Trajan exited the kitchen, passing Greystar. “I’ll be outside, if anyone needs me.”
The big rac slunk from the kitchen, traversed the living room, and exited Barret’s former residence. He gingerly stepped over the hedge bordering the walkway and walked onto the well-manicured lawn.
The grass felt cool and soft under Trajan’s feet, the morning dew having been melted away by the rising sun. Trajan laid down on it and stared into the open blue sky.
“Not noon just yet” Trajan thought as he shaded his eye and looked up. “Although, we should probably be heading back to the Whim for lunch and to compare notes with the others.”
A small sound attracted Trajan’s attention. He grew very still and began to carefully extend his senses around him. Just beyond the fence, to his right, he could feel the weight of several sets of eyes trained upon him. Unfortunately, that was his blind side; carefully he extended his kenning through the earth beneath him to try to gauge how many foes watched him.
The squeak of the gate arrested Trajan’s attention. He looked down, but could see no sign of the intruder. Now he could make out whispers from the other side of the fence, but he could still see nothing.
Trajan let out a “Whuff” as the wind was knocked out of him.
A small kit stood triumphantly on Trajan’s gut.
“I am queen of the mountain! I defy any and all to challenge my authority!” Her small mouse-like voice issued her proclamation to all corners of the miniscule yard.
The sheer incredulity of this made Trajan smile. “So, does the hill have any say so in this matter?”
The kit looked down from her perch and stamped her foot. “You hush, mountain troll, you have been conquered, and you have to do anything I say!”
“And what if I do not?”
“Then you will have to face terrible consequences!”
“Oh, and those might be?”
“Uhh,... Terrible, ... horrible ones too dreadful to describe!”
“Really, so you'd better be nice!” the kit stamped her foot to emphasize the point.
Between the little kits posturing, and general ticklishness in the belly forced Trajan to start to laugh.
“Hey, stop that! Eeeek, earthquake!”
The little kit grappled onto Trajan's stomach for dear life, her paws digging in making the tickling only worse. Trajan could barely breathe, he laughed so hard.
On the other side of the fence the small group of kits observed their advanced scout as she approached her target.
“I don't believe she's actually going to do it!”
The small crowd gasped in amazement when the new queen made her proclamation. Emboldened by the success of the little girl, the group started to make its way around to the entrance in the fence.
By the time they reached the opening, Trajan fairly roared with uncontrollable laughter.
“Ok stop, stop! I can't breathe!”
“No! I told you there would be terrible consequences! Now suffer!” she dug her paws in more deeply.
The big Rac roared with laughter, finally he “retaliated” by unleashing his own tickle attack on the little kit, who responded with squeals of laughter.
The cluster of kits poured through the gate. “He's got Serai! Get him!”
Trajan barely had time to react before the cluster of kits dog-piled him.
Inside the kitchen, Miss Aurum accepted the comfort Greystar offered her. “I'm sorry, Master Greystar, I've behaved awfully. The past year has been rather dreadful. Most of the staff has left, and so few of us remain. It is just the uncertainty of it all. After Master Barret died, we had no clue what would happen to the households. You get used to one job, and sometimes you just identify with it.” Miss Aurum sighed heavily. “I suppose we should get your friend back in here, where did he gat of to anyways?”
Everyone looked about momentarily until they heard a commotion outside. Through the kitchen windows, they could see Trajan buried beneath a pile of screaming kits.
“Oh dear! It looks like the neighbor's kits are out!” said Miss Aurum