“Princess,” a voice was calling him. He didn’t want to wake up. He was so tired. He also hurt. “Princess!” The voice was insistent.
“Wake up!” the Boss’ voice jerked him fully awake. Oh Bast! Was he late for work again? He had to get up and get there. The Boss…the Boss was here?
“I’m up,” he said. “I’m up Boss. Why are you…” He stopped. Ducks was leaning over him and the Boss peered over Ducks’ shoulder. “I’m not home. What? Where? Where am I?”
“The morgue,” Crusher replied. He looked to his right. “Ducks, is he ok?” Ducks smiled.
“Yes,” the brown tabby smiled. “He will need to take it easy and get some rest, but he should make a full recovery.”
“What happened?” Crusher demanded. “What the hell were you thinking? Why did you go there without backup?” Princess was chastened. His head was going to explode. The Boss’ angry face swam in front of him.
“The park was someplace we’d already searched, Boss,” he said. That was brilliant, Princess. What kind of explanation was that?
“Why did you go there then?”
“I had the feeling that there was something I missed,” Princess said. “Something I overlooked.”
“Did you find it?” Crusher looked only slightly less angry than he had moments before.
“No,” Princess said. “He was there. The killer was there, in a thicket of shrubs. I never saw him there. He attacked me.”
“Who was it?”
“No idea,” Princess said, “But his scent was the same as those tufts of fur. I think he may be the same color.” That was brilliant. Of course, he was the same color as the tufts of fur. They were tufts of his fur. Princess was surprised when Crusher let it pass. “I mean, they were his fur.”
“He needs rest,” Ducks said. “Let him sleep some more. I recommend that he stay here and sleep until morning.” Crusher frowned, but turned away.
“Get some sleep, Princess,” he said. “Make your report in the morning.”
“How did I get here?” Princess asked. Crusher stopped and turned.
“St. Peter brought you,” he said. “He told us what he’d seen, which wasn’t a lot. You stay here and try to remember everything that happened.”
Sassy walked into the room, moving with her usual sensual grace. Princess watched her walk towards him.
“How are you feeling?” she asked.
“Sore,” Princess admitted. He was sore. “But not that bad.” That was a lie. He hurt all over. “I never even saw him coming.”
“It was twilight,” Sassy said, nodding. “You were not able to get a good look at him?”
“Well, I was fighting for my life,” Princess said sharply, wondering why he felt so defensive. Again, Sassy nodded.
“Yes,” she said. What did that mean? “I am pleased that you are not dead.” What did that mean?
“You’d miss me?” Princess tried to sit up. she pushed him back down, gently, but it still hurt.
“Yes. Of course I would.” Princess felt a warm glow come over him. It was almost worth the pain. Then she spoiled it. “You are a good agent. It would be a shame to lose someone with your experience.” Princess smiled ruefully.
“Crusher was angry because I went to the park without backup,” he said.
“Who takes backup to the park?” she countered. Princess considered the question.
“Depends on the backup,” he said. “Picnics can be fun with the right cat.” Sassy smiled.
“I’m glad you are feeling better,” she said. “I mustn’t tire you.” She turned to go. She paused at the door and turned back. “You might remember more details if you don’t try too hard to do so, yes?”
“I don’t know,” he replied.
“You will,” she affirmed and left the room.