Sword Called Kitten Serial

Gordon A. Long

Published by

Airborn Press


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A Real Headache

 Sword Called Kitten Serial    EPISODE 8

Gordon A. Long

 

Published by

Airborn Press

 

Cate! Where are you? Where has that slime, Odo, taken you?

Theobald stared around the seething crowd in frustration, looking for exits. There were several, but all were blocked by the shouting, cheering crowd, jammed around the two barefisted fighters in the centre of the courtyard.

Which way did they go?

I cannot tell. You must look for her. She is wearing a white gown, and these are all commonfolk. Surely

I need somewhere high. He noted a cart pushed against the wall and jumped up.

Still cant see her!

Where could she have gone?

There are four doorways into the building and a gate for carts leading out of this plaza. They are all open. One is as good as any.

Theobald slid down off the cart, his eyes shooting from one doorway to the other. I have to think. I have to think of something

You are assuming that he brought her through here because he was going somewhere. Where would he be going?
That
s right. He would be going to his rooms. Where are they?
That
s easy enough to find out. The Chief Senechals office.

Right. ItsDamn. Its over there, down that corridor. On the other side of the crowd.

Lets go, then. I will try to help, although they are mostly Maridon, and I cannot affect them as strongly.

Theobald began to push through the crowd of men who were so intent on the two men battling in the centre that they ignored him. The Sword tried to blot out the mental screaming, to move people away from their path, but to little avail. Feelings of delight, triumph and male bloodlust swept over her.  And anger. Female anger.

Theobald. Stop!

What?

She is here. She is angry. I can feel her anger. It isthat way.

But thats towards the centre.

Nonetheless.

He began to push forward, but now the crowd held him back. Everyone wanted to move forward. He used his height to good advantage, staring over the heads of the crowd. The Sword joined her eyes to his, sharpening his perception.

There!

I see it!

A flash of white. Yes, there she is. I see a blond head beside her.

At the front! The Cat sifted through the emotions that surrounded them. Why are they at the front in this idiotic spectacle? No wonder she is angry.

He brought her here to see it!

A strange idea of how to entertain a lady.

Theobalds thoughts took on a grim tinge. Not so strange for some.

Really? Hmm. Once again, I learn about humans.

How do we get her out?

We dont. She is in no danger. We wait until Lord Odo has had his fill of the emotions, then we follow them again. Let us stay out of his line of sight.

Not much chance of him looking anywhere else. The fight is almost over.

Following the focus of the crowd, the Sword cast her thoughts towards the fighters. This is easy. Yes, the feeling from the one on the left is becoming weaker.

One of the combatants was reeling, blood running from a cut eyebrow, and soon the other man finished him off, to the great delight of the crowd, who surged forward to congratulate the victor. Lord Odo and his charge fought their way to the left, towards one of the exits, and the trackers followed.

Any way to tell her were still here?

I will try. The Cat fixed onto Cates declining anger, and sent a wash of good cheer. The womans head came up, and she looked around. The Cat immediately sent a warning. Her head was turned towards her escort, but she nodded, once, clearly.

I have succeeded. She knows we are near.

Good. Lets fade back a bit. But not too far.

No. Not too far. Never again.

It was rather difficult, trying to move in a natural fashion through the populated corridors while peering around every corner and junction before passing it. The Cat exuded not-thereness, and could detect no one remarking on their progress.

All right. Stop here.

What?

They have stopped. I think they have moved into a room. Walk onyes, stop. We have passed the door.

Must be this one.

Thats it. We can go back around that corner. Yes, I can still read her strongly. Hmm. He must be touching her. I can read him as well.

What? He is touching her?

Calmly. I think it is just her hand. They are talking. We must wait.

Theobald lounged against the wall. His complete indifference to his surroundings, added to the Cats sending, kept anyone from questioning his presence.

Whats happening?

Nothing but friendly conversation.

Define friendly.

Concentrate on the task, Lord Theobald. Aha! Her tension is rising. She must be getting close to the point. Is he suspicious?

I dont think so. No, he is much too enthusiastic for that.

Enthusiastic?

Theobald, you really must concentratewait, no, thats not

What? What is happening?

There is something wrong.

What?

She must have asked an important question. His mind just twisted into lies and evasions. And suspicion.

Suspicion?

Relax. What could he be suspicious of?

Concentrate. Something is happening.

What?

Shh. His mind is working. He hasOh. I do not like the pictures in his head. What his mind thinks and what his face shows are completely separate.

And?

I think it is time for her to leave.

Why?

No time to explain. She has to get out of there!

Tell her!

I cant!

What can we do? You said you could influence her emotions. Send her fear.

Yes, right. The Sword sent first a tinge of caution to the lady. She mentally clamped her teeth and kept on talking.

She is ignoring me.

Send her more.

She ignores the fear. She thinks this is normal. She is fighting against it. He can see the fear. He likes it. This is getting out of hand!

Do something, or Im going to have to go in there.

That would cause a very nasty incident. Especially if he was a possible ally. Not that its likely, from what I am reading in his mind.

What are you going to do, then?

Wait a moment. Fear makes her try harder. What about the opposite?
What?

Give me time. The Cat sent a feeling of languor into the ladys mind. A dizzy numbness, starting at her fingers and toes.

There. She feels it now. Shes getting the message. Now, just a little longer, and Ill slam her with a shot of headache. RightNow! The Sword sent a lunge of agony through Cates brain.

There was an exclamation they could hear through the wall. Cates voice rose in anger.

Duck! Down the corridor.

Behind them, the door crashed open, and Lady Cate strode out, shouting an imprecation before she slammed the door closed with equal force and stormed down the hallway towards them.

She knows we are here.

Theobald moved ahead more slowly and soon she caught up, grasping his arm firmly and leaning into him, her voice low and hoarse.

That bastard! He tried to drug me!

What?

The wine. It must have been drugged. I started to feel woozy, and my fingers and toes went numb. But I guess he misjudged the dose. I got this splitting headache. That woke me up, let me tell you. I gave him a piece of my mind and left.

Yes, we heard some of that.

Im sorry if I created a scene, but he shouldnt be able to get away with that. I dont care who he is or what political importance he has.

Theobald glanced down at her. From what the Sword could read, he was lying to you all the way through. Did you ask him any of the right questions?

Yes, and his answers were evasive. I dont think he has any idea of throwing in with us.

That is what the Sword concluded. He patted her hand. Feeling better, now?

She walked along a moment, frowning. Yes, I feel fine, now that you mention it. She grinned up at him. The cleansing effect of a good temper tantrum.

I wouldnt get too enthused with that idea, my Lady. You werent drugged.

What do you mean? My head felt…”

Yes, I know. You felt dizzy, and there was a tingling in your fingers and toes, which started to move up your legs and arms. Then there was a nagging pain in your head, which suddenly spiked.

How do you know that?

He grinned. Because that wasnt a drug. That was my Sword.

Your Sword?

Yes. We knew what was going on in Lord Odos mind, and we had to get you out of there. She sent you fear, but you just fought that. So she thought of another way.

You mean your Sword just gave me that splitting headache?

My Sword has just saved you from a very unpleasant and probably much more painful experience.

Painful?

Oh, yes.  I caught a glimpse of some of the images in his head. They were not pleasant.

Oh.

Her voice sounded smaller, and he tucked her arm closer to his side.

Dont worry, Cate. Once we get married, you wont be doing any of that sort of thing again. In fact, if we can avoid it, youre stopping right now.
Much though I object to anyone laying down the law to me in such a high-handed fashion, Im going to let you get away with it just this once. I did not enjoy that!

Not as much as your last attempt?

Her soft hand on his arm became a sharp elbow in his ribs. Not likely.

Care for a repeat? He had a sudden thought. I meanif its all right…”

She leaned closer. Just because Im pregnant doesnt mean I cant enjoy myself.

Oh. Good.

In fact, it lends a certain freedom, you know?

What do you mean?

We dont have to worry about me getting pregnant, do we?

He slid his arm around her waist. I think my new wife is going to be an optimist.

Id have to be, to marry such as you.

His arm tightened. We had best discuss that idea in private, my Lady.

Her arm slipped around his waist as well. Yes. Somewhere very private, I think.

Can I stay this time? Ill be very good.

There was no answer. Their minds were on other things.


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