A few quiet days passed, I kept up Luci’s training, often spending the mornings in the garden with him before retreating indoors to do some work, and Luci would take a nap in the bed in the corner of my office after having breakfast and I’d take a coffee and a slice of toast into the office to slowly consume as I worked.
I started by looking through the email’s I’d received since checking them last, a quiet sigh leaving my lips as I read the most recent one.
I was head of advertisement, most of the time it meant approving different campaigns my small team had come up with and organising them, budgeting and financing each one. Cars during the summer and spring months mostly sold themselves but as the weather got colder sales dropped, my job always got busier the later in the year it got. There was a small spike around Christmas but it was still a lot lower than our sales earlier in the year.
At the same time every year, the advertisement team all got together for a meeting to decide the plan for this autumn and winter. We’d all brainstorm and come up with many different types of advertisements, only a few would be put through, and I’d be the one to decide that. The CFO and his team would send me a budget to keep to for advertisement each month and I had to make the most of it, some ideas could be great but if they were expensive the chances were I had to reject them for cheaper options.
Now don’t get me wrong, tv adverts were expensive from the get-go, playing for that slot was a good chunk of change alone, that’s without the wages of those hired to be in the advert, the filming equipment, cameramen, the list goes on. Making an advert is always a big affair, and we’re always being pushed by corporate to make something unique and different from all the other car adverts, to make us stand out without breaking the bank.
I only went to the company offices when I couldn’t avoid it, this would be one of those times. Most of the time the advertisement team communicated through emails and conference calls, all working independently or in small groups if required. Our company liked remote working when it was possible, and some of the employees had circumstances that made it necessary for them to work from home; health reasons, young children, a very long commute.
My own reason was my overall mental health, I had Agoraphobia, amongst generalised social anxiety. I believe it stemmed from the world I’d been born into, my family was famous, owning a billion-dollar company and my parents had always made an effort to socialise with local celebrities and were quite active in the media and such. My brother had followed in their footsteps, seeming almost dazzled by all the bright flashing lights and glamour of being rich and famous. I however hated it, being hounded by paparazzi was a thing of nightmares for me, I hated the attention and scrutiny, but I guess that was my downfall because I was so elusive and hard to catch on camera it made those behind them even more determined to get a snap of me.
It was the reason I didn’t leave the house often and only went out when I had to, and when I did I rarely went out in public, usually driving from place to place, I didn’t do detours or go out shopping. I went to the office and visited my friends’ homes when they sorted out a get-together and sometimes visited my childhood home to see my parents.
I glanced over at the sleeping Luci, curled up on one of his beds in the corner of my office, his left ear flicking in his sleep and soft snores coming from him.
Jared had wanted us to go out in public to get Luci used to people, somewhere quiet at first. I really wanted to do all I could for Luci, but I wouldn’t lie it terrified me. I’d thought about places we could go that would stay quiet once we got there and aside from the local Costco and membership only clubs, like the cricket club, I didn’t know anywhere else.
The meeting would be next week and I didn’t want to leave Luci in someone else’s care, but that meant I would take him with me to that meeting. I didn’t know if he was ready, a lot of people worked in those offices, there would be a lot of sounds and smells he wasn’t used to, the car trip alone could be a lot for him.
I was worried, his happiness had become very important to me, I highly doubted he’d take being separated from me well, I’d even considered asking Jared if he could watch Luci, but he was a trainer, not a sitter, he had things to be doing, it wasn’t exactly right for me to ask him to do something like that.
I sat back in my chair and rubbed my face with a groan. There was no one I trusted enough who would be free to watch Luci, someone Luci knew enough to be comfortable with and I didn’t feel comfortable leaving him home alone. The only option was to take him, the meeting had crept up on me, I thought I had more time.
“Luci,” I called.
It took a moment but Luci stirred, his blue eyes opening and he yawned. He got up and stretched as he made his way over to me, nuzzling against my leg with a sleepy purr.
I smiled softly and stroked his head, my chest feeling all warm and fuzzy when he pushed against my hand with a snuff, almost falling against my leg in his eagerness for pets.
“I need you to shift Luci, I have something we need to talk about.”
He shifted after my request and I turned my office chair around to face him, gently running my fingers through his hair when he leaned his head against my thigh, his blue eyes focused on me, patiently waiting for me to start.
“I need to go out next week Luci.” I started and noticed the frown drawing in his features.
“Out master?” he echoed and I nodded.
“I need to leave the house, there’s some work I need to do that I can’t do at home on my computer.” I elaborated.
His blue eyes stared, “Master leaving?”
I heaved out a breath, feeling guilty for the panicked and sad tone of his voice, and the way his fingers curled around the loose fabric of my trousers. “Luci I…” I shook my head, trying to figure out a way to explain it. “I’m leaving yes, but I’m coming back, I wanted to ask you if you wanted to leave the house with me?”
He frowned. “Luci leave house with master? Where go?”
“You’ve heard of the city?” I asked and he nodded. “I need to go there and talk to some people. We will need to go in the car to get there and we’ll drive to a big building. It will be busy Luci, master will be with you at all times and you can stay in your animal form, do you think that will be ok?”
I gave him some time to think about it, continuing to run my fingers through his hair and rub behind his ears in the way he liked.
“Luci want to be with master, always with master.” he nuzzled my knee, looking up at me with those blue eyes of his. “Luci can stay as cat?”
“Yes Luci.” I reassured.
“Then I go with master.”
The day had come when master and I would go out. It scared me but I knew I’d be with master, master was safe, I knew if I stayed with him everything would be okay and he said I could stay as a cat the whole time.
I even beat the sun this morning, it was still dark when I woke up and I knew I wouldn’t be able to get to sleep again, I was too nervous.
In the darkness I could see master, I’d slept in his room again, having him near calmed me, and I liked being able to wake up surrounded by his sweet apple scent and the sight of him sleeping peacefully.
I shifted and padded across the carpet, walking to the foot of the bed and carefully climbing onto it. I laid down behind master, feeling the nervous rattle of my heart settle down. I slowly shuffled closer until his back touched my chest, he always left his upper half bare when he slept and I purred when our skin pressed together, my arm going around him as I snuggled against his back. My nose dipped into the mused curls on the pillow, the smell of sweet apples filling my nostrils and my eyes fluttered closed. His skin felt so soft and warm against my fingers, I trailed them across his front with both affection and curiosity, I wanted to know his body, know where every dip, bump and curve was, I wanted to be close to my master, feel close to him.
Purrs rumbled from my chest and my eyes started to feel heavy, I was still tired, getting to sleep last night hadn’t been the easiest and it was still dark outside. I felt myself drifting off against master, he made everything better, I could sleep now I was close to him, he was an amazing master.
It was his alarm that woke me, I felt him stir to silence it but he stilled. “Luci?” he mumbled sleepily and twisted around him, my hold.
I was still more asleep than awake, I nuzzled against master’s chest with a sleepy purr, my hand that had been resting on his stomach was now pressed against his back and I moved it around, humming at how good it felt to feel all that warm, soft skin, every curve of muscle and bump of bone, I wanted to feel every bit of my master, know every part of him.
“When did you sneak up here huh?” he wondered and a trill slipped past my lips when I felt his fingers card through my mused hair.
I licked at his skin, wanting to groom him and show him affection like he was showing me. My tongue lapped at his chest, focusing on the space between the pair of muscles that his teats were on, feeling bone. I followed each rib slowly, my tongue moulding to each one, in turn, each going to his side and then to his back, following a different one back to the centre of his chest.
I slowly got lower, my hand finding the curve of his hip under the heavy blanket, I ran my tongue along the last rib, his flat stomach now taking my attention. I dropped my head to lick up the slight line of fine hair up the middle of his stomach, feeling him shudder at the touch. My eyes opened and gazed up at him, grooming the fine hairs again in tentative licks, I followed the trail down and his stomach contracted against my rough tongue.
“Luci.” his voice was quiet and a little breathless, his fingers tugging at my hair, seemingly to try and pull my head back up his torso.
“Master.” I purred back, leaning over to lick along his pelvic bone, my tongue lapping up his side in long stripes. His skin tasted good, so smooth against my rough tongue. I got the urge to give him a love nip but I didn’t know how he’d feel about it, but when I got to his shoulder I couldn’t fight the urge, it was just too biteable. My teeth gently sunk into the skin, I growled and trilled around it, pulling master tightly against me, ever so gently gnawing on the skin with my teeth, they weren’t as blunt as normal human teeth but they weren’t sharp like my cat teeth either.
He made a sound of surprise. “Luci, no biting.” he chided, his fingers curled into my hair and tugged my head back.
I held him tighter, whining, scared my teeth would break his skin if he pulled me back wrong. “No, hurt master,” I mumbled around his shoulder.
“Biting’s a bad habit Luci, I’m not going to encourage it.” his voice became firmer and my ears flattened against my head, knowing master wasn’t happy with me.
He pulled my head away from his skin, his fingers firmly gripping my hair and I whimpered in panic, feeling my teeth drag along his skin. I tasted blood, feeling so terrible, such a bad pet, my vision blurring and my eyes stinging with warmth. “I sorry, Luci such a bad pet, I hurt master.” I cried, seeing the thin red line well with blood amongst my bite marks on his shoulder.
I leapt away from him, falling off the bed and landing on the floor painfully with a thump, I yelped and scrambled up off my tail, falling in a heap as I lost my footing, landing hard on my hands and knees, all four of them now burning.
Master got up off the bed and I whimpered, cowering my head, my ears pinned to my skull and my tail curled under me as much as possible.
“Oh Luci.” his voice was soft and concerned. I peeked up at him through my lashes, confused. He leaned down and gently took my wrist, lifting it up so he could look at my burning hand. He let out a sympathetic hiss, letting my hand go and walking around me. I felt him grip my tail, so confused why he wasn’t telling me off or punishing me, his touch was so gentle as he felt along my tail, his brow furrowing deeply when I whimpered as he touched the part of my tail I’d landed on.
He exhaled a deep breath and let my tail slip out of his fingers. “Sit on the bed, I’ll be back in a moment.” was all he said before leaving his room.
I sniffled and rubbed my swollen eyes, standing up with hunched shoulders and shuffling over to the bed before sitting on the very edge. I stared at the blurry floor, carefully curling my tail around me for comfort, my arms wrapping around my middle. A muffled sob left me and I scrunched my eyes up, I was so bad, a pet should never hurt their master, and I hadn’t listened, I should have just listened to master. Jared said that a pet must always do what their master says without question, I’d questioned what master had told me to do and he got hurt.
I heard master coming back and cowered further, expecting punishment now, he must have gone and got something to punish me with, master has always been so nice to me but I didn’t deserve his niceness now. I was a bad pet.
I was stunned when master kneeled in front of me, a small green box in his hand that he set down on the carpet and opened. Nothing in there looked like it was meant to cause pain. I frowned and watched as he took a tube from the box, putting some of the white paste on his fingers. I flinched when he touched my knee, the paste was so cold, he ever so gently rubbed the paste on the reddened skin of my knee and the burning sensation quickly eased, the slight pain going away. He did the other knee then the palms of my hands before sitting back on his heels and putting the tube back in the green box.
He got up and went into his bathroom, I could hear a tap running and he came back after a minute, setting the green box on his chest of draws before coming over to me. He cupped my face and tilted it back, his thumbs brushing away my tears. “I’m sorry Luci,” he murmured.
“Master sorry? Why? Luci did bad, I sorry, not master.” I shook my head, incredibly confused, why was he apologising?
“I forgot that cats like to nip to express affection, I was just surprised Luci. I thought of you as a canine for a moment and I’m sorry I misunderstood. You didn’t do anything wrong Luci, I pulled you away, it’s only a scratch, look, it’s stopped bleeding already.” I looked at his shoulder, the blood dry and crusted over the thin red line, it hurt to see it, knowing I’d done it.
“But you tell me no, I didn’t listen, Jared said pet must listen, no matter what, pet should never question their master.” I mumbled dejected, staring down and not meeting master’s eyes from shame.
Master sighed and stepped forward, gently pressing my forehead to his stomach and I cautiously nuzzled against it, not sure if I deserved the contact and comfort. “You questioned it because you didn’t want to hurt me Luci, listening is the most important thing okay? I never want to have to tell you do to something that will hurt me but it could possibly happen, I’d rather get hurt than you but I’m not mad you didn’t listen.” his fingers ran through my hair, rubbing firmly behind my ears in the way I really liked and I purred and nuzzled his stomach more comfortably.
“Why not mad master?” I asked.
“Because you did it for the right reasons, you already know you should have done what I told you to do but you’re want to not hurt me outweighed your need to please me. Both of those things are important and you didn’t know which one was more important, but I’m telling you that now, listen to me above all else, even if you don’t understand why, even if it might hurt me, you must listen Luci, do exactly what I say, do you understand?”
“Yes master, Luci understand.” I met his eyes as I said it, so he knew I was listening, that I understood. I didn’t like it, master meant everything to me, I never wanted to do anything that could hurt him, ever, but I also wanted him to be happy, I wanted to be a good pet for him, which meant I must listen, so I would.
“Now that’s the good boy I know and love.” he smiled and pressed a kiss to my forehead.
A purring trill left me and my lips stretched painfully wide. I buried my face against his stomach, filled with such relief, I was still master’s good boy.