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HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread 
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
valerio wrote:
D3ath_0ps wrote:
Wow. That was a LOOONNNGGG read. I can't believe that I read everything in about 3 days. Love Lucky and Felix, Peanut and Grape (Kittens too), and King and Bailey btw. Also, Val, you are such a great writer. You have effectively made me cry during the WHOLE fan fic 5 times. I hate you, but love you (the writing) at the same time. Can't wait for another update!

working on it. Unfortunately, I'm being subject to hynsomnia crises, so I tend to lose focus throughout the day, PLUS I really worked a lot on the italian translations 2.0, but I never stopped my ideas flux :)
WOW, three days only, that's some record! Thank you a ton for your appreciation, and also glad that I succeeded to convey such emotions. I love hearing from new fans and hope to hear from you again :D


Don't worry, I know we can all wait. Your welcome! Also, the end of Mizar and Alcor's origin story and when Grape's kittens were born were the best moments though ( SO MUCH FEELS :cry: ). I know, I need to catch up on homework now, but it was well worth the three days I was sick. I may or may not be Peanut when it comes to reading something I love... :P

You'll defiantly see me around! I wouldn't want to miss this fic! :D

P.S.: You have inspired me to make a new character to my fanfic that I'm making (No Spoilers till the Preview of the next part. >:D), so I 'm excited to get that started up again (Still have to draw her though).

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PART 4 - CH. 3 PREVIEW OUT NOW! (Updated 9/24/14)

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Tue Jul 29, 2014 4:01 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
D3ath_0ps wrote:
Wow. That was a LOOONNNGGG read. I can't believe that I read everything in about 3 days. Love Lucky and Felix, Peanut and Grape (Kittens too), and King and Bailey btw. Also, Val, you are such a great writer. You have effectively made me cry during the WHOLE fan fic 5 times. I hate you, but love you (the writing) at the same time. Can't wait for another update!

You did it in 3 days.
How is that physically possible?

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Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:17 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
herobrineharry wrote:
D3ath_0ps wrote:
Wow. That was a LOOONNNGGG read. I can't believe that I read everything in about 3 days. Love Lucky and Felix, Peanut and Grape (Kittens too), and King and Bailey btw. Also, Val, you are such a great writer. You have effectively made me cry during the WHOLE fan fic 5 times. I hate you, but love you (the writing) at the same time. Can't wait for another update!

You did it in 3 days.
How is that physically possible?


Lets just say that I have a lot of free time on my hands when I'm not flooded with homework or do not want to be bothered with it. I also tend read fast when it comes to topics that I like (a lot). Although, I do go back and reread some parts if I need to, like the entirety of Season III. I got a little jumbled with the characters and I was losing my mind for staying up at least a total of 24 hours. Probably why I'm sick, but still!

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PART 4 - CH. 3 PREVIEW OUT NOW! (Updated 9/24/14)

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
5.
Aboard the Sea Dragon, Nisa Bay, Florida

The horns sounded powerful in the air, soon answered by a chorus from several of the other harbored ships, as world’s largest cruiser left the pier.
When the ship finally completed the first maneuvers, and she turned in the direction of the Atlantic Ocean, then the passengers could appreciate the full view of Nisa Bay.
And although King Lindberg did enjoy the view, it was far better while snuggling in his wife’s arms, both dogs relaxing in the balcony of their suite.
“I can’t wait to explore the ship,” Bailey said. “I want the pups to learn everything about her.” It could’ve sounded as a strange request, but again it happened that somehow their spirits were in occasional contact with their parents. Far as King knew, Rook, Lira and MacKenzie could actually come to the light with extra notions. And he didn’t mind it a bit. “Fair enough. After the lunch with the Captain, we’ll burn some calories walking around. Sounds nice?”
He got an extra squeeze in return and a kiss on his head fur. “Aw, you’re so thoughtful. And I saw in the brochure, that there is a pool too! We could take a dip after we’re done with the walk…" Then her voice dropped to that husky tone which never failed to send pleasant shivers down his back. "And I have an idea about building some appetite before lunch, hon,” she added with sweet malice, while tilting her head for a kiss. King’s snout bent to meet hers…and both stopped with a start when someone
s
c
r
e
a
m
e
d

behind them!
“Max..?” King said, for a moment fearing this was all a dream and that he was back in the Gardens.
And there he was. The rogue black cat, falling down to the sea!
Immediately, King and Bailey left their chair to lean out the balcony and watch the hapless figure’s fall…breaking itself against a large safety net.
“You actually tossed me down the ship! Are you CRAZY?!” Max screamed from his most awkward predicament.
Then both dogs looked up and saw a furious Grape Jelly Sandwich leaning out so much that she could’ve easily fallen, wasn’t for Peanut holding her. “You can bet I DID, you lummox! What are you doing here?!”
“I just wanted to have fun and visit an island! Is that a CRIME now?!”
“It is, especially when you hide in my husband’s baggage! There is a reason you weren’t invited! This is a R-O-M-A-N-T-I-C trip! And you won’t spoil it!”
“Fine! But don’t you guys come running to me when you start to get bored!”

The safety net retreated, and Maxwell was dragged inside the ship’s bowels, just as the horn sounded one last time goodbye to the mainland.
“About time, you guys!” the cat complained, getting off. “After such a shock, I really need me something like a warm soup. Man, it is cold outside—Well, what you looking at?”
Three humans in security outfits, and as many coal-black Newfoundlands, stood around the stowaway. And they didn’t look happy.
Max scoffed and smoothed his arms fur. “Look, guys, never heard of last minute cruises? I just was in such a hurry, that I forgot to bring my credit cart. But don’t worry, I’m sure Mr. Foster will cover all expenses, you just ask him. And now, if you’ll excuse me…” He started to walk away…and crashed into a canine abdominal wall. Dog smell, ew, how could Grape or Sabrina like that was still beyond him.
Rubbing his nose, Max just motioned the dog to scoot over. “Did you hear me, meatloaf head? Foster. Rich guy. Animal lover. Aboard. Pay.”
A human hand squeezed the cat’s shoulder. The hand of the security chief. “Sir, until we check your credentials, since you are an unregistered passenger, we’ll have to detain you. Do you wish me to call your owner?”
Maxwell decided that he’d rather considering jumping into a shark. Without a chainsaw. Immediately, he thought out, <Ah, my cosmic sweetie, would you consider help me out here? Dunno, a ticket? A massive brainwash? A big ball of fire? A Senator?>
<Sorry, no can do, my precious one,> came the answer from Spirit Dragon, straight into the cat's mind. <I had warned you about running after your two exes. This time, you’re on your own.>
Max’s shoulders sagged. Girls: Pick up one time to get jealous..! He didn’t pose resistance as he was led toward the detention area…
---
They knocked at the door. It opened a moment later. “Did someone ordered 2 K-sitters Specials?” Felix said, leaning in with Lucky.
“YAYYY!” the Sandwich kittens yelled, while running to the couple.
“Can you make it for the lunch?” Grape asked, while holding to Peanut. “I don’t need any—“ She was interrupted by a white-furred finger gently placed on her lips.
“Princess,” Lucky said. “We’ll all be there in time and with enough appetite to need a table for our own. Now you guys have fun, okay?” He winked at his old-time friend, making her blush slightly.
“Come on, guys,” Felix said. “Bet you never played lazer-tag.”
“Come to think of it, I could use it too,” Grape said. She then patted Peanut’s back. “Sorry, hon, but I guess I feel too wired anyway for snuggles. We’ll save it for after the lunch.”
Peanut nodded. “Oky! To be honest, I am too excited myself. Plus, I can’t wait to show my family to the world!” He pecked his cat wife’s cheek. “Too pretty to hide in a royal suite.”
Felix threw Lucky a sour eye. “Why won’t you be that nice with me?”
The poor Malamute went all puppy-sadface on him. “B-but I—“ he then fumed at Peanut. “Can you at least try and be that cute when he ain’t around?”
It was then that all ears perked up at the sounds coming from the adjacent suite. “What the--?” Lucky wondered. The cabins were soundproof-certified, or so the brochure said. And yet there it was, the long and modulated howl/murring of canine pleasure.
The pets walked into the corridor, discovering that King and Bailey too were out, drawn by curiosity themselves.
“It’s like when Mom scritches me,” Peanut said, “but…wow. Whoever’s doing it, he must be really good.”
“Isn’t that Martin’s suite?” King asked…just as the languid howls turned into a staccato of high-pitched whines.
“This is when I usually start kicking my legs,” Peanut said.
The climax was covered by the ship’s horn, for which Grape was grateful.

Martin, his eyes still ruffling Aldebaran’s tummy fur, looked with surprise, envy and a bit of jealousy at the spectacle of his other dog laying sprawled, his leg still slightly kicking, tongue all lolling out, and panting like after a good exercise. One could hear Antares’ heart beating from a distance.
“What?” Maud said, kneeling over the sturdy canine, patting his chest. “You said it, Martin: ‘Love me, love my dogs’, right?”
The poor man almost made a face. “I guess I did, But I didn’t imagine that--?”
“What? That I’d be good at petting a dog?” She sighed, lay herself down next to Antares and hugged him, but still looking at the human. “Good old stereotypes: Daughter of a zillionaire = Ice Queen.”
Martin too lay himself down to give a good hug’n’pet to Aldebaran. “No offense meant, milady, but Gauss and Curie don’t just give the idea of being happy dogs.”
Her fingers dug into the big black dog’s muscled neck, massaging it. “Oh, dear: That’s because father took them for the sole purpose of being my bodyguards. He personally selected them and supervised their training. Their idea of petting doesn’t go further than a friendly ruffling. I mean, they are good dogs, we have fun together, we play games, but in the end it’s a job relationship. Your boys, on the other hand, hmmm…Made for hugs. I wish you guys had brought your cub with you.”
“No way, they are just playin’ Cupids,” Martin ruffled his dog’s head. Aldebaran had the decency to blush. “Is it a coincidence that you chose a cruise date when there’ll be a Serenissima-theme masque ball, hm?”
Maud laughed out loud at that. “Oh my dog! You have raised them smart for sure, kind Sir! What will be next? A table on the bow with candlelight and our own waiter?”
Antares cleared his throat, blushing a lot through his black fur.
---
“Pool, yay!” Dayshaun’s eyes went wide at the sight of the ‘kids-n-pups’ reserved area. A moment later, he dove in, his collar falling behind.
“Hey, we were going to play lazertag!” Parnok protested. “And we’re cats, we’re supposed to hate water!” But by now he was being largely ignored in favor of water fights.
Lucky sighed. “I guess I’ll have to stay with him. You guys go and have fun—“
“I beg your pardon, Sir?” said a female Labrador. She wore a ‘LIFE GUARD’ jacket with the name AMANDA printed on it and looked fit to fight sharks. “You don’t have to fear about groups splitting. Here aboard, we have all the staff and security system to make sure that we can keep track of the little ones 24/7. Plus, we are highly trained to take care of the kittens’ needs. And if you can’t come back and pick them up, just tell us when and where you want them to be brought to. The company hires only the best, as chaperones come.”
Lucky kept thinking that Grape could not share such view…but he so wanted to play lazertag with the others…
Felix patted his back. “Don’t worry, beefy pup: I’ll make sure to earn some points for you too. And then, it’s not that we’ll play all the day, just long enough to build an appetite before the lunch. Oh, and after all you’re such a klutz at that game.”
Amanda chuckled. Lucky almost growled at the red tabby. “Hey! I’m still the fastest runner in our team!”
“Yes but you can’t dodge! If we two played against the Four Furies here, you’d be out in a heartbeat.” He ruffled Nutella’s and Louise’s heads. “While I know they’re the best dodgers! We’ll make a great team, the others won’t stand a chance!”
No one noticed Parnok whispering to Tarot, “You can still pull that invisibility act, right?”
“Consider it done,” came the quiet reply.
---
Ok, so King had to admit it to himself: He had wanted to show Bailey everything the ship could offer in terms of entertainment because the human in him wanted to boost and impress the country girl.
That was proving to be a potentially fatal mistake.
Bailey just looked like she had won a lottery, as she walked through the fitness center. “This is so awesome! We can keep in shape for our excursion and not waste a day! Ohh, lookit there! They also have a Spa for after we’re done!”
Although King didn’t share his wife’s enthusiasm for physical exercise, he liked that humans and animals were doing their training sessions in the same environment. It was funny to see humans’ skin glistening with sweat while dogs and cats just panted to cool themselves. The sounds and smells were overpowering, testosterone was like a solid entity. It made him feel…well, competitive. He actually felt drawn to do something to prove his maleness!
And yet, his first words to Bailey’s statements were, “Actually, we could just go and relax before lunch. We’ve got the time to come back and—“
“Whassup, Lady? Tramp’s trying to keep a good dog down?” said a merry voice behind the couple.
The kind of voice, King knew even before turning, that belonged to the local show-off.
And there he was, a big, grey Tamaskan boy, a towel resting around his neck, just like the Rottie standing near to him. “It’s cute that you brought your pup to see how grownups work out, Lady,” the Tamaskan went on. He flashed Bailey a grin Maxwell would’ve been proud of. “Name’s Gregor. He’s Josiph.” The rottie just nodded at her. “And we both know how to have fun. What yer name?”
The Malamute smiled amiably at the couple of self-claiming hunks. “Name’s Bailey Lindberg, and the pup here is my hubbie.” She showed them her ring. “And he knows how to have fun better than you ever will. Now do a roll and be good puppies. Hm?”
Josiph chuckled. Gregor almost snarled at that. He addressed the female with what could be described as ‘aggressive leer’. “Wow, ‘Miss Lindberg’, you surely know how to cut with that tongue. But I bet you can use it for something better. Kissing, for example. Wanna me show ya how?” And he pouted his lips out.
And it was then than King tapped at the big dog’s knee. Gregor gave him a weird look, like someone who just noticed something dirty under his own feet [Alt-Txt: No, King is not that short, but *I* was short on jok--*brick’d*]. “What, kid? Adults are bein’ busy.”
The Corgi just motioned him with a finger to bend down. “Just want to try a thing, big boy. Humor me.” He added a confident smile, sure that Gregor would obey.
And the Tamaskan did, bringing his snout in front of the smaller dog’s. “So? Wanna show me teeth?”
A shake ‘no’ of the head. “Not exactly.”
King’s uppercut was a blur, it moved that fast! It connected with the bigger dog with a kaCHINgo that echoed through the center, and for a moment drawing the general attention as everyone stopped to watch.
Death came with a rustle of her sportwear robe and grabbed Gregor by his feet, dragging his inert form away. King massaged his fist. “It was true then: Beefy hunk, glass jaw.”
Prudently Josiph didn’t say a thing as the couple walked away, Bailey’s arm in his. “This so calls for extra snuggles. At the Spa,” she said, pride dripping from her voice. “Cute and alpha, what’s not to love in you?”
And thoughtful. Look.” He showed her something he was holding in his right paw.
Bailey went all fangirl at the sight, wagging her curly tail. “Ooohh, trophy teeth! You know how to spoil a girl, you!”
---
Back at the security ward, the woman keeping a check on the only prisoner aboard the ship was looking nervously at the monitor, which displayed a black cat walking in circle in the middle of his cell, obviously and frantically talking to the bed, accompanying his muted monologue with an elaborated gesturing of arms.
“Ah, Jack, have you been talking to the cat’s owner? This fella’s giving me the serious creeps.”
The man in uniform and beret put the phone down. “That guy told me he’ll pay if we keep him under lock’n’key for the next two years. He said he’ll double if we took his dog too. He sounded happy. Oh, and Foster put the DND on his suite’s phone.”
The woman sighed. “Great, another candidate for Liberation. I’ll never understand my peers. Present company excluded.”

“Draggie. My beloved, creative, funny and SCALY BACKSTABBING WITCH! I came aboard craving for adventure, not to get bored to death! This is SO unconstitutional! It’s even against any basic animal rights! And have you tasted the food?!”
<I saw they brought you canard a l’orange, baked potatoes filled with meat and apple pie,> said the reptilian, anthropomorphic entity sitting on the bed. An entity visible only to Maxwell.
“No cream scoop!” the cat protested. “And no catnip! How can a poor cat enjoy a meal without some catnip to help digestion?!” Then he fell to his knees, paws joined in prayer. “Please please pretty please, my goddess! Let me out of here and I promise I will get on the nerves of the Captain only!”
Dragon shook her head. <If it is adventure you crave, my love, then adventure you will find. You will be quite busy.>
Max raised a suspicious eyebrow. “Why do I feel there’s a catch?”
Dragon’s hand reached over and caressed his cheek, although the spiritual flesh passed through him with a display of sparkles. <No catches. And I will make sure that a friend of mine will keep an eye on you and your friends’ safety.>
Max blinked. “Friend? Like your ex-boyfriend? The guy who spoiled Pete’s plans?”
A chuckle. <No, not him. This one’s a much nicer guy, you’ll see.>

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Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:19 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Yay new post!
Yay awesome post!

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Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:25 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Dat short joke doh. :P

Glad that guy got punched. Go Team King! :D

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PART 4 - CH. 3 PREVIEW OUT NOW! (Updated 9/24/14)

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Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:26 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
I finally got a chance to sit down and read these new updates. Glad to see you got out of your writing slump and things are back on track. Good to see King is standing up for himself. :lol: And I can't wait to see what awaits on Meriweather Island.

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Sat Aug 02, 2014 6:37 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
yo whatever happened to Follegra? the cat has to save Fox from Duchess!


Tue Aug 05, 2014 10:07 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Cataloochee wrote:
yo whatever happened to Follegra? the cat has to save Fox from Duchess!

there will be time for that! Follegra must be tended to with much care *rubs hands and chuckles*

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
6.
“I AM THE KING OF THE WORLD, WOOOT!” Human or pet one may be, it was quite common to fall for that innocuous stunt after watching ‘Titanic’ at least once in your life. Especially when you traveled aboard world’s biggest cruise ship.
It was a tad less usual, if you leaned out of the bow…In fact, if you rightly hang down the bow, head down.
“All right, stupid mutt,” Grape said, pulling up the rope that had just saved her canine mate from a very wet fate. “I should’ve suspected you’d pull this stunt when you rented a bounce jump rope.”
“Aw, Grape!” The pointer mix whined. “But you too watched Extreme Pet Stunts!
The lavender cat pulled Peanut to the safety of the deck. “Oh, yes, where they did this stuff. Inside the harbor. With the ship at anchor and a crew ready to intervene! Don’t you think this occasion might be a bit different?!”
Peanut unfastened the rope from his harness. “But where would be the fun then?”
Grape facepawlmed. “Sometimes I think that it’s our kids who are having a bad influence on you.”
He stuck out his tongue at her. “That’s because they took after you!”
She answered with a defiant grin. “Oh, so now I’m a bad influence in your life?”
Peanut leaned forward until he was touching brow with her. “The worst of the best—“ Then he seemed to reconsider. “No. The contrary. The best of…No…” And then he actually started counting on his fingertips, tongue sticking out in focus. “Ah, the best of the worst means that one is the worst one there is, save for when one is the best—“ He whimpered. “My head hurtz.”
Grape just hugged her dog and kissed his brow. “Here, poor dear. Perhaps we better go back to the kids and—“ She had just started turning, when he pulled her back by her tail. “Hey! No rude with that!”
“Much as I loveandloveandloveandlove a lot to be with our kittens, first I want to see if you still have it in you, my feline beau.” This speaking, he dragged her along the bridge
“Have in me what? And stop dragging me—Hoff!” that came when he suddenly let her go and Grape fell on her butt. “Okay, you so lost your snuggle rights for tonight already,” she said, massaging her lower region. “So tell me why shouldn’t I maim you here and now, you silly mutt!”
“Because of that!” Peanut said, looking up and wagging his tail.
“What? All I see there is a white wall with windows everywhere. Plus, this is the helipad, we’ve been given permission to be here for 10 minutes and we’ve used them up!”
“Well,” Peanut said, “I see a nice road up to the smokestacks.”
Grape blinked. “Wut?”
“I studied the diagrams. There are all the way of service ladders for the sailors to go up to the smokestacks. Maintenance, you know!”
“I know what maintenance is, but—Oh, no, you won’t!”
But Peanut was already running to the ladders, barking happily.
Grape shook her head. “A climbing contest. He’s turning into a cat, Maxie will laugh himself crazy.” And she ran after her husband.
---
Maxwell wasn’t laughing.
At all.
He was starting to consider the benefits of sitting in that room with Bino for the next 36 hours. Everything but staying locked up like some common shelter kitt—
“Now that you’re done talking to yourself, how about talking to some actual person?”
Max stopped abruptly in mid-stride, in fact he almost fell down onto the padded floor. “Wuts?”
“Hello, stranger,” said a female calico mix. She was sitting together with some lightly blue-furred male in a cell just like Max’s…
In fact, there was more than one ‘cell’. And more than one ‘prisoner’. At a first sight, there were at least twenty animals, what between dogs and cats, and a raccoon family.
Maxwell blinked. Had he actually missed all of these guys? Unless… A shiver run down his spine. “Are you ghosts? Zombies? Vengeance-seeking lost souls? Because I know ghost-fu, watch it!” And he assumed a martial arts pose to show it. “Plus, I really had enough of you supernatural guys!” He quickly addressed the presence sitting on the bed, glaring at him. “Except you, my sweet,” he added, blowing a kiss.
A series of chuckles answered those statements. “No, we’re pretty alive, thank you,” said one of the raccoons. “It’s just that you were so self-obsessed that you didn’t even notice us, krazy kat.” More chuckles.
Maxwell blushed furiously. He leaned himself against the bars, his snout sticking out. “I was talking with my girlfriend, thank you! She’s a magical goddess and she’ll whisk me away before you jailbirds can say ‘Kibble’!”
This time, the others exploded in a chorus of laughter that almost shook the walls. “Guys, this one beats even Delusional Steve!” said the blue cat.
“I am not kidding!” Max growled. “She’ll set me free, and you too if you just ask nicely!”
This time, no one laughed. Max took it as a sign to boost his recently-deflated confidence. “Yes, I mean it. Wherever the humans are sending you to, I can thwart their plans. You just must promise me the control of whatever territory you live in, and some catnip and—“
“But we are being set free,” the same male raccoon said. He was holding a kit in his arms and cradling her gently. “You still haven’t realized, haven’t you?”
Max went and sat down on his bed. “Realized what? That you are all being kept in padded cells with only boredom as company? Did you think you could just piggy-ride this leviathan and perhaps find your good fortune on some magical island lost in the middle of nowhere? And why are you looking at me like that?!”
“Don’t you come from a shelter?” the blue cat asked, raising a quizzical eyebrow.
Max snorted. “None of your business.” Was everyone on this ship crazy?! But he heard more than one whispering things about him being ‘discarded’. “And I have not been abandoned! I just ran from home to get some days of carefree adventure!”
This time they looked at him and shook their heads like witnesses to a funeral. The word ‘abuse’ became strangely recurrent.
“You never heard of Liberation, then, did you?” The raccoon asked. “Oh, and I’m Canon. This is my daughter Stylus. And this—“
“Blah blah blah, if I wanted to get to know people at a distance I’d open my Facebook. What’s with this ‘Liberation’ thing? Sounds familiar, though, is it a PETA-owned resort of some sort?”
“A community,” the calico said, frowning at him. “Founded long, long before Oasia came to be. Every feral, streeter, rescue animal knows about it: It’s the place where from time to time a few selected animals are sent to start a new life, far from the miseries of their old life. Everyone here is being sent to Liberation. Including you.”
Max weighed those words. “Ehh, I thought that Liberation was an urban legend. And then, there are already feral communities tending to their own scattered around the world. Why would someone go on some island to ‘start a new life’?” He accompanied the last phrase with a wiggle of his fingers. “To save on taxes?”
“No,” the female raccoon of the family said. Her male kit was sleeping soundly in her arms in spite of the conversation. “To be citizens. With our own rights. At Meriweather Island nobody can tell us what to do except ourselves, no one will hunt us down only because we have a tail. We won’t be living of scraps and charity, or under the constant threat of losing that few much we’re given as pets. We will be the owners of our own lives.”
Maxwell just lay down on his bed. “Meh, whatever suits you. It sounds like working your tail off all day, and I’m sort of allergic to such stuff—“ And then he noticed another item he had missed.
The TV screen was framed into the ceiling! “Ohh, mindless entertainment. So there is some civilization left aboard.” He looked around. “Now, only a remote stays between me and ephemeral pleasures… So why are you being kept here instead of enjoying the cruise? Won’t the captain trust you? Or are you terminally sick with rabies? Where’s there remote, fox it?!”
“None of the sort,” said a mixed breed dog, one of those streeters who had lost any visible trace of their original breed and looked more like a wolf with floppy ears and brown, white-spotted fur. “We’re here because the laws of our country don’t allow the captain to keep ferals aboard and on the loose. That’s why we’re here. But if you just took care of your whereabouts instead of rambling to yourself, you’d have noticed your commodities. The TV is turned on and adjusted through voice command and motion sensors. Speak to it.”
Max cleared his throat. “Ah…TV on?”
The LED screen came to life on a list of available shows. Max felt hope surging warm inside him. “Hey, they have the exclusive prequel to Pridelands! Wait until Grape learns about it, she’ll eat her liver out!” He turned his head to the other cells. “Sorry, were you saying? Ah, don’t worry, it can wait till the end of the show.”
---
“Annd…Watch it Illinoise!” This said, Martin hit the golf ball with all his might.
Maud, standing at his side, leaning on her stick ,wearing a hawaian shirt and skirt, a large hat and sunglasses, looked at the ball flying toward the end of the golf course. “You know, Martin, I like Illinois, and hitting a ball won’t impress me.”
“Ah, but it’s not for my amusement, my dear,” the man said, looking through his own sunglasses at his dogs running after the ball and baying like crazed wolves.
Aldebaran jumped high enough to catch the ball in his mouth before it fell off the ship and then ran back to his human, before dropping the ball into his hand.
Martin cleaned the ball and petted the happy dog’s head. “It’s for their amusement. Wanna try? We still have half an hour for ourselves.”
Maud took the ball. “Why not? Let’s try a variation. Ready, boys?”
Antares and Aldebaran went down on all 4s, and assumed the pose of two oversized, hulking pointers, ears all bent onward and almost scratching at the ground.
Maud tipped the ball. “What did you say about Illinois? Oh yes: Here’s for Alabama!” And she hit! Only that she did it so that the ball never left the ground. It rolled and bounced along tracks and crevices and minidunes, with the two monsters running after it and wrecking havoc to the infrastructure, yapping like overexcited puppies.
When the ball was about to slid between a plastic pink stork’s legs, the dogs were all over it, and what followed was an unrateable scene of playful brutality.
The pink stork’s head fell before the legs of Maud. She nodded at the show many one tourists were shooting with their cameras and phones. “That explains the generous tip to the Captain…But you were right, Mr. Foster,” she said. “This is amusing and impressing. You know how to keep boredom at bay.”
Martin made a theatrical bow. “Nothing less for you, ma’m. Though I must admit, I hadn’t imagine I’d meet an equal match for extreme destruction.”
Antares and Aldebaran came at that moment and gave the ball to Martin. Behind them, the minigolf track looked like the battered dark side of the Moon. “I think that this will do for today, guys.”
“Aww, but Da-ad!”
“No buts: Much as for once I liked to use my money just to show off, it doesn’t mean it should be done on a daily basis. Plus, you two are tiring already, what with this sun. Go to the pool to cool off, you’re working an appetite already.”
“YAY!” and off the big beasts went, the humans carefully making way.
“And no cannonballing!” Martin called out one last time. Then, to Maud, not before offering her his arm. “Solarium?”
She made a good show of feigning being shocked. “Showing off in the presence of an unmarried lady? My my my, Sir, this is scandalous!” But she accepted the chivalrous offer anyway.
---
“What do you think when you look at them?”
It was quite the show, kittens, puppies, kit rabbits, and children, all just enjoying their fun in the junior pool under the scrutiny of the lifeguards, while the parents of all species chatted amiably among themselves as if their taxonomy didn’t pose a social barrier at all.
At Sabrina’s question, Alcor sighed, but this time smiling contentedly. “I think that next time I’ll be aboard a ship like this, there will be you, Fido, and your litter. And they will be the cutest of them all.”
Both cats were sitting in their deck-chairs, arms crossed behind their heads, their furs drinking in the precious sunlight. Not a cloud in the sky, and the sea was placid like a mountain lake. Heaven!
“Hm, making progress I see,” the black cat commented.
The smile vanished abruptly. “You’re doing it on purpose, are you?”
Sabrina chuckled. “No more than you inflicting it on yourself, luv. And we have all the time, the vacation has just started. I’m just happy that now you’re getting into the right perspective.”
The white cat reflected on that. “Hm, guess you’re right. So, what drew you to Fido in the first place? Always been a dog lover?”
“Ah, not exactly. Yes, I liked dogs back then, but I had a task: Making Fido fall in love with me to get him off Pete’s clutches and under my protection. This way, the cosmic Game would be delayed in favor of Mistress Spirit Dragon. Maxie’s current girlfriend, you know. But, just like Tarot with Peanut later on, I ended up falling for him for real. I am not just sure I told him…” She had spoken with the most absolute nonchalance, her finger resting on her lip in a meditative expression. Then she threw a look at Alcor. “Oh, and you’re catching flies now, watch it.”
The poor cat looked like his jaw had just suffered a bad case of dislocation.
“What? You said you wanted this short relationship to be open, right?”
Alcor just signaled a nearby human waiter passing with soda cans on a silver tray. Alcor took one and drank its content in one swallow. “I guess it was a way to tell me to shut up about your privacy, right?”
“Hm, more or less. Did I tell you when Pete planned to kidnap Bailey for the arena and send me to fight her—“
“I can’t hear you lalalACK!” that came when he was drenched by a tidal wave coming from the pool! Dripping like a drenched flannel, Alcor sat up and removed his sunglasses. Apparently, he was the only one not applauding among the public. “You lugs! I heard Dad telling you not to cannonball!”
“We didn’t!” Antares said, innocent like an angel, leaning against the edge.
“He didn’t forbid us to perform synch diving!” Aldebaran added with a not-so-innocent grin, as usual mirroring his brother’s posture.
“And people loved it.”
“So we’ll do it again.” And gave him a Japanese raspberry.
Alcor unsheathed slightly his claws, raking the armrest. “And of all the places, why are you here and not at the adults’ pool!?”
Antares smiled. “Because here it’s fun!”
Aldebaran made a face. “Grownups are all rules, no fun!”
“COWABUNGA!” Dayshaun intervened, together with a storm of small wet furs, all of them with the big dogs as targets. Alcor had just the time to look at the new splash forming and mutter “Why me?” before getting drenched again.
---
“Come on, lazytail! Where’s my intrepid adventurer?”
“Somewhere in our imperial suite taking a well-deserved nap?” Grape replied, while climbing up the last ladder to the smokestacks. She just couldn’t believe it, the mutt must run on hydrogen batteries like the Terminator!
When she finally reached the top, at the base of the ‘stacks, she was pretty well panting, too tired even to think of ways to make her husband pay for that execrable idea. “Peanut, after this, I swear to you, that I will—Oh.”
Indeed, words could not describe it.
Peanut held Grape to her, as the wind ruffled their furs and both could enjoy the sea shining like a liquid jewel, admiring in its full glory the ship’s size.
“Everyone looks so tiny from here,” Grape said. She turned, and saw the rear bridge, teeming with activities and rich with the voices of the tourists.
“Still want to punish me?” Peanut asked her.
“Hmm…Let’s just sit down and enjoy the view. I’ll decide later.”
And it was then that they heard the mewing.
“Did you..?” Peanut said, his floppy ears trying to perk up.
Grape nodded, her fatigue already forgotten. That was the mewing of a kitten, the sad sound of a lost soul she’d always hope not to hear again. But what with the wind blowing, it was difficult to tell the direction it was coming from…
But she was nevertheless bound to find the source. Grape couldn’t just stand the idea of some poor, innocent creature suffering all alone, not on her watch! “Hey, little one. Where are you? We’re friends, please don’t hide—“
“Oh, hi there!” Peanut said, his tail wagging, making the cat turn.
And there it was, hiding just behind the smokestack, a tiny white-and-grey head with big green eyes. Scared eyes.
Grape squinted her eyes. So tiny… What could possess a kitten that size to climb up all those service ladders to come here of all places?
Answer: Nothing. The poor creature couldn’t have possibly done that, so it must have been brought here.
By whom and why?
“Wanna play?” Peanut asked to the kitten, and rolled down on his back, exposing tummy and neck. “I’ll let you bite first!”
The kitten giggled. He still looked wary, but he wasn’t trying to run away.
Grape squatted down and made inviting gestures at the little one. Never like now was she happy to have had experience with her own litter. “Hey, mighty hunter. Bet you’d like to try a new toy, hm?” She fished into her collar and produced a sort of small toy made with plastic springs. Once it was out of her collar, the ‘body’ fell down and expanded into the rough shape of a mouse with a long curved tail –an invention of Nutella and Louise, those two were the most handiwork-savy when it came to make toys out of trash.
The kitten’s eyes flashed with interest! Even from here one could see it was already getting ready to pounce.
Grape started wobbling the long spring tail, and the whole ‘mouse’ body started to shake as she pulled it to herself, sloooowly…
The kitten came out, all fluffed up in excitement and running after its prey. It didn’t even mind being dragged together with its prize, since it was busy trying to tear the thing apart in a flurry of tiny claws.
Peanut took the little one in his arms. “Hey you…girl.” He gave a quick sniff. “What were you doing up here all alone?”
Grape knew the answer the moment she had a better view at the kitten’s collar.
It sported a camera lens.

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Tue Aug 12, 2014 4:18 am
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Great update Val! Can't wait to see what happens to the little kitten!

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PART 4 - CH. 3 PREVIEW OUT NOW! (Updated 9/24/14)

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Tue Aug 12, 2014 7:02 pm
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No, Valerio, I will not say "Dun Dun Dunh!" for you.

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Tue Aug 12, 2014 9:02 pm
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but i will

*clears throat*

DUN DUN DUUUUUNNNN¡¡


Tue Aug 12, 2014 10:09 pm
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Cataloochee wrote:
but i will

*clears throat*

DUN DUN DUUUUUNNNN¡¡

dududuNNNN
YAY, another reader! :D welcome in my crazy world, Catalochee!!!!

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Wed Aug 13, 2014 2:31 am
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thank you mr. Valerio. i challenge this crazy world to give me all it's got


Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:25 pm
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Join usssssssssssss.....................

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Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:22 pm
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already haveeeeeeeee.....


Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:57 am
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We are the grapenut zombies...... Fueled by daaaaaaaawwww.......!


Sat Aug 16, 2014 2:35 pm
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Actually, we are fueled by printed out copies of HP:TS. Each copy requires 3 acres of dense forest to create, and supplies 65000 BTu of power per copy.

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Sun Aug 17, 2014 11:42 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
herobrineharry wrote:
Actually, we are fueled by printed out copies of HP:TS. Each copy requires 3 acres of dense forest to create, and supplies 65000 BTu of power per copy.

If you run the numbers, that means each copy weighs ten pounds.

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Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:44 pm
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Really enjoying the storyline so far. I think that is a wonderful read.


Wed Aug 20, 2014 4:10 pm
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Amazee Dayzee wrote:
Really enjoying the storyline so far. I think that is a wonderful read.

thankies! :D
I'm on some holidays and resting more or less from everything, but HP!TS will be back soon!

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:D I ABSOLUTLY LOVE THIS!!!!!!! I've been reading it for the past three days and just yesterday got to this point and now I have to wait for more. Please please please keep up the AMAZING work honestly I wish there was more people out in the world as talented as you!


Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:42 am
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warriorcatsfanhere wrote:
:D I ABSOLUTLY LOVE THIS!!!!!!! I've been reading it for the past three days and just yesterday got to this point and now I have to wait for more. Please please please keep up the AMAZING work honestly I wish there was more people out in the world as talented as you!

*tips hat* thank you kind sir :D I am still on summer vacation and getting pleasantly braindead. I will go back to the ficcie quite soon, tho.

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Great!!!!!! Hope your vacation is awesome!! Oh and I'm a girl. Can't really tell from my name though sorry


Mon Aug 25, 2014 12:01 pm
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From a VERY LONG Hiatus I FINALLY got caught up all the way back from Peanut's academy days up until know. My eyes are killing me to no extent. :shock:

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Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:15 am
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ZeroTheFated wrote:
From a VERY LONG Hiatus I FINALLY got caught up all the way back from Peanut's academy days up until know. My eyes are killing me to no extent. :shock:

Hope it was worth it :lol:
Tomorrow, back to writing, yay!

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It was no doubt. 8-)

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Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:19 am
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7.
Lazertag playgrounds, aboard the Sea Dragon, en route to Meriweather Island

That your team?” The German Shepherd chuckled, giving one more. “Guys, will you just give up your reservation and let some real gamers play this thing? You might get hurt.” The other four dogs, a dalmatian, two Dobermans females and a Greyhound, joined him. They were already all dressed up for the game, with the sensor-ridden jackets, helms, pads and guns in the holsters. “But don’t worry: After lunch there is a timetable scheduled for kids.”
The idea was just to have fun, build an appetite for lunch and vent so that the kittens behaved properly at the Captain’s table.
The words from that dog made Lucky’s blood boil, as always happened. In that moment, it became a matter of honor.
Felix, standing by his canine mate, also knew that Lucky was quick to go head-to-fist. So he put up his best taunting tone as he said, “What’s the matter, pups? Afraid of being outnumbered?”
“Speaking of,” the Dalmatian said, “Where’s Gregor? He’s late, and he’s never late.”
The GSD just waved him shut. “Ah, he’ll be busy courting girls as usual. One day he’s gonna get himself in troubles…” He turned to the cat. “But what were we saying? Oh, yes: outnumbered by four kittens and two sissies, one of whom a cat.” He spat out the word with pure disdain. “See how scared we are?”
“All I see is a loser,” Parnok said, taking a step forward. “And a sore one at that. Not bad, for one who didn’t even start playing.”
The dog growled horribly at the white, purple-tailed kitten. “Watch your mouth, you little--*fff!*” that came when Lucky grabbed him by the snout, so hard as to cut off the oxygen.
“Watch it, mister. And I’m not going to tell you twice. Got it?”
The GSD, turning rapidly purple, nodded frantically. Lucky let him go with a push into the arms of one of the dobies.
“Okay, smartpup, you’re on and your tail is mine already. Get yourselves ready and make your last wish. You’re team blue, like the bruises you will count on your bodies.”
Lucky blew him a kiss. “And you’re red like the blood we’ll spill out of your carcasses. Be ready in a minute.” He started to dress up, while Felix was helping the kittens do the same –except for Parnok, who was tending to himself like he was born to wear the uniform. Last came the earpieces with the mikes.
“Just like old times, eh, ‘Fang the Terrible’?” Felix said.
The malamute flashed his teeth. “They’re so dead. Just wait and see—Yes?” he asked to one of the Dobermans, who had suddenly turned and was now staring at him.
“Fang the Terrible?” she asked.
Lucky nodded. Grape, his housemate back when they had the same carpy owners, wasn’t fond of remembering those days alone in the streets. He still was proud of the reputation he had built. And he was surprised himself that someone so far from Babylon Gardens would recognize his nickname as leader of one of the most ferocious dog packs. “That’s me, so?”
She extended her paw. “I’m Galena. K-9 Academy senior. You don’t know me, but my papa does: He was one of the cops that tried to get to your pack. His name was Tor.”
Lucky shook her paw. “I remember him! Toughest adversary, him and his unit. So, trying to get even for him eh?”
She tried to crush his paw, but discovered domestic life hadn’t exactly softened him. But she didn’t show it, instead she grinned back at him. “I’ll bury you like an old bone. His reputation was ruined by that encounter.”
“Poor dear. I’ll tell him that at least you tried to avenge the family name.” He let go and massaged his limb. “You ready?”
She did the same. “Anytime you want, stray. Kaiju, sound the siren.”
The German Shepherd pressed a button. The signal blared out, and the lights went dim. A fine artificial mist filled the air. A recorded voice said, “Players, get in position!”
Everybody run to a numbered sector. They all made it just in time, before the shootout started! The mist allowed the lasers from the gun to be seen and used as tracers, while special sound effects buzzed like angry insects.
Rules were easy: a jacket could be hit 10 times before the player was declared ‘dead’. Or you had to hit the sensor at the center of the chest for the one-kill shot.
And already after a few minutes, Galena was discovering that it was harder than she thought to get her target! She had to use a full charge before hitting Lucky once, while she got hit three. “Not bad, stray,” She called out. “You learnt things while running from the law!”
Panting from behind his corner, Lucky said, “No. I trained with my Dad. Who is a special ops, by the way. Tag.”
Galena blinked. “Tag wut?” And right then, her jacket lit up like a Christmas tree! She turned, right on time to see a grinning Felix blowing at his gun tip. “You’re it,” the cat said.
Galena growled and touched her earpiece. “What the fur?! Why was no one covering me, you bunch of—“
“Sorry, sis!” came from the other Doberman. And she did sound worried. “We’re too busy now! I’ve been hit four times already!”
Galena couldn’t believe her ears! “By a bunch of kittens?! Is that a sick joke?!”

“Wish it were,” Ming said. “That white kitten is like a living lightning! Who the heck trained him that good?!”
Parnok grinned, gun held like a pro near his face. “My grandpa, Budweiser, did. Try to remember that, pup!”
And that was no good. ‘Apocalypse’ Bud was still a legend at the Academy. If he had trained that little pest… [Alt-Text – I know K9U aren’t trained to use guns, but we’re talking Bud. He probably founded a secret school to that purpose!]
But this was ridiculous! Ming had been trained to be a pointer for the SWAT snipers, she was known for her cool, and her aim was flawless, even without laser pointers. “I think you’ve been lucky so far, kitten. Why don’t we try it the ol’ way?”
“Like what?”
“Out together. At the same time. Plain sight. First to hit, first to win.”
“Like you wouldn’t cheat, dog! I know your kind!”
Ming grinned. “Hey, cop dog here! Honest is our job! Gimme that at least.”
A moment of hesitation, then, “Fine. On my mark: 3…2…1…”
As promised, at the unspoken ‘zero’ she came out. In plain sight, as promised…but rolling so to avoid being hit! Little kitty couldn’t possibly—
But just as Ming shot her lasers, they traced their line into…the wall. That Parnok guy wasn’t there.
Her brain connected, but too late.
A tactic taught by Budweiser: if your enemy rolls…
…you jump.
And there he was, the purple-tailed specter aiming at her exposed belly. “Zap! You’re it!”
The line connected. The sensor in the chest opened.
Ming cursed in a very un-ladylike way, then tossed her weapon away and tapped her mike. “I’m out! Guys, report!”

Kaiju and his teammate were literally shooting at shadows.
“No hits?!” The shepherd said. “Essex, you got the fastest reflexes in the unit, dog! How can you miss a cat?”
“Said the dog who didn’t even hit the other cat’s jacket! We got hit twice each time! I swear, that identical twins thing must be true, it’s as if they were soul-connected or something!”
‘Or something’ was a better definition: Only a selected few knew that Nutella and Louise wore a special two-way collar radio. A special retractable mike that could be applied to their throat allowed them to communicate without speaking a single word out loud.
Usually, they used that gift from Uncle Martin’s shelter security to play pranks, and never cheated in team games.
But this time, it was different. These adults had insulted them and their uncles. They were bad like Bino, and deserved a good lesson!
“Run to me, now!” Nutella said ‘silently’ to her sister, while Kaiju and Essex were busy looking elsewhere.
The two dogs heard the suffling of her feet and turned to shoot together –only to be hit two more times by Louise. Nutella took one hit only and then was together with her sister. “Now what?” she said in loud voice.
“Yeah, now what?” Kaiju barked. “I’ll tell ya, little ones: You’re together: Easy targets now. Beginners’ mistake. Still want to go to mommy crying?”
“I say that alone I can beat you both,” came a voice from behind the corner. Impossible to tell the owner of that voice.
Kaiju and Essex got in formation, ready to cover every possible route their adversary could take. “Yeah, say that again. Come on, don’t be scared. Heeere, kitty kitty kitty…”
And out dashed Louise, exactly as predicted! The poor little derp didn’t even care that she was being hit 2, 4, 6 times in rapid sequence—
And it was then that the brown kitten seemed to split in half!
Nutella, who had mimicked her sister’s every single movement, shot the only shots she needed to hit the dogs’ chest sensors!
The board blared out and the score was 5-0.
“Told you I’d beat you both,” Nutella said, making her gun spin around her finger like she had seen in the western movies. She slapped hi-five with Louise: The lessons taken with uncles Antares and Aldebaran had paid off at last!
Kaiju ripped the mike off his ear and barked into it. “Merlin, you better give us the consolation score or I swear I’ll feast with your entrails! We’re becoming the laughingstock of the academy already!”

The Dalmatian’s eyes were darting all around as he tried to find his quarry. “I swear, I can’t see that little eggplant!”
A sigh from the mike. “And trying to use your nose? Or sniffing out those drugs ruined it already?”
“Har-har! She must have doused herself with some smell suppressant. But no matter how much hard she hides, she must show up, sooner or later, and then—“ And then he saw her just in front of him, aiming at his chest, knowing that he was done for this game…
Tarot didn’t even need to use her psychic abilities by now. The dogs from red team were so nervous that they had become goofy, and smelled like panic. They panted so hard that she could hear them even if she were deaf. She pitied them. Arrogance was such a fleeting thing in one’s life, perhaps they could use some meditating les—
<And I don’t care about WHO her owner is! I am just gonna tear him apart, and sell his remains as special effects for a new ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ movie!>
Tarot felt like an explosive headache hitting her, together with that rage wave. Like all young ones, she trusted her parents to a devotion level, but at a precocious age she had learnt that the world wasn’t exactly as linear as a kitten could envision it. And so, after learing how to do from aunt Tarot, she had established a teensy-weensy link with Mama and Papa. She had learnt how emotionally passionate could Grape Jelly Sandwich be….
But today, a peak had been reached. Aunt Tarot had warned her about that, emotional backlash could be a charming young woman.
“Hey, everything okay?” the Dalmatian asked. Adversaries or not, this was a game and he was still a cop dog, and he cared for the others.
Tarot let her lazer gun fall to the floor so that everyone could hear it. She was giving up. And now she was walking toward the exit. “Something really, really upset Mama. Gonna check. You do without me, guys.” In a hurry or not, she didn’t lose her cool.

Lucky stared with saucer-eyes at the kitten walking away. He stood up and followed her. Victory or not, his first duty came to the little ones, lest he wanted to sport a nice necklace made with his guts! “Tarot, where are you going?” He quickly turned to the red tabby. “Felix, let’s go. And you,” he added to Kaiju- “One comment and I’ll come back to turn you into a pelt.”
As soon as she had left the playgrounds and was immersed in the crowd of tourists, Tarot opened a mind channel. She forgot to follow the rule of not speaking while mind-talking, but she was starting to get worried. <Aunt Sabrina. Mama’s at the Captain’s quarters. She is really, really angry. Can you do something? I am coming.>
---
Captain’s quarters

“Grape, please! You're being scary again. You’re right, you…I am angry too, but please this won’t help. The humans are taking care of this, and there are uncle Martin and Miss Gottschalk too. Don’t you even trust them?”
Eventually, Grape let herself lost in Peanut’s strong embrace. She wiped her tears against his shoulder, still angry but oh so happy that it was him with her. Maxwell used to be a surprisingly sweet kitty when he wanted to, but Peanut was a certainty of reassurance. “I…do,” she said. “But this reminded me of what happened to me, and you know how…how hard it was…”
Peanut knew. Grape’s first owners had scarred her by abandoning her when she was so young. He never forgot how bad has she reacted when they had shown up again to claim her only because now their co-owner was uncle Martin.
“Well,” he said, trying to lift up her mood, “At least they never put you somewhere dangerous to record for an episode of Pet Danger.”
Grape sighed. “I won’t kill you for this, mutt. Hmm,” she added when he licked her between her ears. “And yes: Knowing our humans, that guy is so not going to have it easy…” Her ears turned when she heard the light footsteps. She let go of Peanut and turned to collect her kitten. “Tarot! My little psych, you ok?” She asked, crooning her. Despite her not liking at all magic stuff and the such, she wouldn’t hide from the truth: That the spirits who had helped her and Peanut conceive had left a touch of magic in the secondborn of their litter. At least Tarot the Pomeranian was helping to keep her little namesake’s talent in check.
“I was worried,” Tarot said, in a rare display of emotion. “Are you fine?”
“You know I am,” Grape purred. “But where are the others?”
“Here we are,” Sabrina said, coming in together with the rest of the litter and their sitters. There was Dayshaun as well. The kitten had roughly dried himself up with a towel and his fur was all ruffled. “I felt…something wrong with Mama. What happened?” His anguish reflected so well Peanut’s anxious states.
The dog picked him up and crooned him. “Aw, nothing happened to her. We found this poor kitten girl all alone near the smokestack. Long story. And then we warned the Captain, and he told us to stay here while he talked to that kitten’s human. Then the Captain called Uncle Martin and Miss Maud, and now they’re in the other room, talking. That’s all.”
“Nice recap, kid,” Alcor said, entering the room. “Sabrina told me that Tarot had called out for her, and Sabrina looked worried. I never saw her looking worried. Right, lady—“ he asked, turning…only to meet an empty spot. “Where’d she go?”
“I guess I have an idea,” Grape muttered, looking toward the door that led to the Captain’s office…
---
“Mister Toliver,” Oswald Edward Smith said through a furious mask, yet managing to keep his voice to a civilized level. “As part of the crew of this ship, pet owner, and employee of the Seven Stars Maritime Company, you are expected to live up to specific ethical standards. And letting your son put his pet in danger while at the same time tampering with the security devices so that no one would be thw wiser about such hineous activity is, to put it simply, ground for termination. And I would like to add that it’s a great temptation to extend such concept to its literal consequences.”
The man and the kid standing in front of the desk gulped nervously. “Sir, I…” Toliver tried. “Situation was under control, I can—“ A fiery glare from Smith made him shut up.
The Captain sighed. “Mister Toliver, I’m aware that losing your wife when Daniel here was only 5 changed both your lives a lot, and I can understand you spoiling your only child was a sort of compensation. But please, do not offend me by talking about control.”
“Sir, this is private matter—“ Toliver said, glancing for a moment to their guests sitting at the tea table.
Smith scoffed. “Honestly, Mr. Toliver, Mr. Foster and Ms. Gottschalk are known for their reputation in data gathering. I wouldn’t be surprised if right now they knew about me more than I do myself. But that doesn’t matter: They are here because they will be involved in the decisions regarding Miss Tulip. Mr. Foster is the owner of a shelter, after all. And he is amply vouched for, so there are no secrets right now between us.
“But enough digression. Mr. Toliver, you are terminated effectively now, and you and Daniel, being him of age, will spend the rest of the voyage in our security ward until we are back to Nisa Bay. After that, we will leave you in the hand of the system. Every claim over your cat are waived. Gentlemen,” he said to two sailors standing like sentinels at the door behind him, “escort our guests to detainment sector 2. Make sure they are treated in a civilized manner, we are not pirates after all. And Mr. Toliver, please don’t make this harder than it is already. I’ll concede you both a fair treatment also because you contributed to reveal a critical leak in our security system, but that’s all.”
Toliver didn’t. It was his son who protested the most about the ‘injustice’ of that treatment, as they were led out another exit. Smith was fairly sure that that purple cat would shred both of them into thin slices if she had the chance.
Once the door had closed, Smith pressed a key of the keyboard. “Doctor Hedon, report about Miss Tulip please.”
The desk projected a 3D image of a man in the uniform of the ship’s veterinarian. “Captain Sir, Miss Tulip’s conditions are excellent. Aside from a comprehensible scare, she’s fine and ready to be adopted. I gave her a slight seda—Hey!”
Smith and his guest looked with worry at the figure as it jumped. “What’s that, Bones?”
“A black cat! I could swear she wasn’t here a second ago. Ah, she’s just squatting before the cage, muttering to the little one, and…purring.”
“Golden collar, golden ankh as tag?” Martin asked.
“Uhh, yes. Your cat, sir?”
“No, a friend’s. That’s Sabrina D’Angelo, she is traveling with us. You can trust her, doc: She is a sort of…spiritual advisor in our pet community, if you want. And Lord knows Miss Tulip need comfort right now.”
“Ah, I don’t know. I mean…”
“Just let her be, doc. She’s under Gottschalk’s vouch, and that’s enough for me. And it’s not that we negate pets their rightful comfort, especially in moments like these.”
The doctor nodded and adjusted his glassed. “Will do, Sir.” The connection was closed.
Smith turned to his guests. “Well, I’d say this day is being rather…eclectic. First, that stowaway black cat—“
Martin raised a quizzical eyebrow. “Please?”
“Yes, funny thing: He had hidden inside that dog’s valise. What’s the name--?”
“Maxwell,” Martin said.
“Oh, then it’s true, you know him. We were going to send him to Liberation, thinking he had been given up by his owner. He was quite adamant that you can vouch for him. Can you?”
Martin felt like facedesking. “All I asked for was for a quiet vacation…” he sighed. “What happens if he ends up in this…Liberation? And what’s that place? A shelter?”
Smith poured himself a drink of brandy, then filled two other glasses, which he offered to his guests. Martin drank his in a gulp. He wasn’t fond of alcohol, especially after seeing what it had done to his parents, but right now he felt like he needed badly some liquid support.
Smith sipped slowly his drink. “Liberation is a sort of colony, for pets from all over the world. Abused pets, abandoned ones, difficult cases that are still fit to live on their own. They are carefully selected and brought to Meriweather Island to build their life without any human interference, except for an occasional help on a strict necessity basis. Mr. Spencers knows he can’t save everyone, but at least he tries to do what he can. In fact, he’s very grateful to you, Mr. Foster, for founding your adoption internet network. Many one ex-pets were selected through that program and sent to Meriweather.”
Martin showed a weak smile. “So, I take it that once the rescued pets are there, for what concerns their old lives they are goners.”
Smith nodded. “Correct. They are out of the system. Free.”
Martin stood up. “And should Maxwell end up at Liberation, he’s destined to stay there?”
“Not necessarily. If there are the grounds to claim him back but mind it, it’s a very rare occurrence, then he can go back to his old life.”
Martin grinned. “And I guess it never happened so far.”
“Never once.”
“It is dangerous? Living there, I mean?”
“It’s a very rustic life. Fishing, farming, gardening, everything to earn your own daily bread. It’s not exempt from incidents, but a resourceful animal can stay clear of dangers. Not to mention that it’s a very supportive community, they help each other a lot since the start. Newcomers are never left alone.”
Martin nodded. “Then I think that for the time being, meaning as long as our vacation goes, he could use some time learning a lesson about different lifestyles. When we leave, Spencers will send someone to take him back. And this time he’ll travel first class with us.”
Smith stood up. “He must be a real rascal for you to talk like that, Mr. Foster.”
“Please, call me Martin. And yes, although in a good way. But he did upset the others with this stunt, and he's taking his position here for granted. Sometime, a good lesson must be taught. He’s resourceful, all right, and he’ll manage. As for Miss Tulip, I’ll get in touch personally with Mr. D’Angelo. Believe me, I see a family enlargement here.”
---
Veterinarian Ward.

“Sabrina?”
The black cat turned her head and put a finger to her lips.
Alcor nodded and walked to her. In her bed, Miss Tulip was sleeping soundly, her breath coming in and out in delicate movements of her flanks.
Sabrina was on the verge of crying. Even here, in a place where pets were supposed to be treated with more dignity than elsewhere, there were such monsters who would put them in danger to get their own moment of Internet’s warped glory.
She wished that Tarot hadn’t given up being avatar for Spirit dragon. She wished she could be that avatar now, to make the world a better place.
But who really knew how to accomplish that? Actions carried consequences, no matter how good your intentions were. If you forced things, you could cause long-term havoc. And, after all, in many one sense, humankind had improved itself in the course of millennia. It took time, not the gods, to change things, or the gods would still be here, ruling everybody’s fate.
Chaos.
Pete had taken a tremendous risk by opening human minds to the last steps to develop efficient controlled nuclear fusion to generate the power to run cities, to change the face of progress. For Babylon Gardens, for animal rights, soon that would be the foundation of a new golden age, but then? Politics, intrigues, even wars could be fought over this new discovery that for now belonged to one nation only.
Tarot had seen it, it was one of the possible futures, that was why she had chosen to renounce her part in the Game. What could possibly Dragon offer now as ante, if not an equally drastic change, even if through different means?
“You’re thinking about adopting her, aren’t you?”
Sabrina shook herself out of her reveries. “I can’t stand the chance that she could end up in a shelter, even if it was Martin’s.” She couldn’t change the world, but perhaps she could to her part to improve someone’s life. “Fido will approve, I’m sure.” Her tone was soothing like a lullaby’s. her finger ran delicately around Tulip’s arm, making the little one – even younger than Grape’s kittens – purr and reflexively flex her claws. “Pixel will love the idea of her own little sister while I’m carrying. And then both of them will take care of their siblings, I always liked the idea of a numerous litter…Oh.” That came when white-furred arms embraced her around her belly.
Alcor did something he had never done with her before: He nuzzled her ear. “I know you’ll make a great mom.”
“Strange place to get romantic all of a sudden, Mr. Foster,” she teased him, but this time it didn’t scare him off.
In fact, he nuzzled her again. “Meriweather has incredibly romantic places, and the time will come at the right moment. Just let me enjoy the company of such a wonderful creature with a wonderful heart. And you know that I can find romance in worse places than this.”

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Wed Aug 27, 2014 1:11 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Very nice update Val! Glad to see Tulip getting a nice home.

Now, back to writing for me... XP

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PART 4 - CH. 3 PREVIEW OUT NOW! (Updated 9/24/14)

Check it out in the Fan Section! ^w^b

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Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:30 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Let's hope Pixel and Tulip will get along.

Great update Val! :D

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Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:32 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Saturn381 wrote:
Let's hope Pixel and Tulip will get along.

Great update Val! :D


--Off Topic--

I freakin love your avatar. *** **** it, ROSS!


--On Topic--

Great update and great stuff as usual Val! Eagerly awaiting the next!
Oh, by the way, I hope you had a good vacation. Kitsune knows, you needed one!


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Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:09 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Where did Tulip come from?
Was she in a previous update?
And what happened to the camera kitten?

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Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:02 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
herobrineharry wrote:
Where did Tulip come from?
Was she in a previous update?
And what happened to the camera kitten?

She is the camera kitten. From what I can gather, she seems to have been abandoned up there, with a camera, to seemingly record her, and well.... You get the picture...


Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:06 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
8.
Celestial Falls Spa, aboard SSMC Sea Dragon, en route to Meriweather Island

“Oh, yes! Yesyesyes, just right at the tail's upper root, there…oh DOG! HmmMMMMM!!!” Bailey gripped the edges of her bed and held them, whimpering with outmost pleasure. Then her arms fell down, limp, while she panted happily.
Laying down on the nearby bed, King looked at that spectacle, blushing, his ears bent backward. “When I massage you, you never do that.” Like his wife, he was being treated by the strong paws of a Bernese Mastiff. At that moment, the corgi’s back went ‘pop’, and he assumed a dopey expression. “Heaven.”
At the same time, another couple of dogs, two Weimaraners, females like their colleagues, were carefully tending to their feet’s claws –or rather, one was sharpening King’s claws, the other was thoroughly massaging Bailey’s pads.
“Now *I* should be jelly,” the malamute said. “When I pop your back, you whine like I was hurting you.” But she spoke with a smile and her tone was jesting.
“Because you never found the secret spot.” He turned his head to the Bernese. “Sweet lady who can make me feel like a pastry, please teach my best half how to do this.”
“Sorry,” the Bernese chuckled. “It’s a secret. And you don’t want to spoil your fun. Right?” She exercised a pressure behind his ears while with the other two fingers rubbed King’s brow down to the nose bridge.
The Weimaraner made it just in time to retract her hands from King’s feet before his leg started kicking. “Jezmyn, how many times must I tell you to warn me before you do that? One day I’ll end up stabbing them.”
“Sorry, Ley. But there’s something in this pup that makes me feel to cuddle him all day.”
“I know the feeling,” Bailey said. “Pure love first time I saw him.”
King barely paid attention to them. To be honest, this was the first time his body went through such an…intense experience. Bailey was fantastic, no doubt about that, and their snuggle sessions were the sweetest thing.
But he realized he had never been petted before. He had taken for granted the sensations a dog could feel, but he was oh so wrong. Being touched was ecstasy, period. The sensorial inputs and the sense of abandon and trust –humans with their jaded attitude missed a great thing of life—
“I should say, ‘great minds think alike’, but don’t you get your own quotations up.”
King’s uncovered eye snapped open. Then he covered the exposed half of his face with his arm. “I swear, you guys are worse than a horror movie franchise.” When he lifted his arm, for how much reluctantly, he saw that it was the gryphon towering over him instead of the Bernese girl. “Thank you for not taking my wife’s place.”
“Why, thank you dear. It’s been a long time since I petted anyone. Can I do you a belly rub?”
“Don’t push it, mother pheasant. What are you doing here, now?
Pete just sighed. “What? Can’t a guy pay a respectful visit to an ol’ pal?”
“You must be mistaking me with someone else.”
“Said the former human who found a chance to a happy life. Thanks to an unwanted transformation.” Pete started tilting his head left and right, speaking with a petulant tone. “Ohh, waah, I so don’t want to be a doggie, it’s all so stupid, I can’t wait to be human again and forget this nightmare, nyah nyah nyah.”
King sighed and sat up. “All right, so I made the best of the life you imposed me, despite your plans. Because I have the sensation you hadn’t worked for my own happiness in the first place, am I right? Oh, and that was rhetorical.”
Pete shrugged. “You were supposed to be an avatar, happiness was a minor contractual reward. But let’s stop bickering, please. I came to you because I had forgotten to warn you about one minor detail regarding your condition.”
“And which would be…?” King was curious now: It was the first time he saw that creature acting with…well, he couldn’t place it, but it wasn’t his usual smugness or arrogance.
“What do you remember of your life, previously to the transformation?”
King blinked. “What do I--?” He then opened his mouth to answer…and discovered he couldn’t find the words.
He hadn’t given it a real consideration, but now the more he focused about that question, the less he could answer to it. All his memories, previously to his coming to live in Babylon Gardens with Pete disguised as ‘Gaspar’, were fuzzy, like old pictures bleached by the inexorable time.
His name used to be Joel. He used to be a human. He had done…things. Bad things. But why? Where’d he use to live before…before what? “What the..?”
Pete nodded. He was smiling, and there was a new, that was a caring expression. “Nature needs a balance, it’s unavoidable. As long as your transformation was temporary as I had intended it, you could retain all your memories, those parts of your soul that determined your—“
“My fate.”
“Correct. But since you are a dog in full, by your own choice, and that you poured part of your essence and fate into your future descendants, Joel Robinson can’t exist in you. Your new life started in Babylon Gardens. Your old life..? For what animal kingdom is concerned, you can make up whatever you want. Amnesia, PSTD, ‘mind-your-howling-business’, etc. Joel Zechariah Robison-Foster now exists in his own right, although as a construct, an incarnation of that fate you no longer possess. Within a few days, the process will be complete. King Lindberg won’t ever mind his former name. Thought you wanted to know.”
King couldn’t say he wasn’t happy about it. He had long left behind his wants about his being human, specifically the moment he had asked Pete to be definitively transformed. In a way, he was being reborn. But… “What’s the catch? You just don’t go around and make favors.” His gaze went to the other bed, but of course they were alone now. He looked back at the blue-feathered gryphon. “Are you planning something with Bailey? *uck!*” That came when he felt the eagle paws squeezing a bit too hard.
“No.” And back was that tone that implied quite the contrary. “I am just paying…a favor to my fellow gamers. Kitsune thought I should inform you. Happy? And Bailey is safe from any possible plan. A pity, her dedication to you could’ve made her a very powerful avatar class.”
“Her pregnancy,” King said. He smiled. “So there are things not even gods can’t interfere with. Poppa doggie beat you to the game, eh?” He added a sly grin.
Pete stopped the massage and walked in front of him, the imposing creature squatting down
“I guess I underestimated how dedicated you had become to your new existence. I should’ve turned you into a hamster.”
“You’ll be lucky next time, I guess.”
“Aren’t you worried? For anyone else that could be involved in my future choices? Mr. Holier-Than-Thou King is too good even for other people’s lives?”
That granted him a chuckle. “Trying to guilt me into going martyr? Sorry, birdbrain, can’t work. Though I saw what still could be there in store for me, very down under. But ending in Heaven or Hell will ultimately be the decision of some entity higher than you.
“As it is, I cannot possibly fight hand-to-hand against you. And in spite of your plans for me, I am building a life that I know I deserve. A life of love, responsibilities, friends and family. Which, memory lack or not, is far more than I ever had. And you know that I know I couldn’t prevent you from playing this game again and again, or drag it for other millennia to come.” While speaking, King’s face became gradually a mask of fury. “But just know this, Pete: As it’s true that you gave me a new life, as it’s true that you’re a celestial being, as it’s true that I am the very first of my lineage, this I tell you: Try to involve my family, today, tomorrow, and no matter when in those next millennia, no matter how many descendants will comprise my bloodline… I solemnly swear on my immortal soul and on everything I hold dear, that no matter where I’ll be after this life, I’ll come to you and haunt your miserable existence, and turn it into an eternal nightmare until the only creatures you can play with will be the extremophile bacteria that will populate Earth in its dying days! Am I clear?!"
“Quite so,” Pete answered with that predatory smile of his…and the divine voice, as one claw pointed at King’s shoulder.
Where all of a sudden, the tattoo of a stylized gryphon’s head had appeared!
King’s surprise and pin eyes lasted a long, terrified moment, before he facepawlmed hard. “Ouch.”
“Thank you so much, my dear. That’s another reason I chose you first, back then. When the moment will come, you will be again and willingly my Dark Paladin…or perhaps something even more powerful. After all, love and hatred are so deliciously interwined, and nothing like a promise to the Gods will bond them to their pawns.”
King felt like throwing up. “But it was decided that I am no longer, I can’t be your avatar. You freed me yourself!”
Pete nodded. His voice went back to normal. “True…for this game being of course. But I like you.” He tapped the dog’s forehead with a claw, making King wince. “I always did. And it will be a pleasure to see you grow in the most powerful guardian spirit of your family line. In this you are right: You are the first, you are unique. How could I possibly waste such a resource for the future generations?” [Alt-text: Because you don’t play for 7,000 years without preparing for contingences, dawg]
“So I just…threw a curse at my family line?”
“No, at least not as long as a selected few will keep themselves trained in the mystic arts, so that I won’t have to look for other avatars and be thwarted over and again. Fair deal: This time, they won’t be involved without their knowledge and consent, and being your descendants, they will be by default strong of soul and body. As it is, you cast a blessing over your family, as it falls under my direct protection. What’s a little brutal fight in an arena from time to time, in return?” Pete caressed the corgi’s naked neck and lifted his chin with a finger. “But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Since I feel generous, I will absolutely not interfere with your wife and with your litter, nor with your friends. No plots, no shadows. You have earned that much. Happy?”
King buried his face in his paws. “Does feeling like butchering you count as happiness?”
“I guess it does, if you’re a demon. But I’m sure you won’t descend to such levels. Oh, and by the way: Remember that trip in Limbo? Of course you do: Well, those pesky imps didn’t have the least rights even to touch you.”
King lifted his amazed tears-stained face. “Wut?”
Another nod from Pete. “They were just trying to scare you into becoming one of them, but in your new life you never committed sins worth of a visit down under. You are a pure soul, and I’m sure you’ll retain such purity. You’ll become a wonderful, powerful guardian angel. No demon will ever be able to get near you even as it is. My masterwork.” And then he surprised King by reaching over…and pecking King’s cheek.
King was just happy he hadn’t eaten, at least judging by his grimace.
Pete huffed, smugly crossing his arms at his chest and turning his head. “I am not contagious, in case you were wondering. What, you honestly think I’m some sort of heartless demon?”
King rubbed his cheek, sure he’d feel his fur burn where he had been touched. “Let’s just say that I wonder how could you ever ascend to the rank of celestial being. Paradise must be an interesting place if you get to live there.”
“Hmph. You’re so right about that. One day I may just decide to accompany you there. Oh, and no traumas involved. Now enjoy your vacation and wake up.”

“Kingy?”
“Hmm?” he opened his eyes to the ambiguous feeling of a body relaxed to the max and a mind churning worries like a trash compactor.
“Sorry to wake you up.” Bailey was sitting up, a towel hanging around her neck. “Our turn is over. We have to get ready for the lunch.”
King yawned and stirred, smacked his lips. “Yepi. Third best thing of this day. The second coming here. And the first,” he blew a kiss to his wife.
She stood up, went and picked him up like a doll, before putting him down. “That was very sweet, but this afternoon we’re still working out. My strong hubbie won’t grow a pouch while on vacation.”
“As long as you don’t make me jump into the ring of fire, I’m game.” Especially, anything to avoid thinking of what had just happened.
Thinking about that tattoo showing on her shoulder. The tattoo that was probably inscribed on his very puppies’ flesh.
“What’s wrong?” Bailey asked, crooning him. “And remember, sincerity. I can see through your forced smiles.”
King sighed, hugging her. “Ok. Out of here. Now let’s just say that I got tricked again by a certain bird. Like an idiot, I must add.”
Bailey shook her head and enforced her hold on him. “In this case, we’ll face it together. Stop taking the weight of the world over your back, hon. You’re no longer alone, hm?”
And now I wish I was, fur it! He thought bitterly. But the die was cast. Running away wouldn’t solve anything. If else, it’d leave Bailey and their pups alone. No-hecking-way.

As soon as they were back on the bridge, King said, “I think we should go to Blue Peak. The mountain, I mean. I read there is this ancient temple on the peak, and to reach it you must walk up a stairway built into the mountainside. Not the easiest walk, but it must be some experience. Did you know that the stars pass through natural terraces that are self-sustaining ecosystems themselves? You’ll love it.”
“I love it already!” Bailey clapped her paws. “I knew you’d find a nice spot to go without overworrying for the pups.”
King didn’t have the heart to tell her that he was thinking of the pups. He wouldn’t bring her to a hiking trip in the middle of predators-populated forests! And the walk up came with a specialized guide and safety measures, including an helicopter.
And, especially, he wouldn’t trust Pete’s words about protection and the such!
While walking toward their suites, King used that time to explain her, without sparing any detail, of what he had done in his hastiness. “…and now, because of me, that…thing has an open door to get to some of our descendants.”
Much to his surprise, Bailey didn’t look worried from such perspective. “Kingy,” she rubbed behind his ear, in that delicate spot that never ceased to melt him. “First of all, we will be the guardian angels of our sons, and their sons, and so on. You promised to me that we will never be apart, remember. I will live and exist to fulfill the same promise to you. Our family will prosper and be happy. And if Pete is so stubborn about wanting one of our descendants for his fun, he’ll discover it a tougher challenge than he thought. Just like he discovered you aren’t his marionette.”
“I guess you’re right. But it’s so unfair that instead of choosing our lives, they’re being constantly hetero-directed—”
“Like you wouldn’t do the same, silly,” she interrupted him, slapping his back. Bailey then led her husband to a bench. “Honestly, seeing as you are now, how much protective will you turn to be toward our puppies, hm?”
They sat down. King was frowning, puzzled. “I can’t see the point in me—“
“You should, instead: We love them, and we both went through hardship in our lives, you more than anyone I’ve ever known, hon. No father worth his name will let his puppies hurt. But what’s the point, then, if you just make them believe they will be safe from everything no matter what? What would be of them if they think they can get away with anything, after all papa will see to their needs?”
King was about to protest about that…but then realized she was right. It wasn’t right that harm should come to anyone, but it was life. You did your best and sometimes, by fault or by bad lack, things would go wrong.
Mizar and Alcor, they had seen the worst of stray life and yet they were a happy couple now, not because they could live in luxury.
Sabrina must have seen, during her travels around the world with her owner, so many bad things and there she was, a pacifist with a golden heart.
Bino hadn’t suffered the worst life could throw at an animal and yet he was…well, Bino.
And so on, and on, and on…
Okay, for the fun of it imagine that I’m a goner. Angel, ghost, or whatever. I can protect my dears, and their dears, I’d have the power of a god, who knows. And then? Just to make sure everything went lovey-dovey for my bloodline, I’d…interfere with their lives, changing their minds over a potentially risky decision without even knowing what will happen later on. Now, how fair would be that?
I was a bad human. I am a better dog. By my choice and will. Had someone interfered with the transformation back then, I wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t be happy.
I can help my bloodline. Not by suffocating it. Life hurts, but there can be a happily-ever-after…

“Now, that’s a honest smile,” Bailey said.
King nodded, his eyes lost into the wooden floor. “So life in the country does make one the wiser, eh?”
Bailey shrugged. “You just get to pay more attention. Especially when you have to teach the new generations their responsibilities, discipline them, make sure they do a good job without getting overconfident. And I will be there with you to raise them with you.”
“Not even a fight to keep bullies in place?” He made his cutest beg-face at her.
“Just to teach a lesson, papa, ok? No overkill.”
King stuck out his tongue at her. “Killjoy.”
“Oh.” She caressed her belly. “Kick. That must be Rook: He’s always taking your side… By the way, I wonder how’s that bully, Gregor, doing…”

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Last edited by valerio on Sat Aug 30, 2014 2:21 am, edited 1 time in total.



Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:13 pm
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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
Wait... what did pete do?

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
herobrineharry wrote:
Wait... what did pete do?

With that oath, King was tricked into bonding his fate, or rather that of his future descendants -well, part of them- to Pete and his schemes in the future new games. Pete made King swear that the only way to stop the gryphon would be that King protected his descendant as a guardian angel, thus for a possibly long, long time.
King is immune for the current game, and so Bailey and the litter. but after King's departure for (hopefully) biological age reasons, his pure soul will likely become a guardian angel...one who will watch over his own bloodline. A powerful spirit, even more pure than Bailey.
And Pete, just as a backup plan for future games, is ready to pick up, train and use King's descendants, since the Corgi is literally the patriarch, the founder of his own dynasty.

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
9.
Grand Palmira Restaurant, Sea Dragon, en route to Meriweather Island

“Gheuuu…” So muttered the Tamaskan wolfdog, sitting at the table, his neck kept in place by a cast, his jaw kept together by a silvery aluminium contraption. He looked very sad.
“Here you go, boss,” said the Rottweiler as he put a long straw between the other canine’s lips. A straw connected to a bowl of broth. “Just don’t get all worked up. Uh, I mean, not in that sense…Sorry…”
“Gheuuu…” The Tamaskan’s eyes looked even sadder as he started to sip at his ‘meal’. Some broth fell from his mouth and onto his napkin.
One of the two female Dobermans sitting at the same table made a face. “And again, Josiph,” she asked the Rottweiler, “who did that to our Sarge?”
“A Corgi?” asked her sister with the same incredulity. Like the rest of their team, they were wearing their parade K9U jackets: White, with their emblem in gold. A choice that made them feel uneasy, like walking targets.
“Gheuuu…” Gregor started to nod, but the contraption made him wince.
“Relax, Sarge,” Josiph said. “Vet said that a couple of weeks without moving, and you’ll be brand new.”
Gregor’s shoulder shook as he sobbed. That was the time of his vacation!
Josiph tried to change subject. “And you guys should be more respectful: We should be the superstars of this cruise, and instead you got beaten by…kittens. Heh. Oh, and Kaiju, how’s your stomach again? Sissy hit ya too hard for your liking?”
The German Shepherd’s paw went to his stomach, that still throbbed after that Malamute had landed a fist-shaped hammer. Gay catlover or not, that Lucky pup had one strong arm. He couldn’t even start a debate over that accident: He was off service, and personal preferences or not, cop dogs were supposed to be better than that.
But before this vacation was over, he’d find a way to get back to that pup, oh he would! The honor of their department was at stake now—“What?” he finally acknowledged that the Dalmatian sitting next to him was elbowing him so hard that the jacket threatened to puncture. Kaiju looked around.
Captain Smith was standing up, at the head of his table of that VIP-reserved room. The other guests, humans and animals alike, had joined him. Kaiju stood up. Even poor Gregor had managed to stand up without wincing too much.
“Ladies,” the Captain said, “gentlemen and gentlepets. We have the honor of having here with us two very specials individuals: One of them turned his personal fortune in a resource to animal rescue that rapidly grew into a veritable charity business. A person who wouldn’t hesitate to give his life for the animal community. The other, notably not for being the daughter of a wealthy man and representative of a formidable dynasty, but the daughter of the first man who is going to give the United States the clean power of nuclear fusion. Please let’s welcome Mr. Martin J. Foster and Lady Maud Gottschalk, and their beloved pets.”
No more than 60 humans alone were sitting at those tables, and all of them counted many, many digits in the world of business. Their pets were supposedly the cream of their specialization, from police, rescue service, military, and even teachers.
Everyone applauded to the entrance of the named guests. Kaiju and his colleagues felt honored to meet the man who had done so much for their kindred, and—
Kaiju’s group stopped applauding. They looked comical as they froze as though they had just been bathed in liquid nitrogen.
“Please tell me it’s a nightmare,” Merlin the Dalmatian whispered, mostly to himself, at the sight of the many pets following the two guests of honor.
Including those everdanged kittens and the weird couple. With them came another dog and cat couple. Oddly, one of the kittens looked like the feline release of the dog going paw-in-paw with the purple cat. Weird.
Gregor recognized of course Bailey and King.
So, not only were their nemeses cruising along with the most important humans aboard, but they were escorted by two BIG black dogs that looked like they could eat Josiph like a treat.

“Thank you for letting me nominated first,” Martin whispered between smiles and nods as he walked to the Captain’s table.
“Nervous?” Maud teased him.
“I think I need to go to the restroom.”
“It’s good to see you back in a collar,” Grape said. She was wearing the golden jewelry designed by Lana Milton. Peanut sported a fine, thin red silk collar that left little to imagination, with a matching bowtie. He blushed at her words. “Thank you. And you guys look awesome too,” he said to the kittens.
“I feel like a plushy,” Parnok hissed almost inaudibly. Like his siblings, his collar had been replaced with one divided in two by a thin white line. Their accessory was a short mantle that covered their shoulders only, good to sit at the table and to eat without getting it soiled. Plus, they had been all washed up and their fur now smelled like baby powder. And worst of all, there were those arrogant K9s looking at them.
“You look awesome, silly,” Felix said. “Lady cats will be fawning all over you.”
“Yeah, to put me over a shelf.”
Antares and Aldebaran flashed a friendly grin to the K9U, the one that used to scare bears back in their homeland. One could almost hear the sound of metal coming from their mouths!
The six police dogs sat down very fast with a collective whimper.
Martin and Maud sat at the Captain’s left and right, respectively.
“It’s a pity that the remaining pets couldn’t come, Martin,” Smith said.
“I know, Sir, but that’s Sabrina. She won’t find peace until Miss Tulip is at home with her.” On that side, it was a luck that they were here: The Dragon’s Veterinarian had certified her good health state, Smith had signed the waiver, every data about her and her former owners had been sent to PAID (Pet American Internet Database) [Alt-Text: What? An author can’t do without a cool acronym]. Within 20 minutes, Miss Tulip Toliver had become Miss Tulip Byron. And the Toliver family was red-flagged, for what pet-owning was concerned. “And Alcor will not leave her alone in this moment.”
Smith nodded. “They can teach us so much in terms of friendship. But don’t worry. They’ll find an excellent meal for them once they’re back in their suites.”
“Thank you, Captain.”
“Congratulation for such magnificent beasts,” another voice said. A woman with short, glossy black hair, Long red dress, built like a top model, but intelligent, hard eyes that didn’t belong to no frivolous woman. She was literally eating Antares and Aldebaran with her eyes. “Ukrainian Kings of the Mountain, right?”
Martin nodded. “Went to their homeland to adopt them. As much disciplined as powerful, Miss..?”
“Oxana Darynivna Matviyenko, Mister Foster.” She added a slight bow of her head.
Martin’s mind ran fast. Heiress to a fabulous fortune from her late husband, who had the bad idea of dying in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan. There were still rumors that she had organized it, but no proofs about that. For sure, there was her aggressive attitude in the market of weapons, much more aggressive than her husband. She had soon built a monopoly, and now Matviyenko Industries were an alluring prey for the Russians, who had tried for years to acquire them both legally and illegally, thinking that a woman was no match for them.
Their agents had painfully, and only once, learnt that decades of Soviet oppression had forged quite capable women.
“Judging by their build, they used to belong to our special forces, is that right?” Then, without waiting for his answer, “I own two breeding farms back home, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they came from there.” She turned to the dogs, one sitting by Maud, the other sitting by Martin. In a soft voice, she said, “Хай сонце блиском волі на наше життя.”
Martin had learnt enough Ukrainian to recognize the sentence: ‘Let the sun of freedom shine on our lives’, but before he could elaborate, Antares and Aldebaran stood up as though they had heard the national anthem. They almost made the passing waiter fall.
A second later, they both responded with booming voices and their fists held to their chests, “І ми будемо проводити цю славну НД в наших гордих серцях, завжди!” ‘And we will carry that glorious sun in our proud hearts, always!’
The silence fell over the table, but it lasted only a moment before that exhibition was greeted with a round of applauses. Martin was just glad that Putin was doing his worst to make martyrs out of those people.
The dogs sat down, calmly, their faces still solemn. They acknowledged Oxana with a nod.
The woman was satisfied. “That is the motto we teach at the Special Forces academy since they join as puppies. And at their farms before then.”
Martin was impressed. “Too bad that they were going to be…discarded.” Euphemism for ‘killed due to insufficient standards for service’. “With me, they have proved themselves capable of great improvement. In fact, after this vacation is over, they will join the local Police Academy as teachers. They think it is time they put their training in better use, and I agree to that.”
Oxana started eating her appetizer – hard-boiled egg, its yolk mixed with finely minced meat, served wrapped in a delicate lettuce leaf – while the rest of the room was filled with the sounds of cutlery and mastication. After a minute, she tipped at her mouth with her napkin and then said, “Oh, yes, I remember: That was the politics of Colonel Tarasenko.” She drank a sip of wine. “Poor Petro Iakovych, he never learnt that good dogs such as our Kings could make excellent bodyguards. Luckily, his little reign of intransigence lasted one year only.”
“What happened to him?” Martin asked, yet fully understanding what the answer would be.
Oxana nodded. “I’d tell you, but then our commensals would lose their appetite.” She raised her glass. “Thank you for bringing them to your country. After learning about their prowess with the Whiteman Dogs, the demand from private securities has increased drastically. So far, they were associated to military only.”
Martin wanted to spill venom to answer her that advertising dogs for market purposes, as if they were some luxury objects, was the farthest thing in his mind, but he had to keep himself in check reminding to himself that she sold weapons and anything associated with battles. Including specially-trained dogs. She didn’t act out of cruelty, just extreme pragmatism.
“And what brings you here, ma’m?” Martin asked with what he hoped was casual politeness. “Pleasure or business?”
At least, Oxana acted with fair play. “Mr. Spencers needs an update of his defenses, regarding infrastructure, security and handguns. He keeps regularly up with the lastest standards, and I’m here to provide those. I’d normally send a representative, but I must admit that with time I grew curious with Meriweather Island: I never visited it before.” She raised her glass again in a toast. “Quite the interesting place. And please, don’t look at me like I am going to study a conquest plan. I don’t do or condone such things with my customers.”
Well, that much must be true. Martin answered to the toast, but with water.
“Don’t you drink?”
“Only on rare occasions. Certain pleasures should be more ceremonial than habits, in my opinion.”
“Hear, hear.”
After that, idle conversations took place, waiters took the plates away for their colleagues to serve the first course –bouillabaisse.
“What happened to that poor Tamaskan guy?” Maud asked at a point.
Smith shook his head. “Well, that Corgi guy happened,” Smith said, his head indicating King. Martin went pin-eyed, but immediately the Captain added, “Owner wanted to sue, but security cameras and witnesses confirmed that Gregor, that’s the Tamaskan, was…approaching Mr. Lindberg’s wife. And though law worldwide rarely acknowledges pet marriage, Mr. Spencers, and by extent this ship and her highest authorities, do. And I must say, I never saw a small dog landing such a blow. I am admired.” He sipped from his glass. “I should add that a police dog of Mr. Jones’ reputation is supposed to act more civilized in the presence of civilians, off duty or not.”
“Judging by their tags, they belonged to River Ridge’s K9U,” Maud observed. “And they wear parade jackets. Special occasion for their Department?”
“Well, congratulations for your eyesight. And yes, they are moving to Meriweather to offer their services there.”
Martin felt like diving into the sea, stern-side. “I’m so sorry Captain.”
The older man raised a hand. “Don’t worry: Again, Gregor has learned a valuable lesson there.”
Martin also noticed that the Captain, and he wasn’t the only one, kept throwing puzzled glances at the line of the Sandwich family. “Quite the impressive…kitten, I must say. Dayshaun, right?”
“Yup. Genetic may be funny, eh? Turns out that someone, well, mixed up the donors at the clinic, adding a Siamese to the my Alcor’s bloodline. But mama never complained.”
“And I’m not, too. In fact, I find it adorable that a simple mistake could give life to the symbol of such a couple. A cat and a dog, not unheard of, but married ones, and so visibly happy together… Makes me hope that we can learn something from them.”
“Amen.” In came the second serving. Grilled swordfish.
“Why couldn’t Marina join us?” Maud asked to the Captain. Marina being the black Labrador that had welcomed Maud’s group aboard.
“Oh, because she’s not my dog. She’s our mascot, she looks after the ship. And believe me, you don’t want to count the times I tried to convince her to join me at lunch or dinner, but she’s such a relentless, dedicated sailor: Right now she must be at the bridge to supervise the crew.”
“I thought that you would come with your own escort,” Martin commented to Oxana, starting to cut into the meat. He was curious to know about her bodyguards’ species, truth be told. The way she talked about her breed farm dogs, he wondered if—
“Five o’clock, front. Up,” Oxana said with a casual intonation, without stopping to eat. “Калі, відкрийте очі, будь ласка,” she whispered in an almost inaudible voice.
Imagining that it would’ve been rude to blow the bodyguard’s cover, Martin and Aldebaran just moved their eyes in the direction indicated. Yes, there was a blind point, where shadows created a cover between a pillar and the tall ceiling.
And for a moment, two cold, malevolent green eyes emerged from the shadows! They closed again so suddenly that everyone could’ve mistaken it for an illusion.
Not a dog, that was for sure. A King of the Mountain couldn’t have just fit in that space to blend so efficiently with the shadows.
Cat. Black panther –or rather, Martin felt reasonably sure of that. It wouldn’t be beyond Miss Matviyenko to hire the services of the legendary Shadow Masters, world’s elite assassins.
“My other…assistant is conveniently placed so that my privacy is best protected.”
“Can’t say I disagree. In your business, you are never prudent eno*” It was then that he saw, or rather noticed a familiar, way too familiar figure at the nearby table. He fleetingly thought that Alcor was right when he said that his human needed to stay a bit more focused on the world around him…
“Thought you would never notice me, though I was standing right in front of you, but believe me: I forgive you, given your finest company.” So said a fully grown Military Macaw Parrot, standing on a perch which in turn stood at the right of a gorgeous, and familiar as well, young Mexican woman. She stood up for a quick formal bow, her gala black-and-gold dress almost shining with its own light.
“I guess I didn’t introduce her to you, my bad,” Piper said. “Madame Estrella Delasangre, Mayor of Oasia. But you know her already, right?”

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
this will end well...

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Post Re: HOUSEPETS! THE SERIES Official Thread
10.
Imperial Suite, aboard the Sea Dragon, en route to Meriweather Island

“I should ask how did get the money to pay for all of this,” Martin asked, walking into the one and only over-the-top suite, “but I guess you wouldn’t answer anyway.” Behind him, Antares closed the door right. Then he and Aldebaran stood, arms crossed at their chests, at the sides of the door.
“Believe it or not, hombre,” Piper said, flying from Estrella’s shoulder onto a gilded perch, “not a Peso. So, why the hurry to leave that wonderful lunch? I had ordered mixed berries.”
“Grape suffered enough stress as it is, mister: She doesn’t need to be reminded of the time her husband was kidnapped by the Delasangre family for their sick pet fight games!” He clenched his fists. “So the heck with manners: Stay out of sight, out of ear reach, out of everything or I’ll make an exception to my ethics and bake you into the ship’s nuclear engine.”
There followed a long moment of silence. The man looked like he was ready to jump at the parrot. The dogs’ eyes were wary and hostile.
Then…Estrella talked. “Are you quite done, señor Foster? And please, sit down, we’re supposed to be civilized.” She went and offered him a chair from the desk, and then she sat at the other side.
Martin complied. Estrella Delasangre, last survivor of her family. Drug dealers, pet kidnappers to literally feed the ‘gladiators’ at the Pet Fight Club. A whole city, Isla de la Paz, a misleading name for Hell on Earth., where people from all over the world would reunite to feed a capital of that horrid vice.
A place owned and tended by the Delasangre.
Until the day came, in which the arcane gates were opened, and the ghosts from the past, literally, came to seek justice. And vengeance. The human population that day dropped to 0%. Mexican authorities decided that denial was in their best interest. Isla de la Paz wasn’t a touristic attraction in the traditional, wholesome meaning, neither was some strategic capital. It was a luxury hideout and it was hidden under a mountain of bureaucracy. No one had been stupid enough to claim it back, especially since anyone claiming ties with the Delasangre wasn’t going to have an easy life.
Estrella was the last. The file the Mexican authorities had unofficially handed him reported that Estrella had fully cooperated to the dismantling of what was left of her family’s organization with drug. She had given out enough information to allow for important arrests.
But to Martin it would be never enough. “Perhaps I’m done. Depends on what you’re doing here and how did you walk aboard without getting fed to the sharks first. Spencers—“
“Spencers invited me personally,” she said. While Anoxa’s eyes shone with cold, deadly determination, Estrella’s black ones burned with pure passion.
“After you gave him how many false credentials?”
“Nothing that he doesn’t know already,” Piper said, flying over the desk. “That is, she gave full cooperation with the police, that she was granted Presidential Pardon, and that I chose her personally to be the Mayor of the newlyborn Oasia, the first modern city of the western hemisphere to be populated and run by animals only.” The parrot rolled his eyes, adding a mock French accent to his words. “Unfortunately, many humans need to stick to certain protocol habits for their political interactions, and they couldn’t accept just an animal to deal business with.”
“So you pull the strings of your puppet.” Martin grinned. “Well, it’s a start. But why her, of all people?”
“Because I still know all the shady business going around in my country. I know where to find ‘lost’ animals, since pet fighting in Mexico is not certainly over. I can help finding missing tourists, and so on. What I gave to the authorities was just a fraction of what I have available. My family is gone, but not their riches, and their secrets live on.”
Martin had to admit it: This nefarious creature reminded him why people were afraid of killing Kissinger. “And what are you going to do on Meriweather Island, Piper?” He asked, still looking at the woman for any sign of danger.
“Under due escort, I am going to visit Liberation. So, to stop this game of Q&A, I’ll tell you this much: So far I guided many animals to their new home, and Estrella here gave me the resources and men to clean it up. But now, even if we can still buy food and there’s plenty of water, we need to engineer the place for farming...”
“And you need teachers. Just why don’t you go and ask to the farms in the Americas?”
Piper sighed. “I was coming to that, okay Mary Sue?!” He cleared his throat. “As I was saying, I don’t need the pets of farmers. They are mostly blind followers, routine-ingrained machines, domestic creatures with a touch of rustic. Leave them to their own devices and sure, they may learn faster than your average housepet, but I need the professionals. The animals who spent generations working the land, growing their crops, raising their animals, fishing—“
Martin thought about Isla de la Paz. And he couldn’t help asking it: “Fishing in the middle of a Mexican desert?”
“You’d be surprised, big ape. Anyway, as I was trying to say: Liberation offers the widest variety of specialists, furs who could easily teach the arts to our future farmers, fast and good. And most important of all, apolitical and used to work hard for their daily bread. They’ll make great guides to those who still may be undecided. A selected few for us, less population problems for them, everyone happy!”
“And what guarantees can you two give me?”
Piper counted them on his wing tips. “One, I work for animals only, Mary Sue: Everything I ever did was, is and will be to their benefit and who cares about stupid human world. Once I’m done here, you can kiss my wingtail and hasta la vista. For now, you must accept our gracious presence aboard, like it or not.
“Second, and most important... See that phone? Please, pick it up.”
Martin wasn’t sure –at this point, for all he knew the thing could be rigged with a bomb, but what the heck! He obeyed, and before he could say ‘hello’, a quite upset, icy voice spoke in the earpiece. “Mr. Foster, I don’t think we ever met. I am Richard Spencers, CEO of Seven Stars Maritime Company and HoS of Meriweather Island. And I perfectly know who you are, which is not only the reason for my invitation. And I would like to inform you that I will not have one of your spectacular tantrums aboard my ship nor on my island. I am well aware that you acted out of noble intentions, and what you just said confirmed it, but you are interfering with a diplomatic mission. Also, you are greatly diminishing the authority of a recognized political figure of a preeminently important project to the benefit of animal kingdom. So I will make it clear this once: Leave my guests alone or I’ll have the Captain lock you into the boiler room until this ship is back home. And for your information, even before you started crusading around, I was and am perfectly aware of Ms. Delasangre’s background.
“Now you get one question, but I’ll save your breath: The answer is, Wernher Von Braun. Have a nice cruise.” *click* went the line.
Martin gave the phone back to Estrella. “I...apologize,” he said, each word tasting like bile, and even then he felt like he had sold his soul to the Prince of Demons. He stood up. He then added, hoping that the hidden mikes and cameras (a measure that he would’ve used himself given the chance) would bring the message loud and clear. “It would’ve been far better if you two just had agreed to stay here until the end of the voyage, for a starter, would’ve saved a lot of traouble. So, please stay as far as possible from the Sandwich pets. Or me. Or everyone else. Goodbye.” He turned and left the room, followed by his dogs. He had the decency not to slam it shut.

“What was that about Von Braun?” Antares asked.
“Was that the American rocket scientist?” Aldebaran added.
“The Nazist rocket scientist,” Martin said. “Other than SS member, Director at Peenemunde rocket base and responsible of the V2 program. About 10,000 between dead and injuried, not counting the labor slaves.” He stopped to regain breath and try not to burst a vein. “The Americans got to him and used his skills to perfection rocket flight. If US could land on the Moon in 1969, they own it to that...man.” He sat on a nearby bench. “So I guess Spencers, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Gottschalk was involved as well, is using her to our advantage. And I made a fool out of myself, again.” He buried his face in his hands. Antares and Aldebaran sat down at his sides and hugged him...that is, until a shadow fell over the trio.
“And that’s what makes you an such an interesting person,” said Maud. “You won’t stop at nothing to protect the innocents.”
Martin raised his face, showed a bitter smile. “Like to live dangerously, then, do you?”
“Not more than you, sir.” Aldebaran scooted over and she sat next to the man. “In fact, I should feel jealous: You were like magnetized by Ms. Matviyenko, and that is one dangerous woman.”
"Blame it on my mother: She was always so weak and spineless. And so I still turn to strong, independent female figures." He scratched the back of his head. “And did you know, about Oxana, that all her four official suitors disapphmhfmmm!” He didn’t even register the embarrassment of being taken by surprise, in public, from the kiss she gave him. Or the embarrassment from his dogs giggling and giving hi-five. Or the absolute certainty that there were people already taking shots with their social-connected smartphones. Media were SO going to have a field day!
Oh, yes, and he was being an idiot for thinking such things while the most beautiful woman he had ever met was...stopping the kiss.
“Ghyk,” was all Martin could say.
“I think you need some practice,” Maud chuckled. “Never practiced?”
His eyes were like fixed on an interesting ocean horizon. “There was this girl, Emily. College. Second year. My only date. Mostly embarrassing.”
“Heh, more the dog type even back then?”
Epic blush. “Uhhh...it’s just that I was always scared of getting seriously involved. I mean, I knew I would never do without a pet in my life. At the college, I’d earn money with pet-sitting, mostly puppies and kittens I’d scholarize a bit and housebreak. Since those days, the idea that I’d have to sacrifice such wonderful company only because of...well, engagement, prevented me from socializing in a more intimate way.” He ruffled Antares’ head fur. “I’d rather live off the street once again than abandoning them.”
“I see. And do you fear that I would put myself between you and your plans and family?”
Martin’s eyes went to the direction of the Imperial Suite. “I just got a cold shower of reality: No matter what I want, I’m still a small fish in a sea of sharks. At least, the agreement with your father will let me free to walk away with my fortunes intact, should the agreement conflict with my management. But there’s so much I can do, and when I’m gone...well, I don’t know who to trust.” He looked back at Maud. “How can I be sure that you will not use your marital status to engulf my enterprise and destroy my dream?” He knew he was being rude and spoiling the former nice, embarrassing moment, but he needed to look at her in the eye when she answered. She knew he was a direct person, no finesses when it came to important matters.
Maud took a long moment, her visage not betraying any emotions, before answering. “You can’t know, easy as that. But you do know that the Gottschalk family is your best investment. Even if animal benefit was only part of our business, and not a primary target, you have just seen that we work for it as well. So you can grow old in the knowledge that something will be done, always. Your dream will not die with you.”
He nodded. “Okay, that is more like it.”
“Now, my turn: Where is the ring?”
Martin blinked. “My wut?”
The wind ruffled her long, blond hair as she laughed. “You just said ‘marital status’. Please don’t let it be some Freudian.”
“Not here!” he almost shouted, pin-eyed, waving his hands in panic.
“Hm?”
Martin facepalmed. “I mean. Yes, I wanted to since...I was just afraid...but I just told you why...and I can’t just go all ‘Love Boat’! I...Why am I like me?!” He finally stopped ranting when her hand caressed his face.
“I guess you wanted to say that you’re waiting for the proper moment and setting, right?”
He let out a long sigh. “Yes,” he said meekly. He started fiddling with his fingers just like Peanut would do when nervous. “And I hadn’t thought of a ring. Have...another thing in mind.”
“Good! I would’ve been very disappointed, had you fallen for the old cliche.” Maud stood up. “Surprise me then. See you around, gotta strike some deal, or father will skin me alive. Ciao!”
The big dogs waited until she had disappeared from sight, before hugging their Dad so hard that he felt his ribs cracking!
“WE’RE GONNA HAVE A MOM, WHEEEEE!!!”
“Yes, you will,” the man said, hugging them both in return, allowing himself to relax at that thought. He couldn’t control everything, perhaps this was the right choice to have some help. And yes, he had so wanted to marry Maud since the first time he had seen her. He just hadn’t imagined it would happen so soon...but what the heck. For once in his life, he could start trusting another human being other than his brother Joel.

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Sun Aug 31, 2014 1:40 pm
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