Oddly enough, I wake up to the sound of hushed voices.
“Richard, leave them alone! The clowder won’t die if they skip their training for one day!” I manage to hear Gabriella scolding her husband. I can imagine her frowned face perfectly.
Wait, skipped training?!
My eyes snap open and roam around the white and brown-themed bedroom. I catch Xavier’s phone sitting on his side of the wooden bedside table. His back is facing me, and I release the hold I have on him. I quietly sit up and stretch to his side, my weight crushing him a bit.
The only sound he makes is a groan. I grab his phone and turn it on, seeing it’s eleven in the morning. Damn. We should have been outside three hours ago.
I delicately put the phone back to its place and go back to hugging Xavier from behind. My cheek is pressing against his back.
“...stop ordering me around!” Richard’s raspy voice yells.
I’m pretty sure everyone heard it.
There’s a moment of silence before light footsteps quickly walk away from Xavier’s bedroom, followed by heavier ones.
I don’t even know who to feel sorry for. Gabriella can be pretty commanding when she wants to, but Richard doesn’t joke either.
With a sigh, I close my eyes, trying to fall asleep, but it’s too late. I’m wide awake, just like that Katy Perry song.
I get up, stretching my arms upward as a deep voice makes itself known. “Bring me some coffee,” Xavier’s sleepy voice says.
My eyes narrow. “I think you need to finish that sentence.”
“Please, Red,” he says in a tiny voice.
A grin appears on my face as I walk to his drawer and open the bottom one filled with my clothes. It’s not a regular thing to have, but Xavier one day decided to occupy one of my drawers while I was with Sam, so I thought, why not do the same? Turns out, it was useful.
I put on a simple light shirt and darker jeans short, finishing off with my usual heeled boots before walking out of the room and heading straight to the kitchen.
As I’m walking downstairs, the chatter of the clowder gets louder. The main entrance is empty, having only a black table with decorative items on top and a reflecting black and white marble floor.
The first thing I spot when I enter inside the kitchen is Kai with a spoonful of ice-cream in hand. His eyes are focused on the tub of sweet. He’s completely unaware of the few gazes he’s receiving from a couple of new werecats.
I shake my head at the scene and quietly walk to the counter where the coffee machine is ready to pour some caffeine in the mugs I picked from the upper shelf.
“Good morning, sunshine!” a chirpy, feminine voice yells, receiving sleepy groans from the others from how loud she was.
I follow the sound, finding Gabriella grinning with her two sons always running around her feet. She and Richard have twins, but they’re not humans yet. They’re in their felines form. Werecats can decide in the first two months of pregnancy to do it in their human or cat form. Once they’ve chosen, they cannot shift until they give birth.
In Gabriella’s case, she decided to do it in her white tiger form, which leads her to have two tiger cubs running around, waiting to shift in their human form.
“What happened to be in such a good mood?” I ask, watching Gabriella take out soy milk from the fridge.
The noise of the coffee machine is a constant reminder in the background. I replace my filled cup with Xavier’s empty one.
“I won an argument with my husband for once. I never thought it would happen since he’s always so damn logical,” she says before her eyes scan me from head to toe.
I raise a confused eyebrow at her. Why is she looking at me like that?
Gabriella surprises me by stepping closer and sniffing my scent. A Cheshire smile appears on her face a second later. “I can smell Xavier’s scent on you,” she whispers, making me freeze on the spot.
“Oh?” I say in a quiet voice, not really knowing what else to say.
She turns the coffee machine off for me. “Don’t worry, I won’t tell. Richard will be pissed though. One thing he hates is pleasure mixed with business, and you guys are his left and right hands.”
I release a slow breath, taking the cups in hand. “It won’t happen again, and we really need to change our status name. Left and right hand sound like shit,” I say, smoothly changing the subject.
Gabriella grins, nodding her head. “Did you already have something in mind?”
“Well, I know the Europeans Creatures call themselves Sentinel and Healer, but I’m no healer, so I thought, why not have it in Greek?” I explain, shrugging my shoulders, “Werecats are polytheist, and I read that in the Americas, the majority relate with the greek mythology, so Xavier would be Sosta while I’d be Aristora.”
The woman in front of me tilts her head to the side as she quietly hums to herself. I patiently wait for the verdict. Gabriella and Richard are usually always on the same page when the clowder is involved, so I only need her confirmation. “I could talk to Richard about it. The Creatures Council is pretty strict with traditions, but since we’ve been in hiding for so long, changing names for our hierarchy system shouldn’t be a problem with them,” she says, making me squeal happily before surprising her with a tight hug.
“Thank you,” I happily say, loving her laugh.
“Well then, Aristora, do something about this scent because it gives the idea of you being mated to someone already,” she says.
I nod, grabbing the warm mugs from the counter. “Yeah, don’t worry, and thank you again.”
Gabriella and I part ways, my feet taking me back upstairs. How can I have his scent on me? The last time I checked, we didn’t bite or scratch each other, so it’s impossible.
When I get back inside his room, I spot Xavier sitting up in the bed, the sheets covering his lower parts, revealing to the world his naked chest filled with tattoos.
His eyes are focused on the tiny device in-between his hands. I quietly walk up beside him and peek at whatever he’s looking at. ”Mmm, the other girl was cuter, and you didn’t give her a like,” I say, making his body tense up for a moment.
His face snaps up, and I flash him a smile. “Coffee,” I say, handing him the dark mug.
Xavier releases a sigh, taking a sip of the drink. “Thank you. How are you feeling after what happened?” he asks as I sit on the edge of the bed.
“Weird, actually. Gabriella told me your scent is on me, and I’m confused because we didn’t bite or scratch each other last night,” I say, slowly drinking my healthy breakfast.
Xavier’s gaze goes elsewhere, making me frown. “What do you know that I don’t,” I say, putting the mug on the bedside table.
Xavier swallows a lump. The action is evident, thanks to his Adam’s apple. “We didn’t bite each other, but there’s been some minor scratching. You digging your nails on me is one of them, but other than that, I might have mixed my scent with yours when you were orgasming.”
“That’s impossible.” My voice comes out in a whisper as I look down.
Xavier puts the mug next to mine. “Lie down next to me,” he says.
A weird expression shows up on my face. “Why would I do that?”
Xavier rolls his eyes. “Do you want to see how I did it or what?”
I groan, crawling over him and lying down on my back.
“On your side,” he orders, and I comply, exhaling dramatically.
The lion pulls himself close enough to spoon me, and he intertwines my legs with his. With a sigh, he kisses my shoulder, and a strong scent hits my nose. Now that I think about it, it’s the vanilla scent from yesterday, but it’s so strong that I have to cover my nose.
His lips get replaced by his tongue that delicately licks me before pulling away. The scent completely disappears, and I’m left more confused than ever.
“Done,” he says with his voice going lower.
I turn around, wide-eyed. “What the hell did you do?”
“I left my scent on you; perks of being a lion. Kissing a part of your body enables me to release my scent, which I did while going down on you. Then, of course, I licked you, sealing my scent.” He tucks a strand of my scarlet hair behind my ear as he casually explains it all.
I am speechless. I’ve never heard or read of it anywhere. It makes me wonder how many things can lions do that regular cats can’t?
“Holy shit,” I whisper out.
Xavier chuckles before leaning for a kiss when my hearing picks up on fastening footsteps approaching his room. The next thing I know, the door bursts open, and I push Xavier off, catching him off guard and making him fall off the bed, landing on the floor with a loud thud. The sheets go down with him.
“Good morning, people! You’ve been locked in here for way too damn long!” Nala yells as Xavier painfully groans.
I clear my throat, pushing my hair back, and sitting up cross-legged, my heart hammering in my chest at how close we were to be discovered. “Nala, how did you even find us?” I ask, watching her walk to the queen-sized bed and falling onto her back.
“I went to your room, but it was empty and way too clean. Usually, when it’s like that, it means you’re here, and I was right,” she says, grinning.
Xavier puts his arms on the edge of the bed and pushes himself up, the cover lazily around his waist. “Good morning,” he says, his voice sounding weird as if containing his anger.
Nala sits up and mirrors my cross-legged position. “Xavier,” she simply says before looking away.
“What brings you here?” he asks as I notice his lips twitching while he slides back onto the bed.
“Oh, right!” Nala grabs my hands and flashes me her feline bright yellow eye color. “Tonight, we’re throwing a party,” she says.
I frown. “Why?”
“Why not? I have a feeling you guys will be gone soon, so we might as well have some fun. What do you think?” she asks, her eyes shifting between Xavier and me.
I glance at the lion for a moment, seeing him nodding his head with crossed arms and a grin on his face.
With that, I turn toward Nala, returning the smile. “Let’s do it!”
Sorry for not updating yesterday, I was thinking about my options to earn more money since what I earn now isn't enough to cover next year's rent and finally found the answer: self-publishing on Amazon. The Lion's Cat will be the first book I'll publish. Hopefully, everything works out well.
Thank you for your patience and see you tomorrow! x