Wordcount: 389 words
How Many Vu’s in Déjà?
Cat showed up again while Wendy was out back working on the woodpile with Gray. The tom wandered in from the direction of the trail looking rather pleased with himself and none the worse for wear. She’d been slightly worried when he’d left them to travel the river alone and Moonstar’s mention of other stories made her wonder what he’d been up to. She clucked to him, but he ignored her, draping himself over a sun-warmed rock instead.
“Are you back to stay this time, or just for dinner?” She laughed as Cat pointedly ignored her, but she could see his nose twitch at the smells coming from the inn’s kitchen. “Riley’s inside working dishes, I’m sure she can find you something.”
“You should make him work,” Gray muttered, swinging the axe in almost lazy arcs. “Ain’t fair the rest of us should earn his supper when he’s got tools to feed himself.”
“Somehow I can’t quite see him managing the axe.”
“I meant the barn; plenty of vermin needing to be put out of their misery I’m sure.” Wendy moved in to pile the split logs against the far wall of the inn. Gray paused to wipe his forehead with a sleeve and give Cat a glare. “And don’t tell me that’s meddling, you meddle plenty when you feel like it.”
Cat sniffed and groomed an already pristine paw, flexing his claws.
“I think we’ve meddled in enough stories as it is,” Wendy interrupted firmly. “I’m sure the stablehands wouldn’t mind a reduction in the local rodent population, but you might try the kitchen as well. The kitchen will reward you better than the stable, right?” She pointed to the servant entrance. “Now shoo, we’ve got work to do here and I’m not having you distract the nice man with the axe, kapeesh?”
Cat blinked, then yawned sleepily and dragged himself off of the rock and in the direction of the kitchen. But just by coincidence. Really.
Wendy sighed and turned back to the seemingly endless piles of wood only to find that Gray was leaning on the axe and looking at her oddly. “What?”
“Someday you’ll have to tell me who you are.”
“Like I said,” he hefted the axe with a grin, “someday.”
She resisted throwing the next log at him, but only barely.