Chapter 12 Recovery
The Royals ordered everyone to take cover, knowing they were out of time to get very far. The setting sun would at least aid in providing shadows for them to hide in.
Kat was scared and worried about her friends. She just wanted to find her mommy and her Nana and make sure they were okay.
A minute later her kidnapper broke through the trees and froze as he saw the biggest wolf and bear he had ever seen in his life. "Mother fucker!" He said as he pulled the gun from his waist. Kat saw him going for his gun. Already in motion when she heard the cock of the hammer, and pull of the trigger, time seemed to slow down. Kat ran in front of her friends and hissed an earth shattering, "Noooooo!" Heard by everyone. As she yelled she simultaneously stepped into the moonlight and transformed into a bright light that shielded her friends and sent a shockwave into the kidnapper, lifting him off his feet and flinging him into a tree. This gave the wolves time to attack and subdue the threat.
Attempted murder of any royal family member was an automatic death sentence and he was aiming at two of them, in addition to kidnapping Kat and hurting her family. He will likely not live long with his list of crimes.
As soon as the wolves were safe, the light dimmed and Kat fell to the ground on human legs and passed out.
While everyone stood looking at the little girl, no longer a kitten, they knew they had just witnessed something unheard of and that this little one was indeed very special.
The royals raced up to her and shifted back to their human selves. The Big bear King tenderly picked her up. Hugging her to himself, he whispered to her, "You saved our lives, kitten. You brave, brave, little girl." He walked over to the Alpha King and handed her over to him as if she was the most precious and delicate thing he had ever held. He bent over and kissed her forehead. "Take care of her, Alpha. If you have need of me let me know," he said as he bowed to the King for the first time in their long and troubled relationship. The Alpha King bowed back, reciprocating the respect back to the Bear King.
For their many and strained years of fighting they both knew they would have died today were it not for this precious girl in their arms and her fierce love and loyalty to those she considers friends and family.
Her eyes fluttered, as she struggled to open them. In the end she could not so she kept them closed and said, "Thank you for helping me get back to my mama and my Nana, Big Bear." She was so exhausted her next words were barely heard. "Big Bear, so nice. Maybe he sat on a cactus, too. I need to give him some of Nana's salve for his swollen butt then he wouldn't be so growly," she muttered to herself as she drifted off to sleep among the sounds of laughter.
15 years later
Nana, I don't want to go see Mr. Wilson. He is a cranky old bastard and I'm off today. I don't know how you ever put up with him."
Katherine Grace, you better watch your mouth right now before I wash it out with soap," she said as if she ever actually would. My nana is my rock. She has been by my side my entire life. If she wants me to go deliver groceries to that cantankerous old man on my off day I will do it, even if I will have a headache for the rest of the day.
Mr. Wilson is also my trainer. He is relentless and shows no mercy. He says every girl needs to know how to defend herself and those she cares about. "Just because the lord gave her breasts is no excuse because when the devil comes calling ya need to be able to send him back to hell where he belongs or he'll take you there instead." He has a point there so I let the old bastard torture me with his training five days a week.
The man should get his own groceries but says how old widow Wendy nags him about his life every single time he goes to her store, and he ain't having no old broad telling him how to live his life. If he wants to eat premade meals and cans of soup he will do so. Much to the amusement of her and Nana, old widow Windy drops by every Sunday to bring him a basket of fresh baked goodies and some home cooked meals he can heat and eat. They also quite enjoy annoying one another. I wouldn't be surprised to find they both have a battleground scorecard where they keep track of all the bickering battleground bullets they send flying back and forth.
"Okay, Nana. I will go pick up his groceries even though that will just rile up old widow Windy."
"Thank you, dear. I think riling up Miss Windy is just what Mr. Wilson intends to do. It's Friday and everyone knows Miss Windy makes her famous cobbler on Friday mornings and this week it is peach cobbler which is Mr. Wilson's favorite," she said with a chuckle.
"Why doesn't the old man just tell her he would like some peach cobbler and ask her to make it for him?" Kat asked thinking she would never understand a man's mind.
"Maybe you should ask him, huh?" She replied with a mischievous twinkle and a huge smile.
Shaking my head I grabbed my car keys and headed to the door.
"Hi Miss Windy! I'm here to pick up Mr. Wilson's groceries."
"That old coot! Are his legs broken?" She asked.
"Not that I'm aware, ma'am."
"Then why would he be sending you here to collect his groceries again this week? What is his excuse this time?" She asked with a huff.
"I'm not entirely sure, Miss Windy, but my nana said you made your peach cobbler this morning and how that's his favorite. Maybe you should bring some over and ask him?" She said with a shrug of her shoulders.
"Is that so?" She asked, blushing to the tips of her ears. She lifted her head and said, if he wants cobbler maybe he should just go to the bakery and buy his own."
Feeling ornery she decided to give a little nudge and looked at the older woman. "You're absolutely right Miss Windy. I know old lady Sylvia over at the bakery is making a fine mixed berry cobbler this week. She even sprinkles some glazed berries on top. Maybe I'll tell him about it?"
Miss Windy stopped what she was doing and let out a huff and mumbled something about that man better not be eating Sylvie's cobbler or she will shove it in his face, unknowing that Kat had above normal hearing and heard every word.
Holding back her laughter over the womans obvious jealousy she collected the groceries. "Thank you, Miss Windy. Have a nice weekend." And headed out the door. Chuckling at the memory of Miss Windy she pulled around back of Mr. Wilson's house and unloaded his groceries. "Mr. Wilson! I brought your groceries!"
"Stop your squawking, girl. I can see ya there and hear ya just fine without all that extra noise. It's like that woman rubbed off on ya already," he said in his grumbling low voice. He looked over the groceries as if he was looking for something specific that wasn't there. "Is that everything?" He asked.
"Yes, sir," she responded as she put away the groceries and realized he didn't actually need any of it. She looked at him as he stood there with his hands at his side and blushed when I had to move 4 dozen eggs to add a new carton. And so it went with every item. He had 3 gallons of orange juice, 4 blocks of cheese, freezer meals, and cans of soup. When she looked up, their eyes met and she just chuckled. Mr. Wilson, why don't you just ask Miss Windy for some of her cobbler?"
Turning away he grunted, "That old woman can keep her peach cobbler. Everyone knows Silvia has cobbler at the bakery. Why she even puts glazed berries on top. I don't need Wendy's stupid cobbler," he shrugged as he walked away.
With a chuckle she finished her task and followed him to the back yard.
"Okay little miss, let's see how well you're doing. I built a new course for you last week while you were off being a girl, shopping and spending money."
"I was buying a new punching bag and gloves, a 9mm, and throwing knives. I hardly think that's shopping like a girl but okay," she mused.
"Enough sass, get up on this plank and walk to the end but don't fall off. Focus on where you want to be but be aware of your surroundings. Do. Not. Fall," he said emphasizing each word.
She looked at the oddly shaped plank that was narrow in places, wider in others, and twisted in the middle, and looked around it. This looked odd but didn't look very challenging. She could do this with her eyes closed. She jumped up and began to walk. After a few steps it began to shake, catching her unaware, she nearly lost her balance. Another few steps and she had to look down at her feet as the plank narrowed. A big branch swung towards her feet causing her to either jump or fall. She managed to jump at the last second and landed roughly on one foot, the other trying to find the plank, arms flailing about to regain her balance when another branch was headed towards her shoulder forcing her to twist or it would hit her and knock her down. Still standing on one foot, she twisted at the waist and regained her balance. Another few steps forward and a long branch swung towards her chest making her duck down low. Reaching the wider flat portion of the plank she thought she was home free when she saw two more branches swinging directly towards her. One at her feet level and the other waist level. She jumped over one and fell to the ground in plank position missing the other then it started shaking causing her to stumble as she jumped back to her feet. Looking up she noticed some hanging ropes at the same time the bottom started giving way so she jumped for the ropes and swung herself over the fallen piece of plank and landed on the other side. Upon landing a series of balls were launched in her direction so she dodged, jumped, kicked, and caught them. Seeing paper targets she threw the balls back at the target hitting it on the head, heart and crotch areas as she charged ahead. The target was pulled away leaving a gap between her and the other side of the plank so she bounced off and launched into the air grabbing onto branches, ropes, and vines until she was able to land on the other side and the end of the course. Happy she made it she started to squeal only to miss the branch coming from her side, knocking her off the plank and into the pool of water beneath her.
She came up grumbling with pond debris on her head. Mr. Wilson looked at her disgruntled face and gave in to a few chuckles. "Well done, Kat. Well done!"
"Well done? Well done? How is it well done when I ended up in the pond?" She said in a snit, upset that she failed. Again. She always seems to fail his training courses one way or another.
In an unusual about face the typically harsh and grumpy old man said, "Kat, my dear child, you are always hard on yourself. You made it to the end of a very difficult course. In my 35 years in the marines I have never seen a man make it through that course on their first try. It is designed to push to the limit of endurance and ability. It is meant to push a person to not only be mindful of the orientation of their body, but be aware of their surroundings while being both offensive and defensive." He looked at her wet face, "come on, you look like a drowned kitten, let's go get you cleaned up."