Please note that this book will be removed for publishing to amazon on october 1st 2019 apart from the first chapter. Should you wish to read it in full it will be available under the kindle unlimited deal.
Why he couldn’t just do what every other familiar did was beyond me. Not my cat. Nooo. Stupid thing had obviously been put in my path to royally fuck with my life. Five years I’d had him, and for five years he’d taken it upon himself to push me to the very end of the last remaining tether to my sanity. It started simply; a few shoes slightly moist, damp in the toe area as if he’d spent a few hours drooling into my favourite heels. Suspicious marks in the pretty straps that seemed to magically resemble itty, bitty, kitty teeth.
That was an understatement - he’d always had oddly large teeth for a house cat.
He’d quickly moved onto bigger and better things. Tearing neat little slices in my skirts - as if he’d dug his claws in and rappled down the length like it was a curtain. Snags in my sheer blouses that turned them from classy to trashy, and paw shaped prints on my cream leather trousers that looked as if he’d run through tar before wiping it off in permanent stains.
That was okay though. I could have coped with all that. But now he’d upped his game to gold medal level and at this very moment, it was a case of deciding which river to drown him in.
Not that I could actually do that. My mother would cast me in the same damn river.
Can’t hurt our familiars, Serena. They’re connected to our very souls.
Pfft. It that were true, he wouldn’t be such a Goddess-damned devil cat.
“Serena!” The slightly squealy voice belonging to a bottle blonde came barging in the front door.
“In here, Hayley,” I sighed, staring at the cat that lay in the sunlight beaming through the living room window. Licking his paws every so often as if reiterating what a fabulous job he’d done.
Hayley caught where my attention was as soon as she bounced into the room, sparkles and glitter pre-empting her arrival in a flourish of pixie dust. She giggled, musical and lilting that lightened my irritation without my consent and allowed the scowl to momentarily drop from my face. “What’s he done now?”
I huffed and found my irritation again. “He tore through my underwear drawer. I came home to my panties scattered throughout the house and every single one had the crotch torn out!” I sent him evil eyes, hoping he understood that the only thing that was currently preventing my vengeance was the added threat of my mother finding out I had burned the fur from his hide. “Charles was with me.”
Hayley sucked in breath, screwing her nose up in distaste. “And what did he have to say?”
She didn’t like Charles, thought he was too uppity for me and had no sense of humour. She wasn’t wrong, but he was the only man that had so far put up with my fleeting interest and the constant random appearances of my mother - no small feat for any man.
I sighed again and slouched on the sofa. “Not much. I chased the cat down here and he saw Charles waiting, pranced right up to him and sprayed all over his leg.”
I cringed at Hayley’s snorting giggle. “Oh, that’s unfortunate.”
“Unfortunate? I couldn’t even apologise I was so mortified. Charles left after that.” I allowed my scowl to take over my face again, watching as the cat stretched his hind leg into the air and proceeded to lick himself with glee. “I think he was put on Earth to destroy me,” I said, a morose tone making my shoulders slump in depression.
Hayley, eventually finishing her laughter, sat down beside me. “Charles?” She questioned.
I frowned at her. “No, not Charles - the fucking cat.”
Hayley smiled brightly and made kissy faces at the bastard cat, puffs of glitzy, colourful shimmer escaping her pursed lips with each pout. “But he’s so cute-”
She stopped and looked down, a hurt expression covering her usual sweetness that made me feel like an utter asshole for glaring at her in return. “I didn’t mean it, Hayley, I know you like him.” Her smile returned with so much brightness it almost seared my eyeballs, and made me wonder if she was possibly the greatest manipulator to ever live. “I just don’t understand. He’s supposed to be my familiar, why does he feel the need to constantly disrupt my life? He destroys everything, chases away any man I’ve brought home, and the neighbourhood pets are terrified of him.” I cringed, remembering the last episode of his territorial madness. “He sent next-door’s Doberman into oncoming traffic! I’m still paying that vet bill.”
Hayley shrugged, like it was perfectly normal behaviour. “Perhaps he’s just protective?”
“Ha! Yours is protective - He spends most of his time wrapped around your neck.” Which was true - the damn lizard didn’t leave her alone, even now I bet he was mooching around underneath her jacket somewhere. “My mothers is protective - twirling through her legs with each step she takes like a freaking trip hazard. Mine is just a dick.” I pointedly stared at the cat as he turned his disinterested face towards the window to watch the dangerous war zone outside - otherwise known as my quiet, suburban street. “I don’t understand where I’ve gone wrong.” Because it had to be something I wasn’t doing, or something I’d already messed up. Familiars just didn’t act this way. They were a gift from the Goddess, designed to suit each witch perfectly, and each was intrinsically linked to our powers - to the point that mine ranged from non-existent to frighteningly out of control due to the uneven bond between me and that stupid cat.
Hayley’s perpetually shiny aura dimmed a little, and I couldn’t help but feel bad about that - fucking pixie power. “I’m sure it’s nothing your doing, Serena,” She patted my hand with gentle reassurance, a sly slick of lizard tail appearing from the sleeve of her jacket as her hand moved. “Some familiars just take longer to bond with their witches. We all have such different powers and personalities - you can’t expect an instant click.”
Well, if it hadn’t been five fucking years, then perhaps I could have taken her at her word. “Its been a little longer than normal, Hayley,” I hissed back.
She winced and nodded, “Maybe if you named him? You don’t even call him anything but ‘Cat’.”
“I would, but everytime he eats something else of mine I revert back to ‘That fucking Cat’.” I caught her wince this time - knowing it was because of my overuse of the ‘F’ word. Hayley was too sweet to swear - that was my opinion anyway.
Ever helpful, Hayley tried again. “Well, have you tried asking your mother and George?”
George. She’d named that ornery old cat George. And if it didn’t suit a house cat, it certainly didn’t suit the giant panther he turned into.
Our familiars only kept their shape for convenient purposes. Shape shifters by nature, they each had another form that was more suited to working with their ‘spellcaster warrior’ witch. Hayley got a lizard that shifted into a dragon. A. Fucking. Dragon. A two tonne behemoth of a beast with teeth and claws and freaking fire.
And me? I got the world’s worst kitty who couldn’t even be bothered to show his witch what his warrior form was. I reiterate - asshole. “No, Hails, I can’t ask her because yet again I’ll be the disappointment who can’t handle her own familiar.” That’s what happens when you get the head of the witch council as your mother - anything less than perfect is an abomination. And considering my poor excuse for powers and that fucking cat I flat out refused to ask her for help.
Sparkles flew through the air again - Hayley’s sigh letting out on a puff of glittering breath. “I don’t know what to tell you, Serena, I’ve only had Lucian for a year.”
And she’d tamed the wild beast in less than a week - that made me feel oh so fucking special. “I don’t know why he even bothered finding me, he obviously doesn’t like me.” Depression hit me again, because who wanted to be the witch who’s own familiar didn’t like her? He’d strolled right up to me five years ago, as I’d slammed the front door on my mother - one argument of many that we’d had before. I’d turned to storm down her driveway, fully intending on causing as much noise with my feet as possible, only to nearly trip arse-over-tit when he stood directly infront of me, sat on the gravel path, peering up at my face with the oddest violet-hued eyes I’d ever seen. He’d followed me home and never left. Despite the fact that his hate was quite apparent. And I was less sure now than I was then on what to do with him.
Hayley made a pouty face - a face only her sparkles could pull off - and gave me another of her consoling pats. “Of course he likes you, Serena! You’re lovely, why wouldn’t he like you?”
So sweet it was almost sickening. Good thing she was my friend because from anyone else I would have set them on fire. Or at least tried to anyway. I looked at Cat, finding him already staring at me, a somewhat vacant look in his creepy eyes. “Is that true? Do you like me really?” Praying he gave me some sort of sign, something more than his usual disinterest. He blinked once, his whiskers flicking as his head tilted to the side, then his hind leg went up in the air again and he proceeded to clean his already pristine balls.
Hayley snorted softly, obviously getting the same hint that I was, and murmered in gentle, soothing whispers to the reptile hidden within her clothes. I wasn’t in the slightest bit jealous...
“Are you coming to Winter solstice?” I changed the subject, having had enough of the cat for the foreseeable future.
Hayley grinned, “Yes! I’m so excited! Lucian’s going to change and show the council how much he’s grown. Oh my god, Serena, I’m going to be so proud of him!”
I sighed and slumped back into the sofa, my eyes betraying me and flicking back to the stupid feline draped across the opposite sofa, sunlight picking out tiny glints of gold in his sable fur.
I was expected to attend - can’t have the head witch’s daughter absent from one of the most important socials in the witchy calender. Of course, I’d be present minus one kitty because, was I fuck going to be embarrassed in front of the entire population of West coast witches. “You want to carpool? I can’t stand the thought of walking in by myself, plus you can be the mother barrier.”
“I’m not going to be the wall between you and your mother, Serena. She’s always perfectly polite to me.”
I snorted, “Of course she is, Hayley! You are an ascending witch, with a familiar that’s not faulty,” I sent another glare to Cat. “And your powers are almost under control. What’s not to like about that?”
Hayley pouted again and I swear, if she turned on the tears I was calling her on her little guilt trips. “Please don’t fight, I hate it when you fight,” She pleaded.
“Then be my wall.” I triumphantly crossed my arms, a grin on my face that, for the first time today, wasn’t at all forced.
I was going to ace this solstice. No embarrassment, no mother, and no fucking cat.
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