Herd Life

Celestia is a growing filly within the herd, as she and many ponies struggle to just survive in their primitive times. Upheaval is soon to come, as new ideas clash with the old, when Celestia's parents join together in their struggle to move ponies into a new and unknown future, amid the dawning of the pony nation.
Contains: Stallion on Mare mating and impregnation. With lovemaking and experimentation later.
Online reading by: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9RpH3CFcO8&feature=youtu.be
I do not claim ownership of the cover art. It is publicly posted art. Artist for Celestia: alasou

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16. Chapter 16

    Strongbuck laid back into the grass and let out a sigh. The food and festivities had been amazing tonight, but there comes a time when you've just had enough and needed to get away from all the noise and crowds to get some air. In the distance, he could still hear music and laughter as ponies continued to celebrate late into the night. Strongbuck smiled as he looked up at the stars. This had been an amazing night. It seemed like every pony had come and joined in the joviality of the evening, with some even gaining a cutie mark in the process. Who would have thought you could get a cutie mark by waving your rump around and hopping about like an idiot to music?

At one point in the evening, Dove had been called away to see to a stallion who had managed to somehow hurt his leg while showing off to some mares. Apparently it wasn't a good idea to try to jump over five ponies in a row, especially when you were an idiot. Bell had slipped off not long after that to check on her wolf pups again. She had been doing that a lot during the night, worrying over those pups like they were her own two foals. Strongbuck had to admit it was kind of cute to see her that way.

Letting out a sigh, Strongbuck wondered what were they going to do with those pups. Many ponies would see them as a danger, especially to the foals. Wolves had the habit of eating things like foals. At first, he wanted Bell to take the pups out into the woods and just leave them there, but even Dove seemed appalled at that idea, asking how he could be so heartless to a pair of little defenseless little babies. Strongbuck had quickly dropped the idea and apologized profusely for even suggesting it.

Dove brought up the idea of trying to find another wolf pack somewhere to leave the pups with them, but Strongbuck told her that it probably wouldn't work, asking her where they would even find another wolf pack, let alone get them to accept a pair of orphaned pups they would most likely ignore, if they didn't just simply kill them the moment they came across them.

The best plan they could come up with was to raise them to a point where they could live on their own and just release them back into the forest, where they could hopefully find a pack to join. Bell seemed a bit saddened at this, but she accepted their reasoning and agreed that when they grew old enough, she would let them go. Now, they just had to convince Dark and Meadowlark, and hopefully they would allow them to keep them until then.

"See, I told you he’d be by the river." Bell's voice said, as she limped through the soft grass with Dove by her side. Just like always, the arrival of the two mares brought warmth and joy to his heart.

Turning his head, Strongbuck smiled up at them. "I just needed get some air and some time to look up at the stars. Would you two like to join me?" he offered, patting the grass next to him.

The two mares glanced around at the beautiful nightscape around them as they thought about his charming offer. "You know, that does sound rather nice," Dove answered, stepping up to Strongbuck so she could lay down with him. "I've been dealing with a whiny foal of a stallion with a sprained leg for longer than I wanted, and a good cuddle right now would be absolutely amazing."

"Oh, yes indeed," Bell added with a smile. "A little air and a bit of stargazing would be a wonderful way to end the evening." She moved around to join them.

Strongbuck smiled pleasantly as he felt the two mares settle down along his sides. Reaching his hooves around, Strongbuck held them as they nestled their heads comfortably onto both of his shoulders. Gazing up at the stars, Strongbuck smiled to himself as he felt their warm bodies pressed closely to his. The night was clear, and the stars sparkled beautifully above them. It was easy to see how somepony could get lost in their elegance, but now that Dove and Bell were with him, everything seemed just a bit more wondrous to him.

Feeling a vast sense of loving affection for the two, Strongbuck bent his head down and kissed the top of Dove's head before he turned and kissed the top of Bell's. In response, both mares snuggled in closer to him as they let out little contented sighs of their own. Strongbuck wanted this moment to last forever. Dove and Bell began to let out little pleased sounds as Strongbuck tenderly stroked and caressed them, giving them both little love kisses to the various parts of their heads he could reach.

During his time healing from his wounds, they never got back to the intimate moment they had been so close to sharing when the wolves had so rudely interrupted. Now that he was feeling better with the two mares he loved being so close to him, he was starting to feel the urge to revive some of the affections they had all been holding off since then.

"Dove, I do believe Strongbuck has something on his mind," Bell commented, looking over at Dove with a sudden look of hopeful yearning.

"Oh, I certainly hope so, Bell, because I absolutely have something on my mind right now, as well," Dove replied, letting out a pleased moan when Strongbuck nibbled on a particularly sensitive spot near the base of her ear.

Both mares turned and looked up at Strongbuck with intensely hungry eyes. Not that long ago, Strongbuck would have been frightened of the looks that Dove and Bell were currently giving him, but now it only made his heart beat all the harder with carnal excitement.

He had grown closer to Dove and Bell since the attack, and he now knew he loved them both very much. Dove was a kind and sensitive mare, who often thought about others before herself. Strongbuck treasured her gentle touches, and her soft, soothing voice whenever they were together. Bell on the other hoof, is both stubborn and headstrong, with a powerful sense of protectiveness that has put her into danger on more than one occasion, including the time she turned back to save his hide from the wolves. Both mares were very special to him, and he didn't know what he would do without them in his life.

Turning themselves, Dove and Bell suddenly climbed up along his body. Strongbuck attempted to sit up, but the mares firmly pushed him down and restrained him so they could lean over and smile down at him.

"Bell, we have captured ourselves a stallion! What do you think should we should do with him?" Dove asked, licking her soft lips.

Bell gave Strongbuck an appraising look, her eyes burning with a strange heat. "He looks tasty. I say we eat him up."

Before Strongbuck had a chance to do anything to defend himself, Dove and Bell both leaned down and simultaneously mashed their lips against his.

Within moments, both their tongues invaded his mouth, battling it out with his tongue for dominance. The sloppy sound of their messy threeway kissing filled the air, and Strongbuck found he was quickly becoming overwhelmed by their dual assaults. Clutching his hooves around his two mares, Strongbuck embraced them and allowed them to have their way with him. Dove shifted her attention to tugging the side of his lip out and nibbling on it, while Bell entertained herself by sucking on his captured tongue.

The air around them grew thick with the heavy, musky scent of desire. Bell released his tongue and lifted her head up, allowing Strongbuck to nibble at her sensitive throat. Straddling his hip, Bell ground her wet need into him, as she desperately sought to relieve her deep lustful itch against him. Not wanting to be left out, Dove ran her hoof up Strongbuck’s inner thigh so she could softly stroke his now fully-emerged stallionhood.

Leaning his head back, Strongbuck let out a groan as he felt Dove slowly slide her hoof up the full length of his stallionhood before she ran it back down. While she was doing that, Bell was busy grinding herself into his hip with ever-increasing urgency. Bending her head down, Bell buried her face into his neck to peck little kisses along his throat and jaw while her breath came in quick heaving gasps as her pleasure mounted.

Dove was amazing, Strongbuck had never been touched like this before, and her stroking hoof was sending pleasing tingles throughout his body. Why had he been so afraid of this before!? Suddenly, he felt Dove abruptly stop stroking him with her hoof and was about to let out a little whimper in complaint, but then he felt something warm and moist run up the full length of his stallionhood, as she started to use her tongue.

The feeling of her warm, wet, and oh-so-very-soft tongue sliding up the full length of his stallionhood made Strongbuck gasp and moan out. He couldn't believe what she was doing to him.

Without pausing in her needful grinding, Bell glanced back at what was causing Strongbuck to twitch and moan against her. "Oh, wow, Dove, I didn't mean for you to literally eat him!"

Dove only smiled as she slid her tongue up his stallionhood again. This time, when she reached his tip, she opened her mouth and took his stallionhood deep into her mouth. Feeling himself being enveloped, Strongbuck let out a particularly loud moan and bucked his hips at the sensations that suddenly assailed his senses.

Dove withdrew her head to the very tip of Strongbuck's twitching member, only to plunge herself back down his shaft again. Watching this, Bell felt her shudders coming on quickly. Every time Dove descended down Strongbuck's stiff member, he would give a little buck, causing his hip to crush into Bell's grinding need, sending a sudden shock of pleasure shooting through her body.

Strongbuck moaned with every plunge that Dove took down his length, while Bell grasped at him ever tighter as she gasped for breath. Suddenly, Bell cried out as she clutched at him, her body convulsing in pleasure. Where Bell’s marehood was grinding into his hip, Strongbuck felt a gush of warm fluids suddenly come pouring out of her to soak into his fur.

Dove pulled her mouth off Strongbuck's stallionhood with a pop to watch as Bell lay shuddering and gasping against him. The slightly sweet scent of Bell's mare-fluids was now heavy in the air and Dove let out a sigh as she shook her head in irritation. "Bell, why do you have to make a mess whenever you get the shudders?"

Rolling off to the side, Bell let out a satisfied sigh. "I can't help it. It just happens," she replied as she laid back to enjoy the warm, pleasant feelings that was washing over her as she caught her breath.

Strongbuck felt his entire hip and leg completely soaked in her fluids. He didn't know that mares did that.

Seeing her chance to have Strongbuck to herself, Dove climbed up over him, bringing her lips to his as she yearningly kissed him. Instead of a frenzied mashing of lips and tongues, this time it was more tender and affectionate.

Wrapping his hooves around her, Strongbuck savored each of her long and luscious kisses. Her lips were soft and warm against his, and occasionally her tongue would slip in to lightly swipe at his playfully. With Dove straddling him, Strongbuck felt something warm, wet, and oh-so-very-soft touch the end of his stallionhood. Unable to hold himself back, Strongbuck thrust his hips up and suddenly he felt something incredibly hot envelop his tip. Dove broke from their kiss to give a surprised gasp. For a moment, Strongbuck panicked, thinking he had just hurt her.

Bell glanced over at the sudden noise. "Did he just...?"

Closing her eyes, Dove bit her lip and nodded. "Oh, he sure did," she purred out with a pleased smile coming to her lips. After a quick glance at where the pair had joined, Dove looked back up and met Strongbuck's worried eyes.

"I'm sorry! Did I hurt you!?" Strongbuck said in worried concern. "I didn't mean to, I just couldn't help myself!"

Bending down, Dove lightly pecked a kiss to his lips. "There's no need to worry, you didn't hurt me. I was only surprised." She then gave him a smile and bent down to whisper in his ear. "You’re a bit big. I think this is going to be very interesting."

With a firm push, Dove started to lower herself down his stallionhood. Strongbuck gasped in amazement as he felt himself plunging deeper into Dove's slick marehood. He had thought that her licking and mouth-work had been incredible, but it paled in comparison to what he was now feeling as he moved ever deeper into her burning sanctum. Above him, Dove had her eyes closed tight as she nibbled on her bottom lip as she strained to take him in.

Strongbuck felt her inner walls flexing and clamping down onto his stallionhood, as Dove let out some tense groans. It came as a small shock when Strongbuck felt her rump come down firmly into his lap as she filled herself with him.

Pausing a moment, Dove began to kiss Strongbuck for a time, adjusting herself to having him in her. He was a bit bigger than the worthless stallion she used to mate with, and already Strongbuck had lasted longer. Stonechip could barely make it halfway in before he would blow his seed out; it was a wonder he was able to sire any foals at all with how much of his seed would end up just running down her back legs after he was done.

Breaking from the kiss, Strongbuck looked up at Dove and met her eyes with a strange, tender seriousness that caught her attention. "Dove, before we... mate," Strongbuck paused to glance down at their unusual position. Who ever heard of the mare being on top of the stallion? "Will this make me a father?”

Dove blinked down at Strongbuck as the sudden thought of what might happen came to her. She had been pregnant twice before, and both times she had miscarried. It had been heartbreaking and she didn't know if she could go through it again, but with Strongbuck she wanted to try again and have his foal.

Swallowing down her apprehension, Dove smiled and shrugged her shoulders. "The best answer I have is, ‘Maybe.’ Spring is here, and there is no telling when my heat will start. There’s a chance that I am at the start of it now and I just can't tell yet." Leaning down she kissed, him again before hugging herself to him. "It would make me so happy to have a foal with you. I just don't know if I can..."

Strongbuck heard the worry in her voice and cut in before she could finish. "Don't think about it. Let's just see what happens," he said softly into her ear. "I love you, and whatever happens, know that I will continue to love you."

Bell slid in and kissed Dove on the side of her muzzle. "And I love you too. Now get with the foal-making! I want to make fun of you when you get fat and start to drag your belly on the ground!"

Dove let out a giggle and slapped her hoof at Bell, who rolled away just in time to miss the playful swipe. Turning her attention back to Strongbuck, Dove shifted herself and marveled at how deep he was in her. The thought of how he must be pressed right up against her womb sent a excited thrill through her body and set her heart leaping.

Leaning herself forward, Dove felt Strongbuck's stallionhood slide most of the way out of her with a wet shlick that left her feeling so very empty. Reversing her motion, she dropped herself back down and let out a pleased moan when she felt herself wonderfully refilled by Strongbuck. Closing her eyes, Dove let the pleasurable sensation roll over her as she proceeded to work Strongbuck in and out of her marehood. With each slap as she bottomed out, she felt the delightful pressure of his stallionhood pressing into something deep inside her.

Strongbuck was groaning beneath her as his forehooves came up to grip her waist. Dove felt a tightness growing in her as she rocked herself along his stallionhood, her movements becoming more urgent as she started to slam herself down with greater force.

As the tightness within her grew into a euphoric pressure, Dove wondered if what they were doing was indeed going to lead to a foal. Strongbuck’s hooves gripped her sides with ever increasing strength as his hips now thrusted up to meet her. Dove knew he was not going to last much longer. Already, she could feel his stallionhood flaring wide deep inside her. The pressure she felt was growing to unbearable levels as she drew ever closer to her own release.

With a few more frantic plunges down his shaft, Strongbuck suddenly let out a loud moan as he suddenly gripped her harder and slammed her down onto his thrusting hips, forcing himself as deeply into her as he could.

Dove felt a slight sting as Strongbuck's flared tip pressed right up against something deep within her. With him seated deeply into her, Dove felt his stallionhood throb as Strongbuck let out a drawn out groan, filling her willing womb with his young, virile seed.

Strongbuck's pelvis rhythmically thrust up as he pumped his seed deep into her. Feeling his stallionhood pulsing inside her as he filled her, Dove suddenly threw her head back and whinnied loudly as she felt herself explode in pleasure, her inner walls clamped and rippling along Strongbuck's twitching member.

Thrust after thrust, Strongbuck filled her womb, his flare ensuring his seed stayed deep within her. Dove’s body rocked in rolling waves of pleasure until her strength gave out and she collapsed onto his chest in a panting heap.

Never before had she ever felt such pleasure, or such fulfillment. In her heart, she hoped that this would finally give her the foal she always wanted, and, if not this time, then the next, or the time after that. She didn't care how many times it took, she was going to be a mother. She wanted the foal she’d been denied twice before! She wanted to look up as see the joy and love in Strongbuck's eyes as he looked back down at her and their foal.

Laying spent on Strongbuck's heaving chest, Dove felt him twitch under her a final few times as he gave her the last bit of his life giving essence. Smiling to herself, Dove rubbed her hoof through Strongbuck's fur as she happily hummed to herself, his powerful scent filling her nose. Wrapping his hooves around her, Strongbuck kissed the top of her head as he hugged her tightly to himself.

The night air started to feel cold to their sweat-slicked coats. Feeling the chill, Dove tried to cuddle in closer to Strongbuck so she could savor the warm tingles running throughout her body. She was happy.

"Wow, I think some ponies heard you all the way over at the gate," Bell said from next to them.

Dragging her head around, Dove glared at her best friend for rudely interrupting her special moment with Strongbuck.

Laying next to them, Bell made a funny face as she lifted her hoof and waved it before her nose. "Phew! The air reeks of rutting ponies and sweat. Let's hop in the river and wash the smell off, shall we?" With that, Bell got up and trotted over to the nearby riverbank and wadded in.

Letting out a sigh, Dove turned her attention back to Strongbuck and lightly kissed him on the lips. "You were wonderful," Bell affectionately praised him as she lifted herself up, pulling his softening member out of her with a wet pop. With his stallionhood falling free, a cascade of fluids suddenly started to pour out of her. Acting quickly, Dove shifted her body to let it fall into the grass.

Pulling himself up, Strongbuck watched in amazement as Dove stood with her hind legs splayed out as a surprising amount of their mating fluids spilled free of her marehood.

"I didn't know that that happens," Strongbuck remarked as he watched Dove give her rump a little jiggle to get the last bit to fall free.

"Oh yes, it's quite normal," Bell answered glancing back up at Strongbuck, "you put a lot in me, so there's bound to be some that will spill out," she said, stepping closer to him. "You were wonderful," she praised, giving him an affectionate peck on the cheek.

"Come on you two, the water's great!" Bell impatiently hollered at them as she happily splashed about.

They both smiled at Bell's exuberance and went down together to join her in the river. The water was colder than what Strongbuck would have preferred, but, after wading in it for a few moments, it started to feel kind of good as his body adjusted. Dunking himself under, Strongbuck rinsed himself off. Shaking his head, Strongbuck threw off the water and blinked his eyes clear. Looking around, he saw Dove was working to clean her tail, but Bell was nowhere to be seen. Wondering where she got off to, Strongbuck turned around and found himself suddenly being doused in a deluge of water that was splashed right into his face.

Sputtering in surprise, Strongbuck rubbed at his eyes to clear them as Bell giggled a short ways away. Blinking his eyes back open, Strongbuck turned to Bell in annoyance. "Bell! What do you think you're...!?" he started to say before she abruptly did it again. Shaking his head, Strongbuck flung the water off and went to glare at Bell, only to suddenly find her standing right up close to him as she blinked up at him with her large lavender eyes.

"Say, Strongbuck, you said that you loved Dove but you didn't say that to me." She said, pouting up at him. "Does that mean you don't love me?" she asked, blinking up at him as her bottom lip quivered.

Strongbuck paused as he gaped down at her. She was right! He told Dove that he loved her but he didn't say the same to Bell. How could he have been so thoughtless and hurt her like that!? She must absolutely hate him!

"Bell, I'm so sorry!" Strongbuck anxiously exclaimed. "Of course I love you! I love you as much as I do Dove! I love Dove for her sweet gentle disposition that makes her so special, and I love you for your strong fierce spirit that makes you the wonderful mare you are!"

Bell moved in even closer as she ran her hoof down his chest. "Really? You really love me?" she asked, tilting her eyes up to look up at him through her lashes.

"Yes! I love you!" Strongbuck replied honestly, hoping that she would forgive him for not saying it sooner.

Unseen by Strongbuck, Dove smirked and rolled her eyes at how well Bell was leading him on. She could be such a tease sometimes.

Lifting her head up, Bell brought her lips so very close to Strongbuck's. "Say it again," she whispered to him breathlessly.

"I love you. I love you more than my own life," Strongbuck answered, bending closer to meet her ready lips.

Just as he was about to join his lips to hers, Bell smiled and splashed a deluge of water right into his face before dancing back out of his reach.

Wiping water from his eyes again, Strongbuck gaped at Bell as she pranced around him, singing about how much he loved her. Had she been teasing him!?

"Well, what are you waiting for? Go get her!" Dove shouted out with laughter.

Strongbuck grinned. So she wanted to play? He'll show her what it was like to play with a stallion. With a quick lunge, he charged at Bell.

Letting out a shriek of laughter, Bell scrambled to escape. Dodging back and forth she splashed water at him a few times in a desperate bid to distract him from his prey, but it was no use. Strongbuck was bigger, and even with his injured haunch, he was still able to plow through the water a bit faster. Seeing that she was about to be caught, Bell decided that if she wasn't able to flee, then she must attack. Turning abruptly, Bell lunged out and tackled a surprised Strongbuck.

Falling over backwards, Strongbuck managed to hold his breath as he plunged under the water with Bell tangled up in his limbs. Feeling his back bump into the sandy bottom, Strongbuck noticed Bell pulling herself close to him. Wondering what she was doing, Strongbuck was surprised when she suddenly pressed her lips to his. Kissing was always a pleasant and enjoyable activity, but kissing while underwater added a whole new and exciting aspect to the action.

Holding his breath, Strongbuck's lips meshed tightly with Bell's as their bodies came together. With their lips locked together, Bell slid her hoof down to rub at his sheathed organ. His heart was racing in his chest as Strongbuck felt his stallionhood eagerly respond to Bell's touches and slip out to its full hardness. With his lungs burning for air, Strongbuck finally had to break for the surface to gasp for air. A moment latter, Bell joined him and smiled seductively as she moved in close.

"My, my. I think you're ready for some more," Bell purred at him as she licked the side of his muzzle. “I know I am.”

Despite the coolness of the water, Strongbuck started to feel rather hot. Bell was giving him all the signs that she was wanting to be bred, and Strongbuck's instincts were screaming at him to do just that.

Bell gave his neck a quick nip as she turned and moved up onto the shore. As her flank came free of the water, Bell looked back at him as she flicked her sodden tail to the side to let him have a good view of her winking marehood. "Come my stallion, breed your mare. Make me your broodmare and fill me with your seed!"

Strongbuck let out a eager nicker before he rushed up to Bell to shove his muzzle into her dripping marehood. Taking in her aroused scent, and tasting her sweetness, Strongbuck's  member throbbed below him, demanding that he do just as she wanted and breed her.

Dove stepped up onto the shore nearby and gave herself a good shake to shed off the water before she settled down onto the soft grass to watch. Bell was doing a find job of driving Strongbuck wild with rut. It was kind of rousing to see their usually sweet stallion turned into such a wild beast. Seeing the full length of his dangling stallionhood, Dove was amazed she was able to fit him all in.

Strongbuck couldn't hold back anymore. Throwing back his head, he let out a frenzied whinny as he moved to mount his mare. Standing firm, Bell nickered her readiness as she felt Strongbuck rear up onto her back.

Pulling himself forward over her, Strongbuck gripped Bell's sides as he wildly thrust his hips forward until he felt his eager stallionhood become enveloped into her sweet warmth. Biting her crest to keep her steady under him, Strongbuck thrust forward until his pelvis slammed up pleasantly against her rump. Pulling his hips back, Strongbuck started thrusting furiously, with his groin making a wet smack against Bell's marehood every time he drove himself fully into her.

Bell quickly began to pant for breath as her tongue hung out. She had never been rutted like this before. Her forehooves dug deeper into the soft soil with every one of Strongbuck's powerful bucks as her head was pulled back from his strong grip to her crest. Already, she felt the tightness inside her growing as Strongbuck's member drove deep into her body. The tightness grew into a pressure that quickly built to unbearable levels. Strongbuck's thrusting member began to flare deep inside her as his motions became more frantic and uneven.

Drool dribbled out of her open mouth and she let out a needful moan as her legs threatened to buckle under her. With a sudden groaning cry, Bell felt the pressure deep inside her suddenly burst into rolling waves of pleasure as a deluge of her fluids forced its way past Strongbuck's flare to drench their furiously slapping groins.

Strongbuck felt Bell’s inner walls clamping down powerfully onto his furiously pounding stallionhood and he finally reached his limit. Biting Bell's crest a little bit harder, Strongbuck tightened his grip around her sides as he thrusted in as far as he could. With his pelvis pressed so tightly into Bell's rump, her hind legs were lifted off the ground. Strongbuck groaned in satisfaction as a torrent of his seed flooded out of him, as he finally bred his mare.

With each flex of his hips, he released another jet of seed deep within Bell's womb, claiming her as his. If she was in her fertile cycle, she was sure to become pregnant. The thought of siring a foal in her made Strongbuck give Bell one more powerful thrust that made her cry out in pleasure as he released the last of his seed within her.

Releasing her crest, Strongbuck relaxed his stance as he let Bell's quivering legs touch the ground. His mind was a little foggy, but reason was once again returning to him. Never before had he been so out of control, so lost to his instincts, becoming wild like an animal.

Panting for breath, Strongbuck licked and kissed at Bell's neck. "I'm sorry, I don't know what came over me," he apologized, fearing he had hurt her.

Bell turned her head and smiled euphorically at him. "Oh, don't be sorry. I'll probably be walking funny tomorrow, but that was definitely the best rutting I’ve ever had."

"I'll say," Dove cut in with a laugh. "I've never seen her look so satisfied."

Strongbuck grinned stupidly as he felt a bit of pride well up in him. Pulling back, Strongbuck was ready this time for the deluge of fluids that would escape as he pulled his softening member out. Hopping down from her back, Strongbuck walked around to nuzzle and kiss Bell.

"It's late and I think we've all had enough fun. Let's get back home and get some sleep," Dove said with a yawn as she walked up to them.

Strongbuck couldn't agree with her more. He had just rutted both of his mares and now he just wanted nothing more than to snuggle up to them and sleep the rest of the night away.

"Hold on a moment, I need to go wash myself again." Bell said as she walked on wobbling legs back down to the water with her tail held up out of the mess that was now running down her thighs.

The next morning, after they ate their morning meal together, Strongbuck and Dove walked with Bell as she carried a covered basket in her mouth over to Melodious' hut. They found her door open as she appeared to be airing out the inside.

Walking up to the opening, Strongbuck reached out and knocked on part of the wood frame. "Hello? Melodious, are you home? We have something to ask you about," he called out as he ducked his head to look inside.

"Strongbuck, is that you? Please, come on in. What can I do for you?" Melodious answered from inside.

Ducking through, Strongbuck entered with Dove and Bell following just behind. Melodious kept her hut meticulously tidy. Her floor was swept clean and had been smoothed out. Along one side, a thick mat had been laid out to sit or lay on, and, on the far side, another mat had been laid out with a larger basket set out on it, with her twins sleeping in a pile of straw inside. Behind the twins were several tall baskets filled with straw to help change their bedding whenever they made a mess.

Melodious was lying on the mat, busy using thin willow branches to weave something that was just starting to take shape. "All three of you came!? Well this should be interesting. Come on over and have a seat and I'll see what I can do for you." She said, setting her project to the side while gesturing with her head to an area just before her on the mat.

As they all sat,  Bell set the basket she had been carrying down just before her.

"We ah... we have something we kind of need your advice on." Strongbuck said with a nod towards Bell.

"Oh?" Melodious murmured as she shifted her attention over to the nervous looking mare. Gazing at her for a moment, Melodious eyes suddenly brightened as she smiled widely. "Oh! I see. Are you here because you have a little one growing inside you now!?"

Bell ears suddenly shot up and quivered in place as she quickly shook her head. "No!... no, it's not that."

Melodious cocked her head in confusion. "Oh? From the ruckus that was coming from the river last night, I would have thought you were the whinny'er, unless..." Pausing, Melodious slid her gaze over to Dove who only smiled back at the suddenly surprised Melodious.

"What can I say? Strongbuck can really please a mare," Dove said with a shrug.

Melodious smiled and nodded her head. "Indeed he must have been, to get you to wake the twins like that," she replied with a chuckle.

Strongbuck felt his face burning up listening to them speak about what they had done last night. Some of the stallions in the herd still mated their mares in the open, but Strongbuck felt better keeping such an intimate and special act private. Clearing his throat, Strongbuck cut in. "Ah yes well... what we are here for is this."

Reaching over, he lifted the cover off the basket that was in front of Bell. Inside, the two pups, Sentry and Chase, were curled up together in a bed of straw.

Bending down, Melodious looked in and smiled. "Oh, my! Aren't they just the cutest!" she gushed, moving the basket closer to herself.

With Strongbuck's urging, Bell explained to Melodious the entire story of how she discovered the pups and her decision to act to save them by bringing them back with her. She then shared her fears about how many of the ponies may not see the pups in the same light and would want to hurt or kill the pups just because they were wolves. She then shared some of their idea's that they came up with for when the pups got older.

Holding Sentry up in her hooves, Melodious bumped him with her nose as she let out cutesy sounds. "How can a pony even think of hurting something as adorable as this!" She gasped and bent her head down a bit to look closer at Sentry. "Oh look! His little eyes are starting to open!"

"That's just it. They’re not going to stay as adorable pups forever. They will grow up to be wolves and a lot of ponies will see them as dangerous," Bell answered.

"Grow up to be wolves, huh..." Melodious lowered Sentry down as she suddenly became thoughtful. After a time, a smile began to grow on her face. Strongbuck didn't know what to think whenever Melodious got a look like this, but he knew what to expect. A sudden and inspired idea that would change things, and by the way she was looking at Bell and them, it likely would be them who would be at the center of it.

Behind them the door darkened as Sage Brush came in. "I'm back my lovely little honey-dipped dew blossom snoodlebum," he announced before he noticed his mate wasn't alone. "Oh! I'm sorry, I didn't know we had visitors."

"Sage," Melodious said, turning to him. "Go and find Meadowlark and tell her I need to see her."

"What!? But I just got here, and I wanted to take my late morning nap. You know I had early watch this morning." Sage complained.

"Just do it Sage!" Melodious snapped at him irritably. "I have an idea she needs to hear."

Grumbling to himself, the dusty green stallion turned and slipped back out as he did as she wanted. Lifting Sentry back up, Melodious smiled at the pup as she bumped her snoot into the pup's. "So, tell me, Bell," Melodious said turning her suddenly serious attention to the young mare, "how badly would you like to keep them?"

 
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