To Love a Stray Ch. 04byMygypsy©
I sit cross-legged on the bed ignoring Doc, Edwin, Sam and Mitchell as they watch me eating the two hamburgers Mitchell made. I pick the salad off first and eat it before hungrily biting into the bun, meat and egg. I lick sauce off the edge of the palm of my hand before picking at the crumbs left on the plate.
"You want a soda? I can get you one," Mitchell offers eagerly. I don't respond to his question just like I haven't responded to any of their questions since telling Doc to go to hell. My statement about being hungry had merely been a statement of fact meant to get me food.
I put the plate aside and turn my attention to the four toms, I am careful to keep my face completely devoid of all expression as I look them over. I move off the bed in a sinuous move that is very catlike and glance down at the hobbles and short chain connecting my handcuffs. I head towards the doorway aiming for the side closest to the toilet, I am allowed to pass and I head silently towards the little room. Afterwards in the bathroom I wash my hands then lean over the basin as I drink water straight from the spout. I am aware of being watched but ignore them as I look around the bathroom before heading back to the bedroom.
"You ready to talk to me yet Rosy?" Doc asks quietly.
"You ready to get the fuck out of my face and stop holding me prisoner?" I demand savagely as I glare at him.
"Not until I am sure you are not about to do anything that might endanger your life," Doc tells me levelly. I growl low in my throat as I turn away and begin pacing the room as best as my restraints allow. I tug at my wrists but there is no give in the metal and I growl angrily once again as I know that if I change while wearing them the metal will crush my wrists and the rope will cut into my ankles painfully, a very effective way of restraining a werecat.
"Want to come out to the lounge room and play x-box games?" Sam invites. I ignore him as I continue to pace the room, the healed injury on my shoulder itches and I reach up automatically to scratch it.
"How is your shoulder? Has it healed completely?" Mitchell asks. I can hear the genuine concern in his voice but ignore him as I continue pacing.
"We could always drag her out to the lounge room, chuck her in a chair and one of us can sit on her so we can play the game we started last night." Edwin suggests. I stop pacing to turn and glare at him and as soon as I see his face I realise it was a remark calculated to get a response, it looks like Edwin knows how to push my buttons. Edwin smiles at me and advances towards me but I stand my ground and lower my head slightly as I study his movements.
"You can't do that she's pregnant!" Mitchell protests horrified.
"Why not? She had some medicines on her that would end the pregnancy. Why should I worry about doing something that might harm the baby if she's not worried about killing it," Edwin hisses in a low nasty tone. I back up involuntarily at the threat in his words and he grins widely at me. "You want your answers Doc? Rosy, tell Doc. Did you use any of that injection on yourself?" Edwin asks coldly. I take another step backwards but it still isn't enough with the restrains on, he catches me before I can dodge him. I struggle as he slips one arm around my waist and lifts my feet from the floor. I can feel the heat from his body all down my back and no matter how hard I struggle I can't get free as his hands begin to roam my body.
"I haven't done anything!" I finally cry out in terror. Edwin changes his hold and he is gentle as he holds me until I stop struggling, he lifts me easily and sits me on the edge of the bed before taking several steps back.
"I'm sorry Rosy but I needed to know," Doc tells me quietly. "You curious at all about the baby?"
"Babies," I say, "There's two."
"Yeah, twins. There were two hearts beating," Doc confirms.
"Twins?" Sam demands suddenly.
"Twins don't happen Doc!" Mitchell says alarmed, "Not successfully!"
"We know more now," Doc says in a calm tone. I watch them distrustfully as I settle myself comfortably.
"Shall we all go out to the lounge room? Or do you want a shower and clean clothes Rosy? I'll even take the handcuffs off but the anklets stay," Edwin offers, he's friendly now Doc has gotten the information he wanted. I think about it for a moment before giving a curt nod, I'm not ready to trust any of them yet. I get off the bed and I am relieved when Edwin leads the way to the bathroom, I hesitate in the doorway when I see how small the room looks with him in it.
"I'll take you in Micah's room to get yourself some of your own clothes. I think he kept them figuring you knew where they were if you wanted them," Edwin tells me. I follow him into Micah's room and I am soon digging through the boxes containing my belongings, I soon have clothes picked out as well as my trusty bathroom favourites in my arms. I allow Edwin to carry the plastic tub containing my shower gel and shampoo but refuse to let him touch my clothes and put his smell on them. He hesitates in the bathroom and eyes the shower cubical for a long moment making me move uncomfortably suddenly wary of his intentions.
"I'll have to undo your ankle restraints and fasten one end to the shower frame so you can undress," he tells me and motions me towards the cubicle. I move nervously as he undoes one ankle cuff and fastens it to a corner of the shower stall before he straightens and looks down at me.
"Now for your wrists,"
I am relieved when he leaves the bathroom shutting the door after himself leaving me to take my shower. I arrange my shower gel and shampoo within reach before quickly stripping my clothes off and turning the shower on. I have to keep pushing the old trousers into the corner but I happily lather up with my shower gel taking time to wash each finger and toe individually before rinsing the suds from my body. My shampoo washes the dirt and grime from my hair and when I am finally finished I am almost reluctant to turn off the water and reach for a towel. It is hard to remember the restraining anklet and I nearly trip myself over several times as I get dressed. My jeans pose the problem of how to get them on over my shackled leg and I am forced to bang on the wall and yell for someone to come and release the shackle.
"Mmm, sure smells nice in here," Edwin grins at me when he opens the door and I end up nearly tripping over as I back away from him warily.
"I'm not going to touch you, just untie the anklet from the shower," Edwin says softly and moves slowly as he does as he says. He moves back to the door and shuts it behind himself giving me privacy to put my jeans on.
"Finished," I call when I am happy with my clothes. Edwin opens the door and I am surprised to find both Sam and Mitchell waiting outside with him, Mitchell gives me a broad smile but I look away without responding.
"Come on," Edwin says as he catches hold of the chain between my wrists. I brace myself and pull against him ignoring the pain it causes as the cuffs dig into my wrists; he turns his head to look at me and frowns with annoyance.
"Either you walk or I toss you over my shoulder and carry you," Edwin states firmly. I decide it would be more dignified for me to walk and head to the lounge room without waiting for them; they soon troop in behind me laughing and joking as they find seats for themselves before immersing themselves in the games. I curl up in a chair well away from the other chairs but Mitchell spoils it by grabbing hold of the chair and pulling it over to sit beside the lounge, I glare at him but he just smiles and I turn away angrily.
"You want to play as well rosy?" Mitchell asks trying to include me. I ignore him and curl up on my side with my back to them, I jerk my foot away in surprise as someone touches it and when that doesn't work I kick out viciously with both feet.
"You need lotion or something rubbed into your feet, the heels are hard and dry with cracks starting in them," Edwin informs me. I growl low in my throat in warning.
"Hey Sam, pass me the lotion we use on dry feet would you," Edwin says and takes a firm hold of my foot. I kick and jerk at my leg but he keeps his grip even when he begins slathering lotion on my foot.
"You got a choice," Edwin informs me. "You can accept the help or you can fight it every inch of the way. We're helping you either way," Even though I kick and hiss through the entire process Edwin applies the lotion and rubs it in well before letting go of my feet and I am left growling angrily in my throat every time I glance their way.
"Just leave her alone. She doesn't like being touched," Mitchell tells him annoyed.
"No, she just wants her own way." Edwin tells him.
"The more you annoy her, the longer it'll take for her to come around," Mitchell points out.
"That was temper not fear." Edwin says dryly, "Now either shut up or we can go outside,"
"Back off Ed," Sam cuts in. I dart glances their way from beneath my lashes, I don't like their fighting but I don't want to be touched either. I gradually begin to relax and the tension slowly drains from my body and I lay sprawled out on the chair. The monotony of the game sounds lulls me into a half sleep.
"Hey Rosy," Mitchell's voice is quiet and I open sleepy eyes to look at him. He is leaning close and he smiles when he sees I am looking at him. "We're just about to go grab some lunch, you hungry?" I nod, yawn and prop myself up before pushing into a sitting position.
"Come on," Mitchell invites me and I get to my feet groggily. I follow him to the kitchen where Sam, Edwin, Pete and Doc are making themselves sandwiches. I hang back as I watch them making their lunches; there is a lot of good-natured shoving and pushing as they snatch choice morsels off each other's plates or out of containers.
"Come on before all the good stuff is gone," Mitchell coaxes me. The others glance my way and I take a step backwards nervously, I am not about to get between the toms and their food. Sam grabs another plate from the cupboard and puts it on the bench among the others and grins as he heads towards me, I turn to run forgetting about the restraints. His arm catches me around the waist before I hit the floor and he pulls me securely against his chest.
"You'll be safe; no-one will hurt you." Sam promises beside my ear before gently easing me into the press of bodies. I find myself sandwiched between the big bodies of Sam and Mitchell with both of them slipping an arm around my waist to keep me in place.
"Sandwich or a plate full of food?" Mitchell asks.
"Sandwich," I whisper and watch in horror as Sam and Mitchell promptly steal pieces of buttered bread off plates belonging to other toms. I whimper as thick slices of ham, tomato and cheese are systematically stolen from other plates to make a thick sandwich.
I begin to see a pattern as Sam or Mitchell sneak choice pieces only to have those stolen and replaced with the choices of the others. Finally a thick sandwich sits on my plate with several slices of gherkin along side it and a large glass of milk by the plate. I find myself herded back to the lounge room while Pete carries my plate along with his food and Sam carries my drink. I curl up in my chair with my food and eat hungrily as I keep darting nervous glances around at the others. I finish my food before them and sit back with a happy little sigh to sip the milk and watch as they finish the last of their food.
"Bit different than eating with strays huh?" Edwin asks with a grin and I look away as I remember being locked in a cage and having to fight with my captor for enough food to keep myself alive.
"So have you got any names picked out? " Doc asks. I glance his way then look away quickly as I don't like the topic he has picked and I tend to avoid any mention of the baby I carry. Make that babies as in plural.
"I wonder how much longer before the horde returns," Sam remarks and I look his way with interest.
"He means Micah, Alex, Dwayne and Steven. They're been out chasing some strays who have been roaming over our territory," Doc tells me. "Not feeling nauseous any more?" he asks. I give my head a slight shake and look away trying to avoid eye contact.
"When is the baby due?" Pete asks with obvious interest.
"I haven't done any measurements by ultrasound to work it out and I haven't had the chance to sit down and work out dates with Rosy if she can remember anything," Doc tells him. Pete turns his gaze on me and I move uncomfortably in my chair.
"Can you remember leaving for that uni lecture?" Pete asks me, "You rang me up saying you had to catch a lecture and could I keep an eye on your house until you got back. It was a day or two after you done that call out to Mac Toovey's place,"
"A call out?" Doc asks curiously.
"Yeah Rosy worked as a vet nurse," Pete tells him stressing my name. I look away as I remember the state of the cattle I had attended causing me to swallow hard as my stomach turns over uneasily and the nausea begins to return.
"That's right there was a couple of strays over your way killing livestock weren't there?" Edwin cuts in; he glances at me with a thoughtful expression on his face before looking at Sam. "When did you say you first found Rosy?"
"It was not quite four weeks after Micah and Steven went to check the report from Pete out. They called Dwayne, Alex, Mitchell and me in for backup," Sam tells him. "Took us a week to clear all the strays up, Micah and Steven stayed with Pete for another week while we were sent down south to chase Kendal Darnel. The bastard lost us in the end,"
I glance at Sam at the angry tone to his voice and look away nervously, it isn't the first time I have heard that name but I sure hope it is the last time.
"What do you remember? What is the last thing you remember?" Pete asks, "Do you remember the kiss?" I look at him startled, how does he know about ... had Micah told them?
"You've kissed Rosy have you?" Edwin demands with sudden interest.
"No it wasn't me," Pete says with a laugh.
"Who Mitchell?" There is a note of disbelief in Edwin's tone.
"No," Mitchell denies sounding slightly annoyed.
"Well who then?" Edwin demands.
Pete laughs softly before speaking, "Micah. Rosy had supper with us when Steven and Micah were there and she was a hit with Micah." Edwin hoots and begins laughing.
"So the mighty Big Man was sniffing around after a human female!" Edwin hoots clearly enjoying the information.
"Yeah, she came over for supper after she'd been doing some baking. She smelt like honey and cinnamon, sweet as. Steven was ready to ask her out if she didn't return Micah's interest," Pete laughs as he remembers.
"What did Micah say to that?" Sam asks with a laugh.
"He was growling and snarling. You know how he gets about his possessions," Pete laughs, "He ended up disappearing for a few hours early the next morning, came back savage as all hell."
I glance at Pete wishing he'd shut up. He's grinning obviously it's all a great joke to him and even Sam and Mitchell are amused. My gaze touches on Edwin and Doc who are staring at me intently and I force myself not to show any reaction as I try to smoother the fear stirring in my stomach at their look.
"Do you remember anything about checking out the injured cattle?" Edwin asks, "How many strays were there?"
"I don't know what ..." I shake my head as I glance at him. Nerves cut off my voice and I look away as I shake my head a second time. Edwin moves and I jump nervously as I look his way but he smiles at me encouragingly, lifts his hand and shows me the key to my restraints, he kneels and unfastens the anklets so my legs are free. I hurriedly pull my feet up under my thighs as I eye him uneasily,
"What ..." I stammer and look away hurriedly.
"I'm not going to free your wrists unless you change. If you think it's going to happen let me know and I'll try to get them off as quick as I can," Edwin tells me very quietly. I look at him with a fearful glance before glancing around the others. They are all watching me intently and I begin to tremble, they will be able to tell if I am telling them the truth.
"Did you see the strays?" Pete asks gently.
"No, no, we didn't see anything," I say with a rush and refuse to look at any of them.
"Do things start to get hazy about then?" Pete whispers gently and I jerk with shock as I begin shaking my head.
"Did you start having weird dreams and nightmares?" Pete whispers this question too.
"Did you get sick like you had the flue? Headaches, temperature, aches and pains ..." Sam offers quietly and I glance his way nervously and shake my head in denial.
"Did some stranger start following you? Or maybe you think you remember seeing a big black cat ..." Edwin murmurs.
"No!" I cry out in denial and bury my face against the chair but in my minds eye I can see the large black form boldly walking along the path from between the gardens.
"Come on Tawny, you can tell me. Try to remember. You're safe here nothing can hurt you," Pete's voice had taken on a soft almost hypnotic quality as he whispers to me.
"Where did he come from? Around the side of the house?"
"NO! No! He's walking towards me ...just walking towards me out in the open ... I can see his nose move as he sniffs ..." My voice trails off as I choke back a sob.
"Did he scare you? Startle you?"
"He jumped up and knocked me over and ..." my throat hurts as I scream, "Oh God! Oh God! Someone stop him! It hurts! It hurts! Why is he doing this! Where's the cat gone! Daddy! Daddy! It hurts so Daddy! ..."
"It's alright Tawny, he's stopped hurting you, he's stopped baby ..." The voice is no longer Pete's but a well remembered and well loved voice and I start crying harder for I know all too well the next part of this nightmare.
"You gotta stop the car Daddy, I'm gonna be sick. Stop the car Daddy, Stop the car! STOP THE CAR! DADDY! DADDY! DADDY! Let me go! Don't touch me! DON'T TOUCH ME! Oh God oh God Oh God! I'm the cat! I'm the cat! DADDY! DADDY! I'm sorry, I'm sorry I didn't mean it! Don't be dead! Please don't be dead! Take me with you Daddy! I want to be dead too Daddy..." My body feels as if it is blown apart and my left pastern just above my paw seems to explode in agony, I shriek my pain as I wave my paw in the air while a small chain dangles from it. There is yelling and forms around me I don't recognise in my agony, something soft hits me hard across the face and I whirl away on three legs. I can smell blood, not my blood but someone else's blood and I screech my anger and bewilderment.
I toss off the heavy form that lands on my back and lash back and forth with my tail ignoring the burn of sore muscles in my back leg. The smallest movement sends agony through my injured limb and into my paw as I try to limp away. The chain catches on something and I howl my pain out loud as I fall onto my left shoulder, I try to get to my feet but things are turning murky.
Some sane part of my brain tells me I have been drugged again, the same part of my brain that reminds me I have just told the others present how and when I had been turned into a were cat and the details of my first change. I scream my pain in a voice that turns human as my body refuses to sustain my animal form; I curl up into the foetal position on the floor as I cradle my damaged wrist to my chest. My entire body is in agony and I am only too happy to sink into the oblivion of the drug.
Only the drug doesn't bring total oblivion and I am able to hear the voices around me and feel their hands as I am picked up and carried to a bedroom.
"Help me get this handcuff off her wrist. Shit! It's a mess! How's Doc doing with Edwin?" Pete asks.
"Doc needs to sew his arm up. The artery is damaged," Sam's voice comes from near by, "She breathing properly? Doc said we need to keep an eye on her breathing because of the double dose to knock her out,"