Family Traits 2

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Jimbo's heart was a bit lighter as he walked into Tarn Curios. When he asked Glesh where he could get a simple present for Dan, he was directed to the curio shop owned by Glesh's younger brother Gleph Tarn. Gleph was Prite's father and the moment Jimbo saw him he could tell Prite was a chip off the old block.

Jimbo had a silly grin on his face as he muttered "Wow" while looking up at the truly huge Neshan replacing stock on one of the upper shelves next to the register.

Imagine the shape of your average six foot tall Otter. Wide head; stubby legs with wide hands(paws);. then a slim, long body to the lower stubby legs.; wide feet(paws); finish with a thick stubby tail that ends in a point. {Read sinewy sleek strength)
Now cross that with a Human and a Male Bovine. Lose the tail and tint the fur a bit blue.
OK, maybe one and a half Male Bovine.

All that muscle stretched out and yet still stretching the clothes covering them. Glesh was a handsome enough fellow and his nephew, Prite, was thoroughly impressive. But Gleph Tarn was a Neshan in his own category.

Gleph noticed Jimbo and his comment at the same time. So when his eyes focused on Jimbo he slowly stood back flat on his two very large feet. Gleph tipped the right side of his head back a bit as a small grin formed.
"You must be Master Engineer Jimbo Sipes."
Then he faced forward and bowed. The next move caught Jimbo off guard. Gleph held out his hand.
"My brother just called me. Told me you were a respectful sentient. So I thought I'd offer a familiar form of greeting."

Jimbo smiled and walked over to shake Gleph's hand.
"And you must be Master Merchant Gleph Tarn, Prite's father."
The hand shake turned into a hug that got Jimbo a little bit excited. Jimbo ignored that part of his anatomy,
though it wasn't easy.
"It looks like Prite is going to do some more growing."

Gleph smiled. "I am a rather large Neshan. My family has a bit of Vox in it. At least that's the excuse I use for the extra size." Jimbo looked a bit pensive when Gleph mentioned Vox.

Gleph had picked up on Jimbo's reaction towards his big body and the Vox race.

Jimbo didn't know the can of worms he was opening with "Do you know anything about the Vox?"

Gleph offered Jimbo a seat in front of the counter with the register and sat on a stool behind it. Unseen by Jimbo, Gleph turned on some esoteric equipment he'd been given over ten years ago.

Gleph frowned a moment. "Well, I know the stories my grandfather told of the persecutions a certain young race brought down upon his race. My grandfather is Vox and only for the past three years has been able to visit. I'm glad you humans came to your senses, but I am still confused why you started that war with the Vox in the first place."

Jimbo frowned. The truth wasn't going to put his people in a very good light. But the truth was important, if his people were going to make friends in this Galaxy. "My people don't always get all of the facts regarding the Frontier. And when we do it's often too late to stop our military from doing what they see fit. This was a case of an epidemic on one of our colonies killing off two thirds of the colonists. And when the Vox tried to come to their aid, one of our regional Delegates misused the information and distorted it to make it look like a biological weapon had been used. The Vox had just stepped into it before anyone else could. Stewart Klasman was found out four years after the war started but the upper military refused to give it credence until survivors who had been in hiding from our own people on the decimated colony got help from Neshan Merchants. They were able to get them to our central government two years later and that caused the military to be brought back in line. Stewart Klasman was convicted of the crime of attempted genocide, by our people. It took all these four years of Peace to get the trial completed. Now the Vox people have him in custody and are trying him for the same crime. They deserved the chance to put him through their own form of justice. Ours would have either executed him or placed him in prison for the rest of his life. Most of the public didn't believe either sentence would be the right one. We thought the Vox would have a better idea. The central government put up a ballot and the results showed that eighty six percent of the voters were in favor of Klasman's extradition to the Vox People for trial, as well as a surtax on local goods that will repay the Vox for their monetary losses. The miracle was that they forgave us. Before they ever saw Klasman on trial or the funds being sent to their government, they forgave us."

Gleph had been multi tasking. Listening to Jimbo while glancing at his Vox detector. Which happened to be pointing at Jimbo. But the reading was rather low, as it was when pointing to Gleph. The system was told to ignore him but when he calibrated it last it was almost the same amount of Vox in him as in Jimbo. So Gleph assumed Jimbo was hiding his mixed race ancestry, or else he had been shielded from the truth by his parents.

"And now you are interested in the Vox? Aren't you humans mingling with them yet?"

Jimbo's frown looked genuine. "They forgave us but none of their merchants want to venture in our space until they see our reaction to Klasman's trial and sentencing. There is hope it won't take more than another four months."

Gleph smiled a bit ruefully. "I don't wish to seem rude in asking, but aren't you here to find a gift for your true love?"

Jimbo was taken back for a second but shook his head. "Not rude at all, Master Merchant Gleph. Your fine brother Glesh said I could find an appropriate gift for my partner, lover.. For my man."

Gleph raised his eyebrows. "Yet your body seems to find large muscular males attractive. Or was I mistaking that growing bulge in your pants for something else?"

Jimbo blushed then let that feeling go. "Dan and I have a thing for muscular men. And while Dan is quite a beast, I haven't been able to get up to his size. The ships Head Cook was upset at first. He had access to the medical monitor in our exercise room. He saw all that food I was sucking down but my muscle increase stalled about five months ago. Captain actually came to my rescue, cause Chef Luke was going to start cutting my meals down for economical reasons. Said If I was actually using the food to get stronger then it was a benefit to the crew, but with no increase of weight or strength, then he would have to cut back my meals. Luckily he announced it when the Captain was doing his weekly meal with the common crew. He told Chef that his monitor was missing all the miles of ship we engineers crawl over every day. Cap said we need the energy for our work or else the ship might start to come apart. Chef Luke didn't fiddle with my meal size again. But I still haven't grown. I'm twenty four years old. I should be able to put a little weight on."

Gleph glanced at the faint blip on the detector, then back at his guest. "Jimbo, do you have any family that are physically big?"

"My grandfather. He was huge. But I haven't seen him since the war started. He was amongst the Loyal Merchants that refused to go to war against the Vox. His whole group went into hiding amongst the other sectors. I only got a letter from him a year ago. The Central Government now wants to honor his fellow merchants. Doesn't make up for the nine years without him."

Gleph lost his "I've got a secret" expression in light of Jimbo's family hardship. "No. I wouldn't think it would. I have an odd question for you."

"Hopefully the answer will be helpful, odd or not."

Gleph put on a look of seriousness. "Have you recently worked on any Matter-Antimatter Sub-Space enrichment systems in the past three months?"

Jimbo looked shocked one second and then real enthusiastic. "Glesh didn't tell me you were an engineering enthusiast."

"I'm not reall. I'm just trying to verify something."

"OH. Well, to answer your question, no. Our Interstellar Propulsion systems involve Hyper-Space and Inertia Conversion. Warp technology is such a can of worms from start to finish. Hyper-Space travel is a lot simpler."

"Well that helps. Second and perhaps last question. If there were a safe method for you to become a bit larger, more muscular; would you use it?"

"Now I'm confused."

Gleph stood up and beckoned Jimbo to walk around the counter.
"Watch that screen there as you get closer to my chair. That flashing dot that moves where you move is the readout for sensors that detect Vox. Now you may have doubts, but I programed the system to ignore my presence. And at least once a month I calibrate the system using my own body. I have one grandfather who is pure blood Vox, back twelve generations. That makes me a fourth Vox and the readout for you has the same level. I am guessing that your Grandmother was Vox and you never got to meet her."

"Wow. No, I never did. But Grandfather would tell stories about her. Damn, no wonder. There were times my mother would cut grandfather off and just look at him. He'd smooth things over by saying "And the rest is for when you get older." Not one of those stories got finished when I turned eighteen. Now I know why."

"You look very serious, my young friend. Being part Vox is a good thing. It caused the blending with Neshan to make all of my family a little bigger and stronger. Certainly a lot calmer. Some of my cousins from the family that didn't get any Vox in them are rowdy hot heads. Of course my side of the family also got the muscles and", Gleph flexed his pecs then pulled his huge arm up for a chest/biceps flex. "My children and I have a bit more than is really necessary to calm down any angry buck with a chip on his shoulder."

Jimbo didn't say anything for a few moments. He just smiled and looked at Gleph's large Cannonball sized biceps, and thick Pectoral muscles stretching the material of his shirt. Gleph noticed and held his pose for a few moments and debated whether he should go through his posing routine. But he told himself he was hardly the young eager Neshan Bodybuilder he once was and slowly relaxed as he turned to face Jimbo.

Jimbo shook his head like he was waking from a dream and said "Yes." Just yes and nothing more.

Gleph caught himself thinking that was a yes to his statement of his size. But he shook his head slightly as he realized Jimbo was answering his last question. "So yes, you would use a safe method to make you a bit bigger and more muscular?"

"Yes please." with a smile that teetered between Boyish innocence and Lustful leer.

Gleph was only slightly surprised with the ease that Jimbo placed his trust in Gleph. "Master Engineer Jimbo Sipes, I am honored with the trust you place in me. Many a hardened soul would have questions about just how safe the Herbal Catalyst is, or the amount of Vox blood you have to have before it works on them. Or they would wonder how quickly the effects would be felt, and how much." Gleph waited for a response but smiled back at the placid Jimbo after none came.

Gleph got an evil little grin on his face. "Technically you have to ask something before I ever pull out the Vox Herbal Catalyst Kit and give it to you."

Jimbo finally slipped a bit off the cloud he had been on. "Maybe even two. Master Merchant Gleph Tarn, do you have a Vox Herbal Catalyst Kit for Sale?"

"Well there you have me. There were two questions. Yes, my friend, I have a Vox Herbal Catalyst Kit for sale. And before you ask; yes I will sell you one for a simple price." Gleph reached over and his Inventory screen on his register flipped along till it had the item in question on screen it's availability and price with tax. Gleph swiveled the screen so Jimbo could read it.

Jimbo frowned for a second then smiled like he was saying 'Funny'.

Gleph pulled it back and burped "Oop. Sorry." Then he hit the keys that changed it all to english.

"Yes. and also very good. I have that amount in my credit chip." He handed a small Credit Chip to Gleph and watched as the register processed the sale, took out the amount from the Chip and recorded the sale into the proper memory systems.

"Here's your Credit Chip with the sale recorded in it. I will pull the kit from the storage in back. It should be about five minutes and you can start the treatment right here."

"Strange that I'm wondering now, but what is involved with the kit."

Gleph smiled and thought Humans had a weird sense of humor and timing. "There are four parts to the Kit and once I get it out for you I'll explain what each part of it does. While you're waiting why don't you go through some of the aisles and see if there is anything you'd want to get for your lover."

"Good idea. But that purchase right now is partly Dan's gift."

Gleph chuckled along with Jimbo. "I'll be right back."

Jimbo strolled through the aisles and found some odd little bottles that hummed when you picked them up. He got an impression of a certain scent and figured they were alien cologne. There were simple pottery that had an unfamiliar heating system incorporated into the bowls and plates. There were some awesome windchimes that incorporated a strange alloy of metals that allowed them to be able to have very deep notes while being very small. Like a church bell level bass tone while only being five inches long. He pulled three of those for purchase.

Then he came upon some sports equipment that was like a football and there were even some esoteric powered padding in the game clothes that went with them. Some of the symbols on the balls looked just like the ones on the football his grandfather had used long ago when he learned how to play American style Football. Then there was this weird chest with other symbols that looked familiar. His Grandfather's trunk! And those symbols must be Vox!

There was a lock on the lid to the thing and it looked like two twelve sided figures that were overlapped. The buttons in the figures had a few that were shared between the two figures. Each button had a symbol on it and then there was a button by the handle that would open the Chest.

Jimbo burped up a chuckle and then hit one of the buttons. It lit up immediately. So Jimbo hit another. It Lit up too. Then Jimbo's eyes closed to a slit and he tipped his head as if he were listening to people talking in another room. He started pushing buttons and after seven more of them lit up, the eight he pushed flashed once, then all of the buttons flashed before they all went out. The button by the handle lit and Jimbo pushed it. The chest opened slowly and revealed the controls of a device that lit up and started to scroll text across it in what Jimbo was coming to believe was the Vox written language. He didn't understand any of it. He thought he'd ask Gleph what the device did. As he stood up, he steadied himself on the side of the chest, accidentally hitting a release button. Two bars slowly rose up out of the chest, looking like you were supposed to grab them. Jimbo missed the bars rise out of the case when he walked to the front with the windchimes.

Gleph returned right then and saw the windchimes in Jimbo's hands. "OH they are really good. My wife has three different types in her Kitchen garden."

Gleph proceeded to open up the VHCK and pull out two bottles, a small box and a larger one.
"The kit contains the two pills you take first. Once you start you have to finish. No race is allergic to any of this but if you don't finish it you will become sick. Some Vox/Alien Hybrids have less symptoms than others but you are still talking about two or three weeks of aches and pains, sniffles then your whole head becomes dry like the desert. And you don't even want to know the types and volumes of the stuff that will come out of you. I have to warn you before you start that you must finish. OK?"

Jimbo smiled up at Gleph. Jimbo held out his hand and Gleph shook it. "OK. What's the rest of this stuff?"

"Well the little box has the two pills. Swallow them quick, they're nasty. The two bottles are a sort of an energy drink and help fill you out. For the next twelve hours you will be eating a lot. You drink one in two hours and the other in two hours after that. And finally the big box has a series of herbal teas that will sooth the growing pains and help you sleep. At one point after my grandfather gave me this and I was drinking the teas I just wanted to run and play and lift weights and He had to physically hold me still to take a sip of the third tea, and I was out like a light in five minutes. With this being so early in the day you should be done with the last teas by noon tomorrow."

"Great. Just in time to get ready for the Festival."

Jimbo reached for the little box and it opened like a ring box. The two pills were a pearly color and as he picked them up Gleph offered Jimbo a glass of water.

"Thanks." His face as he swallowed the pills was a familiar one for Gleph.

Jimbo groaned. "Ohhh. Universal. they are nasty tasting."

"Sorry about that. But here's the fun part for me. You won't notice since all of you does this at the same. Whoa. Same time."

Jimbo Popped. That was the best description anyone could come up with.

"What just happened? Hey my clothes are tighter."

"Your entire body just expanded at least half an inch in each direction. And all within a second or two. It seems to happen while the Catalyst is numbing your senses. But the enlargement cancels the numbing and it doesn't feel like anything at all. It is so neat watching that happen."

Jimbo smiled and took a deep breath. And kept inhaling and inhaling.

"I'd take that shirt off. In about an hour you won't be able to wear it. I'll get you a robe that should last you for the next few days and beyond."

Gleph didn't go far and in a moment he had a robe that looked like it would fit Gleph instead of Jimbo.

"Am I going to get as big as you?"

"Sure looks like it. The level of Vox in you and your starting size is what gives me that idea."

Jimbo got his shirt off and the robe on before removing the rest of his clothes. "You were my size before you took this stuff.?"

"Oh yes. But my grandfather pushed us to try this. He knew I really wanted to get as big as he was. My brother's just wanted to make sure I wasn't bigger than them. Big joke is that it didn't work. I may be the youngest but I'm still the biggest. Glesh just went along for the ride, but he didn't quite reach up to your shoulder before taking the Catalyst."

"Nice robe. Thank you. What do I owe you for this. It's made with some very fine materials."

"Oh that's a gift to a new cousin of mine. Now that I know you have Vox blood in you, we have to be cousins."

Nothing short of a bear hug would do for that kind of honor and gift.

"So I'm not so far from home after all."

Gleph grinned. "No you're not. So did you find anything for Dan?"

"Not yet but I found something a bit familiar. I'll bring it up front and you can tell me what it is."

Gleph stayed behind the counter until he saw which aisle Jimbo went down. He got up to follow.
"Is it the force shield sports pads you're curious about?"

He got to the end of the aisle and watched Jimbo crouch down to lift something up. "No it's just a case that looks like one my grandfather.."

Gleph tried to stop him. "Don't lift it by those posts !!"

But it was too late. The discharge sequence was started and Jimbo stood straight up still clutching the rods that vaguely arched as Jimbo's eyes and mouth were clenched shut. Just before Gleph could reach him the machine shut down and in a cultured voice speaking Vox, the machine gave a cheery remark.
"Warrior Body Enlargement is complete. Bio-Mass of two hundred and fifty pounds used in enlargement.
Please tell your commanding officer to replace Bio-Mass container before next use."
It finished what it was saying even as it fell to the floor. Jimbo swayed and Gleph caught him before he could hit the floor.

Gleph struggled to straighten up and quickly took Jimbo into his residence in back. Just as he laid Jimbo on a large well worn couch a medium sized Neshan female came in from the kitchen.
"What is all the yelling going on? Oh Gleph! Tell me you haven't killed a Human with one of your toys the very first day they're allowed on the planet!"

"Mimi you aren't helping. He got a Vox Warrior Boost open and it still had Bio-Mass in it."

"From that estate your friend Droosk dragged you to and then borrowed fifty credits?"

"No from your cousin Meerk, who always seems to forget to tell us one little thing. Like the personal shield has a faulty battery, you only find that out when you're in the middle of a Vlask hunt. Or the perfectly good Jumper that has the orbital system removed so we can have a ground vehicle for the family; only to find that it was only the control panel he removed and our daughter winds up half way to the moon. He didn't even check to see if it still had Hyper-fuel in the tanks, but he assured us it was all removed."

Their discussion about a flakey relative was cut short by a groaning sound that came from the couch. And it wasn't Jimbo. Well at least not from his lips. His body had been given two hundred and fifty pounds of muscle and bone and all that went with an old Vox Warrior program that was designed to make fit soldiers even better. And much stronger. The effects of the Bio-Mass transfer wasn't instantaneous. So while he was thirty or forty pounds heavier when the device finished; his body was accepting the energy field that supplied the way the mass got into Jimbo.
He had been a fit two hundred pounds. Now he was a thick and built three eighty and climbing. While the entire weight of two hundred and fifty pounds were transfered, the actual weight would hover close to forty pounds lighter until he actually ate about fifty or sixty pounds of food.
And he would be very hungry.

Gleph grabbed his wife and kissed her for a good minute. "If I nearly killed him, you will be the savior in the family. I can never complain about your mother again. Thaw out all the chicken soup we have in the freezer."

Mimi realized what he said and she pulled his head down for another quick kiss. "Oh you are so getting it tonight, Master Tarn."

His smile turned all goofy as he whispered, "Oh my Mistress."

She sparkled as she rushed into the kitchen. The sound of the Micro Wave Oven buzzed in the kitchen as it thawed a truly enormous amount of chicken soup. Truth to tell the birds weren't really chickens. But they were so many similarities between the Neshan and human kind of bird that the Translator Programers had a field day over the name fitting so well. Garlic also had the same response. Luckily the Translator Programer's Supervisor kept them to one bottle of booze per field day or the Translators might have gotten so sauced that they started replacing praise with cursing in a little old lady's voice. {The TP guys don't get out that much}

Soon the whole residence was filled with the wonderful aroma of Chicken soup. Gleph watched the clock and his new friend as he started to fill the robe with more and more thick muscle and stout bone. Fifteen minutes after the accident and Gleph was really starting to worry. But as luck would have it, just as Mimi brought in a huge bowl of soup, Jimbo's nose twitched and his stomach started to growl with a low throaty voice. It was saying 'Feed Me' in the universal language of Stomach. Gleph and Mimi were taken aback by the volume and nearly jumped when Jimbo's bass voice spoke louder than his gut.
"My lord, you would think I swallowed an angry bear or something."

Gleph smiled with relief. "Thank the Lovers that didn't kill you. I am so sorry, Jimbo. I was never able to open that case and a relative of my wife's assured me it was out of Bio-Mass and the battery was gone."

Jimbo clenched his fists then rubbed his achy arm muscles. That rub progressed to his chest and on up to his very wide neck. His hand had grown with the rest of his body but he still had a hard time spreading it across his neck. A weird frown spread across his face and he then took both hands and tried to get them around his neck. They were not going to reach and Jimbo soon found that they had a lot to go for them to meet. "How big did those pills make me?"

Gleph tried to say "Don't stand up so fast." But got to the word 'stand' and Jimbo was already light headed and on his feet. Gleph caught him and guided his much larger friend down to the couch. The groan this time was from the wood frame in the couch. Jimbo's eye's were even bigger as he came back from nearly fainting.

"I'm as tall as you now. Isn't the Catalyst supposed to work over the next four hours?"

Mimi cut Gleph off with "You didn't start him on the Vox Catalyst and then let him get the Vox Warrior Body Boost on top of it?"

"What? Vox Body Boost? Was that what I grabbed?"

Gleph sat down and pulled the bowl over to Jimbo. "Calm yourself, my friend. Start eating my wife Mimi's wonderful Chicken soup. There's a lot of it for you and your hunger will be overwhelming and distracting. I will explain what I saw happen and what I know and don't know with regards to your much larger body."

Jimbo's growling stomach soon stopped and Jimbo himself let out a heartfelt moan.
"OH Mimi, this is the best soup I've ever had."
Mimi smiled and took the spoon out of his hand and lifted the bowl. Jimbo took the hint and just poured it down his throat.

"Thank you, Young Human."

Gleph would have blushed if he didn't have so much bluish fur spread over all of his body.
"Master Engineer Jimbo Sipes, I present to you the love of my life, Mistress Mimi Tarn; my dear wife and the mother of my four children."

"It is an honor Ma'am. This soup is even better than my Nanna's."

"Well that's saying something. Here, give me the bowl and I'll be refilling it a few..dozen times. I've had my boys go through the Catalyst and they couldn't be blamed for their severe hunger."

For a second Jimbo looked like he would be satisfied with one bowl for a while. Then a sensation rushed over his body and he got the urge to help Mimi out by sitting in the kitchen. Gleph knew that look all too well. Jimbo started to open his mouth to suggest that very thing when he was cut off by a chuckle. "My soon to be very large friend, the answer is no. It would not be easier on my wife if you sat in the kitchen. And even though your promise to not get in the way would be very sincere and totally honest, Mimi would end up knocking you out and force feeding you like a 'Goose'. Our first born tried that and it worked for about a minute. Then his." Gleph stopped because Mimi was bringing in another bowl full of soup, two boxes of crackers and a loaf of bread. Gleph knew until half of that was in Jimbo's stomach he would not be able to pay attention to anything anyone said. He just smiled and watched Jimbo suck down food at an impressive rate while he waited. To Jimbo's credit he actually was cognizant of a small towel that he used as a napkin. On his third wipe of his face he blinked a bit as he took a breath and glanced over at Gleph.

Jimbo frowned and searched for the thread of the conversation. "Promise not to get in the way no good. Mimi would knock me out and stuff me like a goose. First born tried it for a minute." Jimbo's attention then focused completely on Gleph and his fatherly smile.
"What? do I have soup down my neck?"

Gleph shook his head. "My friend, there is no food on your face or neck, which is rather impressive since your world suddenly centered around the soup the moment it came into view. That's when I knew to shut up. You have not been rude in any way, either. This profoundly changing event will have it's way with you no matter what your will says. My family has gone through this very thing many times and take these little lapses in social etiquette with a liberal dose of humor."

Mimi came in with another Bowl of a thicker stew and cut her husband off with "And doing so by recalling the fools they made of themselves when they went through it."

Gleph looked at his wife with a look of admiration and love. "And recalling the patience our family had putting up with us."

Mimi smiled back with a "Hidden" look that only the most exquisite females can maintain. A little girl, a randy teenager, a loving wife, and the dual look of the mother of your children while imitating your mother so she can make peace with her. All that combined in one "Hidden" look. It is not an "Air" of Mystery women have about them; it is Mystery itself. Held there by their will, like a pet on a leash. So don't fool yourself into thinking you are wise enough or more perceptive than other men, and you will soon understand women. They've taught their "pet" tricks.

Gleph tried to be serious as he put his fist up to his face and crooked a finger for her to come over to him. As she hesitated for a split second, Gleph lost the battle and started to grin which surrendered to a smile which grew wider as Mimi got closer. She was a few feet from her happy lover of a husband and as she put her fists on her hips she bent over and reached for his lips with her own. She wouldn't let him get his tongue in as she plucked at his lips and pulled away enough for him to just be pecked at. He liked this but waited for her forth tease then did his puppy dog face and Mimi broke her act with a girlish giggle.

She stood up and her arms fell away from her hips. "Well, alright. For my Big Boy, who always makes it right and treats me like a queen. Here's a real kiss." Her hands flowed out to his head like she was gathering flowers to her nose and as his eyes closed, so did hers. They spoke the language only they could speak and yet All Lovers know when it's spoken. Their kiss lasted for a bit of time and when they parted they heard a slow intake of breath.

"Wow. Now that got my attention away from the food, and I''m 100 percent Gay!" Then Jimbo ruined the sweet delivery of those sentiments with a very prolonged belch. He tried to stifle it but only got them laughing harder.

Mimi escaped to the kitchen as she told him "Thank you for the compliments."

Jimbo blushed through a tiny burp that followed the opus of a belch. "For some reason, that was one of the things I did not ask about your culture. Some Human cultures consider Belching at the dinner table very rude behavior, while others think of it as a compliment to the Chef."

Gleph raised his eyebrows at that bit of information. "Very interesting. That is also the case with the Neshan People. Luckily my wife and I are on the compliment side of the issue."

"I'm glad, because that's how my body intends it. My tongue is just a bit slow today and my body decided to praise the chef in it's own special way."

They chuckled at that and Gleph's eyes traveled down Jimbo's body from top to bottom. Well almost. There was something a little over half way down Jimbo's expanding body that was a little more eager for attention than the other parts seemed to be. Gleph continued chuckling while Jimbo's laughter was soon cut off. And both reactions for the same reason.

"Jimbo, please believe that I am not laughing over your distracted condition or the very large erection you are growing there. {For that is truly impressive at this stage}. As I told you, this change your body is going through will have it's way with you no matter what you want it to do. That includes parts sticking up for any number of reasons and for no reason at all. And it may happen in concert with others or be a solo performance. Don't worry or feel embarrassed. You are amongst friends."

"I'm really starting to feel like I'm visiting with old Family friends. And more than that; we're family."

Mimi came out with another bowl of soup just as Jimbo snagged the last bit of chicken from the bottom of the bowl. "I didn't think of that before, but the Catalyst wouldn't work on you unless you had some Vox in you. So this will be a wonderful Fountain Festival this year. We have a distant cousin with us, we didn't even know we had. Gleph when you get a chance I want you to clean out the Guest room for Jimbo. I won't hear of a relative, how ever distant, sleeping in those Traveler's Lodge or those Hotels. They are investment property owned by people who don't live here and don't even bother to visit our town during Fountain Festival. The Staff gets hired about two weeks before the Festival and then fired a week after."

Gleph and Mimi finally noticed that Jimbo was looking down at his empty bowl. They exchanged a short form of question and answer through their very expressive Otter/Human like faces. The gist of it was *Why the long face he hasn't eaten enough yet to have to take power naps* Glesh said that his mate only learned of the traditions last night, and then followed them* Oh the poor thing must have thought his love had thrown him away* Glesh set him right but he must still have some doubts about his mate and if he will recognize him so much larger*

Now that took about three quarters of the time to Face Talk, than if they had spoken it. But it still took long enough for Jimbo to pull himself together and notice Gleph and Mimi going through facial convulsions, by their reflections in the table top.

"That was marvelous. But what were you saying?"

"I'm.. ah. What are you talking about, my friend." Gleph looked large eyed at Mimi when Jimbo shifted his attention to Mimi.

A snorted laugh preceded Jimbo pointing to the very shiny black table top which worked as a very good mirror. "My parents would do that to my brothers and sister, and we decoded it in a month. It wasn't as sophisticated as yours, but it had the basics and we youngsters figured it out." He smiled from one to another.

"Caught! and by the one who should be paying attention to the food and not the sneaky Parent types." This started to get some giggles.

Mimi decided to go in another direction, stalling wise. "What do you think we were saying, Jimbo, dear."

"OK. We'll try it that way. But you do realize that you'll have to admit when I'm correct about what you were talking about?"

Gleph grinned at his sweet wife. "I'm debating whether we lose less points if we just repeat our rude selves for him to hear or make him play twenty questions."

Mimi didn't say anything but nod her head. Then noticed the bowl was empty. She giggled as she escaped with it.

"Stalling actions. A typical Parent ploy to get the children to forget the question the adults don't want to answer. You were talking about me being quiet. Then Glesh told you about Dan discovering the traditions last night and doing exactly what they said to do. Then you told her that Glesh instructed me on the Traditions. And somewhere in there you mentioned me feeling abandoned by Dan or having doubts about whether he'll still want me like this."

Gleph still didn't admit it and Mimi came back in just then with another bowl of stew. "And I just now realized, dear, that the kids probably know our code by now." Jimbo's reproachful look on his face had Mimi saying "No dear, no more stalling. You hit the nail on the head. Let me just tell you that the guest bed will sleep two of your size and a little bit bigger. So you will be going with us tonight to our sons Masterpiece Feast as an honored guest, a distant relative, and another one of the lovers that will stand in the Fountain tomorrow and let the waters wash away all your doubts."

Gleph was proud of his wife's ways with people. Then he remembered the volume of food that Jimbo would need. "Darling perhaps I should contact Prite and let him know we'll be bringing a cousin that will be eating enough for four. Just a sort of by the way."

Mimi grabbed the empty bowl. "I'll call Prite while you fix up the guest room. And lay out a few more robes for Jimbo. He can't go back to his ship for anything for fear of meeting Dan. So his local family must provide."

Gleph caught her before she could get to the kitchen and kissed her. "An excellent idea, sweetheart. I'll hurry back."

Jimbo had a happy soothing feeling from their romantic nature so far into their marriage. Everything Jimbo saw in Dan said the same kind of thing. His heart is in it for the long haul and he will be smiling every step of the way.

Mimi came back in with another bowel and gave Jimbo an approving look to his relaxed smile. "Every once in a while I catch Dan or I doing stuff like you two do. It's more than the romance. It's more than having his back. It's having his heart. It's knowing mine is safe with him. Safer than I've ever known."

She had a look like she might cry with joy, but instead she leaned down and kissed Jimbo on the forehead. "There's a few more elements to a good relationship, and just to put your heart at ease; the Guest Bedroom is heavily sound proofed. So after the Festival, you two will probably want to head there. I know Gleph and I will be hoping the remodel of the master bath had the proper sound proofing or we may be a bit of an inadvertent sex guide for the neighborhood."

Gleph looked a little dusty as he came back to the living room. "Oh you told him."

Jimbo shook his head. "Dan and I always thought loud was a good sign of love making. So what if one of you shouts something out when you ... You know."

Gleph shook his head now. "Orgasm? Get yer nut? Cum?"

"His actual delivery of those wonderful things is miles and away from how he talks about them. And Gleph does not shout anything out."

"Big Muscular Neshan males can be screamers."

Mimi goosed him just to get that sexy bass yelp out of him as she went for another bowl for Jimbo. But Jimbo could see that Gleph loved what Mimi did to him. He knew without asking that Gleph had invited Mimi to stand in the Fountain the year they got married.

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