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Simon woke with a start, he was never going to get used to having the sun dictate when he slept. Not that he would actually call it sleeping. It was more like an enforced coma.
He sat up and looked around. He’s been moved to the back of the cave and had a blanket around him. Kitryn must have been responsible, Simon wasn’t sure how he felt about being so vulnerable in front of a stranger. Not that he’d had a lot of choices, but still.
One of the first things he noticed was the kits.
They were all sitting by the mouth of the cave and seemed to be agitated. Fran was pacing in human form, and the two boys were in cat form with their tails lashing from side to side.
“What’s wrong?” he called out as he untangled himself from the blanket.
“Mr. Vamp,” Fran called out as she turned and ran to him. “Kitty gone. You find?”
“Gone?” Simon shot up, barely remembering to not straighten all the way up or he’d bang his head on the ceiling. “Gone where?” Simon forgot about his question when Fran started crying. He scooped her up and joined the boys.
“How long ago did he leave?” Simon looked at Fran since the boys were still cats and she seemed to do all the talking for the trio.
He kept rubbing Fran’s back until she’s calmed enough to answer him. “Gone when it was light. Not here when I wake up.”
So Kitryn could have been gone for as long as twelve hours. Simon calculated he had less than twelve hours to find Kitryn and get back to the cave or under shelter before he was unconscious again.
“Stay here. If Kitryn comes back don’t let him leave again or we’ll spend all night trying to find each other.”
Fran clung to him for a few more moments before allowing him to put her down next to the boys.
After a look both ways Simon chose the left and started walking.
How could he be so stupid and inattentive? He should have sensed the trap. He should have seen the rope. He should have—
Oh, who was he kidding? His only thought had been about getting back the cave and Simon. The vamp was taking up far too much of his thoughts since they met. Then there were the kits to worry about. What would they do with him gone?
A rustle from nearby had him twisting his head around. It was a rodent of some kind. Kitryn was sure the runty thing was laughing at him.
“That’s right,” he thought to himself. “Laugh at the big kitty hanging from the tree. You just wait until I get out of this.”
He swiped a paw in the air, but all that did was make him start swinging around. The more he tried to balance out again the more he spun. Good Goddess, would it ever stop?
The spinning finally slowed and Kitryn hung from his tree and waited for his head to stop spinning.
He was hungry, thirsty and so damn tired.
“I’m glad I thought to check my traps first.” Kitryn jolted at the familiar voice.
“Your traps?” Kitryn demanded and turned his head far as he could to get a look at the vamp standing below him. “What do you need with traps? And why was this one so big?” Of course, his voice only came out as a series of noises that would make no sense to Simon.
Simon tried to keep a straight face but Kitryn really did make a funny sight in his cat form hanging by the rope around his middle. Simon had decided to check his traps on the off chance and it seemed he’d been right.
“I made this one bigger to try and catch a larger animal for me to feed from. I would then also have meat to cook and eat for a while. Of course, I never imagined I’d catch a man-cat in it. How did you not see it? An animal wouldn’t know what to look for, but you…”
Simon pulled out his knife and called a warning, “Brace yourself.” He then cut through the rope allowing Kitryn to drop to the ground.
The cat immediately shifted, and a very angry, very human, very naked man turned on him.
This should be good.
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