Enter the Cat Ch. 02byMygypsy©
"Rosy is a stray and strays have an irrational fear of anyone even slightly more dominant than themselves," Wade explains patiently.
"If she does not see me with the other warriors acting normally, and in no way threateningly, how will she come to learn I have no intention of harming her?" I ask tightly.
"Micah is right Boss," Steven says quietly. "And besides you have raised him to be gentle and respectful towards all females, werecat and human alike."
Wade glances between us with narrowed eyes and it is the longest minute I have endured in a long time before he gives a curt nod of his head. "Make sure you keep well away from her and leave the training and care she will need to the others. If I hear you have upset her in any way, my punishment will be harsh."
"Can we go now Boss?" Steven asks respectfully.
"Yes but stay out of the quarters unless it is mealtime or night time," Wade orders in a firm tone before heading back towards the house.
I turn my head and look towards the door into the quarters but make no move to go inside. I know Wade will be watching me closely waiting for the least little infraction of his orders.
"Let's get over to the gym," Steven says evenly and I glance his way. I realise that he too would be eager to see Rosy once again. Even if he wasn't captivated by her the way I was, he had still enjoyed her company the times we had been around her.
Alex greets us at the door of the gym shed; he looks past us towards the quarters before glancing between us and finally meeting my gaze.
"You hear the news? Rosy's back and we get to keep her!" Alex says excitedly. True to form Alex is acting the clown and repeating a phrase he has been sure to hear Donovan say every time the subject has come to mind.
"Is that Micah and Steven?" Jazzy asks and I see her over by the weight bench where she was certain to have been watching Mitchell pressing bench weights. One requirement I had of my warrior force was that we all kept in top physical condition.
"Yes it's us Jazzy," I answer and watch as she hurries over to us. She gives Steven a brief hug but clings to me as she checks to make sure I am not injured.
"I'm so glad you're back!" Jazzy tells me as she finally releases me only to take me by the hand and drag me towards the table where we keep a chilled water dispenser.
"Wade won't let Rosy stay in the house," Donovan says miserably, "he's scared she's going to attack Jazzy. I heard him talking to Marissa and he was saying he couldn't chance it. Why would Rosy want to attack Jazzy?"
"Good to have you two back," Sam says as he walks over from the other side of the shed. "I've explained this to you several times before Donovan -- Rosy probably wouldn't mean to attack anyone but if she panicked it is only natural she would lash out at anyone smaller or weaker than herself in an attempt to make an escape route for herself."
"Why would she panic," Donovan demands. "None of us want to hurt her!"
"Rosy doesn't know that," Sam tells him gently, "and my guess is every cat that has gotten close enough to her has hurt her in the past."
"You didn't hurt Rosy did you," Jazzy demands forcefully as she stalks towards Pete who is talking quietly with Steven.
"Of course not," Pete denies swiftly. "But I think Sam is right. Taw ... Rosy never let anyone touch her that I saw and her human uncle's office is just across the street from the building where I work so I saw her coming and going a lot. If anyone ever went to place a hand on her, she'd type of ... melt away from the hand before it touched her."
"Well Rosy will feel much safer with Micah around," Jazzy says with a smile at me. "I know I always feel much better when Micah is here."
"That's because I'm your big brother," I tell her with a laugh.
"No," Jazzy says, her look serious and intense. "Donna and Celeste knows it's because you're so dominant, you make us feel safe, protected."
"Can you marry Rosy instead of Donna," Donovan asks hopefully. "Donna is nice but I like Rosy much better."
"You just like Rosy more because she is prettier than Donna," Alex laughs at Donovan before glancing at me in apology. "No disrespect for Donna meant."
"Oh I think your big brother might agree with you there," Steven laughs as does Pete. "It might be an idea to keep in mind what Jazzy said just now. If the more dominant toms make she-kitts feel safe, being around us might help Rosy adjust."
I glance towards Sam thoughtfully. As my second-in-command he was nearly as dominant as me and yet he was one of the first ones Rosy formed a bond with. Mitchell I could understand; he had a gift for being able to reach even the most terrified newly turned strays and frequently helped when we were teaching some new stray how to adjust to their new life.
"How does that work Jazzy," I ask with a fond smile for my sister.
Jazzy frowns and I can tell she is thinking by the way she chews at one corner of her mouth and stares at a spot past my left shoulder.
"When Edwin or Alex are teasing me and won't stop, if I go and stand beside you, I feel safer and they don't bother me as much. They usually look at you and shut up," Jazzy says excitedly after several minutes. "And if you're not here it works with Sam as well!"
"Glad to know I'm of some use around here," Sam says dryly but has a gentle smile for Jazzy. She laughs as she goes over and rewards him with a quick kiss on the cheek.
"So we get to keep her?" Donovan asks eagerly.
"You make Rosy sound like some toy," Jazzy says disapprovingly.
"I do not!" Donovan refutes hotly. "Rosy is pretty and I bet she knows heaps of interesting stuff, being a stray and all!"
"Looks like you've got some real competition Micah," Steven laughs as he eyes Donovan.
"What are you talking about," Jazzy demands with a frown for Steven.
"I think your favourite big brother might be very interested in keeping Rosy around," Steven says with a grin.
"Because she's pregnant," Jazzy asks with interest as she glances back and forth between us. "But Daddy said Micah wasn't to be told Rosy was here and ..."
Jazzy falls silent for a few seconds then laughs with unconcealed delight, "That's why Mum was saying to Daddy he wouldn't be able to keep you away from her for long! You like Rosy the same way you like Donna!" Jazzy stops talking and narrows her eyes at me for a few seconds. "Don't you dare do anything to scare her!"
"You're still seeing Donna aren't you?" Sam asks and I hear the censure in his tone.
"When I have time," I answer tightly. Everything has happened too fast. I don't know what I think or feel only that I want, no need, to see Rosy. Uncomfortable with the strength of the need I glance around the building looking for a distraction.
"Where are Edwin, Malcolm, Chris, Timny, Dwayne and Justin?"
"I sent Malcolm, Chris and Timny out to investigate reports of a large black cat in one of the small rural communities. There is some concern it might be a threat to humans especially women and children," Sam tells me seriously.
"Confirmed sightings?" I ask.
"Serious enough for National Park Ranger Service to be looking into it," Sam admits.