I’m not happy about the fact that Rover is carrying Felix all by himself. I know he’s heavy. Well, yeah okay Rover is stronger than me, a lot stronger, but still. I can’t stand the way he is looking at him. I have never seen Rover look at anyone like that; not even me. But he doesn’t KNOW him. Okay I like Felix... liked him... and, before this, I wanted to... touch him but not like this.
I am feeling decidedly squeamish and I want to talk to Sar about it as soon as I can.
“I’m going to fly down. Do you think you can manage Felix?”
“I’ll be fine. The others can go down too; I’ll be fine on my own.”
“So you can stare at him without anyone else to see you looking stupid?” And yeah that was vicious and petty and beneath me but who cares.
“Glory, what’s wrong?”
“Nothing. Enjoy yourself.”
I can’t stay and watch any more. I have to find Sar and ask him some questions. It’s so nice to be flying without that weight in my arms. I spread my wings out at my side and turn my palms into the wind. I love to feel the resistance of my hand against the wind. I’m not even flying, not really; just floating like a hang glider.
I’m not stupid enough to close my eyes; not with the smoke and fires below. I’m not actually going to the circus. I assume that everything has been wrapped up there; or at least that Sar has delegated people to take care of the rest of the cleaning up. So it would be wise to head straight for the cars.
Pixie and Rover hate to travel by car. Pixie would prefer to fly and Rover to run; but sometimes we’re so far away it simply isn’t practical. For myself, I love to cuddle up to Sar in the back of a big car with the windows blacked out and purr while he strokes my ears. He loves it too and he drops little kisses on my head all the way. Sometimes we go further; when there is a screen between us and the driver and we are going a long way. Some of the cars carry six or seven people but ours only has the two of us... and the driver. I so want to be cuddling in the back of a car with Sar right now.
Where is he? Where the hell is he? He’s not by the cars. I want him: I need him and he isn’t here. Where is... oh. Seeing Sar for the first time after any separation makes my heart flip. This time, after everything I have been through, it’s awesome. I think Sar might be a bit startled. I don’t usually throw myself at him with quite so much enthusiasm.
“Easy, tiger. What’s wrong? Is the boy okay?”
I’m trying to cling on to him but he pushes me back so he can look into my eyes. I don’t like that. He can see too much when he looks into my eyes. Well, if I don’t look at him he can’t see.
Shit. When he’s got that voice on I know I’m in trouble. But I am definitely not going to look at him; nope, no chance; not even if he... Oh... oh, oh. My ear, my ear.
“Oh Glory, Glory; you should know better. I can see through you like a window. I know something’s wrong. I know you.”
“Nothing’s wrong.” Yeah, I know I’m still pouting... so bite me.
“I’m not stupid Glory. What’s happened? Is it something to do with that boy? Is he alright? I was worried. The dart was set up for rogue weres and there was too much in there for someone as small as he is.”
“Small? You wouldn’t say that if you had to carry him.”
“Be that as it may, it’s beside the point and has nothing to do with the question I was asking. Is he alright?”
“Yes... he’s alright. He’s still unconscious but he’s doing just fine. Rover’s taking care of him.”
Sar tilts up my chin and I have to look at him, I just have to. He’s so beautiful and his eyes are so deep and beautiful and sweet. Sigh.
“Are you going to tell me now?”
“Can we get in the car?”
Sar smiles. “Let’s wait until the weres get here and make sure our new pussy cat iws okay and settled and then we’ll talk.”
“Don’t worry about Felix... he’s being taken care of.” I know I’m scowling but I can’t help it.
“If you are going to keep asking questions and being more concerned about Felix than me then I’m not...”
Flouncing off is never an option with Sar. He grabs my wrist, not too hard, just enough to keep me from running; not to hurt me like he used to.
“Calm down, Glory. I’ve never seen you like this before. What’s wrong? What’s happened?”
“Glory,” he growls and I have to give in. Huffing and puffing won’t make any difference with Sar and, to be honest I am starting to feel foolish; not that that changes anything. My stubbornness is far stronger than my shame and Sar knows this very well.
“I’m sorry, Sar. I’m being an idiot. Can we shelve this until later?”
“Are you sure that everything is okay?”
“Sure. I am going to wait in the car.”
Sar gives me a long, hard look and then shrugs and walks away. Meh. I’m glad it’s my favourite car; at least something is going my way. After everything I did for that... Oh bugger. I can’t hate Felix. I really want to hate Felix but I can’t; not when he actually seems rather nice. And he has been through such a lot. And then some fucking idiot pretty much overdosed him with drugs that were meant for renegade weres. He’s going to have such a bitch of a headache and I think that if I give him a chance he could be a good friend.
IF I give him a chance! I would have; I would have been happy to... well if he still wants to be friends after everything that has happened to him. If I still want to be friends. It’s not his fault that Rover’s turned into a... well whatever he’s turned into and I really, really don’t like what I am turning into. This isn’t me. I’m not a spoiled, petulant child... not usually.
I’m not being a very good friend to either of them. Rover was there for me. Rover has always been there for me. Rover is my best friends and what am I doing to him? Okay... this stops now. I WILL be better than this.
I’m just in time to see them arrive. Rover looks exhausted but he is smiling. Felix’s head is resting on his shoulder and I catch a look of such tenderness on his face that it makes my stomach twitch with anger again. Stop it, Glory. This is stupid, beneath you and downright unfair. Still, the smile on my face is forced.
“Rover,” I call in as hearty a voice as I can muster and he makes his way straight towards me, through the little group of people that has gathered to see the strange creature we have collected. “Oh Rover, you look so tired.”
“I’m fine, Glory. He doesn’t weigh very much.”
I have to bite my lip but I still manage to smile. “You’re a lot stronger than me. How is he, Rover? Sar told me that the tranq dart was meant for renegade weres. Everyone’s worried.”
The smile that Rover gives me makes me happy and sad. “He’s fine. There have been times when he’s opened his eyes and looked at me.” Easy Glory, hold on to your temper because this is so silly. “He has such beautiful eyes.”
“Yes, he does. Take him to the back car; you’ll have privacy and it will be just the two of you so you can make him comfortable.”
The look that he gives me makes me feel guilty. “Thank you, Glory; you’re a good friend.”
“Soul brother and never forget it.”
Rover grins and shakes his head. “My heart will never let me forget it, little cat.”
I watch them go. I feel as if something has been ripped from me. I’m so silly.
“Looks like you’ve lost your little lap dog.”
“What!” Pixie can move so quietly when he wants to, and he still brings out the worst in me even though we are friends, of a sort.
“Looks like Bonzo has a liking for pussy.”
“His name is Rover,” I grind out. I so want to slap his face but that would really be silly.
“Oh dear... the pussy cat has his fur ruffled, I wonder why.”
“Because I’m pissed with you, Pixie... now go and find that creature you are so stuck on and leave me alone.”
Oh god I want to wipe that smug grin off his face but that would be... that would be just... Well, I can’t help smiling. Pixie is such a flighty creature. He’s a shit pig but I can’t help liking him.
“Give her a kiss from me... but not on the lips.”
Pixie turns round with his wicked smile. “I shall, indeed. Is there any particular spot you have in mind?”
“Hmmm... If I remember you once showed some interest in that special place between the wings so I think that will probably do.”
Pixie frowns. “Glory I... you know that I...”
“I know, you idiot. Go find Faith.”
“I don’t have to find her, I know where she is.”
It’s a relief to shut the door and have some ‘me’ time. My head is spinning. I am such a fool. Cat gets so... spiky about things. He can be a complete bitch and is selfish, jealous and... catty. Fey is no better because he is childish and petty and when vamp’s feathers get ruffled he just won’t let go. I don’t want to lose an old and potentially new friend because of my stupid inability to control my temper and pettiness. Grrrr...
The door startles me. I’m sunk down in the seat in what I have heard called a ‘blue funk’. I can’t help scowling at Sar but he simply raises an eyebrow and slides gracefully into his seat. He does everything gracefully and he is so damned cool and self contained. I think that’s why our relationship is so stormy sometimes. He isn’t used to the tantrums and I hate the fact he doesn’t fight back... until he starts to really fight back.
He doesn’t say anything and that really annoys me. I feel like a child when the parent says... ‘I’ll speak to you when you calm down’, although he doesn’t say anything to make me think that. I’m not going to speak to him. I am so totally not going to speak to him until he acknowledges me. There is no way I am going to say a single word until he...
“Sar?” He turns his head and smiles at me. It isn’t a smug smile, or a smirk, or a condescending smile. It’s a really gentle and loving smile and suddenly there is nowhere I want to be but wrapped in his arms. I have been struggling so hard with myself over this, battering myself with the uncontrolled emotion that as soon as I feel those arms around me, as soon as I smell his smell all I want to do is bawl like a baby.
“Hey, hey... what’s going on? What’s upset you?”
Oh how attractive I must be, sniffing, blinking and pouting. I have to try and pull myself together. Sar’s going to think I’m.... Oooohhhh. No matter what’s going on; no matter how upset, uptight or downright unreasonable I am being Sar always knows how to relax me. I melt and close my eyes as he gently strokes my ears. He knows now how to do it so that it doesn’t drop me into the bliss but keeps me relaxed and purring but fully conscious and aware.
“Mmmm.” Sar’s smile is so beautiful. I so want to kiss him. I... ohhh yeah. I knew his lips would be soooo soft. I knew that he would taste good... smoky. I’m completely melted now. If he lets me go I’ll dribble onto the floor. Even though he’s stopped stroking my ears I am so completely relaxed.
I let my eyes drift open. They feel heavy and half drugged and Sar is smiling at me but those beautiful eyes that can be so cold are burning in a way they only ever do for me. His hair feels so soft. He’s got it caught back in a band again but that’s okay... there; all loose and pretty again.
“You look different when your hair is down. It’s pretty.”
“So are you.”
“Mmmm.” Oh do that again... do it again... ohhhhh. I’m falling. My eyes close and I’m falling, falling, falling... except that I can’t fall because he’s holding me and... and... ohhhhh.
“Before we go any further; and I think it’s pretty much certain that we will; I need to know what’s wrong, Glory. You were really upset and it has to have something to do with the boy we rescued. If he’s going to be a problem I need to know.”
Bugger. Oh well, he’s right; he does deserve to know, even though it is going to make me look like a complete arse. I slide down so I have my head on Sar’s lap. He looks truly beautiful from here, with his hair hanging like silk curtains. I wonder what I look like to him. I know I’m weird looking; all black and silver, but he seems to like it.
“So this bond thing... how does it work?”
Sar’s eyes widen. I’m sure this can’t have been anything near what he expected. “What are you trying to say? Have you....?”
“Don’t be silly. No, I just want to know how it works.”
“I have no idea how it works. You should know that. I went through hell at the beginning trying to work out why I was so attracted to a little brat like you.”
“Little brat?” Cat is purring far too much to start bridling.
“Of course you are a brat... isn't this an example?” Why is he looking at me like that? Has he realised he doesn’t really love me? “Sometimes I forget how young you are. You have spent so much time fighting and running and struggling in one way or another. You’re so strong and brave but you’re still very, very young...”
“What... what does that mean? Don’t you... aren’t you...?”
Sar’s eyes widen. I can feel my lip trembling. I know that I am being a brat. The whole thing is about me being a brat but still... the thought that being young might have mattered to Sar; that he might have regretted our relationship because of it... It’s unbearable. I can't look at him. I have to close my eyes tight against the tears. Okay, he may be touching me, he may be brushing my hair off my face but if I look into his eyes I will know.
“Glory, look at me.”
Not a chance. There is no way I am going to look into those eyes which can never, ever hide the way they are feeling from me. “No.”
“Oh, Glory; don’t think for one moment, not for a single second that it makes any difference to the way I feel about you. I love you completely. Even if it wasn’t for the bonding I would love you for who and what you are. After so many centuries of being alone; growing old on the inside even if not on the outside, someone like you; breezing into my home and my heart has given me a new lease of life. I love you completely, absolutely and unconditionally.
“All I was saying is that you are so completely... You are unique. I have no idea what you are going to do or be from one moment to the next. One minute you’re a pussy cat purring in my lap and the next you’re a vamp fighting for dominance and attacking me with teeth and claws. Sometimes I forget how young you are and am surprised by your lack of control.”
“Lack of control?” Okay, so now I know he still loves me I can afford to push it a bit and I am NOT going to let him accuse me of being some out of control teenager.
“You see? The purring pussy and doe eyed fey are now just a memory in the face of the vamp who feel he’s been wronged and is prepared to fight with whatever arsenal that might be available to him to regain his pride. I’m not saying I don’t like it, Glory; I’m just saying that sometimes don’t understand it... and I should.”
“Oh,” well alright... if he puts it like that, but I am still... Oh... oh... oh... Mmm... okay, what was he saying. “What...?”
“I think you were asking about the bonding.”
“Oh... oh yeah.” Right... yes... I was asking about... ooohh... about... because... Mmmm that feels sooo good. Yeah, right there, right.... Mpf.
“Glorly, pay attention.”
“Oh no... no don’t stop.”
“When you tell me what’s going on and why you want to know about the bond, then I’m yours and will do whatever you want.”
“Oh... oh yeah... well...” It just sounds so silly now. “It’s nothing... it’s just... well... Felix was... and then Rover came and he... and I was... and it just kind of got out of hand and I was so pissed I couldn’t stop. And I know it’s stupid and petty and childish but I just can’t HELP it.”
“Woah... slow down. You lost me half way through. Who’s Felix?”
“The boy we rescued.”
“Yeah, that’s what I thought... and then it got worse...” I just can’t help it. Those bloody tears are betraying me again. Sar, stroking my hair helps but not that much.
“What happened with Rover?”
“I don’t know. He was all bouncy; he knocked me over and slobbered all over me... just like he always does and then... then he took one look at Felix and it was as if I didn’t exist anymore. And then Felix opened his eyes and they stared at each other and suddenly Rover was prepared to take on the world for him. He wouldn’t let anyone else near him and insisted on carrying him down all by himself and I just... I felt...”
“So that’s what this is all about. You’re jealous because you think that Rover has found someone he likes better than you?”
“I know,” cat spits. Even though he knows he’s wrong he doesn’t like anyone pointing it out to him. “I know it’s stupid, I know it’s selfish... but when I saw the way he was looking at him when they got here... I hated him Sar; I really, really hated him.”
“You hated Rover?”
“No. I could never hate Rover... Felix; I hated Felix.”
“You hated Felix because there is a chance that he might bring Rover the happiness and fulfilment you can’t give him?”
Cat growls. “I told you it was stupid and childish. I know I’m being selfish. I don’t need you pointing it out to me.”
“Glory, I’m not criticising you. I know you are a creature of impulse and passion and so I am trying to temper that passion with cold reason. I should have realised by now that doesn’t work with you.”
“Pointing out what I already know doesn’t work with me.”
“So you think they ‘bonded’?”
“Hmm... it’s possible. Rover has never behaved like that with someone he hasn’t met before. The eye lock sounds very much like the moment of bonding. Do you remember that first time our eyes met?”
“Do I remember?” I’ve gone all soft inside. “Of course I remember. I was unconscious and you were carrying me and I opened my eyes and your eyes were looking down at me and then I went to sleep again. No, actually it wasn’t... it was just before I passed out when I ran into you and looked up, but I did pass out pretty quickly after it and THEN it was when I woke up in your arms. Of course the next time I woke we tried to kill each other but that didn’t matter. We found ourselves in the end.”
“Yes, we did, didn’t we?” He pauses to smile at me. “It sounds as if that is exactly what happened with Felix and Rover.” Oh shit. When he puts it like that... “Do you remember how frightened you were when you first woke in my house and when you first met Rover?”
“Of course I do; I’ve told you about it often enough.”
“Yes, you have.”
Damn him. He makes me feel guilty without even trying. He’s only making a comment on what I said and he’s changed it into something different. I don’t want to see what he means. I don’t want to face the obvious. I just don’t want to.
“Alright... I know... I know... I see what you mean. Felix is going to feel like shit when he wakes up and he is going to be scared stupid. He needs a friend and I shouldn’t let my stupid selfish jealousy stop me from being that. I was the one he trusted: I was the one who let him down and I should be the one who is there to reassure him and convince him to trust us again. It should be me.”
“Oh, alright.” Gods what does he expect me to say? “Will be.”
I am not going to purr. I am too pissed off to purr. If anything I am going to growl: growl and scowl and... oh but when he... and then he.... well maybe I could... and later... and...