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Chapter 8

I had new found respect for Luci, for putting up with my brother, he’d been so tolerable and calm, even when Parker touched him when he didn’t want him to. He’d been so good with the fitter as well. I watched as he ate, I was proud of him, he was such a good pet. Parker was an ass, he had a spoilt and rotten personality, but the fact he’d tried to provoke Luci was beyond stupid. I head footsteps behind me as I watched Luci eat his dinner, I didn’t turn to see who it was.

“Your mothers not going to be best pleased that you rearranged her dining room.” my father’s voice came from beside me and I glanced at him, snorting out a laugh.

“I never used it, at least it has a purpose now.” I reasoned.

“He’s not what I expected for you, he seems calm and even tempered, not what his shift is known for.” my father noted.

“He might be very tolerable but like us all he has his limits.” I stated and he looked at me, but I didn’t look back.

“I have a feeling that your saying his limit has been exceeded before?” he gathered and I nodded minutely.

“The owner of the auction didn’t say anything, other than that he doesn’t like a firm hand. Luci told me himself, one of his keepers, I don’t know why, but they hit him with a taser baton. Luci reacted like any cornered animal would, he lashed out. He was ashamed for hurting that man, saying he was a bad pet. He told me his keepers were scared of him, that he was left in his cage all of the time.” I sighed sadly. “He also told me that if he hadn’t sold at that auction the owner of the auction house would have shot him, or sold him to a Lannister.” I revealed. Dad gave me a shocked look, he looked disgusted, like I had been when I’d heard it. He turned to watch Luci, sadness in his eyes, and understanding. “He doesn’t mean any harm dad, he just wants love and affection, you should of seen him this morning.” I told him with a chuckle I couldn’t hold in. “He was bounding around the garden like an excited kitten.” I remembered, a soft smile on my face at the memory.

We watched as Luci finished his meal, licking his lips and looking over at us. He padded over and rubbed himself against my legs, his rumbling purr something I’d grown to enjoy, it was relaxing and soothing. I ran my hand down his back as he moved, his head hitting my thigh, tail brushing along my chest. Dad knelt down and Luci’s eyes flickered over to him, his left ear twitching, tail mostly still aside from the slowly swishing tip. Dad held out a loose hand for Luci to sniff, he did just that, rubbing his cheek against it afterwards, a soft snuffing, something I’d learned was his way of greeting others. A small smile quirked at my father’s lips, Luci lowering his head and knocking at the hand, earning a gentle laugh from my father. He stroked his head like he wanted and Luci’s eyes closed at the feeling, his purr deepening.

“Why didn’t he let me stroke him?” my brothers whiny voice came from the doorway.

“Because he doesn’t like you.” I retorted.

“He’s a pet, he doesn’t have the luxury to dislike people.” he argued and walked into the room. I’ve always hated that term, he wasn’t just a pet and even ordinary pets could like some more than others.

“He’s my pet, he can dislike whomever he wants.” I rebuffed and he scowled. “And anyway, not liking you means he is a good judge of character.” I added and he huffed and crossed his arms. He looked over at Luci’s cage and seemed amused.

“Surprised his doesn’t hate you making him live in that.” he told me. I frowned, there was nothing wrong with his cage. Luci glanced over at him and then his cage, he looked confused.

Why would I not like my cage? It was so much better than the one back at the auction house and master had given it to me, I loved everything in it, my comfy bed, the scratcher, the plush carpet. I forced air out of my nose in disagreement and licked masters hand, Parker didn’t know what he was talking about.

“You treat him like a human, as an equal and yet you lock him in a cage like an animal.” Parker told master. What was that supposed to mean? Master looked upset by his words and I disliked Parker even more now. I liked my cage, and once I’d settled in master left the door open, I wasn’t locked in there, I went in there of my own volition. “You give him a bowl of water instead of a glass and make him eat out of a bowl instead of off a plate with a knife and fork. And look at what you feed him, raw food, dead animals.” Parker continued and I couldn’t stop the growl that escaped my throat, he was upsetting master. “You’ve taught him no manners.” he gestured to me with a sneer. He didn’t deserve my manners, master was an amazing owner, I couldn’t wish for anyone better.

I stood in front of master protectively and growled lower, my tail whipping through the air, my ears forward and aggressive, posture tall, showing off every mm I had. I felt masters fingers slip underneath my collar and understood his command, I needed to calm down, to back off, Parker wasn’t getting a well- deserved lesson today. My growls quietened and my ears settled naturally atop my head, my stance was still protective though, I couldn’t shield master from his cruel words but I could be there for him. “You get what you give Parker.” master threw back, his voice clipped and cold.

“He’s a damn pet! He doesn’t get my manners!” Parker yelled.

“I don’t get your fucking manners either!” master spoke heatedly back but he didn’t raise his voice. “Get out of my house!” he ordered in a serious and venomous tone.

“Don’t worry, I’m leaving!” Parker assured and stomped out of the room, the front door slamming not soon after, the sound of an engine roaring away. Master sighed deeply, his shoulders relaxing, the tension leaving his body. I let out a worried meow and nuzzled his leg, he smiled softly down at me and scratched behind my ears, his fingers slipping from under my collar.

“You know Parker was talking nonsense, I can see how much Luci cares for you. But I will say one thing, you seem to have a way with him and seem to be able to control him, but you have a loaded gun in a collar.” he warned me before exiting the room. He was right, Luci would be deadly in the wrong hands, I had his trust and loyalty, he would pretty much do anything I asked of him, it was a big responsibility. He’d immediately calmed once I tugged on his collar gently, but what if someone attacked me and he was around? He was protective of me, I had just witnessed that. I understood what dad was telling me, Luci needed training, we both did. It would strengthen our bond and assure that I had full control of him no matter the situation we were in.

The rest of the evening was uneventful, we went back into the sitting room and Luci curled up on one of his beds whist I had a peaceful dinner with my parents. Mary had calmed down a lot but still glanced at Luci wearily every now and again. It was late by the time they’d left and I was beat. I got myself a glass of water before I started to turn the lights off downstairs. “Come on Luci, bedtime.” I told him and his head lifted sleepily. He languidly got up and padded behind me, starting to head past me to his cage. Even though dad had assured me Parker was speaking out his ass his words had stuck in my mind, Luci seemed happy enough in his cage but he didn’t know any better, a cage is all he’s ever known. Even though Parker was wrong I would try and treat Luci differently, I wouldn’t say better but I would try and introduce Luci into the human way of doing things. I wouldn’t force him to change but see what he liked, if he preferred eating with a knife and fork I’d let him, or if he’d rather keep his bowl I would let him.

“Luci.” I called him back and he stopped, a little ways down the hall, turning to look back at me. “Do you want to sleep upstairs tonight?” I offered and looked like he was mulling it over. He ambled back over, I see I had his answer. He climbed the stairs with me and followed me to my room. He found another bed I’d put there for him and circled over it before setting down with a deep exhale. I set my glass down and went into the bathroom to brush my teeth and wash my face. I came back, pulling off my day clothes, slipping on some silk pyjama bottoms and sliding underneath the covers of my bed. “Goodnight Luci.” I told him in the darkness and got a soft meow back, and I fell asleep with a smile on my face.

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