Cats and Dogs Ch. 01byingarlm©
This is a long story with a plot as well as developing relationships. There is a fair bit of sex in it but not immediately, and not in this chapter. I hope to post new chapters every three or four days as although it is all written I didn't divide it into chapters as I went along, and so to make sense I'm having to rework the beginning and end of each section. I will know not to create extra work for myself in the future!
The story features both m/m and m/f relationships (and sex scenes in later chapters).
Please let me know what you think by voting or commenting, feedback is all the reward we get on Lit but it's worth it!
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On the outskirts of a small country village sat a large house, set in substantial grounds with lots of woodland and a few outbuildings scattered around, some half hidden in weeds and bushes. The main house was imposing and well maintained, with the two wings separated by a large alcoved entranceway, and stone pillars in front of a huge wooden door with a flight of steps leading up to it. At the foot of the steps on either side were two plinths, each featuring a lifelike stone carving of a large wolf. It had been a mansion house built by a wealthy Georgian family, but was now owned by a rich businessman.
That businessman was Samuel Arcan. He stood well over six foot tall, with a broad chest, his whole body muscular and toned. His hair was dark and long but usually tied back neatly, showing off his handsome face and striking deep green eyes. At that moment he was sat in the dining room having breakfast with his four friends and team mates, all resident at his mansion. While he was dressed in suit and tie, the three men had bare chests and wore only jogging bottoms. The one woman at the table wore a bright coloured sundress. All four listened intently to their leader while they ate their breakfasts. At first glance the scene looked calm, but there was an air of tension because today was an important day for all those present.
When he finished his meal, Sam spoke to the others.
'I'm sure I don't need to remind you that our new colleagues arrive today, or that I expect you all to be on your best behaviour. I expect they will want the tour when they get here. Tilly,' he looked at the woman to get her attention, 'since I have business at the solicitors this morning, I may have to leave their Alpha with you in my absence.'
She nodded to confirm she understood the instruction. 'Make sure you get back to the house when they arrive. They'll be coming by car so you should hear them wherever you are.'
'The rest of you, go about your usual business, but don't be surprised if you see the others around later on. And I know you are used to being around cats, but remember they aren't used to our kind.' He smiled as the men laughed quietly.
He hoped that this would go well, but he had reservations despite reassurances from the Council. Two independent units being asked to join forces was worrying enough, but with their differences? They would either complement each other perfectly, as the Council hoped, or it would be all out war before they even got to whatever important assignment this was all in aid of.
Sam was proud to lead this team of commandos, and keen to show them in a good light to the new team leader, or Alpha, and his men. It was unusual for teams to be joined together for a mission, and their objective was unknown. He knew and trusted all the people he worked with and they felt the same about each other, and secure under his leadership. Even if everything went well it was going to take time to build those kind of bonds with new people, especially since they would also be a tight unit already.
The four men got up from the table and left the last team member finishing her breakfast delicately. They moved out to the massive hallway where three men rapidly shed their jogging bottoms and crouched as they started to change. Long legs shortened and hair spread from their chests and head over the rest of their bodies. Their faces and ears started to elongate until instead of human features they had muzzles and pricked ears on top of their heads, and tails grew from the base of their spines. The one remaining man stood with the three wolves and gave them final instructions for the day.
'Usual perimeter sweeps, and then your time is your own until lunch. We'll meet our guests properly then. See you later.'
The wolves growled quickly to let him know they would do as asked, then ran out of the door and rapidly disappeared in different directions to check the grounds as ordered. Sam turned back to the dining room to see Tilly had finally finished and was walking into the hall.
'Am I on sweep until the others get here?' she asked.
'Yes. You'll hear them, but I'll give you a call anyway. You get to be our big surprise today you know.'
'Oh good.' She didn't look pleased at that news. 'Shall I clean my coat especially?'
'Don't complain. You never know, it might be to your advantage. Perhaps one of them will take your fancy!' He smiled at her but her displeasure showed even more at his teasing.
'I've told you before, you are more like them than I am. Perhaps we should hope one of them takes your fancy. It's about time you got a mate.'
As she talked she stripped off her dress revealing she wore nothing underneath. She handed it to him and started her change, the scowl on her face rapidly disappearing as the hair spread across her body. Her muzzle was much shorter than the mens' had been, her tail on top of her back, and rather than grey she was pure black. Sam looked down at the panther before him. It was just like her to change rather than let him finish this conversation face to face.
He spoke. 'It goes without saying that you are in charge of the team while I am away, but remember there will be another Alpha here. I expect you to follow his orders as if they were my own.'
Her response was a quick purr and she rubbed against his leg as she walked out the door. No quick escape like the wolves, she ambled out gently then leapt down the steps and broke into a graceful run as she too headed to the perimeter of the land to check their territory. He sighed. He knew she would always do what he told her and she did respect him as Alpha, but that didn't stop her being mouthy when she wanted to and she was the only one of his team that would dare talk to him like a friend as well as a boss.
Her last comments were a regular source of disagreement between them. She seemed to feel some duty to sort out his love life. If he had tried to find her a mate he suspected he would end up with at least a few scratches for his trouble, but for some reason she didn't see any problem teasing him about his lack of one. And worse still, she seemed to have some bizarre idea that he should find himself a cat.
He was wolf, not panther, no matter how much she teased about his cat-like qualities, and right now the last thing he wanted to be thinking about was getting involved with a cat. She was right about herself though. Raised by wolves, she was as much one of them as she could be without changing her DNA. Her dainty manners showed against the wolves, but mainly because she was the only female.
All he had to do now was wait for the others to arrive. This worried him more than it should, and he knew deep down there were going to be problems. Some of which would certainly be his own. He couldn't help but think back to the Council meeting when he had received his orders. The Alphas of each team had been called to attend, and after being told their orders he was introduced to Tom. Ironic name for a cat really.
He couldn't forget the instant charge that went through his body when their eyes met, nor the warmth when they shook hands. The meeting had been brief but had left him with far too many unfulfilled fantasies that came to him in the middle of the night. 'Why did he have to be a bloody cat?' he thought. Worse still, one he was going to have to work with and not let his feelings show. He could just imagine the horror on the other Alpha's face if he found out he had been the star of Sam's wet dreams of late.
Sam had long ago resigned himself to never having a mate, but it annoyed him more than it should when Tilly reminded him about his lack of one. He didn't believe that he would find a man that he could have that close connection with, and having tried a few brief relationships he was more sure it wouldn't happen for him. Even less likely was the idea that he would find another Were to share his life with. Not that his illogical side didn't wish for it, but he tried to keep that under control. He couldn't help wondering and imagining himself with Tom though, and it scared him. He needed to be focussed on work, not hoping for things that could never happen.
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At that moment Tom and his team were sat in their car, still a good hour from their destination. They were all grumpy after hours stuck in the confined space. As soon as they got there he was going to let them out for a run. He would have to deal with their Alpha, but they could have some fun. Not that meeting Sam again would be unpleasant. Tom also remembered their meeting fondly, probably too fondly he thought with a grimace. Sam was tall and broad, with long dark hair and intense emerald green eyes. As far as humans went, he was pretty much exactly Tom's type.
Unfortunately, he wasn't entirely human, and the other side of him that Tom hadn't yet seen was definitely going to make any romantic entanglement highly unlikely. 'Why did he have to be a bloody dog?' he thought. He couldn't help thinking that it didn't matter though. If Sam felt anything like the connection he had at their meeting then this assignment was going to be very interesting. If not, it was going to be frustrating as hell working with someone who made his pulse race and he could never have. Tom let out a loud sigh, enough to draw the attention of his men, but thankfully they all assumed it was down to the journey and he didn't have to explain himself. He focussed on the road ahead and tried not to think about anything else for the rest of the trip.
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Finally Sam heard the sound of their gates opening and a car coming up the gravel drive. 'Tilly' he called in his head, and heard her answer that she knew damn it, and was on her way. He laughed softly at the rebuke. She knew what to do and was annoyed at him calling despite him having said he would. He walked out to the front of the house and down the steps to greet the new arrivals, steeling himself at the same time to behave himself around Tom and be professional. He really hoped that his body would not betray him if he felt the same as last time.
All the car doors opened a split second after it stopped and four men jumped out, obviously glad to be out in the open air again. Tom walked straight over to him and Sam took a deep breath ready to play host. He tried not to think it, but noticed that Tom looked really good, despite being dishevelled from the journey. He had on jeans and a t-shirt but they both clung tight to a muscular body. He wasn't either as tall or broad as Sam, but not that far off either. His hair was also dark but cut short, and his eyes were bright blue and almost seemed to twinkle as he recognised Sam. Sam groaned inwardly, instantly aware of the other man in the way he didn't want.
'Would you mind if my guys headed straight out for a run? We've been stuck in there for hours and they need to stretch their legs.' he grinned. 'You didn't have to dress up to welcome us by the way,' he said, indicating Sam's suit. He was thinking how good Sam looked in it though, and mentally kicking himself as he did so.
'No problem,' replied Sam. 'If they head out they can start to familiarise themselves with the lay of the land.'
Before he had finished speaking the three other men were rapidly shedding clothing so they could change to cat form, and in a minute there were three black panthers standing in front of Tom waiting to be dismissed.
'This is their home remember, we are guests. I expect you to show respect to our hosts, so if you meet the others be good.'
Three purrs in response and the cats were soon disappearing into the trees nearby. Tom turned back to his host, wondering if the quick eye movement upwards meant Sam had been looking at his ass. He shook his head to clear it of the unlikely thought.
'I hope this is going to work,' he said. 'Seems like the Council haven't ever heard the phrase "fighting like cats and dogs".'
'Let's hope it doesn't come to that,' replied Sam. 'They obviously have something big in mind, and I think the plan is our skills and senses will complement each other so we can do it.'
Tom smiled. He liked the idea of complementing Sam, even more now he had seen him again. He just needed to try and keep a lid on things until he found out more about his host. Despite his mind wandering his inner cat was still on alert and he felt the hairs on his neck raise as he became aware of an unfamiliar presence. He heard himself hiss as he saw the panther walking towards them.
'That's not one of my team,' he managed to get out in his human voice.
Sam didn't seem at all concerned, and walked over to the cat, holding out a bright piece of material. 'I know, she's one of mine.'
As Tom watched, the cat started to slip inside the material as Sam held it, and once she changed he found himself looking at a woman in a sundress, knowing his jaw was practically on the floor with surprise. He didn't know there was a cat here, and for her to be one of the team was even more of a shock. Even worse, the way they were smiling at each other suggested not only a private joke at his expense, but also a closeness that Tom didn't like, and he was surprised to feel a pang of jealousy towards the woman. Seems Sam might not be anti-cat when it came to a mate after all, but she wasn't what Tom had in mind.
He became aware that Sam was speaking and managed to pay attention. 'Tilly here is my Second. I think she is the reason my team was chosen for this. We've already found that cat and dog can work well together in the field.'
Tom stood processing this information. A woman and cat on the team, and she was second-in-command. It seemed too bizarre amongst a pack of dogs that she had such status. The thought crossed his mind that they must be involved. In some ways perhaps that would make things easier as he wouldn't be hoping for more from Sam. He'd intended to find out if he stood a chance with him, irrespective of their different animal sides, but he'd also known it was unlikely Sam would be interested in men, let alone cats.
He finally recovered enough to speak. 'Sorry, I didn't expect there to be another cat here. Please forgive my lack of welcome.'
She laughed. 'It's not a problem. Sam told me I was going to be a surprise. It's nice to meet you. Are the others running wild?'
'Yes. It's been a long journey and they needed a bit of exercise. I'd be glad to join them to be honest. Do we need to start making plans now?' He turned back to Sam to ask.
'Unfortunately I have to see my lawyer in town, hence the suit,' Sam replied, indicating his clothes. 'I've asked Tilly to show you around until I get back, and my team will meet back here for lunch. I think that's early enough to start getting acquainted properly.'
Tom was relieved, both to be able to exercise and to be away from Sam while he considered what he had learned so far. 'Thanks, you have no idea how much I need a run!'
He started to strip and changed as soon as he was naked. In his haste he didn't notice Tilly moving to do the same, or that Sam had frozen to the spot, unable to look away for the brief moment he had been stood there totally nude, still in his human form. By the time he looked up again, Sam seemed slightly flushed, but spoke normally to tell the two cats he would see them soon.
Sam walked to his car, trying to clear the very pleasant image from his mind so the reaction in his pants would go away. The sight of Tom naked was not something he would forget in a hurry. His body was magnificent, toned like his own but less broad or hairy, and he was well endowed as well. The thoughts running through his head about what he would like to do to that body and cock had caused an almost instant erection. He swallowed hard as he walked away, knowing that whatever his body might want, he was not going to give in to lust when there were far more important things at stake in this operation. Nor was he going to chance his feelings for an Alpha cat who was almost certainly straight, but he knew already he was going to find being around Tom really difficult.
Tilly however had not missed the look on Sam's face. Her mind raced at the sudden knowledge that Sam had been looking at Tom with more than a little lust. She had also sensed the emotion, a sudden wave of desire from Sam that had almost sent her reeling with its intensity, and certainly a stronger emotion than she had ever felt from him. There had been a strange mix of emotions in the air through the brief meeting, starting with Tom's displeasure at seeing her, which strangely hadn't gone away entirely even when he knew her place in the house. Perhaps there was some hope for her leader finding someone special? She could only find out more about Tom and pray that there was a chance.
'Are you ready to go see the grounds?' she thought to him.
He purred a confirmation and they set off at a slow run, heading first down the drive as Tilly wanted to show him around the perimeter before heading into some specific areas where they trained.
'Unusual for an Alpha not to have one of his own kind as Second.' Tom commented to her, trying to keep a tight control on his feelings.
He knew female cats were often sensitive to emotion, and had no desire for her to know his thoughts about Sam. He had hoped that seeing him again would help clear his mind of the attraction he had felt at their first brief meeting, but he knew now he wanted Sam more, and worse, had to face the knowledge that Sam was almost certainly not interested, and already involved with Tilly.
'We've been working together longer than the others have been with us. Other wolves have come and gone from the team; there's three here at the moment who've joined at various times. I was raised by wolves, so it doesn't seem odd to me, and they all know I'm Second because I'm good at what I do. My skills work well with Sam's, so we get good results.'
Tom considered what Tilly told him. It boded well for the mission, whatever that might be, and of course assuming that his team could work as well with dogs as she did. He still had reservations but really hoped they could pull this off. It would be good for both teams if they could take on their mission and succeed.
'You don't ever have disagreements then? Don't you ever find your cat side getting frustrated with them?'
He heard her laughter inside his head before she answered. 'No, not the cat in me; sometimes the female, especially being stuck here with all these men. To be honest, I don't tend to think of myself as cat, I've spent so little of my life around them. If anyone is cat-like here it's Sam not me. I keep telling him he'll end up as one, or at least mated with one.'
Tom picked up on that comment straight away and couldn't stop his question. 'You, I assume? It seemed to me you were already mates.'
This time the laughing wasn't just in his head, although in her cat form the sound was odd. She stopped running and turned to face him. Even her feline features showed amusement. Although she didn't plan on telling Tom, she had known Sam was gay for many years. It was only a surprise to her today because she had never known him be that interested in anyone specific, not even the few men he had dated.