl hissed as his nipple was sucked into a hot muzzle and gently rolled over sharp teeth, little jolts of electricity set his groin on fire. Karl's arousal filled the air with his musk as he started to grind his hips against Josh's belly, soaking his fur with pre-cum.
Josh stopped chewing Karl's chest and growled lustfully, sniffing the air, inhaling Karl's scent deep into his lungs like an aphrodisiac. Diving down he started to snuffle in the wolf's groin, licking and sucking his balls, and nuzzling his chubbing sheath. As the pink tip of his wolf-hood emerged, shining like a beacon against the black fur, the dog was irresistibly drawn to it.
Slowly he started to lick the rosy flesh. Savouring the taste he sucked the tip into his muzzle letting the leaking juices run over his tongue. Gradually he sucked more of the wolf's shaft into his maw, rolling the sheath back with his jowls until the forming knot was pressing against his nose.
Karl played with Josh's ears as he started to slowly bob up and down on his shaft, sucking it deep into his throat, then teasing it with his tongue when he pulled away again. Steadily the husky built up speed sending the wolf hurtling towards his climax, all control lost while he growled and panted into oblivion.
Josh sunk his muzzle over Karl's knot just as the wolf stiffened and started to empty his seed into his mate. Volley after volley of thick cream flooded the husky's muzzle and he swallowed hungrily, not wanting to waste a drop. His throat ached in exhaustion as finally the wolf was spent, Karl's body going limp as his orgasm faded away. Josh pulled off the wolf's member, which slapped wetly against Karl's belly, a thick strand of cum still attaching it to the dog's muzzle.
Hoisting Karl's legs onto his shoulders, Josh nibbled down over his balls, continuing down Karl's taint, closing in on his now-exposed tail-star, taking care not to lose any of the wolf's seed that he kept in his mouth. He had a use for that.
Karl gasped as the husky's cold, wet nose pressed against his tail-hole, feeling a breeze tickle his pucker when Josh took a long breath, inhaling the deep earthy scent of his mate. Tentatively, the tip of his tongue flicked against the pink rosebud each touch getting firmer and more insistent until the flower opened, and the rubbery flesh probed inside. Deeper and deeper it squirmed, until it pressed against Karl's love nut. The wolf's shrinking cock twitched with each prod of Josh's tongue, breathing life back into it as the shaft began to swell once more.
Josh pressed his muzzle tight against the wolf's tail-hole using his tongue to work the mouthful of cum past the tight ring, lubricating Karl's velvet passage. Gradually the husky pulled his tongue loose, Karl whimpering as he was left empty. Rising up onto his knees Josh brought the wolf's butt and his cock smoothly together, the tip slipping easily into the prepared hole. With a soft growl, he pushed forward impaling his lover on his hard weapon. Gripping the wolf's thighs he started to hump into him, gently grinding his hips he began to make love to his mate.
Karl moaned as the dog's throbbing meat stroked over his prostate, his own cock starting to ache for release again. Growling he reached up and wrapped his paws behind Josh's neck pulling the dog head towards him.
"Tie me sweetheart," he gasped. "Mark me; claim me, stud."
Josh needed no encouragement to breed his lover, quickly changing up from gentle love-making to hard breeding. The power of his thrusts starting to force his knot deeper and deeper into his mate. Baring his teeth in a snarl he lunged forward and took Karl's shoulder in a mating bite as he forced his knot past all resistance. The power of the tie pushed Karl over the edge, his cock twitching as it spattered cum over their chests. Each pulse of his wolf-hood clamped his butt muscles hard on Josh's knot and the dog stiffened as his balls erupted into Karl's innards, his jaws clenching and breaking skin, the taste of blood spreading over his tongue.
Karl wrapped his legs round Josh holding them together as, totally spent, the two lovers drifted off to sleep.
A loud hammering on the door woke them with a start.
"Hello, hello? Is there anyone there?" A voice called from the other side of the door.
"Yeah, what is it?" Karl growled.
"Sorry Sir, but it is check-out time. You must vacate your room now."
"Can you give us 10 minutes, please?" Karl retorted.
"Very well, but no longer, we need to clean the room for the next guests," the voice responded.
Quickly, the canines got out of bed and leapt into the shower together. The water ran cold to begin with, shocking them awake. Washing the evidence of their love-making from their fur, they hurried to rinse out the soap and dry off, aware of the ticking clock. Fortunately they had packed before watching the DVD last night so they pulled on the clothes they had left out and grabbed their bags. Opening the door they came face to face with the chambermaid, her paw raised to knock again. Grinning sheepishly, they walked past her and checked out, getting the receptionist to call them a taxi.
Two days, later they walked down the steps of a transport plane. A jeep picked them up and delivered them to their squad room, where they were greeted by Sergeant Roland. Inspecting them closely, he just grunted.
"Right, ladies," he called to the rest of the squad. "Now that lover boys have returned, we have some business to attend to. As you are all aware, we still lack a munitions specialist. There is another training course coming up and someone must be selected to attend. In time-honoured tradition, all the non-specialist names are in my beret, first name drawn goes on the course. No further discussion will be had on the matter."
The sergeant rummaged around in his beret, pulling out a folded piece of paper. Opening it, he read the name and looked up at the group in front of him.
"And the lucky winner is..."