To Love a Stray Ch. 07byMygypsy©
Hallo and thanks to my readers.
Yes I am Australian and 'yous' is used frequently in a lot of the rural areas here.
I currently am having a problem with the computer I access the internet with and have to use someone else's computer to submit chapters to this site so please be patient. More chapters are coming just a little bit more slowly.
My mind feels as if it is stuffed with cotton wool and my eyes open reluctantly as I struggle to work out where I am, everything starts to come back to me slowly and I have to grit my teeth to prevent an outburst of anger and fear. I move my head slightly to look around and the room swims dizzily, I close my eyes and wait impatiently for my dizziness to pass.
When I am finally able to look around without feeling as if I am going to pass out or fall over I open my eyes to narrow slits and peer around the brightly lit room. Fear flutters in my stomach as I see bars on the window and the bars that make up the door. I hear someone walking close by and close my eyes feigning that I am still under the influence of the drug.
"Shouldn't she be coming around soon?" Steven asks.
"Doc said she should be coming around about now." Sam sounds solemn and I want to scream at him for allowing this to happen to me.
"Should we go away and leave her be for a while?" Steven suggests.
"That's what Doc advised. He reckons she's going to be pissed off when she comes around and I think he's right about that." I listen for regret in Sam's voice but hear none. "Damn Edwin to hell and back! Grabbing her like that was stupid!"
"A sister for you and Mitchell huh? No wonder Mitchell has been over-protective of her. I was starting to wonder how friendly he'd gotten with her," Steven says quietly.
I am silent as I listen to them move away and wonder how long before they start to worry when I show no signs of coming out of the drug. If I can get one of them to open the door ...
I doze on and off for a while all the while recovering even more from the drug. The shadows tell me it is mid afternoon when I wake fully. The dark silhouettes of the bars grate on my inner cat and the need to be able to run in cat form and forget my worries for a while is starting to get nearly unbearable. My muscles are starting to get stiff from remaining in the same position when I hear someone approaching the room once again.
"Rosy? Rosy?" I recognise Sam's voice even though it is thick and strained with worry, "Hell! She should be awake by now!"
"Go get Doc, I'll see if I can do anything for her," Micah orders. I struggle to keep my breathing even as I hear Sam hurry off and keys jingle in the lock of the door. Micah definitely is not my choice to go up against but I have no choice if I want to escape.
"Rosy! Rosy wake up! Rosy come on! Time to wake up!"
You weren't this worried when I was drugged and put in here were you? I think angrily.
"Rosy, come on baby, be all right sweetheart," His voice comes from much closer than I am expecting and I can't help opening my eyes in surprise.
I recognise the moment he realises what I am up to but I am already hurling myself off the bed in mid shift. The pain is incredible as his arms touch me and I fall to the ground, now I know why not to touch someone who is shifting - it's indescribable agony. I make it to my feet and charge Micah a second time aiming high on his chest and to one side, I sheath my claws at the last possible moment but the impact of the collision is still immense as I hit him in the upper right chest knocking him over backwards.
I hear him grunt in pain as I pick myself up and then I am running for the door. The room is part of the stone building and I bolt for the door, I am in full flight as I reach outside and lower myself towards the ground slightly as I race across the open ground. I hear shouts behind me but I am going too fast to understand what is being said, I halt near the tree line to look back towards the buildings and turn back towards the trees as I see Micah appear from the stone shed in cat form to head towards me along with three cats from the quarters where the others are in the process of shifting.
I know this is no run for pleasure as I speed into the trees and I will have to outsmart the cats behind me on their own well known home territory. Even as I run I am planning my next moves, take them far from home and loose them then sneak back and get my things ... I am one pissed off kitty and they will feel my wrath. Once I am free and clear I will return to my mountain retreat and hide there until I find another place I want to be.
I slow as I take time to regain my breath, my body has recovered from the last traces of the drug and I stop and take time to empty my bowels and bladder before furiously kicking twigs and dirt over the droppings with my back feet. I glance back and am pleased to see that there is no way they will miss my insult if they enter the clearing - I have scratched up a large area in my rage.
I turn away from the clearing and head into the bush; it is not going to be easy to loose the toms on their home territory. They know I am in good health and won't be looking for me collapsed somewhere or hiding by water. This is going to take all my acquired tricks -- werecats hunt by sight not smell so I'll take to the trees as often as possible to be above the usual field of sight. Most cats run down hill when chased, it is easier and faster -- I'll head up hill. Avoid large open spaces, stick to the shadows beneath thicker growth. And the list goes on ...
My inner cat growls as the thoughts run through my mind; her mind turns to the toms. She likes them but I picture the bars of the door and on the window. A snarl escapes us and she pushes me on, she hates cages as much as I do.
* * * * *
It is nearly a month since I was betrayed, betrayed by those I had hoped were my friends. My only solace had been when my period had turned up on time ruling out the threat of pregnancy after being served while in cat form. I look out over my valley and watch the small flock of birds wheeling over the tree tops, the crackle of leaves as something moves near by catches my attention but I look back towards the birds.
I still have my phone, still have the phone numbers but to use them was to open up the opportunity to learn the results of the blood test I knew Doc would have done. But I didn't need to hear what he has to say, there was no way they could be my brothers. As much as I want them to be and as much as I care about them as if we were related there is no way we could be, they were born werecats and I was born human. I hadn't shifted until after being attacked by the werecat as I had said.
But a tiny part of me knows it's true -- I am not a stray. The strong pull I still feel for Sam and Mitchell. My nature as a child with the always constant driving need to be out in the bush or watching small animals as they go about their daily existence.
The wind picks up and I turn my face into it closing my eyes and lifting my chin as I read the secrets it holds in its folds. Loneliness haunts me and I open my eyes to look out over the valley once again, I throw my head back and let go with a fair imitation of a dingo howl as my human throat will allow. I have difficulty imitating the cry I would give in cat form. I get to my feet and head back towards my shack, the late evening sun is casting long shadows and I shiver with the dread of the lonesome night to come.
Supper is a meal of dehydrated camp stew cooked in my fire pit with tinned peaches as desert. I sit out in the night watching the feathery clouds float across the sky; I hold my phone in my hand already attached to the machine to hide my location. I know I will call because I have been longing to ever since I got home, the bond that had formed between me and the toms was much stronger for me than I had realised when I had run from them in anger.
I look up Pete's number and press the call button as I listen I hear the ring on the other end and wait on edge for it to be answered.
"Hallo Peter speaking."
"Hi Pete it's me," I say softly.
"You okay?" Pete asks anxiously.
"You've been told I guess," I close my eyes and lean my head back against the tree.
"Yes I was told. You know they're all very worried about you," Pete tells me gently.
"They shouldn't have tried to force me to stay there. I'm not one of them," I protest even as the idea settles more easily in my mind.
"That's not what the results of the test say Tawny. You've got family who want you," he tells me gently.
"All my family is dead and those werecats they've proven I can't trust them." I say bitterly.
"They were trying to do what they thought was best for you," Pete tells me with a sigh.
"They should have given me time and space. All they did was try to prove my entire life a lie!" I say and choke back a sob.
"Let's not argue about this Tawny. Are you safe where you are?" Pete asks.
"You got shelter and food?"
"Yeah," I can hear him breathing on the other end of the phone and know he is lost for what to say to me. I squeeze back tears and wish I were there with him so he could tell me I was going to be alright, that everything would be fine.
"Can you tell them I'm type of ok?" I ask before ending the call. I drop the phone on the ground and begin tearing my clothes off. I need to run, to become a cat and not worry about all things human for a while.
* * * * *
Time becomes a blur as days merge together and time is measured by when I need to hunt to eat, I spend more and more time as a cat loosing my turmoil in animal instinct until all that is left is the need for company. I leave my shack in human form with a backpack and head down towards the towns, my phone is in my jacket pocket with a flat battery and the charger is in my backpack.
It takes me a week of constant travelling but finally I turn into a remembered driveway just on sunset and start the two-mile walk on foot. My sneakers are worn nearly through and I walk along on the shoulder of the road on the thick grass where it adds cushioning to the thin soles.
With the coming of night the air is becoming cold and I pause long enough to pull my long hooded jumper from my backpack and I wrinkle my nose in distaste - its smell is strong with dust and grime. I pull the hood up over my hair keeping the cold breeze from travelling down my neck and I hunch forward tiredly as I resume walking.
I start to pick up scents on the wind and it lifts my dragging feet urging me on. I know that just around the corner I will be able to see the lights of the buildings and I smile to myself as I jostle my backpack to ease where it is cutting into my shoulders.
"Stop right where you are! Get down on your knees, hands behind your head or you will be tasered!" The voice that comes out of the dark is strange and I stop instantly before starting to back away.
"Stop right where you are! You will not be warned again!"
I stop moving and shrug one arm out of the backpack so it falls to the ground as I silently curse myself, I should have been aware of whomever it was.
"Get down on your knees with your hands behind your head or you will be tasered!"
Silently I drop to my knees and slowly raise my hands to touch the sides of my head, I hear a slight noise not far ahead of me but to the right and as I turn my head slightly to look I am suddenly shoved hard between the shoulder blades from behind. I manage to get my hands between my face and the ground before I hit but a hard knee lands in the small of my back and fingers bite into my left wrist as my arm is twisted up hard behind my back.
"Come on fight!" He hisses as I tense up but I am in control of my panic enough to know that to fight would be very stupid. He is a werecat and going by the weight on my back and arm much bigger than me.
It is all I can do to hold still as handcuffs are snapped onto my wrist and my second arm is wrestled behind my back, I am cuffed hard on the back of the head and I stop resisting.
I hear a strange click to my right and a faint static sound, "Edwin we have an intruder here, a cat." a male voice says. "Robby has him in handcuffs,"
"You and Robby bring him over to the stone shed, we'll be there waiting." I recognise Edwin's voice and I am too scared to call out for fear the two who have me will realise I am female.
"Ummm, Mikkarl. I think it's female," Robby says from behind me as he moves his knee off my back and pulls at the side of the hood that is covering my face.
Click, "Edwin are you lot expecting Sam and Mitchell's little female friend to visit?" Mikkarl asks.
"No we haven't heard from her, are you ... is she blonde? White blonde?" I can hear the excitement in Edwin's voice. "Rosy! Can you hear me? Mikkarl and Robby are fine they won't hurt you! Can yous bring her over to the quarters?" Edwin demands.
"Are you Rosy?" Mikkarl asks as he squats where I can see his shoes.
"Yes," my voice is soft with fear and I am relieved when I hear the faint tingle of metal on metal and feel a hand touch the handcuffs on my wrists.
"I'll take these handcuffs off you okay Rosy, and then we can go to the warrior's quarters," Robby tells me from behind my back. "I hear you know my brothers Chris and Malcolm and Mikkarl's brothers Pete and Steven," he talks as he frees my hands.
With my hands free I stand up cautiously and glance towards my backpack. They both look towards my backpack Mikkarl even reaching for it and I spin away from them and bolt towards the quarters as fast as I can go on two legs.
I hear no sounds of pursuit but I don't slacken off my speed even as I jump half seen obstacles in the dark. I can see the buildings in full view now and head for the quarters, two figures are walking over from the main house and two more wait near the door of the quarters and I slow with a cautious glance over my shoulder as I strain my ears for sounds of pursuit. I slow to a walk and breathe deeply to catch my breath, I stop for a moment to take a proper look behind me and see the two toms well behind me jogging steadily.
"Hey Rosy!" Malcolm calls from the front of the quarters and I head that way looking around for more of the toms.
"Where's Mitchell?" I ask when I am close enough to see Malcolm and Timny clearly.
"Sam, Mitchell, Dwayne and Justin are out on a job. So are Micah and Steven," Malcolm tells me as he approaches me where I have stopped.
"Justin? Isn't he just a kid?" I ask.
"He's on his first job, it's a simple one." Edwin says as he and Chris get close enough to talk at a normal level. "It's good to see you,"
"Mitchell'll be back won't he? And Sam?" I ask worriedly.
"Yeah they just got a few minor things to do on the way back. They should be here not tomorrow evening but the one after," Malcolm tells me.
"Who are they?" I ask glancing at the two toms that were getting much closer.
"Dad put on two new warriors since Justin is so young," Edwin says and glances towards the quarters' door. "Want to come inside?"
I glance towards the door and back at Edwin and catch the way he's glancing between the other three and that's when I realise they think I'm about to flee because Mitchell and Sam aren't there.
"Yeah, yous got anything to eat? I didn't stop to hunt at lunch," I say as I head for the door voluntarily.
I hear a sigh of relief from someone and glance back over my shoulder at the toms before going through the door and heading for the kitchen. I stand back near the table and watch happily as Edwin starts making me an extravagant sandwich.
I start nervously when the door bangs and I move closer to where Malcolm and Chris are watching Edwin make my sandwich as the two toms I don't know enter the quarters. When they come into the kitchen I slip past Malcolm and Chris closer to Edwin and glance towards the new toms nervously.
"These are Robby and Mikkarl Rosy," Malcolm tells me quietly. I give a slight nod of understanding before turning my attention back to Edwin and my food.
"At the table or on the lounge?" Edwin asks with a glance at me.
"Lounge room," I decide quickly and follow Malcolm and Chris past Robby and Mikkarl.
I happily sit between Malcolm and Chris on the lounge and take the plate when Edwin hands it to me, I can't help curling one arm around it but make no fuss about using both hands when it becomes clear I can't manage the sandwich one handed.
"Where's Timny gone?" I ask suddenly as I realise I haven't seen him inside the quarters. I notice Edwin exchange quick glances with the other four and hear the slightest noise behind me and I half turn in my seat to look behind me suspiciously, both Robby and Mikkarl are near the door that leads towards the exit.
"He's gone to let Wade know you're here," Chris says quietly.
"Oh," I say and give a shrug as I turn my attention back to my food; I have no intention of leaving before I see Mitchell, Sam and Dwayne. "So is there any more food I can have?" I ask as I finish the last of the sandwich.
"When did you eat last?" Edwin asks as he takes my plate.
"I hunted just before dawn this morning," I say with a shrug as I turn around and kneel on the lounge to watch Edwin over the back of the lounge as he heads towards the kitchen. I turn my head to the other side and look at Robby and Mikkarl who are watching me with undisguised interest.
"How long have yous been working here?" I ask curiously.
"It's been a bit over a month now," Mikkarl tells me with a grin obviously pleased to get my attention.
"You can come sit down 'cause I'm not gonna try to run away," I say as I glance between Mikkarl and Robby before looking at Edwin where he has stopped coming out of the kitchen with a cold cooked chicken on a plate. "I'm not stupid; I know what yous are thinking."
"Well you got to admit you have made a habit out of running away," Malcolm tells me and I glance at him.
"And I suppose none of yous have made me so miserable here that I'd want to leave?" I challenge him as I hold his gaze levelly.
"None of us ever meant to make you miserable." Wade says as he appears in the doorway.
I leap backwards off the lounge hissing and spitting in fear at the sudden and soundless arrival of the Alpha, I back up several steps before I can stop myself. I drop my head slightly as I eye Wade then glance at Malcolm and Chris who are unworried by the sudden arrival of their Alpha.
I calm down when there is no sign of threat and I take my cue from the calmness of the toms. I move closer to Malcolm who is the larger of the two, mindful of keeping him and the lounge between Wade and myself.
"Wade," I say respectfully with a bob of my head.
"It's good to see you came back by yourself Rosy," Wade tells me, "I'm sorry about the reception you first got but we didn't know to expect you."
"I don't know how to contact you." I say softly, hesitantly.
"I'll have make sure that is remedied," Wade tells me with a smile, "I hope you're going to stay at least until Sam and Mitchell return. I know they'll want to see you."
"Of course I want to see them! And Dwayne," I say and look down at my feet as I remember the trouble I got into when I had claimed them as mine in front of Wade.
"Well I'm sure you can find a place here to stay for the time being, anyway I'll leave you to catch up with the warriors here and probably see you now and then over the next few days." Wade tells me with a friendly smile.
You think I'm going to run away from here, I think as I drop my gaze so he doesn't read my thoughts in my face.
"See you tomorrow Rosy. Guys," Wade said before turning and heading for the door, I watched him disappear and listened for the door to open and shut before I began to relax.