Enter the Cat Ch. 07byMygypsy©
"Come on, eat up Rosy," Sam orders firmly.
"Not hungry," Rosy murmurs, leans her head against the lounge and closes her eyes.
"You have to eat something," I say putting my empty bowl aside. I squat beside where Rosy is and use her spoon to lift a mouthful of food to her lips. I have to nudge her lips with the spoon before I get any response from her.
"Not hungry," Rosy says turning her head away. "The painkiller stops me feeling hungry ... for a day or two."
The aroma from the stew even half cold is very appetising and I realise what Rosy said must be true for her to not eat. I put the spoon back in the bowl and take it from her hands.
"Okay, but you are to drink a glass of warm milk tonight and in the morning you have to eat," I order firmly.
"Deal," Rosy murmurs softly.
It feels like I just scored a major victory and I have to repress the smile I feel at her agreement. I retrieve my bowl and carry it to the kitchen. Deep, large china bowls for soups and stews are some of the few tableware we do keep so I put the uneaten stew in the fridge and rinse my own bowl before grabbing a cup of coffee.
With Rosy and Jazzy spending more time at the quarters, maybe it is time the kitchen is furnished with more than paper or plastic throw away plates that allow us to avoid washing up.
"I'll get Rosy her cup of milk," Mitchell says tightly.
I turn around to look at him; he gives me a hard glare but has nothing more to say as he pours a cup of milk for his sister. He puts it in the microwave and I stop him before he can set the timer to heat it.
"Leave it for a few minutes; she can have it after I have dealt with her," I say quietly as others start to bring their bowls out to the kitchen sink.
I hear Mitchell's low snarl as I move away to stand by my favourite chair in the lounge room. Everyone makes their way back to their places except for Sam and Mitchell who hover near the lounge glancing between Rosy and myself uneasily. I push aside the feeling of sympathy that starts to form as I head their way.
I refuse to think about how hard it must be for them to know they have to stand back and watch their sister punished. It is best to get the punishment done with as soon as possible; so that once it is over we can all get back to normal, putting the incident behind us.
Rosy turns wary eyes my way as I approach the lounge. She sits up straighter abandoning the support of the back of the lounge. Clearly she is aware something is about to happen.
"Rosy, I need to talk to you about yesterday," I begin and she meets my gaze evenly. "Did you stop to think before you went near the cow yesterday? What if you had stumbled across a beast with horns, a calf or one of the bulls?"
"The cow was in trouble. I had to help, it's what I do. I did take a good look around between that cow and me before I left the tree. And I was really alert for danger both there and back. I am probably more aware of the dangers of being near cattle then any of you - I have worked with them before. I have learnt to have a healthy respect for them and the damage they can do," Rosy answers evenly.
"What would have happened if Donny or Jazzy had been there and followed you to the cow?" I ask firmly. "They have no experience around dangerous beasts."
"Yeah, Donny or Jazzy would have probably followed you even if you told them to head straight to the fence line," Edwin snaps tightly eliciting a low snarl from Mitchell.
"It wouldn't have been a possibility," Rosy snaps sounding slightly annoyed. "I can only be responsible for me, I ..."
"You wouldn't be responsible for them?" Edwin demands as he takes a step towards the lounge aggressively.
"I wouldn't do anything that could put me in a position where I might even remotely be responsible for another person, another werecat! I am not an idiot," Rosy snaps as she swings her legs over the side of the lounge stiffly and watches Edwin through narrowed eyes.
"If either of them had been with me I would have taken them back to the fence myself before going near the cow! I am not a complete idiot, regardless of what you might think! Making sure I am safe in a situation like that is hard enough. I would never contemplate walking into a situation where I would have to watch out for someone else or simply be aware of where they were if things got dangerous!"
Rosy's defensive outburst makes me aware she knew the danger of the situation and wouldn't knowingly expose anyone else to danger if she could help it. I glance towards Edwin prepared to make him back off and leave Rosy alone. He is eyeing Rosy with narrowed eyes and nodding slightly. I feel relief as I realise Edwin has came to the same conclusion as I have.
Rosy may take foolish risks but she would not knowingly cause or encourage anyone else to do the same.
"Now earlier, about that threat you made to castrate me," I say and instantly Rosy jerks her head to look my way. She studies me for a few moments before darting nervously glances towards the others in the room.
"I can't let you get away with making a threat like that; there was no need for it," I tell her firmly as I harden my own resolve at the fear I see lurking in her eyes. I realise she is trying to hide her fear but I recognise it in the shadows in her eyes, the slight flaring of her nostrils and the tang that enters her scent.
"I already apologised for that!" Rosy protests and glances nervously towards her brothers. "Sam! Mitchell!"
"You shouldn't make threats like that Rosy," surprisingly it is Mitchell who steps forward and speaks. "There is no need to make threats. No one would hurt you intentionally."
"Threats? It wasn't a threat!" Rosy yells clearly scared as she looks frantically between her brothers and myself. I feel sure she has realised she is about to be punished for her behaviour and is terrified to find out what form that punishment may take.
"That was a statement of fact! Don't think I won't defend myself!" Rosy yells as she forces herself to her feet.
I've made an error of judgement. I should have left this until she has recovered. For Rosy this must seem like revenge on my part for the threat she made. Yet I feel I have no choice but to continue.
Enough! This has stretched out long enough. Rosy will only end up hurting herself!
I am on Rosy before she can move or defend herself. I catch her by the upper arm spinning her around swiftly so her back is to my chest as I lift her off the ground. I sit on the lounge quickly forcing her face down across my lap. I try to be careful not to hurt her shoulder or hip while giving her little chance to struggle and tear out her stitches.
"What... no!" Rosy squeals as she realises what I intend.
I ignore the feel of her breasts as they brush against the side of my thigh as she struggles to escape my hold. The long t-shirt she wears is bunched at her waist exposing the soft curves of her arse. I grit my teeth as I raise my hand and try to ignore my body's reaction to the sight of the pale blue cotton material that lovingly hugs the curve of her bottom.
"Never ..." My first hard slap lands on her softly rounded arse and she screams with a mixture of surprise, fear and pain.
An intense bolt of lust races through me as my hand lands on the soft curves making her clench her arse cheeks under the impact as she screams. I feel my body jump to instant attention, my hard shaft pressing against her the side of her hip. I realise I have to get this over and done with as fast as I can for both of our sakes.
"Threaten ... anyone ... again ... under ... stand?" I punctuate each word with a hard slap. After her first scream she remains silent even though I know her arse is stinging and burning by the feel of my hand.
When I am finished, I get to my feet taking care not to drop her or bump her injured side. Rosy glares at me silently as I sit her on the lounge. She raises her chin defiantly when I step back from her.
My body is hard with arousal as I stand staring down at her. I want nothing more than to bury my aching length in her soft depths but I see the fear and defiance in her eyes as she glares back at me. I'm not sure what has scared her more: her punishment or my lust.
"Because your brothers asked me to go easy on you, I won't give the ten or twelve slaps you should be getting. Do the same thing again and I won't be so lenient with you," I say firmly before walking stiffly to my chair and sitting down.
"You've been punished. It's over and done with. We don't throw your mistake in your face and you don't throw being punished at us. Understand?" For a moment I think Rosy is going to ignore me but she gives a curt nod before settling herself on the lounge once again.
"I didn't hurt your hip or shoulder did I?" I ask when she moves clearly unsettled.
There is no answer from her and I realise she is intentionally ignoring me.
"Rosy, I asked you a question. Now stop sulking and answer me." I order tightly. Didn't she learn anything?
"You just spanked me like a little kid making my butt feel like it's on fire, and you expect me to talk to you?" Rosy demands angrily as she turns her head to glare at me.
"Rosy agreed to drink a glass of warm milk, remember," I say with a glance towards her brothers.
I find it hard to concentrate on the tv program as the memory of the feel of Rosy across my lap refuses to fade. I know my arousal from punishing her is wrong but I can't control it. I find myself wishing I were the type who went seeking relief from one of the local human girls when sexual frustration is a problem.
"I'm going to the pub," Edwin announces getting to his feet. I glance his way and see the intense look he gives Rosy. Anger starts to boil low in my stomach as I recognise the desire in his eyes. Apparently I was not the only one affected by Rosy's punishment.
"I could do with a game of pool or darts," Malcolm agrees.
Both Timny and Chris get to their feet as well. The tension in the room has them following Edwin and Malcolm quickly.
"Hey Robby, want to came along as well?" Chris asks his younger brother as he hesitates in the doorway.
"Sounds good," Robby says getting to his feet. "You want to come as well Mick?"
"Nar, I'll be right," Mikkarl answers from where he is seated beside Steven.
"Catch ya later then," Robby says and heads out after the other four.
A pleasant silence settles over those who remain. The tv continues with the sitcom and I glance around the room. Steven, Dwayne, Mikkarl and Justin have a game of cards going while Sam and Mitchell sit in front of the lounge. Sam has one hand over Rosy's hand where it rests against his biceps. Rosy is curled up on her side with her eyes closed but I doubt she is asleep, judging by the way Sam absently toys with the fingers on her hand.
"I could do with a strong drink. Anyone else want one?" I ask climbing to my feet.
"A beer, thanks," Dwayne, Steven and Mikkarl chorus without looking up from their cards. Justin glances my way, and there are slight signs of stress on his face but he looks much more relaxed than he had earlier.
"I'll settle for a bottle of coke," he says quietly. "Need a hand getting the drinks?"
"I'm gonna grab drinks for us," Mitchell says standing up and I glance his way.
Rosy has opened her eyes and turned her head to look up at the back of his shoulders. The skin around her lips is white and her eyes cloudy telling me the painkiller I gave her nearly seven hours ago is wearing off. Either that or I unintentionally hurt her earlier when I disciplined her.
"Rosy, how badly are you hurting?" I ask as I turn to face her. "Do you need more painkiller?"
"No! I am not letting you knock me out again with the stuff!" Rosy protests as she struggles to sit up properly. Her movements are awkward and stiff. Obviously she is feeling the results of her injuries.
"Rosy, calm down," Sam orders with a worried glance my way. I can almost hear the thoughts running through his head. He is worried Rosy will panic and get herself into trouble yet again.
"Rosy, you need to let us help you," I say gently as I move closer but stop out of reach of the lounge. I squat so I am on eye level with her and watch as she manages to force herself into a sitting position even though movement clearly causes pain.
"If you don't want more of your own painkiller – just enough to take the edge off the pain – we have Advil or Panadol. I'd even donate some of my bourbon if you'd prefer a couple of shots of alcohol. Just let us help you. Let us show you we will look after you, make sure you're not in unnecessary pain until Doc gets here in the morning," I tell her quietly.
"I don't trust him! Either he jabs me with drugs that knock me out or gives the shit to others so they can," Rosy protests. Fear and resentment thicken her voice.
"I promise I will not let him do anything of the kind in the morning," I tell her gently. "Let us prove to you we want to protect you. I know with all that has happened to you it is a big leap of faith but I ask you let us prove you can trust us."
I see uncertainty, fear and distrust flickering deep in her eyes. She glances towards Sam and Mitchell and Sam squats down to look her in the face as well.
"Mitchell and I will be here," Sam says reassuringly. "There's not a tom in the room I wouldn't trust my life with so I can vouch for them."
"I don't want to be knocked out again! Get my things and I'll do the injection myself," Rosy demands.
"Steven, get the case," I say with a glance his way.
Everyone has stopped what they are doing and watching the proceedings with great interest and trepidation. Steven is quick to do as asked and when he hands me the case, I open it up and take out the black case containing ampoules of medication.
"I can do it," Rosy protests, fear and rising panic in her eyes and voice.
"Just half a dose to ease the pain?" I ask without looking her way.
I can hear her elevated heart rate and rapid breathing but there is nothing I can think of to calm her other than showing her by my actions that I will not knock her out with drugs. I quickly and carefully draw the contents of one ampule into a clean syringe and lift it up as I look directly into her eyes.
"You saw for yourself what went into this," I say softly. "Do you want me to pass it to Sam so he can do the injection or are you brave enough to let me do the injection?"
"Micah knows how to do it," Sam says and I catch the uneasy glance Rosy sends his way.
"Just that syringe and nothing else," Rosy warns uneasily.
"Ok then," I say getting to my feet. "Let's get this done. I need a cool drink."
I ignore Rosy's nervous growl as I approach and push the hem of her t-shirt up to expose the soft firm flesh of her hip. I am as quick as I can be as I give Rosy the painkiller before moving away. I glance back at Rosy, and she is still watching me suspiciously. I know it will take time to overcome all that has been done to her and for us to earn her trust.
"Rosy needs to try to have a drink even if it is only water," I remark to Sam. "There are some unopened bottles of water we usually take on jobs in the fridge. Rosy might feel better having a sealed drink."
"I'll get Rosy a bottle of water," Justin volunteers as he heads to the kitchen.
When we return with the drinks I watch as Justin hands Rosy an unopened bottle of water. She allows Sam to open it for her before she stretches out on the lounge once again and watches the tv.
* * * * *
Half way to the cattle paddock for a midday hunt we surprise a feral sow with three piglets. I take off after the sow and leave the piglets for the others. She stands to fight at the edge of a creek. Her eyes glow with hatred for predators and she gnashes her teeth loudly.
I am not surprised when Sam slinks around to the left as I head right planning to corner her between the water and us. She keeps most of her attention on me and I fake a charge. She drops her head as she charges to meet me. The chop of her teeth is loud in the air, but she squeals in surprise and pain as Sam attacks from the side and slightly behind.
The metallic tang of hot blood is thick in the air as I shoulder Sam aside to lap at the pool beneath the dead sow's body. The still warm blood is sweeter than the cool water in the creek would be and I drink eagerly.
Sam begins to open the carcass to feed on the internal organs, and the peace of the day is shattered by the distant sounds of a werecat in serious trouble. Muffled, smothered shrieks of pain and desperation reach me as I turn to face the direction of the sounds.
The hackles on my shoulders and neck stand up as I recognise Steven's cries. The dead sow is forgotten and I roar as I charge in the direction the sounds of the struggle come from.
Steven is my best friend. We're closer than brothers. We have faced the possibility of death and serious injury together. He has defended me at the risk of his own life and I am not there now!
I swerve around large trees and crash through smaller ones effortlessly. The bush flashes past in a blur as I race towards where I heard my friend. He is silent now and I press my ears hard against my skull as I force more speed from my body even though I am going at my top speed.
A roar of rage from Mitchell tells me help has arrived for Steven and I think I see the blur of a dark shape in a gully filled thickly with lantana and blueberry bushes. Edwin roars in rage and pain. I hear Mitchell screaming in fury, Sam racing not far behind me.
I am racing as fast as I can but it feels like it will take forever to reach my partner. There is no noise from Steven, only the frantic thrashing of lantana bushes as I race down towards the bottom of the gully.
A dark shadow tries to crawl from the bushes. Robby, who is in cat form, leaps on it attacking savagely. I recognise Steven's lithe form then he is obscured from view as Mitchell slams into Robby, knocking him away from Steven's prone body. Edwin joins in the fight with a roar of rage and I am surprised yet not shocked by the fierce fight Mitchell puts up against Robby and Edwin.
There is no roar of rage or anger behind me from Sam, but it seems as if the thud of his paws increases in power and his breathing almost takes on the puffing quality of a steam train. My charge takes me to the three combatants and I plough into the larger, stockier body of Edwin.
Toms are sent flying away from where my partner lies vulnerably and I hesitate a moment as I glance around. Edwin brushes against me as he turns and flies for Mitchell while Sam turns his power of authority towards Robby. I slam into Edwin's body from the side as I try to stop the fight, and a heavy weight slams into my own ribs almost knocking me from my feet.
I turn with an outraged snarl to find myself facing Malcolm. He growls and backs up, moving away from the other combatants. I launch myself at him and he tries to break away. I deal punishing bites and hard blows that will cause heavy bruising. With a cry of pain Malcolm tries to escape my teeth and claws. I follow him relentlessly as I dish out discipline for his defiance. Finally I move away from his cowered form and look towards the others.
Mikkarl is in human form, working over his brother's nearly motionless form. Only the steady rising and falling of his ribs tells me he is alive. Other toms in cat form stand between the combatants and Steven's prone body while Robby is cowered well away from Sam as Mitchell and Edwin fight on.
"Enough!" I roar with all the authority I possess.
I see Mitchell try to back off from the fight but Edwin comes after him ruthlessly. Every bite, every blow, is meant to wound. Mitchell is smaller and lighter framed but the sheer intensity of his fighting ability prevents Edwin over powering him. Again and again Edwin attacks and when Edwin ignores my commands to stop, I realise this is no ordinary fight.