CAT'S GAME

2.

"Chase."

Chase heard her name, yes, but she wasn't processing it as her name. The voice that spoke the word was sultry in nature, something that caught sound waves and made them expand. Translation? Hot voice.

She was about to embark in a sexy dream, wasn't she? Oh boy oh boy.

"Chase, wakey wakey."

Her eyes were slow to peel open. Sleep clung, and she released a groan that summarized her basic mood. She draped an arm over her eyes and let the groan linger into a croak.

"Seriously swish, aren't you?"

That voice.

She flung upwards at once, sending blankets flying, and with them — it. It, being the little kitten that was flailing through the air. It landed on the desk, claws out, the fur on its back standing up in attention. Green eyes settled on Chase, and if a cat could look peeved, this one certainly did.

"Woman, you must be aware of me at all times afore you kill me," the little thing hissed out. Great, not only was it a cat — it was a pirate cat. Afore?

Chase stared at the cat, her heartbeat going pitter patter and not in the lovey dovey way. "You — !"

"Moi?" the cat mocked, lifting a tiny paw to its chest. A humanlike gesture. A French pirate cat?

"I thought Drew flung you out the window," Chase whispered. "No, I clearly recall it, like I recall the relief that fucking stabbed me when you disappeared."

The cat blinked in a most offended way. "Stabbed? What a word choice. Suggests you were pained by my absence."

"No, I felt like using a violent word to convey how relieved I was."

The cat inspected her with his keen little gaze. "I don't buy it," he decided.

Chase buried her face in her hands. "I can't believe it. I'm having a conversation with a kitten. I can't. I can't process this."

The cat looked off the side in a ho-hum sort of way. His whiskers twitched. As Chase peered at him through the cracks in her fingers, she saw him tilt his head a little, and realized he was watching her using his peripherals. How creeptacular.

He was considering her. Yes, that was exactly what he was doing. Considering, like how a murderer considers how abouts to off his victim as she is bound and gagged. Considering, like how a rapist docks his victim's schedule so he can find the "appropriate" time to kidnap her.

The cat lifted his butt, and then hopped off the desk and back onto the bed. He pranced in his little cat way up her legs, and she resisted the urge to shudder. He dropped his butt on her lap and stared up at her.

"W-what?" she asked.

"What do you mean, 'what'?" the cat responded. He sounded snooty, but he was a cat. "You're being unnecessarily rude."

"I am?" Chase peeped out. "You're a cat! Do I need manners with a cat?"

"How absurd," the cat said.

"What?"

And suddenly, the cat was no longer a cat, but instead a very normal-sized human boy, and said normal-sized human boy was on top of her, straddling her, his hands pinning her wrists on either side of her head. He'd pinned her down, her hair was sprawled messily across her face from the "fall", and they stared at each other.

So he was a pretty boy again.

Green eyes, some kind of forgotten vibrant shade, peered down at her. Black hair was tousled atop his head. Yes, she remembered this face — and as her eyes wandered down his neck, his chest — yes, she remembered that body. This was the boy she'd met the night before, the boy she'd gotten wasted with and blabbed her woes to in the backyard of a booming party, the boy who'd taken her hand in his and hugged her like they'd been friends for years.

She'd cried into his shoulder and he'd petted her head and purred comfort in her ear, and then she'd drunkenly asked him if he could walk her home.

Of course, once she'd gotten into the door, she'd become a human vacuum and had decided to try and suck his face off. Attractive, really.

Yet he'd still slept with her, but for the life of her, she couldn't remember anything. Either that meant it was really bad, or ... she'd really been that drunk. Though, judging by the six condoms she'd seen in her wastebasket this morning, they'd had a field day ... field night? Whatever.

Anyway, here he was now, on top of her yet again.

"What do you want?" she asked.

He cocked his head in a catlike way, no surprise there. "I'm here to pick you up," he said.

"B-but I haven't fallen down."

His lean shoulders slumped. "You have to come with me, to my realm. It's the only way we can be officially wed."

Chase's eyebrows arched. "I don't understand, and I don't think I want to."

The boy blinked. For some magical reason, although he'd been naked as a cat — that felt odd to say — he had clothes on now. Simple clothes. Black shirt, dark blue pants, and a little wooden necklace around his slender neck. There was a golden bell on the end of it — like a cat's collar.

"C-can you get off me?" Chase asked.

"No," the boy said. "Listen, you'll like it in my realm. It's very sparkly, and — do you like chocolate? We have chocolate."

"What?"

He gazed down at her, and suddenly, his eyes were glossy. "Please?" he whispered.

"W-what?"

"Is that your favourite word?" the cat snapped, and then seemed to realize his guise was being jeopardized. The gloss returned to his green eyes, causing them to brim and shine. "P-please? I love you, Chase."

What in the name of all the fields of St. Monica —

"I love you," he repeated, and then pressed his lips to hers.

She tensed. His lips coaxed against hers, and she probably would've been overtaken by his manipulation had her mind not been in a whirl.

She turned her head away, and his lips grazed her cheek. "You want to kidnap me," she realized.

He pulled back a little, and she peeked at him. He was smiling now.

He did.

He wanted to kidnap her.

"Well, if you come willingly, it won't be considered that," the boy said, perfectly reasonable.

She stared up at him.

He tapped her nose good-heartedly.

She opened her mouth.

He cocked his head.

She screamed.


"Tell me what is happening," Drew demanded.

Chase writhed in her horror. After she'd screamed, Drew had come flying into the room. The boy had returned to a cat, and Drew had again tossed him out the window. This time he owned a couple scratches down his arm for it.

Now, Drew was trying to steady Chase, who was babbling on about cat realms and marriage proposals and kidnapping.

"He wants to kidnap me, take me back to his scary world of whiskers, and have a wedding," Chase wailed.

Drew blinked. "How did you get into this mess again?"

"I don't know!" she whined. "I was at Baston's party, and I started to have confidence issues, so I went out to the back to be alone and sober up, and I met the cat boy there. He was a human, at the time."

Drew nodded.

"Then I started spewing my frets to him and he — he hugged me."

"How nice."

"Then he walked me home and I didn't want him to go, and he was warm, so I kissed him, and we had ... we did that stuff." She sniffled. "I don't know what life is anymore!"

"Yes, neither do I, thank-you," Drew muttered.


Chase went to school with dark circles under her eyes. She dragged her feet through the halls and cursed the world. Drew walked a couple paces behind her, wary that she would spontaneously drop to her knees and scream to the heavens like something from a misplaced dramatic movie scene.

She reached her locker and fucked up the combination six times before finally getting it right. She blew a strand of blonde hair out of her eyes and swung the door open. The first thing she noticed was a pink piece of paper that was taped to the top shelf, and so it hung at eye level with her.

Messy handwriting read, "I will make you love me even if it kills you", and was signed with a muddy paw print at the bottom.

Chase stared at it, her mouth going dry.

"Oh, wow," Drew said from behind her.

She jerkily looked over her shoulder at him. "Do you see this? This is real, right?"

"The threatening romantic letter?" Drew asked.

"Oh, God," Chase whispered. "What does he want? Why does he want to — to marry me? This isn't okay."

Drew patted her shoulder. "I don't know what to say. I've never been in this situation."

Chase grunted and shrugged him off. "Obviously!" She grabbed her binder and tucked it under her arm, and then started to rip the note to shreds. She slammed her locker shut, locked it, and then started to walk. Drew followed. She tossed the shreds into a garbage bin, and then went into her first class.

She dropped in her desk with a sigh. Drew waved at her from the doorway as he continued on his way. They hardly had any classes together, and that was fine. She saw him enough at home.

Drew wasn't her brother by blood. He'd been adopted into the family ten years ago and had since then become something like her knight, as cheesy as that sounded. She'd been six when he'd been dropped in on her. He said he was a stork baby. Stork child? Whatever.

She leaned back in her chair and peered out the window. The sun was blazing. She could see heat waves rising.

Two days ago, her world had been normal. Then, she'd acquired a stalker / intruder who wanted to abduct her into his land of crazy catnip.

Why?

Pieces were missing.

The teacher milled in as students settled. They dropped like hazes into their seats and stared, attentive, at the front of the classroom. Chase's gaze found the back of Rowan Hemmer's head. She'd not so subtly blurted to him that she thought he had pretty eyes on the weekend — hence the start of her angst spiel to the cat fucker — and he'd politely declined. Of course, she'd been totally plastered, and he, totally sober. Ugh, why did she crush on such a boring person? He played every sport and excelled in his grades and he had friends frolicking around him wherever he went, but whenever Chase spoke to him one on one he was so damned boring, and yet he had such pretty eyes. They were a seashell blue, and when his gaze locked onto you, it was like you were the only one in the room, yet ... he barely spoke and he never smiled. Never smiled.

Well, whatever. Maybe it was best he'd rejected her, since being coupled with a mannequin couldn't have been fun.

She pried her gaze away from his dark hair, and looked up at the teacher.

"Alright," Mr. Stew said, "today, we're doing something redundant."

No surprise there.

"We're gonna welcome a new student," he said.

Minor surprise there.

He gestured to the door. "Felix, come on in."

Felix? What kind of name was — ?

It walked in. The boy walked with a feline grace, his steps somehow calculated, his posture measured. He stopped next to the desk and leaned a hand on the surface, his green eyes flickering across the room, taking in the students. He was dressed in a checkered red and black shirt, with the top couple buttons undone to expose skin. His dark pants hugged his legs, while a variety of chains hung from them in a bizarrely stylish way.

Felix the cat, huh?

Chase looked around at her classmates. Oh, god, the girls were all sitting in puddles.

She reluctantly slid her gaze back to Felix, who met her eye and smiled.

He was infiltrating her school to possibly smother her with his "love".

Why.

Why.

What did he want?