A Walk in the Park 

by Strega

Story Copyright (C) By: Strega
2000 - All rights reserved.

Story not to be reprinted, or redistributed, 
without author's Permission.

If you wish to use the stories, or 
anything copyright by me, please e-mail me.
I'll also forward any mail to the author.


A walk in the park

It was an odd winter in Anchorage. By now there should be two feet of snow on the ground; instead, what little snow had fallen had half-melted in a warm spell that'd followed, and ice lay everywhere, mottling the grass, making parting lots truly dangerous. It was unseasonably warm, too; some days it made it nearly to freezing, rather than the usual negative degrees. But even in this comparative warmth, the lion shivered.
Chris adjusted his jacket, pulling it down where it rode up in back. He loved walking Caesar, but he swore he would never get used to the winters up here. The lion grunted, coughed out a puff of steam, and tugged at his harness. Chris got the message, and speeded up his walk. The cat let him hold the leash, but he didn't delude himself into thinking Caesar acknowledged him as master.
Chris looked his charge over, just as he did on each of their walks. Caesar was a massive beast, yet lithe, the muscles working under the sandy fur of haunches and hindlegs as he walked His paws would have covered a man's head, his great square 'wrists' and forelegs flexing effortlessly as he carried his five hundred pounds along.
And those were his least impressive features. Amber eyes, heavy, short muzzle and forward-turned ears stood out of the mass of brown-black fur, the lion's mane covering head-top, neck, shoulders, chest, and even extending in a thick ruff down to his belly, where his sex would be if he were equipped like a dog. But he wasn't; Chris could see the ballsac and short sheath, where it rode below the lion's tail. Cats were hung differently than other predators; but the lion was still very male, his great mane and majestically held head expressing his maleness and dominance for all to see. It had taken a lot of work to get permits to walk a lion in the park, but the project had many friends.
Why Anchorage? Caesar didn't like the weather any better than he did. Victor got to camp down in what was it, Missouri with Striper, where the two skunks were naturally acclimated. Why not have the cat and keeper in the desert somewhere? But no, the Project had a disused facility up here in the north…
Chris looked up at a growl, then a hoarse bark just ahead. Rounding the corner of the icy running trail was a big, black dog, thickly muscled and short-furred, looking just as irritable as the lion at the weather. A rottweiler, maybe, tugging its own 'master' along by the leash the man held. Chris grinned at him, but the man was too busy boggling at Caesar to notice. "Crap! I thought he was just a myth."
"Nope." Chris stepped up to scratch Caesar's earbases firmly, something the lion pretended to merely tolerate but which he was sure the cat really loved. "He's real."
"I can't believe you can just walk him like…Rolf! Heel!" The rottweiler was rumbling, eyes intent on the lion, tugging hard at the leash. "Rolf, DOWN."
Chris tugged at Caesar's leash. "C'mon, Caesar, we'd better go." The cat ignored him, ears forward, watching the dog. "Caesar!" Chris tugged harder, but the lion didn't budge, watching the black dog as it snapped and growled, more frenzied by the second.
"Rolf!!" Chris looked up to see the man lose hold of the leash, the big black dog lunging forward, gathering itself, and in one powerful motion leaping at Caesar's throat. Chris froze, expecting the lion to whip out a paw, smash the dog aside, shred it with his sharp claws. No time to do anything, and Caesar knew how to handle dogs….
Caesar did no such thing. The hurling rottweiler, jaws agape, found the lion's throat…but not the way it expected. Quick as a flash the lion snapped his muzzle open, yawning…and with a wet thud, the dog's head vanished into his gullet. Head and shoulders crammed into the cat's jaws, bulging out his cheeks as the momentum of the dog's leap jammed it half out of sight.
"…Rolf?" The man sprawled on the path looked up, disbelieving, as the dog's hind legs kicked, the little stump of a tail thrashing. Chris tugged hard at the harness, stepping forward unconsciously to grab the leather strap that passed across Caesar's shoulder. "Caesar, let the dog go. Caesar, down!"
Caesar just rumbled at him, and snapped his head up. The muscular black dog flexed in his jaws, head appearing from the lion's maw as its shoulders were covered by wrinkled-back lips. It barked, snarled, enraged rather than afraid…and then its face was gone again, as the lion tossed his muzzle up. Fangs showed for a moment, the four great canines already folded back against the roof and floor of the cat's mouth.
Chris realized what was happening as Caesar's cheeks bulged more and more, the lion's mane swelling as the dog was bunched up into the jaws. Another head-toss, a fourth, and Caesar's jaws gaped to their limit, all four of the rottweiler's paws twitching from the corners of his muzzle, the rest stuffed back inside his mouth. Caesar turned his head enough to meet Chris' horrified gaze, and threw his head back again, neck beginning to swell as the rottweiler was forced past his jaws and into the entry of his gullet.
"Rolf!" The dog's owner scrambled up, his coat covered with ice chips from the path, and grabbed at the chain leash, wrapping the leather loop around his hands and yanking at it. "Get off my dog!" He swore at Caesar, not knowing the lion could understand him perfectly.
Caesar turned his head a fraction, ears going back for the first time, and glared at the man. Chris spoke very quickly as he felt the muscles bunch up beneath the cat's harness. "Just let go of the leash and back off. Just let go. I will try to get him to-"
"Fuck!" The man went wide-eyed as Caesar tilted his muzzle up, straightening his neck, and swallowed with an audible gurgle. The paws sticking out from his lips kicked, a pathetic whine emerging from the lion's muzzle…and then his cheeks shrank in, as a huge bulge swelled in the mane beneath his muzzle. The paws slid quickly from sight, Caesar's muzzle bobbing as he swallowed again, and the lump slid down into his torso, the dog gulped down with remorseless ease.
And the man still did not let go of the leash. "Fuck…this…!" He dragged at the chain with all his might, biceps bulging through his jacket, as he tried to stop his pet from vanishing. "Let…ugh!" He slipped on the ice, falling to his knees before Caesar.
The lion ignored him, muzzle moving a fraction as he finished his meal. The dog reached his stomach, the cat's haunches pushed out as his flanks bulged, his belly-mane swelling out into a hard curve as the wriggling dog was pushed down and in by the gullet's contractions. Ignored the man…until the leash dragged his hands into the lion's muzzle, and down his throat.
Caesar noticed the man again then, as his nose thumped up against the man's chin, hands and arms sliding into his muzzle as though to follow the dog. Chris instantly let go of the lion's harness and spoke to both of them.
"You!" He stared as calmly as he could at the stranger. "Let go of the leash. Let go now." He put his hand on Caesar's mane. "Let him go, please Caesar…."
The stranger didn't, or couldn't. "You tell your fucking lion to spit out…" he tugged furiously, as best he could with his arms up to the armpit in lion. "…My dog!"
Caesar's ears began to sink down again. "Sir, I recommend…damn it, let go of the leash already! Your dog jumped him, he's cat food, just let go!"
Caesar grumbled, working his jaws, wet squelching sounds emerging as his throat clutched at the man's forearms. Rage began to turn to fear in the stranger's eyes, as he found himself looking into the cat's amber gaze, and realized just how big the lion was…not to mention, that his hands were in its throat, stroked by wet skin as the lion swallowed instinctively.
"All right, all right…" He leaned back, tried to slide his arms loose. And grew more panicked as he realized he couldn't. "The leash is around my wrists! I can't fucking let go! I can't!" Caesar, at least, tolerated this annoyance, leaving his jaws loose, letting the man back out.
The man lost it. "I can't fucking let go! Get him off me! Get him off-" And Chris winced, as Caesar lost patience. Just as he'd feared, the lion tugged his muzzle up, unbalancing the man on the icy path…and catching his head in his muzzle as he fell.
"Caesar!" Again Chris spoke as calmly as he could. "Caesar, don't eat him. We can't just…" He trailed off, as the lion jerked his muzzle down and lunged forward, enveloping the man's face and jacketed shoulders in his jaws. Chris squeezed his eyes shut for a moment, hearing wet gulping sounds and knowing what they meant. "Caesar…."
By the time he opened his eyes, those shoulders were bulging through the lion's neck-mane. Arms and head down Caesar's throat, the man could only kick and squirm to try to stop his descent, kick to the sides frantically, try to catch something, hold himself back.
It wasn't enough…Chris had known it wouldn't be, known the man was doomed if Caesar decided to take him, known it as soon as the stranger's head vanished into the whiskered lips. Horrified, but unable to look away, he watched the heavy shape move through the lion's throat-mane, Caesar tossing his head back easily, bolting the meal down a few inches at a time. He could only imagine what it was like, the slippery gullet stretching first over face, then shoulders, chest, the powerful lunges forcing him deeper, the lion's throat pulsing with muscular gulps that pushed him a little farther down each time.
He found his fingers tangled in the cat's mane as the man's hips reached the lion's jaws. The legs kicked frantically, the white tennis shoes bright against the dark gray trousers, and quickly Chris reached down, found the wallet in the front pocket, and stuffed it into his own. Forcing himself to look away, he glanced one way down the trail, then the other. Fortunately Russian Jack park was almost deserted this time of year. He looked back, unable to stop himself.
Now the man's knees were in Caesar's mouth, the chops wrinkled up, jaws hanging loose and dislocated as the cat swallowed down another meal. His neck bulged thickly through his mane, torso creaking and popping unnaturally as the man slid down his throat, modified organs flattening harmlessly to allow the passage of this great lump of squirming food. Chris' eyes locked on that furry, pulsing neck, catching out of the corner of his eye the white shoes vanishing.
Almost disappointed, he saw the lion close its muzzle, work its jaws to reattach them, and then swallow heavily. The swollen neck worked under Chris' fingers…when had he put his hands there?…the bulky meal felt through the fur and flesh as it was forced down, the lion's throat getting a good grip on the sneakers as the stranger's head was forced into the stomach.
Chris found himself kneeling next to Caesar, pressing against him, feeling the movements inside the cat, feeling the man inside through the fur. Felt the creak of bone and muscle, the gurgle as the lion swallowed, followed the bulge as it slid downward. Found himself sinking to the icy path, pressing his hands against Caesar's swollen belly, feeling it bulge out more and more, the fur trembling as the stomach struggled to contain it all, bulging as the man and still-struggling dog squirmed.
And then it was over. His hands pressed against the twitching bellyfur, eyes fixed to the tan fur and the darker ruff of mane there, Chris heard Caesar snap his jaws open and shut once. Then slow, liquid sounds as the lion licked his chops, the tail curled next to Chris's hands twitching contentedly. Seconds later, a gurgling, lengthy belch, and Chris looked up to find Caesar staring regally down at him.
"Um…." Chris met the gaze, and was at a loss. Why had watching this horror…excited him? Why did he want to rise to hands and knees, press the crown of his head to the lion's lips, plead with him to open his jaws? And why did he want so badly to put his hand down his pants? There was a muffled sound, and he realized the man was shouting, screaming, there in Caesar's stomach. Was that the dog barking, too? Such little sounds, heard through the stomach walls.
Trembling, Chris rose to his feet, using the tolerant lion's shoulder as a brace. He didn't want to think about what had just happened. Finding the harness-lead again, he looked both ways, and tugged the lion down the path. "Come on, Caesar. Let's get back to the van before someone sees you…like that."
The lion just grunted, and waddled after, his belly almost dragging the ground. Chris stumbled, staring at it, then managed to look where he was going. The van was not far.

Caesar, lying heavily next to the recliner, belched conversationally. "Baorrp." With a pained smile Chris reached down, tangling his fingers in the sleepy lion's mane. "You naughty kitty, you." He'd gotten over his lust/fear/repulsion soon after returning, with the lion's help. The urge to stick his head in Caesar's jaws had almost faded.
Almost. The lion grunted at him, and Chris assumed a straight face. "Excuse me, you naughty cat, you. You naughty, hungry, horny, big ol'…" He trailed off, looking at the red light on the panel next to the projection TV. A click of the remote, to view the front gate, and another, to open it for his visitor.
Victor padded in a moment later, wrapped in a raincoat that hadn't kept his enormous, bushy doublestriped tail from collecting snow. He shook it clean in the entryway, then waved at Chris as he hung the coat on a hook. And, a moment later, was looking at the gorged lion stretched out on the rug.
"Oy." The skunk shook his muzzle. "We have to stop this from happening. Striper ate two burglars a couple of months ago, and now this…."
Chris nodded. "Thanks for stopping by. I couldn't save him." He outlined the encounter briefly, handing the skunk the wallet. "That stupid rottweiler started all this."
Victor smiled at the sleepy lion. "I guess Caesar finished it. I wonder if we should have him save the man. You know, the only time he gets to see his lioness is when he has a package to deliver."
Chris thought about that for a moment. "Caesar?" He looked at the lion, who chuffed at him. "But I take care of Caesar…."
Victor flipped a cup-shaped ear. "And Striper has his play-toys, and once in a while one of my girlfriends will play with him. But I can tell you…" A half-hidden sigh, "I wish I had a skunkette. I dream about it all the time. One like me. Maybe that's why they keep eating people."
Chris grimaced. "What now?"
"Now we bring Caesar to the project, and we let him visit his lioness. And then we decide how to keep this from happening again. We only need so many lions, and skunks, and bears, and so on. And sooner or later, it's going to cause trouble."
They looked at each other as a faint Beedle-Beedle-Beedle rang out. And again, recognizable now as the first stanza of Beethoven's Fur Elise rendered into electronic music. "Yours?"
Chris shook his head. "My cell is in the other room." With my clothes, he didn't add. Victor hadn't commented on his wear of just a bathrobe with nothing beneath.
The skunk pulled out his own phone. "Mine is set for another ring…." A third ring, and both grinned as they realized the sound was coming from the lion's midsection. Caesar blinked owlishly at them, and Victor churred out a laugh as loud as Chris'.
"Take good care of him, Chris. I don't think I need to stay any longer, and I am supposed to meet a certain stewardess in an hour. Two stewardesses, actually." In a moment, the skunk was out the door, patting Chris' shoulder in passing.
And leaving Chris to grin at Caesar. The lion was going to have fun with that cell phone, yes indeed….

The End