[Orchid Mantis] Out In The Hills


The babies return! Questions are answered, new questions are raised, and more of the weird supernatural world Gavin and Cho live in is revealed. The first installment is here; if you don’t read it, this isn’t gonna make a whole lot of sense.

Out In The Hills
Male/Female, 18+
Gavin and Cho go out of town to have fun and end up in trouble. Which is the bigger of Gav’s problems: his own true nature, or the fact that it seems this boy cannot have sex without something going horribly, horribly wrong?
Warnings: sex, violence, mentions of non-consent, Cho-rong (she counts as a warning).


Out in the hills there’s beautiful views and roads so curvy they practically loop back and touch themselves, a real pleasure to drive dangerously through. So when Sunday comes and church is over, that’s what Gav and Cho do; Gav picks her up at her apartment, they pick up some fried chicken and a gallon of sweet tea for the road, and he takes her out to the hills for some reckless endangerment.

She turns the radio up really, really loud, and Gav rolls down all the windows. It’s oven-hot out, and the wind does nothing to cool them off and only necessitates that they turn the radio up even louder to hear over the noise. Especially since they’re going easily ninety miles per hour.

But Cho’s hair lashes through the air, blown back from her face, and even though she doesn’t know half the words, she sings along to every song, dancing in her seat. He can’t see her eyes behind her gaudy sunglasses–chunky plastic frames bedazzled like a little girl’s birthday tiara, mirrored lenses, garish colors–but the rest of her face is smiling.

Compared to her, Gav must look like a real schmoe. A total chode. At the very least, a slightly better-groomed caveman. But it doesn’t matter, because when Cho is this happy, and she’s with him–because Cho has the kind of pretty that’s infectious, the kind of happiness that jumps from her to the world around her like arcs of electricity.

Gav bets that if Cho could read his mind, she’d pee her pants laughing at him. But she can’t, so it’s okay.

By the time he realizes his gas tank is approaching empty, the moon is high and Cho is coughing from hoarseness. Gav turns the radio down to civilized levels and makes a highly illegal u-turn toward a town he saw some miles back.

He drove for much longer, much further than he usually does. The rest of the world kinda just faded away until it was nothing but the terror of nearly crashing his truck a dozen times over, and Cho.

He’s never been this far out in the hills, and the cedar/scrub has turned to desert, rocks piled in dramatic towers. It makes him uncomfortable. He was born for forests of oak and pine, so the cedar scrubs are taxing enough. This land is unforgiving and hostile.

They’re just passing through, though. It isn’t a big deal.

There’s a gas station just on the edge of town, surrounded by concrete like it’s been lifted right out of a city and plopped down out here. Cho plays it safe and stays in the truck, all doors locked, while Gav goes to buy gas.

Thus recharged, they head back out into the night. They’re about ten minutes out of town when Cho takes off her sunglasses and leans over.

“Hey, Gavin?” she asks. “Could you pull over? I wanna suck your dick.”

He side-eyes her, hands steady on the wheel.

“What, out here? Right now?”

She grins.

“Well, last time I asked, you turned me down. Like, I’m happy you did because we’re best friends now! But I want what I asked for.”

Twirling a section of black, black hair around one finger, she reaches across the console and grips him through his jeans. Immediately, his dick twitches to life, and Gav has to grit his teeth from doing some dumb like sigh.

“Dammit. Fine! If we get caught by the high’ po’ and it turns out I do have that warrant out for my arrest…”

There’s a place where he can get off the road and not end up trapped in a ditch up ahead. He turns out all the lights, and it’s fine–the moon is so full and bright that even in the truck, Cho is lit up, skin blue-white, lips and cheeks beginning to flush purple.

Gav pushes the front seat back as far as it will go and leans it back, Cho moving over the console like something liquid. Like something pure fantasy, no flesh and bone but just the congealed stuff of every sexy dream he’s ever had. The ones about girls, anyway.

And she undoes his zipper with her teeth! Cho is too much to handle at all times, but there’s instances like this where Gav considers that a good thing. Inasmuch as he can consider everything with all the blood leaving his head and rushing for his cock. It’s filling up fast, so fast with Cho staring up at him through her lashes and holding it against lips.

Only now, while it’s still not all the way hard, can she put the whole thing in her mouth. Not for a lack of trying, but Gav is uncomfortable with the whole concept of molars in and around his penis, so he generally dissuades her.

Still, it’s a good visual, one he only rarely gets to enjoy. Cho’s nose up against his stomach, buried in his pubes, with tears prickling up at the corners of her triumphant eyes. She even gives him a thumbs up. Of course, he returns it, probably while grinning stupidly.

As she pulls her head up, she keeps her lips tight, and has to travel further than she did when she was sucking it down. Cho sucks cock better than she does just about anything, including break laws, ride motorcycles, and guzzle sweet tea.

For his part, Gav tries to be as much a help to her as he can without just completely getting in her way. He holds her hair back, brushing it out of her face when it inevitably escapes him. Holds himself steady while she lathes it with her tongue and with sweet little kisses, that way she can focus on using her hands to hold herself steady.

It occurs that they could have pushed the console up and made this a lot easier. But if he said that, Cho would probably get up to do it, and he can’t dream of letting her stop long enough to do that. She has that sort of effect on him.

He lets himself wake up a little under her attentions. It’s not something he’s done before–not something he could do with a normal person, nothing he could trust himself with. Cho will be fine, though. Cho will be fine. She’s always been fine before.

Gearing up to do it is the hard part. Waking is easy. It always has been.

He can smell her better now, the way she puts off that cloying smell like a flower as bait. It’s not as strong now as it would be if she were trying to trap him, like she’s done before, but under human sweat and human arousal, that sweet flower scent fills the air.

Sometimes, he wishes he smelled nice like that. He stinks like animal sweat and dark woods, rotting leaves and wet dirt. It has its appeal, he guesses, but Cho is just so… pretty. Unobjectionable. A delicate, beautiful thing, a bauble, a lovely thing.

Of course, Cho lays eggs in people and Gav mostly minds his own business.

“You shouldn’t do that,” Cho chides, replacing her mouth with both hands for the time being. Gav has to let go of her hair and his dick so he can hold her up.

“Do what?”

“That thing where you become… you know. Like when I showed you me. You shouldn’t do the same, not in this truck.”

“How come, Cho-rong?”

She sits back and whips the shirt off from over her head. He was pretty sure she was wearing a bra when he picked her up–she must have taken it off while he was getting diesel. Gosh. Her nipples are so tight and hard, darker even than normal in this scant light.

Gav’s dick spits pitifully against his stomach. God, he is the most sixteen-year-old grown-ass man to ever get ‘Paradise Lost’ tattooed on their knuckles.

“It makes me want to fuck you,” Cho purrs, carefully pronouncing every syllable with perfect clarity in case she thinks he has too much dick in his ears. “That would be so bad for your truck. The wheel things.”

“Suspension,” he says, though how he manages to do anything but stutter is beyond him.

He reaches for her, presses his fingers to her roughly through the little shorts she wore on the trip. Either she decided not to wear panties (the most likely, and most Cho, thing) or he’s got some sort of platinum dick; the fabric is damp, soaked through.

Cho mewls and grinds against his fingers, eyes narrowing to tiny slivers of light between black lashes.

“What if my butt hits the truck horn and beeps it? Wouldn’t that be embarrassing?”

“Uh…” That’s more like it.

He slips his fingers through the leg of her shorts, feels her hot and wet against him, pantieless just like he figured. She smiles, and it’s so electrifying that he has to fight to remember that he does not own her. She isn’t just his property. But it’s so hard to not want that when she’s so pretty and perfect.

That’s who he really is, after all. Decency and humanity be damned, he’s the sort of thing that wants to possess everything he sees. Especially Cho.

Suspension is something he can fix, but he’s long decided he’s not going to be able to fix having feelings for Cho. So he pulls her forward and into his lap.

He’s got a big truck. There’s enough space that she doesn’t end up hitting the horn with her butt, as hilarious as that might have been.

Cho settles across him, heavier than most but not all that heavy, not to him. Like before, she’s a dream, pure luxury to touch, unconstrained by those damned ‘laws of physics’ things that keep mere mortals and schmucks like Gav down. Too perfect to be flesh, too flawless to be real.

He grabs her hips roughly, squeezing his fingers in tight, but only because if he doesn’t, there’s no way he’ll be able to convince himself she’s actually here.

“Do you love me, Gav?” she asks, voice not even wobbling despite all the motion. Eyes almost glowing in the dark, lips turned up without a hint of real happiness. She plays with the iron cross he always wears without seeming to realize it.

“Can we, uh, can we do this later?”

It’d be nice if she asked him this sort of thing while she wasn’t making a creepy face. While she wasn’t making it clear that everyone else who has ever loved her ended up full of maggots, or whatever squirming larva Cho’s eggs hatch into. But when she’s pretending to be human, she always takes it for granted that he loves her.

He does, of course. A lot. It’s just that, like this, he can’t pretend that he’s absolutely certain she loves him, too.

“I just wanna know.”

“You’re making me think my dick isn’t that impressive…”

“What, a man who thinks his dick isn’t all that?” Now, her smile is real. “You really are impossible, Gavin.”

White fingers grip his beard, and yank him toward her. He has to curl his back, as usually, but he follows her lead and kisses her. Still, she has to move up, no longer tight around his cock all the way to the very base.

Even though Cho is always in control, and he’s kind of just a dweeb, not like all the men he knows she’s fucked before–even though Cho is lightyears out of his league–he can’t help but feel like she gets as lost in him as he does in her. She doesn’t move her butt for at least a minute, and keeps her hands soft on his shoulders.

The rest of creation doesn’t have time to fade into the wetness of her mouth, the softness of her lips, before she remembers that there’s dick to be had, though. She pulls away, leaving Gav kissing air for a second, and starts riding him just as hard as before.

Because the engine is off, because he’s awake, just under the slap of their skin and her reedy little cries, Gav hears howling.

Cho’s yelp of protest as he tosses her, effortlessly, across the cab and into the passenger seat, is mostly chitters. His cock is just as angry, pulsing with need as though to remind him “hey! Still here, jackass!” And there’s a very loud part of him that wants to stand his ground and display, insulted at the very notion of running, at the very notion he isn’t the biggest, meanest son of a bitch anywhere he goes. Lots of shit going on in this truck and especially in Gav’s head.

So it’s actually very impressive that Gav gets the keys jammed in the ignition and all the way twisted before the wolves are there.

Three of them, the size of old bucks–probably bigger–run from behind the rock towers, out of the scraggly bush that’s all the plant life supported out here. Gav is so busy staring at them (and trying to get his dick back in his pants) that he doesn’t notice the man flanking him until the driver’s side window shatters under his fist.

“Aw, c’mon, man!” Gav cries out. “That’s gonna be fucking expensive!”

Instead of apologizing like a non-crazy, non-motherfucker, the leather jacket-clad Nordic Caveman fixes a hand around Gav’s throat. What an asshole! Gav’s fist is raising, then both of Cho’s hands come down on his and force it out of the way.

Gav chooses not to fight it. This is smart, because Cho spits a mouthful of something purple-pink and steaming in Nordic Caveman’s face. Nordic Caveman shrieks and spins away, clawing at his eyes, body contorting under his clothes.

“Don’t hit the wolves, it’ll wreck your bumper!” Cho shouts in Gav’s ear.

“Ow! I’m right here! And I know how to fight werewolves!”

Gav kicks open his door, incidentally knocking Nordic Caveman over as white fur tears from beneath his skin like grass blooming in super high-speed motion. One of the wolves leaps at him, snarling, and it takes a lot more of Gav’s strength than he’d be comfortable admitting to throw it aside.

“Hey, what the fuck!” he demands the pack at large. “What the fuck did we even do to you assholes?!”

Naturally, the wolves say nothing, just keep attacking. It occurs to Gav that getting out of the truck and trying to take on three–no, four, that’s definitely Nordic Caveman partially transformed and trying to topple him from behind–werewolves wasn’t the smartest thing to do. Dammit! He always makes dumb decisions when he’s waking up.

The only way to get out of this is to wake up a little more. Figures. This time, Gav doesn’t have to close his eyes. He’s already started, after all.

Only one of the wolves backs away, ears back, tail tucked. Not running, not yet, but definitely scared. The rest just keep trying. Maybe they don’t even notice that Gav is different.

At his feet, the impression of leaf litter and roots keeps trying to solidify. No such luck in the desert. It’s too different. Not enough to even trip the wolves up.

He reaches down and snatches up the nearest one. Everything in him screams to break its neck. The wolf’s eyes meet his. Rage turns to fear. Now it knows. Gav’s fingers twitch. It would be so easy to smash its throat. Choke it in its own blood. It’s what predators deserve.

Gav swallows that all down and throws the wolf into one of the rock towers, hard as he can. Ribs splinter and the wolf screams, but it flees into the night after just a second’s stillness. It’ll live. Gav hates himself for letting it go.

This isn’t his land, though. He’s just passing through.

Nordic Cavewolf’s teeth scrabble uselessly on the back of Gav’s neck. For him, Gav reaches back and smashes Nordic Cavewolf’s face against the very flesh he was trying to tear. Fangs explode into bone slivers and blood, the snarl turning to a long, high howl.

Because of his truck window, Gav kicks backwards, catches Nordic Cavewolf in the guts. The bastard runs all the same.

The other wolf is trying to drag its frozen packmate away by the scruff. It looks up as Gav approaches. Slow, no need to rush, unafraid and still mostly in control of his anger. The wolf looks from Gav to its friend.

Over both of them, Gav’s shadow stretches. It is not a man’s shadow. Gav is not a man.

Ultimately, fear is stronger than loyalty, at least to that wolf. It shoots away into the desert.

Everything is silent. The last wolf stares up in mute awe. Behind him, Gav hears Cho whisper something in Korean.

“You know what I want,” Gav tells the wolf.

The wolf bows its head. Fur begins to fall away in clumps that turn to smoke before they hit the ground. There’s a flash of bone, a wolf’s skull, wobbling like a mirage, before the smoke blows away on a wind that wasn’t there before, and reveals a man.

Tall, though not nearly as tall as Gav. Lean, though, lean and long-limbed. His eyes are submissive and huge, which is what matters. Like this, Gav drinks submission.

He owns all he surveys. Everything he wants is his. Even in hostile, foreign land.

Cho comes up behind him and wraps her arms around his waist, face against his back.

“My Gav,” she trills. Her voice is nothing but clicks and whistles. “What should we do with him?”

Kill him, Gav thinks. No, that would be–that would be wrong. This isn’t his. He… he… he isn’t–he’s just passing through.

“Please,” the man says. Not begging. “Don’t kill me. I won’t fight anymore.”

Cho’s hands slide down Gav’s stomach, fingers slip into his still-unbuttoned jeans. The man flinches and closes his eyes.

“Anything you wanted,” Cho tells him. Her grip on his cock is loose but steady, her breath hot, excited, even through his shirt.

Shivering, the man nods. When he opens his eyes, the lashes are matted and the surfaces glitter. Lakes of tears.

“I won’t fight,” he repeats, whisper-quiet.

He’s a pretty man, with those bigs eyes and long legs. His bottom lip is trembling. All that does is draw Gav’s attention to his mouth. Red lips, kind of plump for a man. Pretty, pretty man.

This started with Gav getting his dick sucked, didn’t it? He’s half-way into his stride before he realizes what he’s intending.

Disgusted, Gav shakes Cho off of him and buttons up his jeans. She huffs and goes back to the truck, slamming the door behind her.

Gav forces himself back to sleep. He can never trust himself like this, he can never–he always makes the worst decisions when he’s like this. The part of him that hungers for domination roars in frustration, the echoes bouncing off the walls of his psyche. Nothing Gav isn’t used to. Within a few seconds, everything is quiet, and Gav is comfortable with his thoughts again.

He crouches down in front of the werewolf and forces him to maintain eye-contact with a hand at his chin.

“Tell your friends they’re fucking assholes,” Gav orders. “Tell them it’s wrong to attack people who are just passing through. Tell them… tell them next time, they might start a fight with someone who likes it just as much as them. And tell them that I’m gonna get them for my goddamn window.”

The werewolf’s skin begins flaking off, putting up smoke the same way he did when he turned into a human. The tawny wolf left behind lopes away in the same direction his friend did. Before it goes, though, it turns and yipes at Gav.

Gav watches him disappear, then returns to his truck. Brushes the broken glass off his seat, starts the engine, and heads back towards home.

“You could have done anything,” Cho finally says, fifteen minutes into the ride.

“I did do something. I told him to go.”

“You know what I meant! You could have punished him if you wanted.”

Gav’s knuckles turn white as he grips the wheel.

“You did want to. Why didn’t you?”

“Because that’s fucked up, Cho!” he shouts. “What the fuck is wrong with you! What if someone tried to do that to you!”

She has the gall to shrug at him.

“I wouldn’t let them.”

“What if you couldn’t help it?!”

“I guess I lost, then.”

Gav shakes his head.

“Cho, that’s… I guess I’m not like you, then. Fuck.”

Another long stretch of silence.

“I’m not a human being, Gavin,” Cho says, quieter now. “I’m not a human and I never was and I never will be.”

Gav starts digging for words of apology that don’t sound stupid or like a platitude or like he’s making fun of her.

“And neither are you.”

He has to fight not to shout ‘that’s not true!’ like some sort of petulant child. He got enough of that when he was an actual child. A thousand denials. I am, I am, I am a human being! He used to scream it in the mirror when no one was home.

When they were, he’d go out into the woods and yell it to the trees. I’m a human being! I’m normal! I’m not a freak! But the trees had known, and so had he.

Back in the present, he swallows spit for something to do, a few times, scraping for something to say.

He settles on, “I guess.”

Cho undoes her seatbelt and pushes the console up out of her way. Scooches across the cloth seats and presses herself to his side, snakes her arm between the seat and his back to loop it around him.

“You don’t have to pretend, Gavin,” she says.

“It’s how I was raised, Cho-rong… I can’t just shake it off all the sudden. I don’t want to shake it off! I like being a human! I don’t wanna… I don’t wanna…”

She kisses his shoulder, and he falls silent, unable to even begin articulating what it is he doesn’t want. He doesn’t even really know. He just… it’s only been a few years since he decided that he was tired of screaming at mirrors and at trees and at himself.

What was he supposed to do? Do a complete one-eighty? Forget everything his parents ever taught him? Maybe they weren’t the best, but they meant well, and he likes the things they told him, if not what they did. Don’t hurt people. Don’t be a jerk. People deserve to be protected.

People aren’t just cattle. Anything that treats people like cattle…

Anything that treats people like Cho does?

He looks sideways at her. Her eyes are wet and full of sympathy, her little hand comforting, not grasping or lewd, on the expanse of his thigh. Still, he knows that’s not who she is. That she’s really that mantis, luring men in, using them as incubators.

And she loves sweet tea, and sings really, really badly, and when the wind whips through her hair and she’s smiling, there’s never been anything as beautiful as her. And she laughs at all of Gav’s jokes and when he’s with her, it doesn’t matter that he’s a dweeb and a loser, no matter how tough he looks.

And when he’s with her, it doesn’t matter that he’s not a human.

“I dunno, Cho,” he says. “I just don’t even know, babe.”

Cho scratches her nails against the fabric of his jeans.

“It’s okay, Gavin,” she promises.


“I mean it! It’s okay. Cho-rong is with you. It’s all going to be fine.”

Are things going to fine, Cho-rong? Are they????

Read the previous installment hereh, if you missed it up there! Drop me a line and tell me how you felt–if there’s anything else you’d like to see, or questions you’d like answered, tell me that too!

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