Hello Kitty!


 Kitty Wynter-4: A STUDY IN

by Van ©2018

Chapter 9



For Kitty, at least, the rest of the day and subsequent night passed in something of a daze.  She took the long, hot, soaking bath Muffin had suggested... all the time worrying about her new role as Puck's Mentor.  Eventually, her fingers wrinkled and her rope-marks faded to nothing, so she climbed from the tub, toweled herself dry, and used her hand-dryer, brush, and comb to deal with her hair.

Nude, relaxed (meaning semi-exhausted), and very hungry, Kitty emerged from the master bath to find a tray waiting for her on the bed with a plate containing a club sandwich and a modest pile of potato chips, and next to it was a cold bottle of Samuel Adams New England IPA.  A thrill rippled down Kitty's spine and through her pussy.  Muffin!  Also, her stomach growled and mouth began watering.  Kitty sat on the bed, being careful not to upset the beer bottle, then took a huge bite from
the sandwich... followed by a swig of beer... followed by another bite of sandwich.

Soon, the club sandwich was consumed, as were the chips, as was the beer, as were the pimento-stuffed olives on the toothpicks Bertie had used to hold the sandwich-halves together.  Kitty transferred the tray to the seat of a nearby easy chair, then flopped on her back on the bed.  She supposed she ought to check on her new apprentice, make sure she was settling in okay (and hadn't destroyed the place), but decided she could afford to close her eyes for a couple of minutes.

The next thing Kitty knew, Bertie was climbing onto the bed, then climbing onto Kitty Wynter.  Oh-by-the-way, Kitty's Squirmy Little English Muffin was naked (as naked as Kitty, herself) and smiling the dimpled smile she reserved for times when she was feeling frisky.

Bertie settled her weight atop Kitty's waist, pinning her partner's arms to her sides.  She'd already deposited a second tray on the bed, and on it were a pair of circular band-aids, the tube of antiseptic ointment, the vial of pain pills, and a pint-size plastic bottle of spring water.

Kitty allowed herself to be "helplessly pinned" under Muffin's minimal weight, smiled, and watched as Bertie, lips pursed in concentration, gently peeled the old band-aids from her nipples.

"Poor thing," Bertie cooed, then ripped open the foil packets and used the alcohol-dampened pads within to gently clean Kitty's nipples and their new accessories.  Kitty bit her lower lip but otherwise ignored the sting of the alcohol on the fresh wounds.

Bertie continued her ministrations, dabbed dollops of ointment on the piercings, then covering the nipples with fresh band-aids.  "There," she purred, then leaned close and kissed Kitty's smiling lips.  "Are you in pain, dearest?" Bertie inquired.  "Would you like a pill?"

"No," Kitty responded, then squirmed under Bertie's weight.

Bertie continued smiling... and made no move to release her "helpless" patient.  She cupped Kitty's breasts, being careful to avoid the band-aid-covered nipples, and very gently squeezed.  "I have something to show you," she purred, then leaned to the side and picked up a palm-size, black satin jewelry box.  "More gifts from Lady Arabelle," she announced as she opened the box.
Kitty lifted her head and scowled.  Nestled in the white padding of the box was a pair of stirrup-posts, U-shaped shackles with spherical end-caps.

"Case-hardened steel," Bertie purred.

Kitty stared at the stirrups.  The shafts appeared to be about the same diameter as the placeholder posts currently holding open her healing piercings.  "Arabelle sent those?"

"Of course," Bertie purred.  "They were in the cardboard box with the medical supplies.  Aren't they beautiful?  I can't wait to see you wear them.  You'll be like a Gorean slave-girl!"

"Yeah, well, don't hold your breath," Kitty drawled.  Actually, the stirrups were pretty, in a butch sort of way, and in Kitty's opinion they'd beat the hell out of a dainty little pair of gold rings, or anything else more feminine and less... utilitarian.  The stirrups were in no way girlie-girlie... more Kitty Wynter.  She focused on Bertie's smiling face.  "'Gorean slave-girl'?  You really do have a death wish."

Bertie giggled, then closed the box and returned it to the bedside table.  "There's also a second, much larger box containing an even more magnificent gift," she purred.

Kitty was skeptical and incurious (or wanted to appear to be).  "Magnificent?"

"Oh, yes, truly," Bertie sighed, then leaned close and kissed Kitty's lips, again.  "Magnificent nipple-shields in the shape of sunbursts, with cute little dangling cats and an attached necklace, all in white gold!"

"That does sound pretty magnificent," Kitty conceded.  "I'll never wear it, but it sounds magnificent."

"Oh, Kitty," Bertie giggled, "of course you'll wear it.  Imagine a formal strapless gown with the necklace chains disappearing down your cleavage and the very tops of the shields just visible.  Now that would be magnificent."

"Yeah," Kitty huffed, "too much magnificent."  On the other hand, she thought, they are a gift from Her Ladyship.  I could wear them to dinner when I make my first report on Puck's progress.  That would be fitting... or something.  And speaking of Puck...  "Where's The Littlest Kidnapper?"

Bertie's smile broadened, and she continued cupping Kitty's breasts.  "Tabby dragged Robin to her side of the Magic Mirror for a soak in her tub.  I haven't seen them since.  By the way, Tabby offered to let our new apprentice sleep in her guest room."

"Did she now," Kitty drawled.  "We'll see about that."

"In the morning, dearest," Bertie said, then stopped kneading Kitty's breasts, climbed off her body, and began consolidating the contents of the dinner tray and the band-aid changing tray.  "It's time for bed.  Are you sure you don't want a pill?"

Kitty shook her head.

"Very well," Bertie sighed, then carried the consolidated trays from the bedroom.

Kitty sighed and waited for her to return.  So... unspeakable revenge, she mused.  The problem was, the nearest rope was some distance, way over in the lowest drawer of the right night stand, at least three feet away, and the closest riding crop was all the way in the walk-in closet, unimaginably distant.  Kitty sighed, again.  Later, she decided as she closed her eyes.  I'll do horrible things to Muffin... later.

By the time Bertie returned to the bedroom, her partner was asleep.  She smiled down at Kitty's sprawled, nude form for several seconds... then sighed, slowly, carefully climbed between the sheets... and snuggled against Kitty's firm, smooth body.

A STUDY IN Cute  meow
 Chapter 9
Over the next week, things settled into a new normal at Wynter & Finch Investigative Services.  Specifically...

Bertie and Robin scurried off to Robin's former crash-pad for her stuff, which amounted to little more than a few changes of clothes, her laptop computer, and a modest collection of "professional tools" (lock picks, a jeweler's screwdriver set, various pliers, wire-cutters, an old resistance meter, etc.)  The pair returned to Robin's new home burdened by an army-surplus duffel and a cardboard box.  Kitty approved.  Detectives should travel light.  There was very little in the condo/office she shared with Bertie (and now Robin) she couldn't abandon at short notice and without regret.

At least for now, Kitty and Bertie agreed to let Robin crash in Tabby's guest room, but continued emptying the store room between the playroom and the utility closet.  The space in question was about ten by fifteen feet.  Maybe it would eventually become a bedroom for their new apprentice, or maybe not.  Kitty's immediate goal was to convert it into a Special Training Room.  She made plans to clad the walls with industrial-grade rubber padding—replace the overhead light with something with a heavy-gauge wire grill for security—move the light switch just inside the doorway to the outside—and to replace the door itself with a solid core portal faced on the inside with a sheet of stainless steel and secured on the outside with a deadbolt lock and two or three hefty sliding bolts.

Tabby was still on vacation, waiting for the studios behind her next project to get their acts together.  Bertie and Kitty were well aware that Robin was spending most of her nights sharing the bed in the master bedroom beyond the Magic Mirror with Tabby
, as opposed to the full-size bed in the guestroom, but decided it was none of their business, as long as it didn't interfere with Puck's training.

And speaking of training, Kitty and Bertie were scrambling to develop a formal curriculum.  Bertie agreed to handle the cyber-security (hacking) and forensic accounting instruction, and Kitty would handle martial arts practice and escapology exercises.  Once they'd determined Robin's basic skill set and apparent talents, they'd move out onto the streets and evaluate her surveillance and covert operations abilities.

So, martial arts training.

Bertie became used to the sight and sound of Kitty mopping the deck of the playroom with their new protege.  She'd pass the playroom entrance to find a naked Kitty pinning a naked Robin to the mat, or vice versa, and in the case of Kitty being the one face-down on the padding with Robin astride her body, there inevitably followed a flurry of flailing limbs and rolling bodies resulting in the tables being turned.

And then there was escapology.

It also became common for Bertie to find Robin writhing on the playroom floor bound in hemp rope.  Muffin witnessed a naked Puck in hogties, shrimp-ties, frog-ties, and several ties without formal animal names.  The apprentice/trainee was always gagged with a whiffle-ball-gag, a hollow, black rubber ball pierced by a dozen or more quarter-inch holes.  It was a "safe" gag, more symbolic than effective as a damsel-silencer, but Bertie knew that was the point.  Naked, bound damsels always felt more helpless when gagged, even when symbolically gagged.  Bertie was well acquainted with the concept.

And then there was martial-arts-escapology training... meaning Robin's kidnapping training.

On more than one occasion Tabby was invited to the playroom and then unceremoniously jumped, stripped, bound and gagged.  The first time Robin watched as Kitty did the honors (and Tabby whined and fought back).  The second time Bertie conducted the demonstration.  And the third time Kitty watched (and critiqued) as Robin executed a take-down of her little sister, stripped off her hapi-coat. and hogtied her in something like two minutes.

Bertie didn't escape unscathed.  At one point Kitty's voice summoned her to the playroom, and when she appeared, she was jumped by Robin!  However, things didn't go as Puck intended.  Soon, Robin was the one naked, hogtied, and gagged on the padding.  Bertie asked her smiling partner if there was anything else, and receiving a negative answer and an approving kiss from Kitty's smiling lips, giggled, smiled and waved at the glowering and gagged Puck, then returned to the office area.

Finally, Robin had had enough, at least with respect to the escapology.

"I'm not learning anything," she complained through her gag, wiggling in a stringent "inchworm-tie."  Actually, what emerged from the helpless, naked teenager's plugged, saliva-dripping mouth was more like "I ot erng nyng," but her mentor understood.

Kitty smiled.  "You're learning how difficult it is to escape from ropes tied by a competent rigger.  Once I think you're ready, we'll shift to much simpler bondage and I'll show you the most effective countermeasures; but for now, we'll do things my way."

The specifics of Robin's inchworm-tie amounted to her hands being tied behind her back and a network of horizontal and diagonal strands of taut, tight hemp yoking her shoulders, binding her arms to her sides, binding her elbows together, and binding her waist to her forearms (with a crotch-rope linked to her wrist-bonds).  More rope lashed her thighs, above and below her knees, her lower-legs, as well as her ankles, feet, and big toes.  The reason for the tie's name was obvious.  Not counting rolling sideways like a rope-bound log, crawling like an inchworm was Robin's only means of locomotion.  And when she tried, the ropes tightened here and slackened there, punishing and severely limiting her progress.

"Now," Kitty said pointing to the punching bag hanging in one corner of the playroom, "I want you to crawl to the bag, spin around and give it a good kick, then crawl to the opposite end of the room and plant your nose in the corner, spin around, and do it again.  I'll tell you when you've accomplished a sufficient number of laps."

Robin heaved a gagged sigh of tragic proportions, then set to work on the pointless task.  Cruel and unusual?  Yes, but she had to do it.  Eventually, Miss Kitty would start showing her the good stuff.  Eventually she'd start sharing her secrets.  Eventually, Robin would learn how to take down Bertie as easily as she tackled and tied Tabby.  Eventually she might even learn how to bind and gag Kitty Wynter so that even she couldn't escape!  Robin resolved to be a good apprentice, the best apprentice detective ever!

The new normal.

A STUDY IN Cute  meow
 Chapter 9
Kirsten unlocked her front door, reset her alarm system, and continued into her apartment.  It was Friday, and happily, looked to be another carefree weekend.  Her ADA workload was managed (for the moment), she'd earned a couple of days of R&R, and best of all, Kitty Wynter was too busy with her new apprentice to mess with Kirsten Braslow.

As far as Kirsten was concerned, Robin Fey couldn't have happened to a better person.  Kitty deserved being saddled with the devilishly cute little trickster.  She hoped "Puck" was driving her mentor bonkers.  Thus far, Kirsten had enjoyed a month-long lull in Kitty Wynter's notorious "booty calls," and could only hope the hiatus would continue.  She certainly didn't miss being the "victim" of Kitty's home invasions and being involuntarily boinked... repeatedly... all night.  No siree, she didn't miss any of it.  Not even a little.  No, really!

A happy side effect of Kitty Wynter's preoccupation with Robin
was the incentive it gave Kirsten to up her fitness game.  That is, visits to her health club (for purposes of tension relief) had slipped up the ADA's schedule priorities just as boinking Shyster seemed to have slipped down Kitty's things-to-do list.  But it wasn't like the gym activity was an actual substitute for Kirsten getting her ashes hauled by Kitty Wynter.  Not at all.  Not even a little.  No, really!

Today was a case in point.  After clearing her calendar for the weekend, Kirsten had gone to her fitness club for a full workout in the form of running on one of the club's treadmill/hamster-wheel machines, followed by a full Nautilus circuit, followed by a long bask in the club's steam room.  Kirsten felt tired and funky, but it was a good tired and funky.  Now that she was home she'd take a long, hot shower, scare up some dinner, then climb into bed and read for an hour or two.

Kirsten entered her bedroom and began undressing.  Her outerwear was ready to go to the cleaners, so once she removed her jacket, skirt, and blouse, they went into a laundry bag for a trip to the dry cleaners.  As for her underwear, they definitely needed cleaning, especially her panties.  Kirsten peeled off her pantyhose, the panties in question, and her bra, and piled them on the foot of the bed.  Kirsten then picked up her gym bag, zipped it open, and added her soiled exercise togs to the pile.  The spandex and cotton blend bicycle shorts, sports-bra, and tank-top were damp with sweat, as were her anklets.  Kirsten would eventually get around to spritzing deodorizer in the sneakers, and everything else would go into the hamper in the closet to await a trip to the basement for a date with the building's washers and dryers.

Now totally nude, it was time for that shower.  Kirsten executed a full-body stretch... then turned and strode towards the bathroom.

She didn't make it.

"Mrmpfh!"  A hand was clamped over her mouth!  And then—"Ooof!"—Kirsten found herself on her stomach on the plush carpet, and rope was tightening around her wrists!

Kirsten couldn't see whoever was sitting on her naked butt and doing the binding, but she could see Robin Fey standing in her bedroom doorway.  The grinning teenager's arms were crossed under her breasts and she was leaning against the door frame.  Her costume consisted of Doc Martin boots, jeans, a T-shirt, and a leather jacket, all in black.

"Goddammit to hell, Wynter!" Kirsten complained.  (Obviously, her attacker had to be Kitty Wynter.)  "Get off me!—mrrrk!"  Kitty (and it was Kitty) had finished binding her wrists, then flipped her onto her back (and now bound wrists), and had her right hand clamped over Kirsten's mouth, again.  The squirming, bucking, naked captive glared up at her captor, who was dressed much like her apprentice.  Kirsten wasn't sure about Kitty's boots, of course.  She couldn't see them with her head pinned against the floor by her captor's hand, but Kitty usually wore boots so it was a safe bet.  "Mrrrrrrrrrf!"

"Temper, temper, Shyster," Kitty chuckled as she used her free hand to comb Kirsten's tousled blond locks from her hand-gagged and outraged face.  "And such language!  'Goddammit to hell?'  Is that any way to set a good example for by apprentice?"

"Hey, I'm a grownup," Robin objected, but she was still smiling.  "Besides, I know much worse language than 'goddammit to hell'."

"I'm sure you do," Kitty purred.  Then, maintaining her hand-gag, she hauled Kirsten to her feet, dragged her to the foot of bed and plucked Kirsten's panties from the modest heap of dirty underwear and gym clothes.  "Now, stop talking and pay attention."

"Yes, Mistress," Robin giggled.

"No!—nrrrf!"  Kirsten was unable to prevent Kitty from stuffing the panties in her mouth—"MRRRF!"—followed by both of her dirty anklets!

Maintaining her hand-gag (with stuffing), Kitty sat on the bed, spun Kirsten around and sat her down on her lap, then pulled a rolled elastic bandage from a jacket pocket and proceeded to stretch and wrap it over Kirsten's grimacing head and across her over-stuffed mouth and lower face.  "It's important to make your target as quiet as possible as soon as possible in the sequestering process," she lectured.

"Mrrrrf!"  Kirsten's squirmed and bucked, but was unable to prevent herself from being very effectively gagged.  The tight layers of stretched, mildly adhesive fabric bandage were going on over her hair, but Kitty was being "nice" enough to make sure the flaxen strands were more-or less out of her face and falling down her back.  She tugged on her wrist bonds, but knew herself to be helpless... again... as was always the case when Kitty Wynter came to call.

Kitty climbed to her feet, taking a now nude, wrist-bound, and stringently gagged Kirsten with her, then moved the straight-back wooden chair Kirsten normally used for dressing to the middle of the bedroom, plunked Kirsten's naked butt down on the cushion-free seat, pulled her arms behind the chair (which left Shyster's armpits resting on the top of the chair back), then began lashing her in place with more rope.

Kirsten noticed that the rope in question was actually thick cord—"parachute cord" she believed it was called—there was a lot of it, and it was coming from a small gym bag similar to Kirsten's own.  The naked captive squirmed and fought and mewled through her disgusting, humiliating, and quite effective gag—"Mrrrrmf!"—but could do little (meaning nothing) to impede Kitty's progress.

Several minutes and at least a hundred feet of cord later, when Kitty finally stepped back, Kirsten was in an upright chair-tie/hogtie.  Her big toes were tied together and off the floor with her ankle-bonds linked to her wrist-bonds under the seat by a dozen or more taut strands of cinched and wrapped cord.  She was also bound above and below the knees and at the elbows, and additional neat, multiple bands of cord lashed her to the chair across her thighs, waist, and her upper-arms and torso, passing above and below her full breasts and yoking her shoulders.

Adding overkill to excess, silver-gray duct-tape now mummified her fingers, thumbs, and hands (singly and together).  However, on the plus side, Kitty had replaced her elastic-bandage-gag (with sweaty panties and anklets stuffing) with a two-inch ball-gag with a quarter-inch breathing hole and an under-the-chin secondary strap.  Not unexpectedly, Kitty had tightened the ball-gag's main strap tight enough to make Kirsten's cheeks bulge.

Wiggling, squirming, and mumbling muffled expletives was the extent of Kirsten's possible activities.  She glared at Kitty Wynter and did all three.

Kitty walked a slow circle around her naked, helpless, oh-so-sexy Training Aide, then stood in front of Kirsten with her hands in her jacket pockets.  Shyster was pissed off, big time, and glared at her captor with her big, blue, furious eyes.  A few wispy strands of Kirsten's flaxen hair had evaded the gagging process, and they now framed the nude captive's glowering, well-gagged face.  Kirsten Braslow had never looked more beautiful or desirable (in Kitty's humble opinion).

Robin joined her mentor/mistress/boss, noted Kitty's posture, and adopted the same hands-in-pockets pose.

Despite her colossal rage, Kirsten couldn't help but appreciate the cuteness of the way The Littlest Kidnapper mimicked her idol.

"I like her boobs," Robin remarked.

Okay, Kirsten silently fumed, appreciation over.

"What's not to like?" Kitty agreed, "but pay attention.  This is a lesson."

"Yes, Mistress," Robin responded respectfully, but her smiling gaze was still on Kirsten's heaving breasts.

Infuriating, Kirsten fumed, and continued her weak, pointless struggles.  Simply infuriating!  (Also, the quiver of, uh, fury rippling through her pussy as she squirmed her butt against the hard unforgiving seat of the sturdy wooden chair was further evidence of her outrage.)

"Now," Kitty lectured.  "Our target was nice enough to strip herself, so I didn't have to do it for her, but nudity always makes the subject feel more helpless than simple bondage."

"Which is also why you used the duct-tape on her hands," Robin nodded, "even thought there's no way she could have possibly reached any knots and untied herself, even with her fingers unwrapped."

"What else have you noticed?" Kitty purred, "seeing as how you seem to be unable to shut up and listen."

Robin grinned.  "You changed her gag for safety's sake, so you can leave her here for hours and hours and she'll be okay."  She smiled sweetly as Kirsten glared back.  "Well, 'okay' might not have been the best choice of words, but she'll be able to breath."

"Go on," Kitty urged.

"Also," Robin continued, "the chair is solid and well-balanced, and tied as she is, will be very difficult tip over.  In any case, you lashed her in place in such a way that it makes no difference whatsoever whether she's upright or on her side.  She'll still be 100% helpless.  Granted, she'll be more comfortable upright, but the tie is inescapable, regardless."

"Exactly," Kitty said, her eyes locked with Kirsten's.  "She can try anything she wants, but she's not getting out of that chair."  She turned to Robin.  "Anything else?"

Robin shrugged.  "Not really, but I do like her tits.  You've got a little cord left.  Want me to show you what I'd do with them?"

"No, Puck," Kitty chuckled, then pointed to the bedroom door.  "Lesson over.  Time to go."

"Oh, you're no fun," Robin giggled, then smiled and waved at Kirsten, spun on her booted heel, and left the bedroom.

Kitty locked eyes with Kirsten, again.  The Evil Kidnapper's smile broadened, then she also spun on her booted heel and left, leaving the bedroom door open behind her.

Kirsten sighed, then resumed squirming in her bonds. 

"How does Thai food sound?" Kitty asked her apprentice, her voice carrying back into the bedroom.

"I like Thai food," Robin's disembodied voice replied, "as long as it's not too hot."

"Wimp," Kitty's voice replied.

Next, Kirsten heard the unmistakable sound of her front door closing, and heaved another sigh.  She knew Kitty would come back... eventually... after letting her languish in the hard chair, naked, helpless, inescapably bound, and silenced by a breathable gag... for a couple of hours, maybe three... and would probably stay for the rest of the weekend.

I just hope she doesn't bring Robin Fey back with her, Kirsten mused, and brings me some Phad Thai.

One thing was obvious, the temporary lull in Kirsten's home invasion/booty call problem was over.

A STUDY IN Cute  meow
 Chapter 9
Kitty and her apprentice entered the restaurant and made a beeline for a small alcove in the back.  Seated around a table and already devouring a feast of various savory, spicy dishes were Bertie, Nikki, and Tabby.

"Thanks for waiting," Kitty huffed as she settled into an empty chair.  Robin did the same on the far side of the table next to Tabby.

Nikki chewed and swallowed a mouthful of Pad Suki, then pointed her chopsticks at Kitty.  "Where's my sister?" she demanded.

"Tied up at the moment," Kitty responded.

The diners' eyes rolled as they smiled, giggled, and/or laughed.

"I can vouch for that," Robin added with a dimpled smile.

"Don't have a cow," Kitty said defensively as Nikki continued to stare.  "I'll bring her takeout.  I'm not a monster."

"And I can vouch for that," Bertie giggled.  "A villainous fiend?  Yes.  But not a monster."

Kitty stared daggers (amused daggers) at her partner as more giggling laughter made its way around the table, but before she could verbally fire back the waitress arrived.  Kitty ordered more of the food already on the table—as well as a takeout order of Phad Thai and an appetizer combo of spring rolls, curry puffs, chicken satay, and fried chicken dumplings—to be ready in about an hour.

"Obviously, you plan on going back and having your way with my poor, helpless sister," Nikki muttered.

No one at the table was fooled.  Nikki wasn't really worried about Kirsten's virtue, or her fate, but pro forma outrage was her sisterly duty.

"How very Victorian," Tabby chuckled.  "I love it.  'Having your way with my poor, helpless sister.'  Hilarious."

This earned the younger Wynter sister a stern stare of her own from the NYPD detective.

"I'm going back with her," Robin announced as she loaded a plate with Pad Kee-Mao and Tom Yum fried rice.  "I'll make sure she's okay."

Kitty shook her head.  "Only if you want to spend the weekend in Shyster's closet—naked, hogtied, gagged, blindfolded, and with cotton stuffed in your ears."

Robin started to object, but was preempted by a gentle pat on the hand from Kitty's little sister.  "No worries," Tabby purred.  "You're coming home with me."

"Okay," Robin sighed.  Nobody was fooled.  Puck was always happy to spend quality time with Tabitha Wynter.

Bertie and Nikki exchanged a knowing smile as they continued eating.  All present knew that the little Brit and tall blonde were also big fans of "quality time."

Kitty had noticed the exchange.  "I assume you two will be honing your 'snogging' and 'shagging' skills later this evening?" she inquired, grinning at her partner and Bertie's friend-with-privileges.

"None of your business, Wynter," Nikki huffed.

"The theme of the evening will be 'Fun with Our Friend the Shrimp-tie'," Bertie volunteered, then complained—"Ow!"—when Nikki leaned close and pinched her in the ribs.  "Stop!" she giggled.

Kitty rolled her eyes, Tabby giggled, and Robin gazed with wide, attentive eyes from Bertie to Nikki and back again as she chewed a mouthful of noodles.

Kitty watched her new apprentice watch Bertie and Nikki's disgusting display of not-so-covert affection.  Every now and then, Kitty thought, life throws you a curve, and Robin Fey certainly qualifies.  Just then, a fresh plate of Pad Woon Sen arrived and Kitty loaded her plate.  A month before, the very idea of taking on an apprentice would have been laughably absurd... and now... I have one.

And wonder-of wonders, Kitty was happy about it!  Not that she'd ever let Robin know she was happy, of course.  That would be counterproductive.  It would interfere with the Kitty/Puck—Mistress/Apprentice dynamic.  It wouldn't be an admission of weakness on Kitty's part, of course, but it would hinder Robin's training.

Yeah, that's it, Kitty decided.  It would hinder Robin's training.

Robin leaned forward, used her chopsticks to spear the last remaining shrimp dumpling from a now empty plate, popped it into her mouth, chewed, and smiled. "Yum!"

Could she be any cuter? Kitty mused as she tucked into her serving of stir-fried noodles.  It ought to be illegal.  She noticed that Bertie had noticed her noticing Robin's cuteness, and was smiling one of her infuriatingly knowing, dimpled smiles.

"Shut up!" Kitty huffed, then resumed eating.
The End of...
A STUDY IN Cute  meow
 Chapter 9
...and the story, entire.

Chapter 8
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