A little experimental magic gave Rhea a cleaner way to dispose of Sin Eater corpses.
With some clever manipulation of Aetherytes, she snuck into the Ocular, dragging a half dissolved Sin Eater in with her. "How are you holding up?"
G’raha was leaning back in an armchair that had been set up earlier, resting his hand on his belly. He was already a bit bloated from a previous feeding, though it was hard to tell from a distance with the way his robe hung. “Just fine, thank you. I might be bored, but I suppose a brief spell of boredom is better than having to explain to everyone what’s happening on the field.”
“Yeah, I don’t think anyone’s ready for that.” Rhea nudged the Sin Eater closer with her foot. “This one's kind of just an appetizer, but it'll do for now, right?”
“For now,” G’raha muttered, extending his hand. The Sin Eater dissolved into a clump of light that floated over to him, and he took a small bite of the light as though it were a tangible item.
The voraciousness struck him then, and the next bites were not small or dainty. When he was through, the bulge of his belly was unmistakable even through his robes. He exhaled heavily, resting one hand on his new plumpness. “It takes getting used to, but it’s… almost a pleasant feeling.”
“That’s the whole point of the magic, right?” Rhea looked him over and couldn’t shake the idea that looked cute with a bit extra on him. “...Can I touch you?” G'raha nodded, and she gave him a gentle belly rub. "You're so soft and smooth."
G'raha hummed, taking in the soothing contact. "I might be a bit peckish today. Would you please find some more?"
"Of course," Rhea said, punctuating the statement with a pat to his belly. "From the looks of it, you'll eat well tonight."
"I hope so. Good hunting." G'raha smiled as he watched Rhea go, but boredom quickly set in, and he found himself drumming his fingers on his gut as he waited. Something like a craving gripped him, an insatiable desire to devour and fill himself with as much as he could. Part of that desire was a wanting to see Rhea's reaction if he ended up pushing his limits. Would she tease him? Care for him? Encourage him? All of the above?
Rhea returned and shook a heap of Sin Eaters out of some secret pocket. "Order up," she teased, approaching him with a smirk.
"Perfect," G'raha whispered. He wasted no time in breaking them all down into clumps of light and gathering them.
"All at once?" Rhea asked. "Someone has an appetite today."
G'raha barely acknowledged Rhea with a "mmhm" before he set to work devouring the light. The flavor was indistinct, but pleasant, but that wasn't important. His focus was on filling his belly, satisfying his greedy gut, indulging himself while he could.
Rhea watched the event unfold, equal parts intrigued and unnerved. "I didn't know light could leave crumbs," she muttered as she went to clear a glowing fleck from his cheek.
G'raha was already on top of it, brushing the "crumb" into his mouth. "I wouldn't dare miss a single bite," he said, exhaling heavily when it was all done. Then he looked down and gave a small, surprised "oh" when he saw how he'd grown. His robe was starting to ride up over his plump belly, making him look fattened and stretched to bursting. He flashed Rhea a sheepish smile. "You can't say I don't clean my plate."
"Good boy," she said, a smirk playing at her lips once more. "I have an idea." She went over to a desk elsewhere in the room and grabbed the bottle of ink there. Upon her return, she yanked up G'raha's robe, dipped her finger in the ink, and began to make tally marks on his belly. "One, two, three… five… ten… twelve. No, wait, thirteen. You've eaten thirteen Sin Eaters today."
G'raha squirmed slightly, ticklish on his increasingly sensitive belly. "Thirteen already? That's concerning. Do you think there's a Lightwarden around?"
Rhea shrugged. "These aren't all from the same place. If there is a Lightwarden, I'll take care of it."
It was G'raha's turn to smirk. "I think you could eat a Lightwarden in the same way I am these Sin Eaters."
"You just want to see me fat," Rhea whined, mostly joking. "That's okay. I'll put on a special show, just for you." She gave him a hug, resting her head on his belly but being careful not to smudge her tallies. "Cats should be good and fluffy, don't you think?"
"Fluffy bunnies are also nice," he teased back, ruffling her hair. He looked over her head at something in the corner of the room. “Ah, looks like I missed one. No, two.”
"Fifteen it is, then," Rhea noted, shoring up the count on G'raha's gut as he broke down the two he'd missed and ate them with ease. A barely-restrained moan of pleasure escaped him as he felt the pull inside him, his body accommodating a subtle gain. Rhea couldn’t help but grin at him. "Want another helping?"
"I'd be a fool to refuse," G'raha purred, resting his hands on his plump belly. "I look forward to it."
Right as Rhea was going to leave the Ocular to hunt for G'raha's next meal, she heard him call her back. "Rhea! Wait, please, come back, something is-"
When she re-entered, her jaw nearly hit the ground. G'raha had tipped his chair over, leaving him flat on his back as a blimped-out mess of fat, his belly nearly larger than he was. "S-something was strange about that last sin eater," he stammered. "I don't think I know what to do."
"You… you can just snap back, right? Like last time?" Rhea stared at the Exarch, from the apex of his plumpness to his thickened thighs.
"I'm sure I can, but I'm also sure there are more Sin Eaters out there…" G'raha's nervous gaze darted around the room.
Rhea sighed. "You don't have to eat all of them. We can still leave the little ones to disperse. And you know I have to deal with the Lightwardens regardless of whether I eat them or not."
"You're right," G'raha murmured through a similar sigh. "You know how it is. I always forget how good it feels till I eat one more, and then I want another, and… here we are."
"Mmhm." Rhea approached for a closer look. "Does it hurt? Do you feel full?"
"No, it doesn't hurt. It's simply… disorienting. I do feel a bit full, but…" A beat passed and G'raha frowned. "After I start, there's always that desire to take in more, to stretch myself tighter. It makes it hard to tell. I almost want one more, but after this, I don’t think I should push it."
"As long as you're comfortable, hon." Rhea began to trace gentle circles around his belly. "Does this feel nice?"
"Mmhm. Your touch is the best ending to a fit of indulgence I could ask for." Giving a satisfied sigh, he added, "I want to try something. Could you lean over me?"
"Like this?" Rhea leaned over him from the side.
"Not quite. From my front, or perhaps my feet? Lay on me if you must." G'raha gave his belly a pat to punctuate the point.
"Oh, I see." A small smile crept to Rhea's lips as she gingerly climbed on top of him, navigating his plushness. Soon she was at an angle where the slope of his belly put her face close to his but supported her body. "Hi," she said, looking into his eyes.
"Hello there," G'raha seemed to purr in response before tilting his head up for a tender kiss. He reached up to stroke through her hair. "You're too good to me, putting up with my twisted experiments and even volunteering to play along… who else could I ask to care for me when I let myself get this big?"
"I'm not going to shame you for doing something relatively harmless just because it feels good," Rhea said, lowering her voice to add, "I want to make you feel good."
"You do, my friend, you do," G'raha said. "I'd rather like to lay here and enjoy your company for a little while longer," he added, reached up to put his arms around Rhea as much as he could. "Please?"
"Of course, my sweet Sin Bin," Rhea said with a giggle as she adjusted herself.
"You do have a belly full of Sin Eaters."
"Well, if the shoe fits, I suppose…" He tried to adjust himself slightly and was unsure if he succeeded. "Get comfortable." Rhea did so, silently enjoying the supportive softness. A soft purr-like hum escaped G'raha as he noticed something. "Ah, you smeared the ink. Not only have we lost today's sin eater count, but you might need to lose your clothes, too!"
"You'd like that, wouldn't you?" Rhea cooed back.
"Perhaps I would," G'raha said. "But it might be better without all the… fluff… in the way."
Rhea gave a thoughtful hum. "Want to release all that and try…?"
"Maybe later. For now, I want to appreciate this time with you."
G'raha smiled and gave Rhea a squeeze. What started as a sensory experiment to alleviate boredom became a sort of bonding experience for them. Warm feelings seemed to grant him satiety when nothing else could. Rhea satisfied him, with one exception: he wanted more of this feeling that tasted better and filled him more than any treat.