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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:54 am 

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Jasper listened to Kate explaining the game while continuing to watch them. It sounded bizarre to him, but he made no comment. In a way it was sort of like fighting, but less deadly, and instead of reputation and counts, you were given simple bragging rights.

When she mentioned that she skated, Jasper turned his attention to back to her. When the sleigh stopped and Kate got out, Jasper watched her, suspicious of what she was doing. At her order to get out, he did as he was told, looking to the ground as he stepped into the snow. He soon lifted his gaze back to Kate to try to follow with what she was doing. He watched her make a ball out of the snow before throwing it at the carriage door. His eyes quickly went from the spot where it had hit and back to Kate. When she told him to hit her, he had to make sure he had heard right. Yes, he had just watched her make a snowball and hit the carriage with it, but hitting another person? It didn't sound like a good idea to him. 

He looked to Kate, searching her face for any sign that she was joking, but he found none. Slowly, he scooped up some snow and formed it into a ball as he had seen Kate do. Holding the snowball, he looked to Kate again, still not sure he should do this. Confusion and worry were evident on his face as he tried to do what Kate had told him, even though it went against what he knew to be right. The struggle of following orders was contradicting itself. He was not suppose to hit anyone outside of the arena, unless in self defense or for protection of another. And here Kate was asking him to hit her with the snow. 

He knew if he didn't throw it Kate would be disappointed, so his only other option was to do so. Before he could overthink it anymore than he had, he quickly aimed and threw the snowball, hitting Kate just below the ribs. As soon as it impacted Jasper was ready to apologize, worry and fear in his eyes as he watched Kate for her reaction.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 1:12 am 

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Kate laughed, "You did it! She brushed the snow." Kate lifted snow in her hand and made a ball and threw it at his right breast. Fun huh? She encouraged him over and over laughing. Then made him a moving target, "Run! Is harder. Back home we make ice forts and throw snow balls. Is great fun with a group dodging and hitting each other. This is good way to break you in. Fall back in the snow and wave your arms and feet like me and we make snow ferries and angels." Kate was winded and broke open the picnic basket and shared vessels of hot cider and popovers. "Good Yes?" She toasted his success at his first game. After they had their fill she taught him how to build a snowman with twigs for arms, Ann packed a carrot and two pieces of coal for eyes. "Fine man."


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 1:24 am 

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He hadn't been expecting Kate to laugh, let alone encourage this sort of behaviour. The apologies once more remained unspoken as a snowball hit him. Looking down where it had hit and back to Kate, Jasper began to catch on. He still didn't see the objective of this, but Kate seemed to be enjoying herself. When she told him to run, Jasper was able to dodge the snowballs thrown easily, having had plenty of practice avoiding flying projectiles. He did what Kate asked of him, and soon found that he liked snow, as peculiar as some of the activities were. 

A thought came to his mind as they finished building what Kate had called a snowman. He remembered in his training practicing with other fighters by wrestling on the sandy arena floor. He wondered if it would be similar in the snow, it was definitely softer than the floor had been. He would have to ask Kate if that would be something he could do, perhaps ask Jon if he would like to practice. For now he kept this to himself.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 3:42 pm 

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Kate saw he was unsure about hitting her with the snowball; he caught on quickly and seemed to be in the told what to do mode. Kate thought surely he would lighten up some. Malora had trained him well. There only way she hoped he would break free was time. He spoke little, but he smiled more. That was a good sign. It was enough even for to be in the cold. She was happy and Jasper was agile at dodging snowballs. He never complained being in the snow or being cold. Kate looked from the snowman to the skaters then back at Jasper. The sun shone and she shaded her eyes, "Shall we have more cider and popovers then go back. I do not want to wear you out. I hope you enjoyed being in the snow. By the time we are back home, Ann will have lunch ready. Would like to learn to drive or are your hand too cold?"


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:15 pm 

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Jasper had to admit that he had enjoyed the snow, it was odd not having a purpose for what he was doing, or even having to do something for someone else. Though he never said anything about the cold, he could feel it seeping into him, causing a shiver every now and then. He shook his head, snowflakes falling from the action from his hair and ears. Turning so his attention was on Kate, his thoughts changed to what he had learned watching her on the way here. His hands were cold, but he could still try to learn how to drive the sleigh. 

"I think I could try." He answered, eyeing the sleigh before looking back to Kate. 

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:57 pm 

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Kate waited for Jasper to get in befor handing him the basket in the back seat. She the unted the horse and held the reins as she climbed in the carriage, "Go aheah and eat and drink uou cider. When your done I will first let you feel the tension of the reins in my hands. Then I will pass the reins to you. The horses name is Lady Gail. She is gentle and you need to make clicks with you tongue against your teeth to make her go faster. If you want he to begin walking I hold the rains and give her a slap. It's not hard to hurt her. You see I have no buggie whip. Peel trained her and I take her out often."
I will get us to the main road. You will not have to turn her." Kate handed him the flask of warm cider, unwrapped a popover, then handed the pastry to him. Once he had it eaten, she stopped the animal, "Place your hands above mine and hold the reins like I am. That's good. Hold them a moment get the feel of tension. It's not like holding an axe you holding a leather lanyard. Kate felt the tension in his hands. You can place your hands in your lap once you are comfortable. A firm slap and she will walk. When ready you may make her go into a canter." Kate did not take her hands off his for several moments.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:00 pm 

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Jasper listened carefully to what Kate was saying, head slightly to the side and ears pricked. His gaze went from the horse and back to Kate quickly. He gave very little attention to the cider and pastry, intent on getting what Kate was telling him down so as not to make a mistake. When they had stopped once more and he was asked to hold the reins, Jasper was nervous. He knew this moment was coming and still he was nervous as he placed his hands where Kate had told him to, copying the way she held the reins. He followed her directions, getting a feel for the tension, while also noting how tense he himself was. 

Listening to what Kate said and recalling what he had watched her do before, Jasper got Lady Gail walking. After several moments, and going over and over what he had focused on so intently on the first trip, Jasper slowly worked the horse into a canter. He never fully relaxed, his shoulders stiff, and expression one of focus and concentration. 

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:17 pm 

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Kate glanced over at him as he concentrated, "Your very good. You do this a few times and you will find it easy. The horse does all the work. What would you like to to do tomorrow? Stay in the house or go with Jon and Papa to cut down the tree for the ball? We will have the house all decorated for the Winter Ball in 14 days. You can spend the night away from the crowd. The house is full of people. We do attend the Winter Frost Day town fest on Saturday. One of many celebrations during the month long Winterfest Holiday. Revelers are local we decorate homes, shops, inns, and the town with greenery and decorations. Performers fill the streets, peddlers come, and we have a town banquet that puts last night spread of food to shame. I want to share the fireworks with you."

The drive home was uneventful. The teens met in the parlor after dinner, there Kate played the piano, Sara played the flute and Jon sat on the couch and stretched his feet. At about 9pm all were getting sleepy. Kate turned to Jasper as he was looking into the fire deep in thought, "You look a bit lost. Would you let me pet you in your cat for? You have been so tense this week. I am pleased with your progress. By the end of the season you will know all the Festival Songs. Would you like me to massage your shoulders and back?"


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:31 am 

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He was still trying to get use to the whole, choosing what he did, so when Kate asked him what he would like to do tomorrow, Jasper didn't have an answer. He had forgotten about the Winter Ball. With everything that had happened, the thought of another crowd of people had been pushed away. He could feel his nervousness rising up again and tried to push that away too as he listened to Kate talk of the events to take place. 

Jasper was glad the evening was fairly quiet. While the family relaxed, Jasper found himself watching the fire and thinking. His thoughts always went back to his old mistress and what should would have done during a time like this. He knew for sure that he would have been chained at her feet, likely in his Savannah form, while she spoke with some visiting lord or lady. He could remember too many nights being brought to their rooms, having paid Malora prior. It always made him wonder why it was things like this that he remembered. Surely there had been something before this all? 

He was pulled from his thoughts when Kate turned to him. Lifting his gaze to meet hers briefly, he thought about what she asked. Kate wasn't like Malora, he had to stop comparing them. Shifting into his Savannah form, he carefully moved closer to Kate, chasing away his past thoughts the best he could as he tried to be in the present. 

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Maybe Asterous's gender is attack helicopter? ~ Stormwind


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:23 am 

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Kate smiled and looked at the large, orange, tabby warmly, "Your thoughts. I can only imagine how lost your are. You are lovely in both your forms . It has been another difficult week hasn't it. You are healing well." The mage and Jasper strolled to Kate's bedroom. She sat on her bed and awaited for Jasper to jump on the bed. "You look so much better and getting stronger. I enjoyed our ride; you are learning so much in a short time. Would you mind if I touched the back of your neck and shoulders? You can place your head in my lap."
Once he was in position Kate drew her hands together and rubbed the vicariously. She placed her hand on top of Jasper's left paw palms down and held them on his fur barely touching him. He can feel the heat. "Breath and close your eyes. I need you to trust me and turn your thoughts to today. If the past creeps up mew your left paw is cold. How are your pads healing? Kate removed a jar of oil . She rubbed the oil over his paw. She felt his nose sniffing on her hand. You like? Is sage and sandalwood. With your permission, I want to have you whole arm covered. I am starting with your paw. This is going to be different that petting your fur. See I am just touching your paw a bit more; not harder. I do not mean to tickle you. Kate bent his wrist a few times. You may extend your claws. Look they have grown some. Soon you will have formative weapons." Kate placed her hand on top of his paw and began to massage is wrist and lowest stripe. "You have very nice markings. The signify your are a Savannah cat. You will not be seen in the meadow in summer. You will blend in with the grasses. "I get it. The oil on your fur feels strange. You can taste it. It will not hurt you. I will have it blended into you skin and you will feel good. I an just petting you up to your shoulder. I want you relaxed and not freaking out." Kate continued rubbing his left paw and leg. You can watch or close you eyes. Now you know what I am doing. Thank you for trusting me. Does it tickle? This is to help you relax not be tickled."


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:12 pm 

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Jasper followed Kate to her room, pausing before jumping up onto the bed next to her. He sat next to her, his tail curling around his paws, as he listened to her. Thinking about everything he had learned the past few weeks, it reminded him of his first few years of training when he had had to learn everything thrown at him, or risk doing something to get himself killed in the arena. When Kate asked to touch his neck and shoulders, he tensed. He knew he could trust Kate, but everything in him was opposed to having his back so openly expose, making him vulnerable. But there was no danger here. Slowly, Jasper willed himself to do as Kate asked, giving her access to the back of his neck, his shoulders, and back, the area he held the most scars and healed wounds. He carefully lowered his head to her lap, his ears pulled back slightly. 

When he felt Kate's hand on his paw, he remained still, this was nothing she hadn't done before. He was a little worried when Kate told him she needed him to trust her. His ear flicked and he turned his head slightly to look up at her. He heard her remove the jar of oil and moved to pull away when he felt it on his paw. He sniffed at the oil and perked his ears to listen to Kate explain what it was and what she wanted to do. He didn't see any immediate harm in what she proposed and so he allowed her to continue, refraining from pulling away as much as he could. At the mention of his claws he extended them, noting that they were finally growing back. At least now he wouldn't be totally defenseless. Keeping a close eye on what Kate did, he felt a little guilty when Kate spoke. He hadn't meant to appear non trusting, but this was the first time something like this had been done to him. 

As Kate continued, Jasper closed his eyes, letting out a sigh. It didn't tickle, maybe his fur helped with that, but it did feel nice. Soon, he felt himself relaxing under Kate's hands, a soft purr following shortly after.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:48 pm 

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Kate smiled at his barely audible purr. His throat on her lap vibrated he lifted his head at tensed, Kate touched his left leg softly, "Easy, I love your purs. Do not stop purring. Your safe. Kate gently placed her hand on his back. Your used to my touch. Just breath. I am just going to hold my hand on your back. I know you not used to it. In time you will allow me to rub your back; it is sore and you only know pain. Your healing. Mental scares may never go away. I want you to have many days like today. I want to take you places of freedom and beauty. Soon you will be able to ask where you want to go. There is so much of the shire you have not seen. If you like, you can go with Jon and Papa on a hunt. Would you like that? Did you enjoy being out in the snow? Do you want to go to the lake and meadow again?"


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:08 pm 

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When Jasper realized what he was doing he cut of the purr and tensed, lifting his head to look at Kate apologetically. Slowly he relaxed again, only to tense and flinch slightly at Kate's hand on his back. When she didn't move it, Jasper forced the muscles to calm and relax once more under the touch. Laying his head once more in Kate's lap, his ears twitched as he listened to her speak. 

He had never been on a hunt, he had heard about them yes from other servants who had accompanied lords on such things, but never participated himself. If it was anything like he had heard, it would be interesting to get to join. As for the snow, he had enjoyed himself even though he didn't fully understand everything. When Kate asked if he wanted to return to the lake and meadow, he looked up to her, a spark of hope mixed with the conflicting feelings in his eyes. He wanted to return yes, but at the same time he didn't feel it was his place to decide these things, even though he had been assured many times of the opposite.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:42 pm 

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Kate knew he would hate his back being touched bur he relaxed again. She released her mana and felt his tension give way. How long he had been hurting in silence she could only guess. His eye told all was hopeful confusion. She smiled as she spoke in meows and mews, "You speak with you eyes and I am so glad. Jasper, I have been taught to cat speak. May we talk in cat? Were permitted to use cat-speak?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:55 pm 

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Jasper's eyes flashed when Kate spoke cat-speak, his ears flicking as he listened. At her comment on his eyes, he lowered his head, embarrassed. He had always been told he could be read easily by his eyes and it had always bothered him. Learning how to avoid eye contact had been one of his easiest skills to pick up on. It was a surprise to hear that Kate had been taught cat speak as it wasn't the usual language taught, with very few actually knowing enough to speak it. He had not been permitted to use it before, being forced to use common English whenever he was required to speak.

"Why were you taught cat-speak?" He asked with his own series of mews.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:10 pm 

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Kate mewed back as she toyed with the fur on his back, "Yes, it was required that we take an animal language. I had a cat and and spoke in simple terms at first. I already knew fox. I am so happy your speaking. I have so many questions. The first being how am I doing? Am I taking your learning too fast?"


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:19 pm 

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It was interesting to Jasper that Kate had to learn an animal language, he had met very few who actually knew one. He felt Kate's hand playing with the fur on his back and lightly leaned into the touch. At her questions Jasper blinked, processing what she had asked and trying to come up with an answer. He wasn't sure how to answer the first question, having very little to compare with. The second question however was difficult to answer. He knew he had a lot to learn in a short amount of time and Kate was doing her best to teach him, but he hadn't been brought up with academics or anything of the sort. Trying to figure out what appeared to be basic concepts was a challenge and he wasn't looking forward to what came next. His learning outside of this was hit and miss. Some things he took to easily, while others were completely foreign. 

He struggled trying to come up with an answer for Kate.

"You are doing what you must." He admitted, his eyes cast down. 

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:52 pm 

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Kate leaned over him and gave him a gentle hug, "This really had been difficult for you. Would you like to stay in your Savannah form a few days and just have time to settle in. Change forms on your own terms than be dragged places. Do you want time to breath and not go anywhere?"


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:12 pm 

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Jasper remained still when Kate hugged him. He was growing more accustom to being hugged, though it still surprised him whenever it happened. The idea of getting the chance to rest for a few days, shifting when he wanted, was intriguing. Before, he had been mostly split between one or the other, human mainly in the arena, and Savannah with Malora. Of course, he had switched between forms in the pits, and with Malora, and with Kate he had been free to switch between them for the most part. Both forms had their perks, and he couldn't really choose one over the other unless for certain tasks. Though it was true that it was easier to hide his feelings as a Savannah. 

Spending time not doing anything was something Jasper was not use to. He was use to working whenever he could, so being idle was a hard thing for him to do. He thought if he was given time to just relax he wouldn't know what to do with himself. A few quiet days would be nice, but he knew he would end up trying to find something to do. Though he knew Kate would be keeping an eye on him the whole time.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:53 pm 

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Kate released him and mewed, "How about I give you some space. You get board you can keep Ann and Peel company. I'll take you back to the lake this weekend. There are just locals for the town Festival. The real fun will not happen until Saturday. Sara and I will be fine getting the house decorated and busy buying thing for the ball. You will just find it all boring fetch and carry."

Three days passed the only real event was Fluffy brought him a dead rodent and sniffed at him. He was too big or did not smell like a pure cat. She did not know what to think of the intruder in her territory. He was a giant compared to her. He could have eaten her alive. She would just stick her head and tail in the air when she saw him go into her human's bedroom at night. Fluffy spent the nights on Sara's bed.

On Saturday morning Ann made her famous biscuits with baked apples and sausage. She was too busy today helping cook tonight's supper for the Yearly ball. After breakfast the servants would be scurrying to get the house polished for the event. Kate sat next to Jasper for all meals. She left him Jasper to do as he wanted and so did the rest of the family. Ann would set out food and water and a pet bed for him beside the cooking fire in the kitchen.

After breakfast the house was too busy that Kate called, "Jasper, I am just in the way. Would you like to go for a sleigh ride to the lake. Jon and Sara want to ride with Peel into town. You and can go into town next week. Crowds just make you nervous." Kate dressed into a quilted skirt with warm underpinnings; a cotton. plain blouse, and blue sweater with a Scottie dog on the front. She waited in the hall once she was ready, "Jasper, I am ready. Be sure you have on long johns. Today is suppose to be nippy."


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