To Love a Stray Ch. 20byMygypsy©
Here is the next chapter in the story. Sorry it has taken so long to be posted but I do this in my spare time and my hobbies and grandchildren take up a good deal of my time.
This chapter is once again from Kurt's point of view
The rich coppery aroma of blood does nothing to hide the smell of rage, pain and fear as I straighten my back and roll my shoulders to eliminate some of the tension in my body. Before me the naked, bloody body of Wade Williamson is tied spread-eagled and face down to a wooden bench. I still hold the bloody knife in my left hand as I watch him for a minute or so to ensure he is still breathing.
Wade's back is a raw mess from the top of his shoulders down to just beneath where his trousers would sit. I doubt there is any skin left beneath the blood covered area. Sam had systematically plied the whip not only to sliced away skin but also in heavy slashes that laid open Wade's back down into the muscles.
Between his legs his scrotum still remains but it is collapsed in on itself, a red slit either side evidence it is empty. Due to blood loss I have been forced to stop short of removing the empty scrotum but his two testicles rest on the bench inches away from his face. I had made sure he saw them before heavy blood loss and pain rendered him unconscious.
A werecat is capable of enduring a lot of pain and abuse before passing out or dying and both Sam and I had pushed Wade very close to his limits.
"Is he still alive?" Cantrell asks as he steps forward.
I turn my head slowly to look at him, he is pale and I catch the slight smell that tells me he is one of those I heard retching when I had used the sharp knife I held. I take a deep breath and give a sharp nod.
"He's alive," I confirm, "But he's gonna take one hell of a long time to recover from this."
I glance past Cantrell to where Mal, Don, Maurice and Martin stand not far in front of Edwin Williamson who is chained to the wall to watch the punishment.
"It's a shame he's still breathing," Maurice Donnelly mutters under his breath.
Almost instantly I am standing in front of Maurice snarling as I glare into his face, I can feel my hand clenching around the knife I hold as I choke down my rage at this tom who wants to interfere with the punishment.
"What? Did I deprive the Board of a spate of nice clean executions to sweep this sorbed business under the carpet and from their minds?" I snarl savagely. "What would have been enough?"
I step back and glance around the five who felt they held some kind of power.
"Wade and Marissa dead? Him," I jerk the knife I hold in a motion towards Edwin Williamson, "killed by friendly claws on some work assignment? Micah Williamson and the rest of his brothers ambushed and murdered? What of Jasmine Williamson? Kill her too? Or would it be the hysterectomy some of the Board have been pushing for because of her illness?"
I fall silent as Maurice Donnelly drops his eyes slightly to avoid my stare. I can hear Sam growling deep in his throat. An angry, rage filled sound at the threat to the clan that accepted him and his brother as young kitts and raised them. Rage fills me and I fling the knife behind me as I take a huge breath.
"Nooooooooo!" The word comes out more of a roar than a yell and all five toms take at least several steps back from me. Some part of my brain even notes Edwin pressing back against the brick wall behind him.
"You will not ... circle like vultures!" I snarl as I step forward, my head tilting forward slightly and my eyes narrowing as my inner cat demands to be released.
"You will not do a single damned thing to hinder that Clan! You forget to what family nearly half of that land actually belongs! I will stand behind Jasmine Williamson and whatever tom she marries. The Board will make no further moves against any of them!" I warn as I pace from side to side.
"Kurt, we are concerned ..." Cantrell begins in a serious voice.
"DO NOT PUSH ME ON THIS!" My yell becomes a roar as my inner cat surges forward and into control.
I feel my clothes ripping and my body feels as if it has been blown apart from the inside. The gasps from those in front of me fill my ears and through the blur of my changing sight I catch the slight movements as three of them turn their heads away from the sight of me. My front feet hit the floor and I arch my back slightly as I dig my claws into the wooden floor beneath me. I fling my head up and roar my rage. I wait until all remnants of my roar have faded before I roar again, and again and again.
"You won't get any arguments from me," Don Curtis says when the room is finally silent.
"It is Mitchell McIntosh who will be marrying Jasmine," Mal Inness says with a faint smile.
"There a problem Dad?" Dave asks from the doorway.
I glance that way to see Blake and several of our warriors behind him, they must have heard my roars from outside. I give my head a brief shake before glancing at Wade then turning my head to look at Dave intently.
"I'll go get a medic," Dave says interrupting my look correctly.
"Well, since all matters before the Board have been settled we might as well go home." Martin Francis says quietly as if to avoid drawing attention to himself.
I huff slightly and trot to the doorway to stop anyone leaving the room. I take a deep breath and begin the process to change back to human form. Even while I change the speed with which I had became a cat drifts through my mind. I have changed fast before, but always in private and never in front of anyone outside of my own family. Still the speed of my transformation had never taken just a few seconds like it had just minutes earlier. Never. But then my inner cat had never seized control before. Always I had kept a balance between both sides of my nature.
When I am once again on two feet and in human form I dust my hands off and glance between the five that had formed the representation of the governing board.
"I trust gentlemen," I say quietly, "that there will be no problems from here on with any members of the Williamson clan. And oh, I'll give you fair warning now, my niece will not be railroaded into some ... convenient marriage."
"Arrangements have already been made between Ray Macintosh and Alan Cummings in regards to Rosy MacIntosh," Cantrell says in an attempt at firmness even though his voice trembles slightly.
"Samuel, do you remember either your opinion, or that of your brother, being asked before this ... arrangement was made?" I ask as I smile coldly and curl my top lip without breaking eye contact with Cantrell.
"No," Sam answers in a hard voice.
"She needs guidance and support to raise her kitt, plus she needs to learn proper and correct behaviour." Mal says quietly but firmly. "It is obvious she needs experienced help, not just help from those with the best of intentions."
"I don't dispute my niece needs help. I am sure Alan Cummings is doubtlessly more than able to provide the help," I say with a slight nod. "But that does not make her have to marry him. The choice is hers,"
"What young tom is going to be willing to get involved with a volatile, psychotic she-kitt who is either pregnant or who not long gave birth?" Cantrell mutters beneath his breath.
I don't react to his remark even though he sends me a nervous glance. I have to admit to myself I honestly don't know if my niece can be helped. I don't know what is causing her to lash out verbally in such a vicious manner when she becomes upset. It could be that the abuse she has suffered at the hands of strays, and then being forced to become pregnant, has unhinged her mind.
"I was told you wanted to see me Kurt,"
I look towards the doorway to see Aaron Farlow who had travelled with Marissa to sedate her if necessary during the hearing. I glance at Wade and am reassured when I see the slight movement of his breathing, it is very weak but he is still alive. I welcome the interruption, hopefully it will keep the others from thinking about my ability to change forms at such a phenomenal speed. I don't want them asking questions to which I am not sure of the answers as yet.
"He's been punished," I say, "he's still alive. Patch him up best you can before Marissa is allowed to see him."
"Just his back?" Aaron asks as he walks towards where Wade is. "He wasn't whipped on his chest and stomach?"
I'm not surprised to see he is carrying a sizeable gym bag that would contain his medical equipment and supplies.
"I castrated him as well. Tied things off so he wouldn't bleed out," I say levelly. "He only gets pain relief if it is necessary to keep him alive, and that's only for Marissa's sake."
"What punishment does Marissa receive?" Aaron asks quietly.
"Marissa was deemed not responsible due to her ... stress over her daughter's illness at the time," Mal Inness cuts in when Cantrell would have spoken.
"And him?" Aaron asks with a jerk of his head to indicate Edwin Williamson.
"He will financially support the kitt he fathered but will be allowed no contact with it or the mother," Martin says calmly.
I watch as Sam stalks over to stand in front of Edwin and glare into his face.
"That means you will never hold your son, you will not get the chance to watch him grow up. You don't get to hear him call you Daddy," Sam snarls into his face. "And if you ever attempt to so much as glance towards my sister, what Mitchell and I shall do to you will make Wade's punishment look like a slap on the wrist!"
A sense of pride fills me as fear clouds Edwin's face and I smile as I glance at my nephew.
"Don, I hope you don't mind Sam and I making use of your shower," I say as I turn my head to look at him. "I don't wish to upset my niece any more than she already is."
"I'll take my leave now since everything is settled," Cantrell says stiffly.
"Yeah, sure," I agree amicably. "Just don't forget that I've made myself clear on a few things,"
I wait until only Mal is left out of the five who composed the committee and follow him from the building knowing Sam will come as well.
"So Mal, what young she-kitts would you recommend for toms like my sons to be interested in?" I ask casually knowing Sam is close enough to hear what is being said.
"Martin's daughter Adriana," Mal says after a moment. "She's quiet but sensible, not stand out pretty but she has a nice sweet personality. I had to step in and stop Lotty being a bitch towards her recently."
"Any others?" I ask.
"Donna Stephan is still single but I wouldn't be surprised if she starts chasing Micah Williamson now your niece isn't involved with him. They were an item once before. Young Celeste Willoughby is of age, and Laurie Baxter," Mal says with a laugh. "Last week Angela and I were visiting Stan and Lauren, had Edwin and his partner Jacob with us as security. We stayed the night and young Laurie decided to stay in the quarters with her brothers and the warriors. She tried snuggling up to Edwin but he isn't recovered enough for what she wanted ..."
Mal breaks off with a laugh and shakes his head before glancing back over his shoulder at Sam before continuing.
"Apparently Jacob wasn't backwards in taking the chance, we could hear her squealing from inside the house. First she was squealing it was too big, it wouldn't be able to fit ... that soon changed to shocked squeals. That didn't last long, and about an hour later she could be heard moaning, Jacob must have mounted her beneath an open window. She was acting real shy when she came out the following morning to say goodbye to Jacob and Edwin."
"Edwin shouldn't be allowed near any of the she-kitts," Sam growls behind me.
"After news of what has happened gets about I doubt he will be welcome on quite a few territories," Mal says soberly. "I'm not too sure if you done me a favour leaving one of my best warriors alive or if you handed me a liability."
I have to admit to myself that Mal has a valid point with what he said, not too many of the Alphas and their wives are going to want Edwin near their daughters in the future and the younger Alphas will not want him near their wives.
"Where do you stand on this arranged marriage?" I ask Mal in an even voice.
"Your niece definitely needs guidance raising her kitt but I am not sure being forced to marry will make for a satisfactory solution. From all Wade has said of her, and what Malcolm, Christopher and Robby have mentioned trying to force her to do anything she doesn't want to do could send her running for the hills. But certain members here are very old fashioned and believe marriage is the answer." Mal answers after a few moments hesitation.
"Do you mind if I take the first shower Kurt?" Sam cuts in. "I want to get back to Rosy as quick as I can."
* * * * *
I am lathering the shampoo thickly through my hair wanting to eliminate all traces of the smell of blood when heavy pounding on the bathroom door makes me rinse my head hurriedly before stepping from beneath the spray from the shower head.
"Yeah, what is it?" I demand in annoyance.
"There's big trouble Boss," Dave calls through the door to me. "There's been some kind of a disagreement and Ray is giving Sam a thrashing!"
I curse under my breath as I step beneath the spray only to turn the shower off before stepping out of the cubicle and reaching for a towel.
"Just give me two minutes and I'll be there," I yell. "I hope someone is trying to stop it! Do you know what started it?"
I only dry my lower body enough to be able to pull a pair of jeans on without to much resistance and don't bother with a shirt as I yank the door open and hurry out of the shower room. The shower is attached to the main garage and I exit the building facing the house.
The sight that meets my eyes does little to reassure me, Ray and Sam are standing toe to toe trading blows. Ray is clearly on the attack launching a flurry of blows at his son but Sam is holding his own.
I break into a run ignoring the fact I am bare footed and dressed only in a pair of denim jeans. I take in those gathered around the two combatants and several figures hurrying towards them.
"What the hell is going on here?" Maurice Donnelly demands as he and Don Curtis reach the fight a few moments before I do.
"Ray! Samuel! Back off now!" I order as I step towards them.
"I'm about to give this whelp the beating he deserves! Disrespect me will you!" Ray yells in barely controlled rage.
"After what I witnessed I have no reason to respect you!" Sam snarls as he takes a step back only to have Ray charge wildly.
They go down in a wild tangle. Ray is well known for his dirty street fighting tactics and is using them against his younger, fitter son.
"Come on! Break it up!" I yell as I move forward knowing my warriors will back me up.
I grab hold of Ray and know without looking that both of my sons will be catching hold of their cousin. I glance sideways to see both Maurice and Don catching a hold of Ray along with me. It takes all three of us to pull him out of reach of his son and he only stops struggling when Maurice gets a hold on him from behind, one arm around his throat while he twists one of Ray's arms up behind his back.
"I want charges brought against him!" Ray yells. "Assault for a start!"
"The way I remember it, it wasn't the tom from the Williamson clan who threw the first punch," A deep husky voice says with a touch of irony.
I glance towards the speaker and recognise Alan Cummings' chief warrior Jakob Perkins. Tall at close to six foot seven, Perkins is heavily muscled and unusually thick through the body for an Australian werecat. The sunlight catches a blue glint in his curly black hair and his eyes are a rich, almost golden amber, startling in his darkly tanned face. His teeth flash white as he bares them in a sardonic grin.
"You're lucky I was at the other end of the room or I would have done more than call you a lying mongrel bastard," Perkins states. "I would have seen if I could knock your teeth down your throat in one hit."
"What is this all about?" Maurice, Don and I demand almost in unison.
"If he," Perkins jerks his head towards Sam, "won't press charges of Cruelty to a She-kitt I will,"
"I was only stating the facts! It is high time someone set Tawny Rosalind straight!" Ray snaps in indignant anger. "She has been fed sugar coated lies for long enough!"
"I was not lying to my sister!" Sam roars in anger.
I am aware of more werecats arriving at the scene on foot and I can hear the faint murmur of Martin and Cantrell's voices, followed by deeper tones from Mal.
"You know damned well she isn't welcome on Williamson soil," Ray snaps.
"Would someone care to explain what this is all about?" Don demands sternly.
"I was trying to explain to my sister I was going to be gone tonight and tomorrow, that I would be back with her Sunday morning," Sam says looking towards Don, then glancing towards each Alpha present.
"Then Ray butts in saying I was going to my brother's wedding but Rosy wasn't invited. She got upset and I was in the middle of trying to explain to her why when Ray butts in again ..." Sam continues in a strained voice.
Perkins steps between father and son to give Ray a disgusted sneer.
" 'Your brother doesn't want you at his wedding, his bride doesn't want you at her wedding, Micah Williamson doesn't want you to so much as set foot on Williamson
land. Hell! None of the clan want you there! All of them would be happy to never see you again.' I believe those were the exact words the bastard used." Perkins cuts in sharply. "That poor little she-kitt, she just stood there. She stopped trying to get her brother to take her with him, stopped arguing it was all a misunderstanding and stumbled to a chair where she just sank into it. Every shred of fight gone out of her."
"Take him straight to the shed," Maurice growls amid the sharply indrawn breaths from different toms gathered around.
"No matter the provocation that was an extremely cruel thing to say!" Mal spits in disgust.
"As her father I got every right ..." Ray begins furiously.
"You have never been a father to that girl," Cantrell says tightly as he moves into my field of vision. "If I remember correctly it took the Board ordering you to submit to a blood test to prove she was your daughter, and since then you have been scheming to use her to your advantage. Once we have dealt with you we will be looking closely at the arrangements you have made with Alan Cummings."
"I need to go and check on my niece immediately," I state sharply and Cantrell gives a curt nod.
"Five, no more than ten minutes or we start this hearing without you," Don warns.
I head towards the front door trying to ignore the cold feeling of dread that has formed in my chest. Perkins description of Rosy's reaction doesn't sound good.
I don't have to look behind me to know that one set of the footsteps following me belong to Sam. I pause outside the door to the room where Rosy had been left while Wade was punished and glance over my shoulder at Sam with a grave face before turning the handle and opening the door.
Rosy is sitting sideways in an armchair, her legs pulled up onto the seat and her face buried against the back of the seat. Alan is squatting beside the chair talking in a low murmur but he stops as we step in the door. I watch as Alan gets to his feet stiffly, takes one slow glance at Rosy and then moves towards us as I hear the door shut behind me.
"How is she?" Sam demands before either Alan or I can say a word.
Alan glances back at Rosy as if expecting her to make a reply but there is no reaction from her and he looks back towards Sam and I with a worried frown.