Many Americans have read of the adventures of Elsa the Lioness, who was raised by humans and eventually successfully returned to the wild to live as one of them. However, there was another lioness cub, who belonged to another married pair of researchers. She did not become famous but she did win a place in my heart, and in my bed.

It was my great fortune to be a friend of the pair, who I shall call the Josephsons. I have always had a great interest in exotic wildlife, both professionally and in a very personal way. I have had a fair number of exotic animal lovers, sweet ladies and gentlemen who I may write about in other stories. I expressed to them an interest in adding the lioness, who I shall call Jelly because of her great love for the confection, to my collection of exotic animal friends. They readily agreed, for personal and professional reasons. They always have enjoyed my company, and Joe is not the jealous type, fortunately.

When I arrived at the place in Africa where the Josephsons were staying, I had expected a very hot, dry, almost desert-like environment. I had never been out of America before, and didn't know that Africa stretched down well into the Southern temperate zone, far enough to have areas with very pleasant early summers. There are some areas that also aren't infested with mucky swamps and huge clouds of mosquitoes. The area we met at was mostly grazing land with thick green grass, with clumps of trees and some strips of forest that was little different from the woods in the parks where I live in America.

We greeted each other warmly. Joe enthusiastically pumped my hand, and I clasped his in both of mine. Kari hugged me and kissed me chastely on the cheek. We sat down together for tea, which I sipped cautiously, unused to the habit that the two British scientists had enjoyed from birth.

What American ever drank hot tea in the afternoon when the temperature was over eighty degrees? We also had small cookies warmed on a pan in the son, instead of oven-baked cakes or biscuits, because of course there were no ovens at the encampment. Then we talked for a long time, and the Josephsons told me all about Jelly. We laughed a lot at the amusing stories of her antics as a baby lioness, and at some of the things she still liked to do. I was amazed, in their stories and in what I had read about keeping lionesses as pets, at how physically affectionate the big cats were with their people. I hoped she could learn to be as affectionate with me.

The sun was setting when I heard a low call in the distance. Kari told me, "Brace yourself, Jelly's coming."

"Brace yourself" was right. Jelly's presence was palpable when she paused a respectable distance from the campsite, barely visible to the east among the reeds growing by the river. As she approached I admired her grace, but there was something definitely predatory in the way she stalked toward us, head down slightly, ears curled back, face in just a slight snarl, tassled tail swinging slowly. Joe stepped forward to meet her, and almost fell over when she enthusiastically tackled him. He must have been strong, the lioness was the size of a full-grown pony. Jelly was barely gentler with Kari, rubbing her cheeks against Kari's thighs and soliciting pats and rubs.

Then it was my turn. I faced her the way I faced the seats of a roller coaster when I was next in line, with some trepidation. Each slight movement, just like the impatient lurches of the coaster buckets, made me twitch involuntarily. My stomach dropped, and I felt slightly cold inside, looking into those alien amber eyes that I couldn't read. Was she sizing me up for an attack? Was that expression one of welcome or was she beginning to intensely dislike my strange presence? I looked away to avoid staring, but she started forward. I couldn't look away after that.

My nervousness, and an ice cube of fear, rooted me to the spot. There was also another feeling, one of being able to appreciate the beauty of this beast even if she ate me with those long fangs she was showing to me. She locked eyes with me, deliberately holding my gaze. She opened her mouth, not quite threatening, seeming to test my limits. She curled her lips, and the upper lips quivered. She leaned in closer, now within reach, her dark snout never lifting quite enough to break eye contact. Then she was so close she was breathing on me. Her breath smelled good, but she was getting so close to me with those fangs, and pinning me with that wild look. I knew she sensed my fear, but what was I to do? I held perfectly still, knowing that to turn and run would get me knocked down. She pressed even closer, driving my anxiety to almost the breaking point. She sniffed me up and down, snorting loudly, never taking her eyes away from mine.

Stiffly, with an arm that weighed far too much, I pushed my hand slowly through the barrier I felt between us. I pushed hard, and gently touched the lioness on the side of the neck. She finally broke eye contact and licked my hand with her rough tongue. The wet warmth of that touch travelled up my arm and began to melt the ice inside me, letting my heart free again. I reached out with the other hand and gently teased the fur on the other side of the neck. My hands must have been more than a foot apart. She was that big. I followed her cues, pressing hard into the fur with the hand she pressed against, and letting the other hand roam down her neck to her shoulder. The fur was pretty soft, slightly dusty, smelling of grass. She would sniff, then rub a cheek against me, press against my hands, then lick at a hand or an arm or my chest through my shirt. The touches became very pleasant to me.

Kari spoke softly, "She likes to tease people when she finds out they are afraid of her."

I had no answer except to chuckle. Jelly licked my face when she heard me, making me laugh. Now when she touched me with that tongue, she let my fear out of me in little electrical shocks, and the edge of my vision would flash with each tap of her tongue. I actually got brave enough to kiss her on the end of her nose. She sneezed and we all laughed. I got my hands under her armpits and rubbed the warm insides, then her chest and belly. She sighed with contentment and leaned her back against me until her weight forced me slowly to the grass. Her big cat head was cheek to cheek with mine. Her shoulders were across my lower ribcage. The rest of her was on the grass. From this position I could reach no lower than the middle of her belly, to touch the bare nipples that stuck through the tawny fur. I did rub them and was rewarded with a wriggle against me.

"It looks like you have a friend, Jonesy. She'll want you to give her affection almost constantly until the novelty wears off, but she'll never be without the need to touch you sometimes, if you remain friendly toward her."

"Right now that sounds good. I never knew how nice it would be to hold a lioness in my arms. I mean, I've fantasized about it, but I never could have a fantasy as strong as this. Thank you Joe. This alone was worth the trip."

"Well, we'll leave you two lovebirds alone for now. You know where your cot is when you want to go to sleep." I winced at the term "lovebirds".

Joe didn't know I mated with animals, I didn't think. I was about to ask him about this when Jelly shoved her fragrant cheek into my mouth, whiskers and fur and the hot smooth skin at the corner of her mouth. The message was plain. "Less talk, more petting!" I obliged her with great pleasure. She was content to relax with her cheek against mine while I kneaded her wherever I could reach. She would lick my face once or twice a minute. My nostrils were full of her. Her saliva was quite pleasant, and a strange scent came from her cheek. The scent came from the place it seemed most pleasant to touch her. I nestled my nose there, inhaling slowly. I couldn't smell it if I sniffed, but if I breathed slowly, gently, and let it flow into me, I could smell something like the biting aroma of Scotch, mixed in with tarragon spice and muskrat scent. When it reached my belly it felt like tender love under the trees. Once I relaxed and let it into me, the scent filled my penis and made it swell tightly with anticipated passion. God I wished Joe hadn't been joking when he said he would leave us alone! Even though the giant cat had fallen asleep in my arms, it just wasn't good form to leave Jelly alone with someone who didn't know her well. I couldn't explain to Joe my motives in wanting him to leave, either. Oh well, I would be there for three weeks anyway.

"She affects me that way too." Joe spoke again.

"Mmm?" I replied sleepily.

"When I hold her I could hold her furry body forever, and inhale that scent from her cheeks. I don't know what she sees in humans exactly, but her smell entrances me and I feel good knowing she feels good." Joe looked like he was on the verge of telling me more, but he stopped. Was it my imagination? Joe reached down and stroked Jelly's belly instead, with a look of love in his eyes. Jelly grunted and spread her legs so he could stroke lower. I still don't know if he stroked back of the pelvic girdle, but the lioness sighed and wriggled between me and Joe's hand.

We ate supper after dark. Jelly cracked bones close by while the rest of us ate a more civilized meal. I was amazingly hungry even after seeing her grab a whole goat's leg and take it into the shadows. She was apparently keeping her meal away from me, or teasing me. Perhaps she was in love with love, but food was serious business. After more talk of old times, and listening to the singing of the insects and the hooting of the gibbons, we all went off to bed, tingly with the wine and brandy. It was hard to say what Joe and Kari and I might do at night later, but the first night it was traditional to sleep chastely in separate cots. We would wait for the proper mood, after time spent together, when we were more comfortable. There was no hurry.

Jelly wandered in eventually. I had no doubt she was digesting her meal of goat flesh, bones and all. She sniffed and licked Joe, patted him with a paw, did the same with Kari, then she padded over to "my" cot. She licked my face and pushed at me with her nose, as if to bid me to move over.

Then she climbed in with me. The wooden framed creaked and groaned, and I was afraid it would collapse under our weight. Now, even a cot like this one, wider than a single, advertised as being "wide enough for two" is really not quite wide enough for one man and a three hundred pound lioness. Her torso was much larger than mine. I found myself shoved over until my back was resting against the bar. Worse yet, her head was at my feet and her rump was in my face! Wait a minute, was that bad? No, not really. In fact it could be wonderful...

It was dark in the tent, dark punctuated only by the stars I could see through the door. Jelly had scooted down until the root of her tail was in my face. That little hollow just above the tail was scented much like her cheek was. I felt the same reaction again. I loved her smell! I nuzzled that area, taking in her body scents, the cheeky aphrodisiac from the small of her back, the slightly more rancid odor from further back, very faint, and even fainter, another odor suggestive of strong sex. Could I? Dared I? The affection the lioness had given me seemed to run very deep, the rapport seemed perfect, but I was afraid I would give offense by approaching too quickly, in the wrong way. I felt she would expect me to treat her like a lady. I also felt that if we did couple, it would be infinitely better to do so at the peak of mutual desire, after working each other's natural affections up to the limit. Still...

Jelly wriggled again, pushing her golden body further down mine, or me up the cot. Now I had the beginning of the tail in my face. It covered the precious jewel I knew to reside there, a jewel of pink heaven set in soft wet black silk. That tail switched against my face, exposing then covering something soft and warm. Again I wondered if I dared. Would I get an angry response by touching in the wrong way, by being too forward?

The aroma from under her tail was much stronger now.

I felt it was appropriate to stroke her with my free hand. I softly stroked her fur. It felt strange to rub against the grain more or less. She rumbled deep inside her when I stroked her sides. Then I worked my way back. The friendly leonine body stretched to meet my stroking. She pulled sighs out and delivered them pleasantly. Then she turned over, wriggling until she was on her back. with her hind legs in the air. She slowly relaxed her legs, letting them settle on to me, and I found my face was between two furry butt cheeks. The tail was relaxed, but she had dropped it over the side to reveal her dark secret. No more than an inch away now, with that wonderful smell drawing me in, and she had done it with no prompting from me! She licked at my ankles, as close as we would ever come to performing a sixty-nine in that camp cot.

Perhaps there is no ritual except trial and error. Perhaps the male lions make it up as they go along. I let my hand roam Jelly's big furry body, and let her scent enter me again. My world became her fur and her smell. I nuzzled the fur around her opening with my nose. I felt the slight pang of fear and guilt. Was I betraying my friends by making out with their pet, or was she a free agent? I gasped when the lioness bit my toes gently, sending a shock right to the erogenous zones of my brain. If that wasn't a signal, and if the stroking of my legs with her paws meant nothing, then I might as well give up, pack, and go home. Yet I felt like teasing her, as she had teased me earlier. The smell had gone to my head. She grabbed my leg with her paw and chew-licked me roughly as I blew on her some more, and nuzzled the dark fur guarding her entrance again. I rubbed the fur with my lips, and felt the first contraction of her pelvic muscles. Yes, I could make her tingle too! I let the wild scent draw me in closer and closer. My lips and tongue melted naturally with the hot puffy flesh. My tongue welcomed the salty taste in the cleft between. I licked slowly up what seemed like at least four inches of slit, barely penetrating the lips, gathering the tasty fluids in to savor.

It might be the only time in my life I could ever taste this, so I made it last.

Jelly stiffened and stopped licking. Alarmed, I backed off. She raised her head, and sneezed hard, spraying my feet. Then she shoved her buttocks back in my face and returned to gently worrying my feet. That was another message I understood! I went to munching her muff with a will, oblivious to the presence of my friends. They would just have to wait their turns. For a long time I licked up and down her cat's slit, and rubbed her soft belly fur, teasing the nipples. She wriggled, grinding the valley of her buttocks against my face. She whined and growled through her nose, very softly, building up intensity and tempo. She was telling me how much she was enjoying what I was doing. All I could do to tell her the same was to continue licking her and pushing my face into her soft wet place. Her smell got richer. I bathed in it. When I found her clit, a rough thing about the size of my thumb and the shape and texture of a cat's penis, I thought she was going bite my leg off! She gripped my legs with her paws hard, and took an ankle in her mouth, licking and chewing while I sucked her clit between my lips. I should have been nervous, but I was too excited to care. Her sweet cream was all over my face. I gathered some up on my fingers and rubbed it on the head of my penis which was peeking above the waistband of my shorts. That touch was almost too much, just rubbing her juices on my member. Then I felt her legs twitch in time to my slow licking and sucking. I rubbed against her side, trying to match the tempo of her legs. The big legs rubbed against my head, kicking in the air at an angle, and I kept rubbing against her, letting my bare skin touch her fur.

Soon we were moving together, me against her silky fur, her against my mouth. I knew our pleasure was shared. I could feel it in the way she moved against me, in the way her vagina sucked at my tongue and nose, and in the warm glow I could feel moving between us. A small light grew between us, warm, then hot. Her smell helped drive me over the edge. Without a thought about getting caught I squirted all over her side. I sucked hard on her clit when I came, and I hadn't slowed down my ejaculations when she started. She pressed hard against my face, and almost roared, a funny keening growling yell. I just let her do it, riding her through our orgasms, pulling and sucking at her clit, letting her musk flow through me. She circled my legs with her paws, tucked her head between my ankles, and squeezed me hard. She had let go with her teeth so she could vocalize, which she still did, mewing between my ankles.

All I heard from the Josephsons was a muttered, "Go back to sleep, Jelly." Good, they thought she was dreaming. Maybe I was the one who was dreaming. Jelly was my dream woman. Perhaps I was satisfying the dreams of the little monkeys who are eaten by lions. I was her master, for a moment, driving her crazy with pleasure, pleasing her in a way that required her to at least temporarily submit to my pleasure. Hey, she eats primates, I eat her, fair is fair, right? Jelly and I breathed easily together. She licked my legs while I licked her vulva. We had time to taste and touch each other as lovers. After half an hour or so of licking I brought her to another climax. Then we collapsed in a tangle of lion and human limbs, exhausted.

I woke up to the sound of Kari's laughter. I heard her ask Joe, "Should we wake him up and tell him?" Tell "him" what, I wondered? Then I realized that I was clinging to Jelly's belly like a cub. I had vague memories of taking a lot of time sucking her nipples, which were tasty even when they had no milk. Sucking those nipples had brought the lioness to her ultimate state of submission to pleasure, even more than the cunnilingus had. Somewhere in a deep forest in Asia there might be a mammal who doesn't like having her nipples licked, but not here. I blushed red, then covered myself by yawning and stretching, leaning back against Jelly's thigh muscle. The Josephsons were looking at me with smiles.

Joe's arms were wrapped around Kari. Both were under a light blanket to keep out the morning chill. Jelly had been my blanket.

"Good morning. You looked just like Jelly's cub the way you were curled up against her belly." Kari smiled again. "I just had to laugh at the way you looked like you were nursing from her. Did you get any milk?" She giggled again.

"Richest milk you've ever tasted. Want some?" I quipped back. We all laughed. Privately I wondered how much they knew. Had they ever heard Jelly have an orgasm before? Were there any traces of her juices on my face? Was my semen still sticky in her fur? I didn't find out. Jelly rolled off on to the floor. She stretched herself while grinning at her adopted friends. Then she bounded outside to relieve herself, a discrete distance from the tent. When she returned she had rolled in the wet grass enough to erase any traces of my dried spunk from her fur. I washed up and we had another day together, talking some more, introducing me to the native guides, and learning the lay of the land. Kari wasn't interested in any touching games including me that day, though she did hug me more than once. I felt some of the same wildness in her that I had in Jelly the lioness. I thought Joe was looking at me strangely, but I never got the nerve to take him aside and ask him, or confess what I had done with the lioness. Sometimes I felt slightly guilty, but hey, who does a lioness mate with anyway? (Anyone she wants to!)

That night Jelly loaded herself onto the cot with me again before I had quite determined what I would do. She primed herself for a repeat of the acts of the night before. I was more than willing, but what I wanted to do needed more room and privacy. I wriggled out of the cot. This was a time-consuming chore because Jelly made such a game of it. When I would move a leg she would pin it down with a paw and worry at it with her mouth. She tried to hold my chest down with her hind legs too, but she couldn't do it while lying down. Besides it wasn't as much fun for her if I couldn't wiggle away. So of course when I managed to slide off the cot, she knocked me down and sat on me. She licked my face and looked smug.

The pressure of her furry white belly against my crotch was wonderful, and the titillation of her vagina against my knee was even better, but I wanted more. I kept wiggling to try to get out from under her. She licked me and drew out the game. I wasn't unwilling to play by her rules, but I was at a fever pitch by the time she let me up. That may have been the whole point of the exercise. I could have screwed a rhinocerous in the nose by the time she let me up.

The lioness bounded ahead of me eagerly. In the moonlight she was eerily beautiful. Her golden fur was a grey-silver in that light. She was a spirit-cat who had come to take her pleasure of me. I ran with her, trotting the way she led, until we reached a clearing that had a view of the whole valley above the plateau. She sat down near the edge, and looked back at me. Her eyes were softer and friendlier than ever. I sat down next to her and put an arm around her shoulder.

My ardor had cooled only slightly on the way to the clearing. However, something else seemed to happen. The swelling in my groin travelled up to my solar plexus (that's what it FELT like, anyway). The heat spread out and became a gentle warmth. Our warmth mingled where we leaned on each other's shoulders to watch the moon rise. I looked at her eyes watching the moon. They looked so sad and wise. She turned and licked my face, tilting her head and eyeing me gently as she did so. I kissed her warm lips on the side of her cheek, burying my nose in the scented places, inhaling her scent. We sat pressed together like that. Cool and warm emotion flowed between us. We communicated on a level that needed no words.

A long time passed until we were both satisfied. Then we went back to the camp and laid down in the cot together, spoon fashion. I was cradled in Jelly's massive forelegs, warm against her chest. She hadn't demanded sex, and I hadn't asked, though I was very desirous. I entertained the thought that she was just being a crazy, capricious cat, then I realized what had happened. It had been a high compliment that she had allowed me to lick her sex the first night, and a higher compliment still that she would orgasm with me. However, she had just paid me perhaps the highest compliment she could. She had shared herself with me spiritually, taking me with her to just enjoy watching the moonrise next to her. It was a very personal moment for her, and very nearly the most valuable experience she could have possibly shared with me.

I don't remember the next day in the normal manner. I remember impressions of light, shadow, and colors that were different even in their familiarity. Touching Joe and Kari and especially Jelly was a joy. They noticed the difference in the way I was acting. I remember pats on the back from Joe, and quick passionate squeezes from Kari. Yes, we were definitely warming up to something. Perhaps we would do something after I returned from where I had been transported. For that day I could just enjoy the buzz.

Lionesses usually prowl during the day. I can only surmise that Jelly had gained so much interest in deliberate nocturnal activities from her interactions with her human friends. Whatever the case was, once it was dark and the Josephsons were in bed, I made no pretense of laying down in the cot. Instead I sat on a rock and awaited Jelly's convenience. She eventually came to me. We headed toward the same clearing. I suspect she knew that the moon would rise later than it had the night before. She didn't keep me waiting for it. She licked my ears and leaned against me.

She patted my knees with a heavy paw, as if inviting me to play. I covered the paw with my hand. She tolerated that for a few minutes, then I turned her paw over and fitted my hand to it, interlocking fingers with toes. It is the strangest feeling to clasp paws this way with a friend in an alien body. I felt the rough pads she ran on, callussed flesh that was warm and alive, slighly dusty. The tender sensitive flesh between her toes felt warm and sweaty. Her claws flexed in and out, not able to touch my skin in that position, but I could feel the muscles that flexed the sheaths moving between my fingers. To me it was almost intolerably sensuous.

Jelly broke free, rolled on her back, and presented her belly to be rubbed. I rubbed her belly and her nipples, hearing her sigh and pant with pleasure. The warm fur and the tender skin made my hands tingle nicely. I was getting hard again, warm and erect underneath my short pants. The lioness sighed and pulled me down to her. She held me against her, pressing me to her with a paw wrapped around my back. She stroked my bare back with her paw. The combination of rough pads, soft fur, and gentle touch were exquisite. Somehow I struggled out of my shorts and held my bare essentials close to her. She insisted on holding my head close to hers. I couldn't move my crotch far enough down to more than feel a dewy heat rising from beneath and between my thighs. She was too big to make love face to face unless I could persuade her to let me slide down or curl up.

She tightened her grip on me when I tried to slide down, just as if I were a wayward cub. She kiss-licked the top of my head. OK, I could play it that way. I pulled myself up, working my way up face to face with her. Her mouth was about big enough to put my head in. I was furious with passion. I pushed part of my face into her mouth, licking her pebbly tongue and teeth. I tasted traces of goat in there, and the tangy smell of lion saliva. She very gently touched her teeth to me when I did this, then she pulled back and sneezed heavily on me. She licked my face softly as if to apologize. I began to see that I was being paid a compliment again. Hopefully I was deserving of being treated as a romantic lover rather than as a dildo with a pulse. My natural male instinctive impatience at being teased this way faded to a satisfaction that I was being wanted, completely for myself. All this praise was enough to turn my head.

If any of you zoophiles who are reading this ever get a chance to lick a lion's nose, do it. After the slight revulsion at the act is past, I can't describe the unique pleasure of licking the salty damp black flesh. The taste is almost like her vagina. The feel is different and very compelling. I did this, licking the black dampness, until she sneezed again. In these ways we teased each other until she threw me off, and stood up, presenting her backside to me.

I still wanted to tease. I remembered how pleasant it had been to lick her out. So I placed my lips against hers, and licked between them, gathering lioness juices and swallowing them, savoring the taste and making them a part of me. I was on my knees, naked, licking a sweet lioness's bush! I did this for a long time, then worked on her clit, eliciting moans from the other end. I felt like moaning with passion myself.

I knew I was seeping from the tip of my penis already. Then she turned while maintaining contact between her bottom and my mouth. She licked my bottom gently. I almost blew off right then! Her tongue, hot, rough, and wet, bathed my anal cleft and soaked my testicles with her saliva. She tasted and savored me as I was savoring her. She soaked my face with her sexual juices. I noted had a more bitter flavor than they had the night before. The tartness made her taste even more stimulating to me. I sucked her off good while she tongued my behind. I finally couldn't stand it anymore. She held very still, not crouching but conveniently almost waist high. I grasped her from behind and plunged into her almost in one thrust. In three I was buried and my balls rubbed against the long smooth slit below her smaller deeper opening. I was in love, in lust, with the perfect animal lover! As soon as I was firmly lodged, she pushed back and sang with joy, a low sweet moan that filled the air with love.

I can still go back to that moment as if I were there again. We were suspended in time, pushing ourselves together and pulling apart only to rejoin, sharing a slick hot ecstacy. Her vagina had hard muscular rings inside it, and the walls seemed shaped to hold the spiny instrument of the male lion. The odd shapes and the rings titillated me more than the usual smooth vagina. I didn't try to hold back at all. I just rode the hot waves in and out of her, slushing back and forth, feeling every nuance of the texture of her hot flesh and creamy secretions. We were mated, sharing a hot pulsing glow between us. She orgasmed first, howling the way she had before, but louder and more passionately. I rode her through her contractions, and spewed myself inside her, physically expressing the joining we had acheived earlier. We couldn't stop. We rode together until my knees collapsed under me. When I came too she was pressed next to me licking my face. Of course we weren't through for the night. I licked her some more, tasting my own juices inside her, then mounted her again, and again, cumming harder the last time though I was out of fluids. We slept together until almost daybreak after we finally collapsed, spent and satisfied.

Joe and Kari were already up and about when we arrived back at the camp. Kari smiled and said, "The two lovebirds are back! Joe, let's give them a warm welcome." I winced at the "lovebirds" remark again, feeling guilty but warm and satisfied anyway. The night had been worth a lot of the trouble I might get into. Apparently Jelly the lioness felt no guilt at all. She looked smug and happy as she danced around her nominal master and mistress, bouncy and playful.

Together the Josephsons had prepared my favorite breakfast and a special treat for Jelly, a limited amount of toast with jelly on it, and some cooked goat meat. The message seemed clear, but I waited, out of long habit of maintaining discretion in regards to my bestial relationships.

Finally Joe spoke up. "I am glad to see you and Jelly getting on so well together." I winced at the phrase "getting on", almost choking on a biscuit.

I thought of making an excuse, but instead said, "Well, uh, yes, she's quite a lady."

"She's also quite a woman, Jonesy. You know that by now, don't you?"

Cautiously I replied, "I suppose so."

Kari laughed and said, "Relax, Jonesy. You're among friends. We understand that you would want to have a sexual relationship with Jelly. She's so gentle and sexy, who wouldn't?"

I felt relieved. I had known the Josephsons long enough to trust them when they told me things were cool with them. "I'm sorry guys."

"For what?" They replied almost in chorus.

"For keeping secrets."

"We've been keeping secrets from you, too." Joe said. "I've known you were into sex with animals since I've known you, but never spoke about it. You see, I was already married to Kari and I didn't think she would understand. Imagine my surprise when I found Kari with the cub between her legs going to town!"

"I bet she was surprised, too." I smiled at the thought.

"I was so surprised I threw poor Jelly on the floor and started crying. Joe had to call her back and place her on my belly again, and love us both until we were assured he wasn't angry with us. After that we shared her as much as we were able. Her tongue was getting almost too rough to lick me by the time we judged she was large enough for Joe to mount her."

"You knew I was into this scene, and you said nothing?" I wondered.

"We decided, Joe and I, that knowing you, your first contact with a lioness should be a personal adventure between you and her. One on one, your bond would be with each other, instead of just trying to please us. I'm surprised and pleased that you two bonded together so quickly."

"Yes, she is too lovely to be afraid of for long."

"Or to resist." Joe continued for me. "Her needs for affection are quite contagious. The pleasure of fulfilling her becomes very compelling. Kari and I thought we knew what she was doing when she climbed onto the cot with you. We didn't know for sure the first night you two went walking together. We knew for sure when you came back this morning that you had mated. She acts terribly smug and bouncy when she comes back from having mated, lion or human."

How could I have explained the beauty of that second night? Only one who had experienced it would completely understand. The first night she had loved me sexually, in a playful, almost superficial way. The second night she had showed me a depth I had not expected from a large predator. The third night our bodies and souls had fused in a blinding flash, knocking away all other considerations but each other. Yet I didn't have to explain. Joe and Kari knew exactly, having experienced the lioness in their own ways, in their own time. What bond could we then form between the four of us?

Of course we spent the rest of the time I was there sharing ourselves with each other and with Jelly. When we were with Jelly she ran the show, of course. By the time I had to leave, I didn't want to. We had shared so much I didn't think I could get it up without the smell of a lioness.

When I left Jelly looked as sad as Joe and Kari did. No doubt I looked as sad as they did.