Castle Roland

Somerset Farm

by Jamie Haze

In Progress

Chapter 69

Posted: 6 Jul 15


Jamie Haze

Pettie and Scott had been talking more and more about chartering a small jet to fly home to Texas to see what their new found fortunes had bought courtesy of one Jorge, a drug lord, recently deceased. They had Big Pettie Cross, Pettie's father, buy all the property that separated their two ranches, including the all- important water rights, drill wells, improve the grazing lands, and stock the new expanded ranch with the finest registered herds that someone else's money could buy. The result wasn't the biggest ranch in Texas, but it was one of the most modern, efficient and they fully expected it to become one of the most profitable in the Great State of Texas due in no small part because Big Pettie long had a policy of drilling wells and restoring marginal over-grazed range into green grass covered pasture as he could afford the improvements. Verdant, healthy pasture equaled larger, healthier and heavier herds of cattle.

They planned to keep the jet on standby for three days and then fly with Pettie's family to Dagger Key to rejoin the rest of the Family to enjoy Christmas there. Then the day after Christmas, everyone would fly in Evan's Big Bird, a 747, to Medi's home country, Bachal, a destination resort on the coast of the Arabian Sea that in turn just happened to be floating on a sea of oil that financed the resort kingdom and Medi, the Crown Prince's lifestyle while he was away at school in America.

Bani was interested in raising cattle on some of the millions of acres of land that JC leased from the government to prevent the land from being exploited for oil, gas and minerals while protecting the Cat People's and Great Cat territory as well as his home just across the river. At breakfast, the day before they were scheduled to leave, Pettie discussed raising cattle on larger natural range lands and mentioned his little brother Hughie, who was torn between riding his horse or the scaled down all-terrain vehicle (ATV) around the expanded property.

Squeak perked up and asked how old Hughie was. Pettie said Hughie just turned five years old and at times acted like he was 25, but he thought it would be good for Hughie and Squeak to meet and perhaps pal around together during the upcoming trip since they were nearly the same age.

Squeak wolfed the rest of his breakfast, wiped his face on the same towel he used on Spot, jumped from his custom built modified dining room chair and called for Spot to follow because they needed to pack for their trip to the Great State of Texas.

"Open mouth, change feet, Pettie," Doug said with a laugh.

"Why, what'd I do?"

Scott rolled his eyes and grinned at his big and sometimes innocent partner, "I think you just invited Squeak on our trip and he invited Spot."

"About your trip," Bucky cut in, "I think you should use Kermit so you and your larger party will be more comfortable flying to Texas and then flying on to Dagger Key with your family." Kermit had become available after it returned Tara Peter the Finder and Great Cat Freckles, suddenly, to deal with the stolen treasure. What Bucky did not say was that he wanted Kermit to accompany Big Bird to Bachal to act as a kind of family lifeboat in the event of an emergency since the Middle Eastern region was in constant turmoil somewhere.

Bucky did not know that Evan had much the same thought, only his 'lifeboat' was going to be Sea Song, that would be docked in Bachal's port by the time the Family arrived. He'd ordered Sea Songs' overhaul to be completed in record time using every resource available in his Hamburg shipyards without fail or any excuses.

Fortunately, Sea Song had much the same limited 'thought'. Thanks to Freckles, the near sentient mega expedition yacht had self-ordered every major and minor part, fitting and all supplies including those necessary for unspecified 'improvements' that were sitting on the German dock waiting to be installed by every available body in the shipyard who he placed on standby to begin work as soon as Sea Song reached its dry dock. Sea Song took the liberty of signing Evan's, Gregor's and/or Meesha's name to a blizzard of emails to accomplish the impossible and Evan's additional blunt order was a lucky bonus.

Pettie, Scott, Squeak and Spot met Kermit at the airport near Trenton Hall that would soon be Kermit's home base. They drove Big Foot, whose truck bed was piled high with luggage, most of which belonged to Squeak, the fashionista of four year olds. He did not bother to check the weather for Texas, the Bahamas or Bachal or ask if cloth coverings would even be required at times. He assumed the other places to be more lands of snow and ice and he wanted to be prepared for any eventuality. Spot boarded first, he carried nothing but wore his Catpack, a new bowtie that Victoria thought looked 'fetching' whatever that meant, and his glasses. He'd packed his Catpack with additional neckties, a spare pair of eyeglasses and Squeak's Cat warrior kit while Squeak always carried his Ancient tool on his person somewhere although he had discovered that with some concentration a pointed finger worked almost as well.

Spot stopped in the cockpit to greet the pilots, Sky warriors Oscar and Sean as well as Kermit. Oscar felt free to caution Spot about their air speed during the flight to Texas since they would be in US airspace, over land constantly; under no circumstances could they fly faster than .95 of Mach One since no private or commercial jets could officially break the sound barrier and Kermit would be visible on radar constantly so no fooling around. Even Kermit himself agreed regretfully; his true potential must remain confidential until he was well out over a large body of water in international air space.

Tracy emerged from the crowded galley that was over-flowing with food and liquid refreshments. He greeted Spot by scratching his ears with both hands. While Tracy had been promoted to the august position of Executive Assistant to all Great Cats, Bucky hadn't had time to hire a replacement steward, so Tracy was serving double duty, which wasn't much more work at all, plus his promotion made him one of the extended Family. Two other Family members were aboard and the reason for the flight to Texas. Tracy was very interested in knowing Pettie and Scott's athletic swimmer's bodies more intimately during the flight.

While Tracy was just wearing a pair of shorts and a tee shirt he had taken the liberty of anointing his whole body with Stuff and didn't seem concerned that Oscar and Sean could clearly see his erection through his shorts (they'd already seen him naked in the same condition). Angus had gifted Tracy a 10,000 year supply of Stuff, so he didn't skimp on the important parts.

Spot's sensitive nose also noted that the Sky warriors had also used Stuff recently. That was because Peter and Freckles gifted both with a Stuff supply of their own and recommended that they use it in the privacy of their bedrooms as soon as they got home. There was no doubt that their wives would be appreciative after the first sniff since both were already attempting to get their erections into more comfortable positions sitting in the cockpit seats and the reason they weren't shocked or surprised to see Tracy as hard as nails. Their wives were so very much appreciative, as promised; they were loath to be separated from their husbands, however necessary it was for them to earn a living.

Additionally, the men had nothing to do flying to or returning from Venezuela since Freckles took control of Kermit in both directions. To alleviate their boredom they turned on the rarely used cabin monitor and were thoroughly amused by seeing what gay boys including Tracy, assisted by a Great Cat could do with each other.

However this flight to Texas was most likely to be very boring, because the youngest Cat warrior joined the older boys at the last minute and they assumed that absolutely nothing of a sexual nature would take place for their inflight viewing pleasure. Little Squeak however had totally different plans.

Squeak had Pettie, Scott and Tracy as a 'captive audience'; they had nowhere to hide or the means to defend their 'virtues' at 35,000 feet altitude from a pint-size very experienced four year old lecher. Pettie and Scott were playfully grumbling about the quantity and presumed weight of Squeak's luggage although they had fun levitating the baggage so they guessed the weight, while Squeak balanced one particular bag on his head and ran to and into the plane. Squeak asked that two additional bags be brought into the passenger lounge and the rest went into the baggage compartment.

Kermit had just reached cruising altitude and speed when Squeak said, "You guys really should remove your cloth coverings so they are not damaged when they are removed for you."

The guys turned to see that Squeak was already naked, had his hands on his hips, tapping one foot keeping time with the inactivity and staring at Pettie's jeans. "Nope," Pettie said, "that one time back in your home lands was a lapse of good judgment that ain't gonna be repeated on this here airplane."

Squeak grinned and blinked. The buttons on the western style shirts the two ranchers were wearing began to pop, starting with the pocket flaps, and then working down slowly, one at a time from their necks. "Alright already, we give up," Scott capitulated and pulled his shirt tail from his pants.

"Just once more," Pettie agreed. He added, "But all them buttons best be back in place before we land," he threatened an empty threat, although Squeak agreed with a nod and returned the buttons so they could be unbuttoned.

Tracy watched what he thought of as an 'unveiling' and was gratified to see the resulting stunning bare bodies before he departed for the galley to mix drinks, fix snacks and remove his two items of clothing, flip flops didn't count. "I thought you Great Cats had your own bowls. Did you forget them? I guess you'll have to drink from the sterling punch bowl we still have onboard," he called back to the main lounge

"What, you forgot your travel bowls?" Pettie almost moaned. He took every opportunity to jab one of the Great Cat brothers if a rare chance presented itself. In this case, Squeak was busy applying a heavy coating of Stuff to his cock and balls while Spot was treating Scott's equipment with his tongue. Scott was also the more liberal minded of the partnership. Once he got hard, he didn't care about the age of the mouth that was giving him relief. Pettie and Scott were very popular white warriors among the male Cat People population and thanks to liberal applications of paste, renamed Stuff, they were able to satisfy all comers in the dark, while Pettie continued to make believe that every mouth was older than it actually was.

"My travel bowls are new so they are still slow, but they are waiting to be filled in your little food hut." Spot said about the bowls. Then he pointed out the two large, very heavy bags. "Those two bags contain food and wine," he said and added, "That was a hint."

Tracy took the hint and the bags, although the additions weren't needed. He had the galley packed and more in a hanging locker since he'd fed Freckles on earlier flights and knew how much a Great Cat could eat and drink.

When he returned with a filled golden travel bowl whose rim was adorned with pineapple wedges with more wedges floating along with a few maraschino cherries that had yet to perversely dive to the bottom, Spot took Tracy literally in 'tow', pushed him down on a sofa and began a full body grooming. Spot was aware that his sire Fang had given Tracy similar treatments and the boy enjoyed being licked off as much or more than being sucked off by another boy. A simple mind touch revealed that Tracy also much preferred being on the 'bottom' especially when mounted by an athletic body so Spot utilized his tail to fill that void and sent him images and feelings from Scott and Pettie's memories.

While Tracy was getting his treatment, he watched little Squeak use his mouth on Pettie while Pettie and Scott made out together with total abandon. There was no point in Pettie pretending in the well-lighted cabin and after Pettie exploded in Squeak's mouth, Squeak moved over to Scott without taking a breath. That session only lasted seconds before Squeak was rewarded for his efforts once again. Tracy soon blasted his contribution up to his chin and back to the source only to have Spot clean up the spots almost as fast as they landed.

Once the group was satiated for the moment or hopefully long enough to have a drink and the first round of Cat and people snacks, Tracy ran to the galley and the guys followed to help. Spot dove straight to the bottom of his so far untouched drink to begin the challenge of capturing the tricky and very fast cherries. It wasn't long before he called out for help; he couldn't lift his head without dripping sticky drink on Kermit's insides. Squeak grabbed a towel and ran back into the cabin while laughing at what he knew he would find.

There was Spot with his head in the empty bowl with not one ice cube, pineapple wedge or maraschino cherry remaining. After he lifted his head and Squeak wiped his face, Squeak began laughing again because whatever vintage wine Tracy used to make the drink left Spot's whiskers a particularly noticeable dark shade of pink. Fortunately the Cats didn't care about the color of their whiskers; color was a byproduct of the dunking game and coincidentally something of another affectation, just like neckties and eyeglasses. No other cat species wore any sort of accoutrements and certainly none, except two teenage Great Cats, had pink whiskers.

A degree of calm settled in after the first round of sex, the boys drank wine sparingly and passed their finger foods while Squeak drank what Tracy made for Spot by dipping his glass in Spot's bowl well before there wasn't enough to share and if he dipped a cherry by accident, Spot demanded that it be returned. Squeak sat on Pettie's bare lap and was careful not to sit on his cock since it made an excellent robot that could do little more than raise his head and shaft on demand (with some internal help from Pettie) but for a little boy who played with deadly weapons all his young life, Pettie's toy was most amusing. The snacks and Tracy's drink supplies were gone just in time for Oscar to announce that Kermit was 30 minutes from landing at a remote county airport in the Great State of Texas.

There had been a persistent rumor circulating around the county that Little Pettie Cross and Scott Turner were returning home for the holidays AND more astounding, they were flying in a private executive jet aircraft. While there were a few pilots among the county ranching community, none owned their own jet. The rumor remained a rumor until Hughie confirmed Pettie and Scott's arrival, and more importantly exactly when, where and their arrival time by confiding in the local rural route postal carrier, Oscar, who frequently carried more news than mail.

After the rumor became fact, half the county population contrived to be 'just passing by the airport' and decided to watch the jet land. Other jets had landed there previously; perhaps one or two per year for whatever reason and were always worth a mention in the local weekly newspaper. This eagerly awaited jet carried two local boys who had struck it rich somehow and Big Pettie Cross had bought up half the county to join the Cross ranch with the Turner property and more.

Pettie called his father just before takeoff. He asked that their crew cab be brought to the airport in addition to the family SUV. Then he asked that his father, mother and Hughie come aboard as soon as the jet landed and the hatch was opened; he had two very special guests that he wanted the family to meet out of sight and the big ears of everyone else.

Just after Bucky's Challenger, way too big to be a Lear jet, too long and too many windows, landed, parked and the hatch dropped open to create steps, Big Pettie reached down and said to Hughie, "Take my hand," when he saw his little boy already climbing into the plane.

Then Big Pettie heard Hughie shout, "HOLY SHIT PETTIE, I THOUGH IT WAS STUFFED!"

He clearly heard Little Pettie laugh and answer, "As you can see I am not stuffed." Big Pettie did not know that Hughie was then being tickled by a prehensile tail or know that Spot used Pettie's voice to answer Hughie.

By the time Big Pettie and his wife Sara climbed the steps, they froze in place to watch Hughie and a smaller boy with their arms companionably over each other's shoulders as if they'd been bosom buddies forever. It hardly mattered that the pair were talking with a giant cat as if he was part of their group that included Little Pettie and Scott.

Little Pettie performed the introductions, "Mom and Dad, this is Tara Squeak, Tara means Lord in their language and this overgrown fur ball is Spot, he's a Great Cat and Squeak's best friend. Both of them have some unusual abilities, like Spot's tail that is trying to tickle me in my ear as we speak. Cut the crap, Spot!" Pettie demanded as he tried to capture the elusive tail in his hands. "Spot can also talk if he wants to and imitate a human exactly if I don't want him to. He doesn't talk like we do; he uses that gem you see around his neck, called a communicator."

"Everyone who can mind-speak has one," Squeak volunteered to Little Pettie's explanation as he opened his shirt to show off his chest to Hughie and incidentally his sparkling emerald, "Pretty nice huh?" he asked Hughie. Somehow Hughie knew Squeak wasn't asking about his gem.

"Yup, nice," Hughie agreed. He wasn't referring to the gem either. That was the first time that he admired another boy's body that was as old or as young as he was.

"Oh, this is Tracy. Believe it or not Tracy is Spot's Executive Assistant. Great Cats have to have human help occasionally because we have thumbs while they just have those annoying tails but no thumbs."

Pettie explained that he'd asked for the truck because Spot liked the additional headroom. He did not say that Spot also enjoyed driving or that while Tracy would be sitting in the driver's seat, that's all he'd be doing. "Who wants a ride to the big foot truck?" Spot asked the kids. That question also decided which truck the kids would be riding in to return to the ranch.

Spot seated Squeak first and Hughie behind him, "Hold on tight," Big Pettie told his son a second after Spot leaped from the plane and sprinted to the truck that seemed to open its doors when it saw the Cat coming.

There was a giant intake of breath from the townsfolk when a Cat leaped from the plane. Then they thought they were imagining things; there was no spotted cat. It all happened so fast. Then Spot confirmed his presence by sticking his head out of the open sunroof, a clever innovation he thought should be added to all motor vehicles. Spot and the kids were in the truck before the shocked audience thought about the danger Hughie Cross was in, riding on a trained wild cat with a strange foreign boy; an 'outsider'.

It was obvious that Big Pettie and Sara were entirely too liberal and permissive in raising their boys, they mumbled together and of course smiled and waved at the same parents on their way to their SUV with Little Pettie and Walt Turner's grandson Scott; both 'insiders'. It wasn't nice or politic to criticize one of their own who was rapidly becoming the largest land owner in the county.

Pettie told his parents that they needed to make a few stops on the way home; the supermarket to buy enough steaks for dinner, the bakery to buy hoagie rolls to make steak sandwiches so Spot could feed himself, the liquor store to buy wine by the case and lastly Sam's Club to stock up on fresh fruit including pineapples and hopefully maraschino cherries by the gallon. They didn't go to the market because Big Pettie just put two steers in their cooler, so their first stop was the liquor store.

Pettie invited Spot into the store so he could point out the brands and vintages he liked the most from Chief Bucky's wine cellar, while the store manager and cashier managed to stay on the opposite side of the store until the boys and Big Pettie began lugging full cases to the cash register; then they had no choice. Tracy added a case of his personal favorite, Grey Goose vodka to the wine and as the total began to climb, Squeak ran out to the truck and returned with a large bag balanced on his head as if it was all but empty, until it thunked when he sat it on the counter and told the cashier to help herself to pay the bill.

All the cashier saw when she opened the bag was bundles of currency banded with $10,000 printed on the paper straps. One bundle was more than enough. Squeak handed off the change to Tracy and gave him full charge of the money bag hence forth.

Big Pettie perversely invited Spot into Sam's Club because shopping there was always a pain in the ass, even if it wasn't a few days before Christmas. That day the store was packed with shoppers. Little Pettie wrangled a big flat cart that Spot thought was for he and the kids to ride on while Pettie pushed them around so Scott got another for their purchases. That shopping experience was lightning fast. Aisles cleared via the opposite ends as they approached with the shoppers hurrying into parallel aisles so they could peek at the cat through the pallet steel over and around the stacked merchandise, while the Cat was amused by peeking back and winking. Poor Tracy followed while lugging the heavy bag packed with currency and looking at every shopper as a potential thief who somehow knew what was in his giant pocketbook, purse or in Tracy's case a 'murce'.

Some of the checkout lanes were 15 shoppers long until the Cross party decided it was time to check out. Then each and every one of those shoppers remembered something vital that they just had to have, that just happened to be stocked in the farthest reaches of the most distant parts of the store. Spot turned perverse after check out; he refused to walk back to the truck. He wanted to ride on the flat cart, another neat human innovation he had no doubt was intended solely for casual Great Cat use with Little Pettie pushing, of course.

Spot did not go into the bakery. The actual bakery was a large wholesale operation but the retail area was small, too small for the Great Cat and any other customers. Spot sat in the truck with his head stuck through the sunroof. He enjoyed the wonderful bakery odors and played 'blink' with humans in the parking lot. Spot always won while the humans turned away with the distinct feeling that somehow their minds had been violated.

Hughie always enjoyed trips to the bakery because he always got a doughnut to eat, so this trip, since he was spending someone else's money, he bought three dozen to share with his new friends. Spot began drooling as soon as he saw Hughie coming with three flat boxes. Hughie gave Spot two dozen and shared the third dozen with Squeak and Tracy.

Doughnuts with holes or jelly filled were perfect Great Cat treats. Spot proved that by eating all of his before the boys had barely tasted their first doughnut and of course Great Cats were not too proud to beg a human boy's share. "You should not beg food," Squeak scolded, "Don't you feel somewhat embarrassed by looking like a starving female like Lucy House Cat with a family to feed?"

Spot wagged his ears; a sign of indifference before he said, "I am a growing Great Cat I must have delicious food and I do not care where I get it or who I get it from. I see you still have two delicious doughnuts left to eat. Would you consider sharing?" Squeak answered by eating one treat as fast as possible while he hid the second doughnut behind his back; hopefully 'out of sight, out of mind' might apply.

Since the real drivers were distracted, and the truck hadn't left the bakery parking lot yet, Tracy stood on the brakes. He'd eaten his share of the doughnuts as fast as possible, since he was the Great Cat's employee he may have been coerced into sharing. "Look," he said, "why don't I go back in and order lots more doughnuts that we can pick up late this afternoon when we pick up the hoagie rolls?"

"Order extra so we have some left to eat at morning food," Spot said by way of agreeing and while he was agreeing the kids wolfed the last of their shares.

Hughie looked at the empty space where the doughnut boxes had been ten seconds earlier. "Hey, where did the boxes go?"

"I returned them," Spot answered matter of factly as if teleportation was an everyday occurrence.

Tracy was all smiles when he returned from the bakery. "Our order of rolls and doughnuts is bigger than some of their commercial accounts so they'll deliver to your ranch and just to be sure everything is fresh, I duplicated today's order to be delivered early tomorrow morning. Now we should get going so Hughie's parents don't worry. Who's driving to the ranch?"

Spot and Squeak decided that Hughie should drive just by thinking of where he wanted to go and the truck's speed. Spot moved both boys up to the truck roof with their legs over the windshield, an unthinkable move if Hughie's mother was present. Tracy looked ahead to make sure the road was clear since the little boys were talking and seemingly Hughie was not paying attention.

But Hughie was paying attention. He smiled without reason and increased speed to 70 mph as they approached a fence line that intersected the road. There was a closed gate to one side but no obvious gate across the road. Although the road appeared to be different for a very short space; all of a sudden, there was a horrendous clatter of metal on metal that stopped almost as soon as it started. Spot ducked but his head was outside the truck so he cracked his chin on the roof, while Squeak pointed an index finger hither and yon looking for the perpetrator of the sudden attack, if it was an attack.

"Gottcha and gottcha real good!" Hughie sang through his laughter, "That noise was a cattle guard we use instead of gates. Cows won't cross the loose pipes. You should have seen your faces; you looked like you were scared shitless."

That was the moment Hughie felt a furry tail wrap around his neck and lift him up so just his toes touched the truck roof. "If we are to become friends," Spot said carefully, "you must allow us to join your joke playing team."

"Joke playing, do you mean playing practical jokes? You can join if you put me down," Hughie bartered his freedom. It was obvious that Spot did not like rude surprises that included being 'scared shitless', to quote Hughie.

When Hughie agreed at once, Spot brought both boys back into the truck for a group hug, during which Hughie was appointed the chief of the newly formed practical joke club. Tracy slowed the truck when they were passing a really verdant green pasture that was spoiled by some sort of randomly plowed up areas. "What's that messed up area all about Hughie?"

"We just got this whole section cleared, seeded and irrigated and now the damn wild pigs are comin' in rootin' for bugs and worms and eatin' the pasture grass roots and all."

Both Spot and Squeak looked all around them and couldn't see any sort of cover where wild or feral pigs could hide unlike their homelands where there was cover everywhere. "Where do these swine hide," Spot questioned.

"There's a big part of a section over there just below the horizon, we call, 'Hog Heaven'. It's a long, mostly dry river bed that's all covered with rocks, brush and scrub oaks, that's where they hide out during the day an' come out in the dark to wreck our pasture when we can't see to shoot their asses," Hughie said with the look of a thunder cloud. Whenever he said 'we' he meant all three of the Cross men. ALL of them were offended by the fact that they hadn't been able to eradicate the feral swine. Squeak was pleased that his new friend needed his and Spot's help.

The Texas Big Foot got to the Cross ranch house after three more cattle guards and by then, Spot no longer reacted – outwardly, but he suddenly had a hard on for all cattle guards. He wondered if Squeak could help by stopping the noise without allowing the cattle to cross the guard.

The guys and big Pettie unloaded the truck while Hughie led Squeak and Spot into the TV room they'd asked about to better 'see' the wild hog problem somehow, but first Squeak had to deal with Hughie's mother. Sara treated Hughie's few friends just like she did her sons; she liked to hug them equally and administer kisses on cheeks in a motherly fashion.

Squeak was a little bit younger than Hughie and he was almost a head shorter. That made his doll-like exotic form eminently more huggable. Squeak accepted the hugging part but he was surprised by the kiss on his cheek. Mothers among the Cat People kissed their mates and their children as long as they were young enough to catch, but no females kissed other males of any age while males of any age could kiss any other males of any age if both parties were agreeable, as a prelude to more advanced sex. Things were obviously done differently in Texas white warrior society. Kissing between sexes was obviously permitted. Squeak responded to Sara's motherly kiss on his cheek by returning one on her lips with his mouth open and his small but muscular tongue attempting to gain access to her mouth by prying her teeth apart.

Sara Cross's eyes flew open wide as she deposited Squeak back on the floor before she rushed off to the kitchen. Hughie watched Squeak and his mother before he had to bury his face in a pillow to hide his laughter. "My mom won't try that with you again," Hughie told Squeak when he could. Squeak just looked confused and shrugged the incident away.

Spot had occupied the sofa and the TV had been turned on to some channel that showed aerial views of ranch country. Squeak and Hughie each claimed one of Spot's front legs to hug while they looked at the TV. Snoopy was engaged but was wandering aimlessly until Big Pettie and Sara took their two lounge chairs. Then Snoopy zoomed into the Cross ranch, all the buildings and finally the house, straight down into the TV room by way of introduction. After the usual waving and words of amazement, Hughie pointed out a specific direction and Snoopy followed his finger from a greater altitude until Hughie said to stop. Squeak had Snoopy zoom in, refocus and suddenly, there was a view of Hog Heaven from the air.

They saw the rough terrain but couldn't see any pigs until Spot switched Snoopy to infrared, and there they were. There were 100s of them in all sizes big enough for Snoopy to see. The individual herds seemed to be rough family groups that ranged in size from three or four to over 20 not including newborn piglets grouped together that Snoopy would see as one heat bloom.

"Even a small herd of them sons-a-bitches have been known to take down a calf," Big Pettie grumbled, "although it hasn't happened here yet. It could since most of that section is now our land and we feel responsible."

"Hey Spot," Little Pettie called from the kitchen, "if your travel bowls don't get here soon y'all are goin' to have to drink out of a big stew pot!"

"Did anyone ever tell you that your oldest progeny is a wise ass?" Spot asked Big Pettie, who laughed and nodded his agreement. "Wait for it, that big white warrior should be running in here just about NOW!" With that prophecy, Pettie, Scott and Tracy began screaming cautions to each other as they were herded into the family TV room chased by a series of neatly placed Ancient storage boxes that appeared behind them from the ceiling. The last box settled on the coffee table in front of Sara.

"You are one nasty Cat," Little Pettie told Spot, "Are you tryin' to kill us?"

"I would not wish to break a storage box on your heads," Spot replied with a malicious smile. "These contain a proper food service we had stored in our traveling compartment when Tara Squeak and I came to America. Great Cat bowls and platters are in the kitchen waiting to be filled. That was a hint," he added.

Of course, Sara began protesting that she couldn't accept such a gift after Spot advised her that she could feed 12 humans and one Great Cat with the gift. She said she had a set of stoneware for everyday and a set of China and stemware she planned to use for them while they were guests. While she talked her fingers felt along the box edges to find the latch so she could see what she was refusing.

Squeak whispered to Hughie, Hughie shouted, "ABRACADABRA!" and the box popped open with the blink of Squeak's eyes and snapped closed again before Sara could glimpse the contents. "You have to say the magic word Mommy, everyone knows that," Hughie chided most knowledgeably.

The box stayed open after Sara played the game. Her eyes widened when she lifted the first gem studded, short stemmed, golden goblet from the box. Little Pettie assured his mother that the gems and gold were real even though she was too polite to ask and offend her guests. He told her to wait and see what else the golden dishes and drink ware would do when put into use, while he and Scott levitated the boxes up and guided them to the kitchen. Sara was left to admire the goblet she held until Spot sent that one away in slow motion at Pettie's head. He caught it and laughed.

"I know," Pettie said, "that was another hint!"

Twenty minutes later drinks, finger foods and tail foods were served using the new Ancient gold ware. Hughie's 'cocktail' was made of ginger ale, pineapple juice, a pineapple wedge and a few cherries. He made a horrible face after the first sip. "I will fix that drink," Squeak said in mind-speak without thinking that Hughie couldn't 'hear' him.

Hughie grinned and watched his drink change to the same dark wine red color as Spot's, Squeak's and the adult's drinks. His grin broadened and he said, "Thank you," in mind-speak after his second sip. "It's strong, I'll have to go real slow so Mommy don't find out. Maybe we can have another one in bed tonight over at Pettie and Scott's house?"

Squeak and Spot looked amazed while the comment brought Little Pettie and Scott out of the kitchen to stare at Hughie. "Did you bring an extra communicator?" The three asked Spot in unison while Hughie remained unaware that he had just become a mind-speaker.

"IN COMING!" Spot shouted as loud as his communicator would allow. An emerald and gold chain blinked into the room on the coffee table.

Squeak held up the gem and ordered Hughie to remove his shirt so he could hang it around Hughie's neck. Hughie suspected that removing his shirt was not really necessary, but he'd admired Squeak's upper body and it was time to display his in return.

While Hughie had the body of a five year old who was a bit tall for his age, he was a horseman, a born equestrian and looked the part whether he was sitting a horse or not. He always walked or ran with an erect posture, never slouched or allowed his head to droop and stare at the floor and after Squeak allowed the new communicator's chain ends to bond it looked like the emerald belonged and it was proud to be displayed on the five year olds chest. Hughie's mother protested that the gem was too valuable for a boy his age to wear. She ordered him to remove it so she could put it away for safe keeping, so it wouldn't be lost or stolen.

Little Pettie opened his shirt and invited his mother to try removing his to prevent her from strangling Hughie or worse and after his chain shortened to the point it began to strangle him, he pulled away from her grasp and the chain loosened so his gem dangled between his pectorals once again. Pettie explained that anyone with theft on their minds would regret touching the gem or the chain for the rest of their lives after the burns healed.

Then what had become the ritual welcome began when Hughie's new communicator began to sparkle with, "CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?", As the question began to reverberate through his and the other mind-speaker's brains and surprisingly, Hughie was able to sort the questioners 'voices' to answer each individually by name.

Hughie and Squeak sat next to each other on their heels at dinner, and while Hughie had to wear his shirt he didn't button it all the way and somehow Squeak's shirt became unbuttoned so both gems not only showed above the table top, they glittered almost continuously while they ate. While the kids didn't say a word, they smiled and nodded together. Strangely, the other mind-speakers couldn't hear what Hughie said to Squeak. To be able to block his thoughts already was another unusual ability in a new mind-speaker, but of course, he had Tara Squeak as his instructor.

Tracy was kept busy tending to Spot and ate most of his dinner in the kitchen slicing steak and hoagie rolls while he kept an eagle eye on the stack of doughnut boxes to make sure none 'wandered' their way into the dining room prematurely after the first attempt that he was able to intercept manually in midair after a brief tug of war with an invisible opponent. Squeak was pleased to see that the new Executive Assistant to Great Cats could be as bossy as Peter was.

Tracy was ready for Spot after the last golden tray of steak sandwiches disappeared. He served a tray that was piled with assorted doughnuts and Spot was so busy eating the delicious treats, he didn't notice that no one else ate doughnuts for dessert until Tracy helped Sara serve dessert plates of large squares of carrot cake with cream cheese icing and a big scoop of vanilla ice cream; Little Pettie's favorite dessert.

At first, Spot tried intimidation by frowning at everyone, particularly Hughie and Squeak, but no one would make eye contact, so that didn't work. Next he tried begging via mind-speak and was surprised that the other mind-speakers, particularly Hughie, new to telepathy, blocked his plea, so that ploy failed as well. He was just about to resort to speech when Tracy and Sara appeared from the kitchen.

Sara had her mouth covered to hide her laughter, but Tracy didn't even try. However Tracy was carrying a smaller Cat food bowl that held his Cat size portion of the new human dessert treat. "There isn't anymore, so don't ask," Tracy informed his employer. He added, "I ate mine in the kitchen," he said after he sat down at his place next to Spot with a fresh towel but without a dessert when he saw Spot glance at his barren placemat.

The kids finished first of course. Then Hughie invited Squeak out to the stable to meet his horse Pal. 'Come on everyone," Pettie invited, "this is goin' to be fun! Aren't you done yet Spot? I want to see if our horses think of y'all as just another barn cat."

"Never mind the horses," Big Pettie said, "I want to see what the barn cats think about Spot." Spot finished eating his second dessert and just began to bolt for the door to catch up to the boys before Tracy blocked his way with a warm damp towel over his head. He stopped resisting when he felt Tracy's wiping his muzzle and chin and then combing his whiskers with his fingers.

"Now you look presentable enough to meet your cousins and the horses," Tracy said to Spot's rear while his tail latched on his wrist to drag him along.

Big and Little Pettie rolled back the stable doors to considerable snorts, nickers and hoof pounding. The stable was long, with box stalls along each side and another pair of sliding doors at the other end that opened on a corral. This main stable was the home of mares, older fillies and geldings for riding regularly and Big Pettie's stallion, Sky, on occasion when none of the mares or fillies were 'in season' or heat, meaning ready to breed.

Sky let everyone know when one of the 'girls' was ready. Then he had to be relocated to the stallion barn 300 yards away or risk him tearing up his stall and any other obstruction to get at the mare or filly; the breeding imperative was as strong as if the horse population used Stuff on those occasions.

Pettie turned on the lights to reveal every resident with its head out their stall doors. Father and son greeted Sky in the first stall, and Sky's brother Racer, Little Pettie's horse, a gelding with no interest in sex in the next stall. Hughie took Squeak's hand and they detoured into the tack room to fetch a pail of carrots and apples. Hughie's rule was; if one horse got a treat they all got a treat, the reason that all the residents were watching Hughie and watching both kids as they worked their way down the wide center corridor making introductions and dispensing treats based on individual horse preferences; an apple or a carrot.

Hughie saved Pal for last. He opened her door. She promptly stepped out far enough to stick her head in the pail. "Why are you such a greedy bitch? Get your nose out of that pail or no apple for you tonight." Pal didn't obey until Hughie punched her shoulder but by then she was already crunching her chosen apple.

That was the moment that Pal looked up at the open barn doors and saw Spot. She nickered a warning and promptly backed into the supposed safety of her stall. The biggest barn cat she ever saw was sitting just outside the doors in a classic cat pose with its tail wrapped around its paws, but that was where all similarities ended. Pal's warning turned all the other horse's heads. Some heads disappeared others seemed to be transfixed, or just plain nosey. Sky neighed a challenge with his ears flat back just like a Great Cat frowned or was about to pounce on living food or attack an enemy.

"Come closer Spot," Little Pettie instructed, "let him sniff you. He may just see you as a new strange cat."

After Sky and Spot actually touched noses for a split second, Spot said, "This Sky horse thinks I am too big to catch rodents, but he has not seen nutria, they are very delicious."

"Everything you eat is delicious and there's nothing you won't eat," Pettie reminded.

"Come out of there you big chicken horse," Hughie demanded of Pal. He giggled and said, "Don't be such a scardy cat." He looked at Spot, "Did y'all get that joke, Spot?" Then he told his father about the first cattle guard the outsiders encountered on the way home, including their individual reactions.

Spot stopped the revelations by opening Sky's door first and then the others as he padded toward Hughie in the semi-stalk mode. His tail lashed out to surround both little bodies, carry them to the floor and tickle them while he washed Hughie's face. That was Hughie's first experience with Stuff, the source of Squeak's alluring body scent. Then Hughie realized his big brother, Scott and Tracy carried the same odor; whatever it was, it was far better than his dad's aftershave.

Pal distracted Spot by venturing from her stall to give him a sniff before she accompanied the other freed horses to the corral. She seemed to know that whatever the big new barn cat was doing to her human partner was causing him to laugh not to harm him.

Spot left the kids to dust each other off while he resumed releasing the rest of the horses, a handy ability they all agreed the regular barn cats never did and probably couldn't do. So they decided that it would be a good thing to have him around.

With the horses gone, Squeak helped Hughie pour milk in one pan and dry cat food in another before Hughie whistled for the barn cats to come and eat, but not one cat showed its face, not while there was a giant relative occupying what was their personal space. Pettie surmised that they either went to the stallion barn, the loft above the stable or the hay barn that also housed feed. Spot wrinkled his nose at seeing the cat food that looked more like dry monkey shit than food.

While they were outside and near the pickup truck, Pettie burrowed into his bag and gave his father a jar of Stuff with a suggested use or two if his dad 'was of a mind'. Big Pettie's reaction after taking a sniff was to turn away from his nearly adult son to adjust himself and be sure his jacket was buttoned before they returned to the house. He admitted he'd been wondering what Little Pettie, Scott and especially Tracy's cologne or aftershave was.

Squeak found Sara in the kitchen, about to fill the dishwasher with her new golden dishes, after hand washing the gobbets and coffee mugs to be certain that none of the precious stones fell out of their settings. He helpfully cleaned everything with a blink and stacked what could be stacked on the counter, clean, dry, sparkling, and ready for morning food with another blink. Of course there were no leftovers and Spot took care of dispatching garbage and trash to nothingness while the bakery was beginning to wonder where the used doughnut boxes were coming from.

When Hughie made the mistake of yawning in front of his mother, it was obviously past the time that two little boys went to bed. She planned that Squeak would stay with Hughie at their house while the three older guys would sleep at the Turner house so they 'could be themselves'. Hughie was about to protest that decision when Spot sat him and Squeak on his back and raced out the kitchen door.

Hughie enjoyed holding Squeak tight in his arms, while Squeak enjoyed being wrapped in Hughie's arms. Hughie shivered from the cold before the trio left the ranch. In their haste to depart, Hughie didn't even think about wearing his coat; there wasn't time. Squeak suggested that they both would be warm if they coated their bodies with Stuff. With that suggestion, Spot changed course. He ran to behind a dark out building where the kids dismounted and began to strip.

Of course Squeak could strip his cloth coverings just as fast as the older warriors and while Hughie wasn't quite as fast, the thrill of getting naked with, and in front of Squeak drove him to catch up after he got his boots off. Hughie was pleased that he no longer wore underpants, a time saver, after he saw that Scott and Pettie didn't wear them either, although he was very careful to add a pair to his laundry basket everyday so his mother didn't find out.

Hughie was bent over, placing his folded clothing beside Squeak's when helpful Spot gave his little ass a first lap of Stuff with his tongue, from between his legs up his cheeks to his waist, and saved him from cracking his head on the side of the building with a tail around his neck that also turned him to face Squeak while his tongue coated Hughie's back. Hughie was very excited and it showed. He was also really aware of himself for the first time. Squeak was pleased to note that Hughie's five year old white warrior coupler was already as big as the newly made Cat warrior marines.

Squeak handed off the open jar of Stuff to Spot's tail so the boys could use both hands to anoint each other. Hughie compared Stuff to finger paint and in the dark it was fun to paint Squeak blue without missing any spots – anywhere when his busy hands got down that low and Squeak thrust his hips forward for ease of application. He also encouraged Squeak to handle him as he pleased; Squeak was very pleased.

Hughie wondered when Pettie first developed an interest in other boy's bodies, an interest that he didn't act on until he met his swim coach, Scott, and Hughie caught them 'low down kissing', another way to say sucking each other's cock. He also knew that drinking sperms wasn't poisonous; if it was, his brother and Scott would be dead and he wondered what sperm tasted like; he believed it tasted good since Scott and Pettie couldn't seem to collect enough. He also wondered how he could get his mouth on Pettie to try it himself.

"Pettie's sperms taste very delicious," Squeak sent to Hughie. It was obvious that Squeak had touched his mind. "White warriors call it cum, while Cat People don't call it anything. It is the desired result of a successful light couple. If you wish to taste Pettie, we will help," he said aloud. Spot nodded.

Spot got out Squeak's warrior kit after the boys were glowing. Hughie had felt a light chain Squeak already wore around his waist. The chain held a little holster that held what felt like a kind of fat ballpoint pen. Squeak put on his belt, pouch, knife and blowgun then Hughie's eyes lit up when he saw Squeak's little .22 rifle with a 20 round clip.

The rifle was the stuff of little boy's dreams. It looked exactly like what all the US troops carried, except it was smaller. The weapon was beautiful compared to his bolt action .22, with a sawed off stock. Since Squeak was not about to sling the rifle on his back that would separate his back from Hughie's front while they rode on Spot, he offered it to Hughie. He put it over his back, but worried that a .22 caliber bullet would not stop a mature pig.

Squeak and Spot laughed together and took turns telling Hughie that a bullet fired from this weapon would stop anything, size was irrelevant. Squeak realized the same thing about the light caliber, but he was too small to carry a larger caliber weapon like other older Cat warriors. So he and Spot experimented with coating each bullet tip with the smallest dab of the drug used on blowgun darts. They experimented on their far larger wild swine at home. The result was that just a scratch, or a ricochet off a boar's hard skull yielded several days of delicious food for Spot and a few of his friends.

Squeak asked Hughie if he could hit tossed coins like his big brother. Hughie was aghast at the thought of shooting at his allowance. He received five dollars a week and more for doing special chores like keeping tabs on Pettie's lap pool at the Turner ranch house and he liked getting 'paid' in cold hard cash, quarters, that he could count and save in pint Mason jars; $50.00 per jar.

While Big Pettie would never call his youngest son a tight wad, he noticed that Hughie was very careful about carrying any of his money around on his person; he never did. If he wanted something in a store, he was as good if not better at begging than Spot was. He admitted that he probably could hit tossed coins but he practiced with tossed soda cans or pebbles. Target shooting was a favorite family pastime at the Cross ranch and the reason that Pettie was so skilled shooting coins.

The Cat and two kids ducked when the Texas Big Foot crossed the main cattle guard at the ranch compound's entrance. That meant Pettie, Scott and Tracy were on their way to the Turner ranch house but the truck would follow the section roads while Spot would travel overland in a rough diagonal.

Prior to settlers moving into undeveloped areas before States were Territories in the Country's 'olden days', surveyors divided vast open spaces into one square mile blocks or sections, 640 acres. In Texas, settlers were granted, bought or stole land in full, half or quarter sections. Now none of those farmers or ranchers wanted any public roads bisecting their property, so roads were generally built on property lines and were mostly straight.

The guys in Big Foot had to travel in a straight line in one direction before it could turn 90 degrees in another direction while Spot could run flat out from ranch house to ranch house in a straight line with only the occasional fence to leap. Leaping fences became a game to see how high and how far a teenage Great Cat could leap as judged by two little boys sitting on his back, being held in place by a prehensile tail while screaming their delight at flying without an airplane.

Spot won the race to the Turner ranch house and Hughie directed him to the back of the house to the 50 meter three lane lap pool. Hughie had charge of making sure that the pool was serviced on schedule by an outside pool service and keeping an eye on the pumps and filters. He also took the liberty of keeping the pool heater running.

While he was forbidden to swim unaccompanied, he was always careful to remove his clothes so they wouldn't get wet if he 'fell' in and afterward, he made sure his white-blond hair was as dry as possible because damp blond hair was darker. If he was caught, he planned to argue that he was testing the pool water temperature, if accidentally falling in didn't work as an excuse.

Hughie assumed that Pettie would strip as soon as he got in the house and come out to the pool to swim first thing. Squeak said the first thing Hughie had to do was to get Pettie used to being handled by his little brother and the place to start the eventual light couple seduction was in the pool under the starting blocks where they could hide. Squeak would somehow disable the underwater lights and he and Hughie would stand on Spot's back while they waited so they didn't have to tread water.

Of course Squeak and Spot had to explain that Cat People and Great Cats could hold their breaths underwater for extended periods of time and Hughie did not believe that claim. So Spot took Squeak under and he walked the length of the pool and back with only his tail above water in the periscope mode. They communicated using mind-speak.

Hughie assumed that Scott and Tracy would also swim with Pettie and probably race. That meant that Pettie's dive off his block would take him too far out of reach so he would wait until he swam back and made his turn and in total darkness Pettie was most likely to presume that he was being handled by Squeak at first. Hughie would go after his brother, while Squeak would accost Scott, who was much more liberal-minded about the age of the mouth providing a light couple and Spot would take care of Tracy.

The gate cattle guard gave ample warning that the truck was fast approaching the house. Spot slipped into the water without splashing the deck or roiling the pool surface that would betray their presence. He stood under the center starting block and the boys stood on his back and hugged each other to hold each other up, at least that was the official reason. An open jar of Stuff was sitting under the center starting block. It was vital that Hughie coat his hands so when those hands touched Pettie, his resistance to being touched would crumble. The three were ready to move to under whichever block that their target used after the start. There would be plenty of time. Squeak blinked out the pool and outside flood lights, which made the pool into a horror movie set that was covered in dense fog.

"Did you ever kiss a boy on the lips like you tried to kiss my mom?" The boys were facing each other and holding tight for maximum body contact. Hughie's hard, Stuff covered cock was mashed against Squeak since he was taller, while Squeak's was somewhere between Hughie's legs

"Of course, it is very much fun."

"Could we just try…?" Hughie began to ask.

Squeak cut off Hughie's question by pulling his head down and planting the first ever smacker on Hughie's open mouth. He followed up the primary surprise assault with his tongue. Hughie responded by counter attacking, and the first battle in the war of tongues was on, with no quarter asked for or given until the lights in the house began to shine through the windows.

Hughie ducked until just his face was above water, while Squeak ducked down far enough to administer Hughie's first low down kiss on what Squeak judged could easily belong to one of Angus' Cat warrior marines and he knew them all intimately by taste, sight and feel. Hughie responded to that first low down kiss by thrusting his hips involuntarily to drive his coupler all the way into Squeak's mouth and nearly drowned from a gulp of chlorine water when he lost his balance. Spot saved him by using his tail to hold him up.

"Shit, the lights are busted," Pettie said from near the house where the light switches were located. "But the heater is on. Since Spot and the kids ain't here yet, let's take a few quick laps then hightail it upstairs to our bedroom and lock the door."

"Shouldn't they be here by now? They left before us," Tracy wondered.

"Spot and Squeak are most likely touring the ranch on the way and they got distracted," Scott surmised.

"In the dark?" it was obvious that Tracy was new.

"Great Cats and the Cat People can see as well in the dark as they can at high noon, and Hughie always knows where he is. He's no doubt proud as punch to be showin' them around. I call center lane," Pettie added while already standing on the middle block directly above the three conspirators.

"I've never raced before," Tracy announced.

Pettie giggled, "That's alright," he allowed, "Someone always has to finish last."

"Well then smart ass, how about if we make a bet? Whoever comes in third gets fucked by the two winners," Tracy challenged.

"You been usin' too much Stuff old son. You're such a horny fucker. Good thing you were wearin long pants and a long sleeved shirt to meet my 'rents so we didn't have to explain why you're painted blue."

"Angus gave me a bucket of Stuff and Spot keeps me painted with more. And for your information, you guys are going to be the fuckers and I'm going to be the fuckee as soon as we get upstairs into your bedroom!" Tracy decided the race results.

"That sounds like a plan to me. To keep it all fair and square y'all can start us off."

"Don't forget to get your hands into the Stuff," Squeak cautioned Hughie using mind-speak.

"Readysetgo!" Tracy hollered as one word, but didn't start himself. There was no point of diving into warm water, getting all wet and washing off some valuable Stuff just to lose a race.

When Pettie dove, it was just as Hughie predicted; he was well on his way to the other end of the pool by the time he actually entered the water. Hughie got ready for Pettie's return by coating his hands with half the Stuff jar. While his body was still glowing softly, his hands looked like glowing mittens under water.

Squeak moved to intercept Scott in his lane, while Spot left Hughie to tread water briefly when he moved to grab Tracy around his ankles, pull him into the water briefly to get a grip around his waist and lift him out to the side of the pool. "Again?" Tracy questioned.

"Yes again," Spot answered. He was standing on his hind legs in the shallow pool with his front paws up near Tracy's side so he looked down on his target.

"Did you hear me make a bet with Pettie and Scott? I have to pay off pretty soon."

"You will be delivered," Spot promised as his tongue ended further conversation.

Hughie sank to stand on the bottom when he saw and heard Pettie's light rhythmic splashes mere seconds away. He planned to reach up after Pettie's turn while he was still allowing the force of his kick off the wall to propel his body overhead by gliding. Hughie could actually reach his hands out of the shallow water while standing on the bottom if necessary. He crouched down to avoid his brother's long arms on the down strokes and then stood when he saw a long dark shape coming back, after Pettie's turn.

Hughie stood and reached up, not very far; he hoped his fingers would feel like bubbles to Pettie as they lightly skittered from his chest down. A split second later, his fingers of one hand closed, to be joined by his other hand. Pettie reacted by reaching down, grappling a little body and standing up. Pettie thought he was dealing with Squeak, again, until he looked down, and the little boy he held with ultra-blue hands got a firmer grip of his cock.

"Hughie, goddamnit, let loose!"

Slippery Hughie squirmed until he faced his brother's body and hooked his heels around Pettie's ass. "Feel mine Pettie, I want to know if I'm goin' to be as big as y'all when I grow up. Daddy guessed I would be, but he didn't even look."

Pettie couldn't help a smile. "Shit boy, we've all seen you when we went skinny-dippin' in the pond. I expect even long hung Sky was jealous after seein' you. I guess we're done racin'," he said in an effort to change the subject since he could see blue forms that represented Scott and Squeak he held in his arms and Tracy stretched out at the side of the pool with Spot looming over his body from halfway in or out of the pool. He ducked under the float line suddenly so he was beside Scott. "Its way past Hughie's bedtime," he reminded Scott as a gentle hint that he should stop making out with Squeak in front of his little brother.

Pettie pulled free of Hughie's clutches, sat him on the side of the pool, vaulted out and surprisingly to Scott, Squeak and especially Hughie, picked him up again and carried him into the house. Scott followed Pettie's example by carrying Squeak, no surprise there, and Spot soon followed with Tracy, who looked none the worse for the abuse he received from Spot, his tongue and burrowing tail.

The kids began some exaggerated yawns while they still sat on Pettie and Scott's arms. Squeak always enjoyed being held and carried but Hughie preferred to walk by himself since he was old enough to walk. "It is time for a bedtime drink and snacks," Spot announced.

"Well there's a problem there," Scott countered, "you and your endless appetite weren't expected so there's nothing in this house to eat or drink. It won't hurt you to do without one night, and tomorrow morning you can have our share of the fresh doughnuts," he proposed.

"We ate all the snacks you guys lugged aboard Kermit, but I had enough booze, so the wine you brought is out in the back of the truck," Tracy volunteered.

Spot looked up to study the ceiling briefly, "I think we should have fresh roast pork and barbecue sauce and I know there is a herd of swine, five miles from here, eating more of your pasture," he added as a goad to get the Cross brothers to accept his idea. "We should have a hunt."

"You mean barbecue pork," Hughie corrected, "That sounds good, but we can't eat those pigs because they all have worms. If we eat the meat the worms eat us from the inside out." Hughie shivered in Pettie's arms to show what he thought of that idea. He converted the shivers into wiggles and squirming that felt good against Pettie's body and Pettie and Scott were no longer protesting being seen erect by Hughie and Squeak although Squeak was less interested in looking, he was happy with the preliminary successful effort in getting Pettie comfortable with being seen and intimately caressed by his little brother.

Pettie's point of view was that since Hughie had already seen he and Scott erect several times, both being caught trading head jobs and doing far more in their bedroom, being handled occasionally would satisfy Hughie's curiosity about his probable future size and boy sex in general before he developed other interests so there was no longer any reason to hide; the toothpaste could not be returned to the tube.

"Tara Squeak will fix those enemy worms when the enemies of your ranch pasture die," Spot volunteered Squeak's services to begin eliminating the Cross Ranch wild pig problem and secure them a bedtime snack.

Pettie seemed to agree to the impromptu late night hunt by telling Hughie how Squeak was able to catch and cook lobster while 50 feet under water, apparently from some distance, so if he could do whatever he did under those circumstances, he had to assume Squeak could do as well or better on dry land at any time of the day or night so darkness wasn't a limiting factor either.

"Daddy had two new ATVs put in your barn in case we wanted to drive the new land," Hughie said. "You big old guys could use them to get between the herd and Hog Heaven, while me, Squeak and Spot can sneak up on them from downwind." It was obvious that Hughie was in favor of the hunt even though the Cross men didn't hunt; frequent target practice was their firearms sport.

Scott went to fetch rifles, handguns with holsters, ammo and sheath knives while Squeak summoned his Cat warrior kit from its hiding place out near the pool and Pettie collected an assortment of flashlights that every rancher maintained for emergencies. Plus the Polaris ATVs were equipped with high intensity headlights and a row of more sealed beams decorated the roll bars.

Pettie rolled his eyes when he saw Hughie take Squeak's .22 rifle, chamber a round, and since he knew he was being watched, pointedly made sure the safety was on before he slung it to his own back after first slinging the bandoleer of extra clips across his chest. "One of these very fine weapons would be a nice Christmas present," Hughie told his brother, and after exchanging winks with Spot, he added, "That was a hint."

The bandoleer was strictly for show until the kids and Great Cat were out of sight. The little boys decided that they much preferred skin touching skin when Hughie hugged Squeak's bare back to his bare Stuff covered chest. Spot's Cat pack would store Hughie's extra ammunition.

"Too late now," Pettie said, "I already got you your gift. Although you could try asking Santa," he suggested.

"Now Pettie," Hughie retorted, "you know very well that I'm too young to be left home alone when Santa goes shoppin' and I collect the mail and packages. Mommy Santa would stop Daddy from buyin' me a weapon like this. But what y'all could do, is give me both gifts," he suggested with repeated nods and a coy winning smile.

"Y'all better stay safe," Pettie warned Hughie to change the subject, but was really telling Squeak and Spot to keep Hughie out of harm's way.

"My friend Hughie will become a full white warrior and a temporary Cat warrior with his first kill tonight," Squeak promised, "until we find him a human enemy, then he will become a full Cat warrior." Hughie's hat size grew with that promise or boast and more surprising it was accompanied by a body hug that included hands on little asses to pull the boys in tighter together; down low where it counted.

Spot and the kids had disappeared before the three older guys had the equipment shed doors open, fortunately. There were three ATVs in the shed. One was Pettie and Scott's Christmas gift for Hughie and it had been wrapped in red plastic woven canvas, and bound with almost as much packing tape as canvas. Big Pettie kept Hughie busy while a crew of ranch 'cowboys' did the wrapping so they would never be asked to wrap anything ever again.

Pettie put in an urgent mind-speak call to Evan, the Family's resident international arms dealer to ask if a rifle like Squeak's could be found before Christmas Day. Evan's answer was almost instantaneous. Sea Song's armory had been completely restocked and he would be docked in Bachal's port by the time the Family arrived. Pettie thanked Evan but wondered why Sea Song would be there as well as Big Bird.

"Remember Medi told us that the palace is a fortress and what they call a security force is really an army of highly paid mercenaries to keep Medi's family alive and in power, safe from the rest of the population who want the oil and gambling money for themselves."

"Yeah, that's why Medi is such a crack shot. He said that even all of his dad's wives and concubines go around packin'."

"Well there could be a coup while we're there and Sea Song is there in case we have to get our white, Christian and Jew asses out of Dodge in a hurry with our heads on our shoulders. Why are you calling in the middle of the night instead of waiting until morning?"

"Good thinkin' Evan. I hope we don't have to evacuate. Gotta go, we're out to shoot us some wild pigs tonight. Spot decided he needed a barbecue pork bedtime snack after Squeaky cooks one."

Spot made a huge loop to get downwind of the target porkers before he started a stalk, while the guys went in the opposite direction to upwind of the herd and be between them and Hog Heaven, their supposed sanctuary before Tara Squeak and Spot came along. The guys used the quiet conventional horse gates to move between fenced areas although Pettie wanted their scent to travel down to the herd to make them think twice about escaping in a straight line. Plus he had to assume that the herd would hear the ATVs, which meant humans and the use of extreme caution if they had to run for cover. While humans used gates to get through fence lines the swine used the expedient of pushing over several fence posts and then stepping over the wire barricade.

After Hughie got rid of the ammo bandoleer and he could hug Squeak tighter and rest his chin on Squeak's shoulder with their heads touching, he began to see whatever Squeak and Spot saw, either directly, or clear, close-up aerial images from Snoopy. The kids and Spot saw that there were three sows, one boar, a half dozen 30 to 50 pound young pigs, and 15 smaller, 10 to 15 pound weaned piglets, all commonly called shoats until they reached breeding age. While Squeak and Spot looked at the herd as the enemy, Hughie suddenly saw dollar bills on the hoof if the worm problem was solved.

He sent Pettie his idea to eventually eliminate the swine problem by packing their dressed carcasses into reefer (refrigerator/freezer) trailers and selling them overseas where populations were less finicky than Americans about what meats they ate, including gamey tasting wild boar. Pettie agreed to the plan instantly and suggested a partnership with the profits split 'even-steven' and definitely not paid in quarters. Hughie would accept 100 dollar bills, or his share would go directly into the bank where he couldn't get at it. Hughie reluctantly agreed, then wondered how many bills he could pack into a Mason jar.

Spot was actually inching along to the herd on his belly the last 100 yards. They agreed that Hughie would take out the solitary boar that was grazing off to the side, while Squeak would stop the rest of the herd where they rooted. Spot decided that one of the 30 pounders would taste very delicious if it was fresh, so Squeak agreed to allow one that size to escape.

When the hunting party reached the 75 yard mark, even Hughie could hear the constant pig bitching and grumbling about territory but after he and Squeak dismounted, all Hughie could see were darker shapes. That was until Spot lifted him with his tail around his waist to create a gun platform and pointed him at the boar. With assisted night vision provided by Spot, he could see that 'his' pig was mostly black with large random white spots on its hide and he had a close up view of its head. Squeak instructed Hughie to fire when ready while he stood by with his arm raised.

The first gunshot, more of a pop, was also the last. The boar dropped. Squeak pointed his finger at the rest of the herd and all except one dropped to join the boar. One squealed a warning a bit too late and ran off into the night with Spot in hot pursuit after he unceremoniously dropped Hughie at Squeak's side. The kids congratulated each other as they approached their supposed kills cautiously and called in the 'old' guys driving the ATVs. Less than 300 yards away there was a horrendous roar and a final cut off squeal before the kids heard and saw the ATVs with all lights blazing as the guys appeared driving at maximum speed.

"Pettie, Pettie, bring a light! Come and check this big bastard out. I was aiming at his ear; I sure hope I didn't just scratch him, that wouldn't be no real kill," Hughie was both delighted and anxious. Squeak just grinned and didn't say a word. He was the only person that could see in the dark where the little .22 caliber bullet struck, but he didn't want to take away from Hughie's excitement of getting his first clean kill.

Pettie shined his big light on the boar's body beginning with its ass end intentionally. Hughie retaliated to that joke by sending a little fist into Pettie's balls, which caused him to hand Hughie his light in favor of holding his nuts and moaning. Hughie shined the light on the boar's head to reveal a trickle of blood from its ear; obviously a good clean kill.

Pettie scooped his little brother up to give him a hug to congratulate him. Hughie responded to that hug with a very unbrotherly kiss on Pettie's lips – with tongue. Pettie was so surprised he opened his arms to drop Hughie into Squeak's arms where Hughie resumed the kiss with Squeak with even more passion than Pettie, Scott or Tracy thought boys that age were capable of.

Pettie and Scott used mind-speak to question when either of them began to like looking at boys and once again wonder when it was that they became aware of their erections and size compared to friends their own age. Neither could remember. Pettie broke up the make out session by clearing his throat. When he got their attention he suggested that they all get busy field dressing the carcasses and handed knives to Scott, Tracy and Hughie.

The guys rolled the boar so Hughie and Squeak could get to work while Tracy looked on wide eyed and pale blue like he was going to be sick. "Have you done this before?" He asked the kids.

"I been a rancher all my life," Hughie answered as if that explained everything. It was obvious that Tracy would make a better beautician and was a better server than a butcher. Squeak wouldn't have to clean Tracy's knife unless he cut himself.

Squeak began to clean up the piles of offal as it spilled out of the primary cuts by sending it all to nothingness before Tracy looked somewhat better. Then Tracy looked out into the surrounding darkness and said, "Shit, Spot's a mess and I didn't bring anything to clean him up."

Squeak looked into the darkness; Spot was two hundred yards away and walking, not running back toward them. Spot was also just as Tracy said; the front half of his body was blood spattered, his paws and forelegs were almost painted red and his head from his ears to his blunt nose looked as if he'd dipped his head in a bucket of red paint.

"What are you looking at?" Spot asked, using mind-speak from a distance.

"You, you're simply a mess and I neglected to bring anything with me to clean you up out here," Tracy answered using both speech and mind-speak that betrayed his frustration at not being prepared.

"Do not worry; I will wash off in the pool." When a Great Cat said 'not to worry' it was usually time to worry.

"Like hell you will," Pettie cut in to the discussion, "We'll all need to clean up by the time we're done. We'll ALL," he emphasized, "shower on the pool deck before we go near the pool or in the house. Say Tracy how'd y'all see Spot from so far away in the dark an' why y'all suddenly talkin' in mind-speak?" He demanded in mind-speak with a grin.

Tracy looked totally surprised by the question and even more so when he looked beyond the lighted vicinity and saw that Spot was still 100 yards away with his face more clearly covered in blood and gore. "I, I don't know for sure; maybe it happened since Spot and I have been, well, messing around, and Spot's built-in Stuff factory produces Stuff that looks the same but feels totally different somehow."

"It is a good thing," Spot said as he emerged into the lights, "however it happened. I do not know because we have no remembered history of this occurring to any early Cat warriors."

"If we're done, let's get these loaded on the ATVs, get back to the house and hang them in the cooler," Scott said. Levitating anything was fun and more fun as the size and weight grew.

Hughie watched Pettie load the boar without touching the carcass. "Do you think I can do that?" he asked Squeak.

"Think of what you want to move and where you want to move it," was Squeak's simple instruction.

Hughie over-dramatically pointed at a 30 pound carcass and whispered a meaningless chant using made up words. His target disappeared instead of rising slowly, but it did not reappear in either ATV truck bed; it was simply gone. "Where'd you send that pig?" Pettie asked. "I think you did it wrong; that one would have made a tasty barbecue. You're lucky we have more that size or we'd have to barbecue your little ass," he joked.

"Scott said we'd put these in the Turner cooler, so that's where I sent it," Hughie said. He added, "And if you try to cook me, I'll just send you to the cooler too. You'd look real good hanging upside down on a meat hook beside that other pig."

"Other pig, why you little twerp…"

"You don't scare me, you big over-grown horse!"

"Enough with the name calling," Scott intervened, "let's get back to the house before we have to have barbecue pork for breakfast."

"That would taste delicious," Spot agreed at once, "with more fresh doughnuts. Does anyone want a ride?" He asked the kids before he seated them in reversed positions; with Hughie sitting in front of Squeak.

"I will hold on extra tight," Squeak promised Hughie as his hands slipped lower into Hughie's lap where he found the perfect joystick that was just long enough for both of his little boy hands.

When the guys on the ATVs got back to the Turner house and the carcasses hung in the cooler, they found the two boys and Spot on the pool deck covered with a rich white lather. Hughie and Squeak at first glance, appeared to be one body because they were making out once again with Spot assisting in some way with his versatile tail that caused the boys to stand with their legs spread and moaning. Spot was sending them Pettie and Scott's feelings from times past when they managed to climax together.

"We should try low down kissin' at the same time," Hughie suggested with a contented sigh after yet another imaginary shared climax.

"Yes, and then perhaps we should try a regular couple. I think it might work since we are smaller everywhere. Age should not have anything to do with regular coupling especially when Spot provides the proper feelings, we cannot feel yet ourselves."

The mind-speak conversation was suddenly interrupted by Pettie redirecting the shower spray to over the boy's heads. "You two horny toads need to lighten up. If Daddy ever caught y'all, I don't what he'd do but I wouldn't want to be around. And where the hell did you find that shampoo? I assume the big pile of suds beside you is Spot in there somewhere."

Spot showed himself by shaking violently to cover everyone else and some landscaping before he slipped into the pool without rinsing since Pettie told him specifically not to. "If Daddy ever caught us," Hughie defended, "he wouldn't do any more than he did to you and Scott – nothin'." The next point he answered concerned the shampoo. He didn't want to waste time running upstairs to a bathroom and searching, so he and Squeak used a squeeze bottle of dish soap they found under the kitchen sink.

"You know Pettie, I've been thinkin'; them ole pigs come out to eat our pasture because they don't have nothin' to eat in Hog Heaven. What if we put strong pig fence and gates around a great big area out near there and we started feedin' 'em regular? Then we fence in another few acre spaces, cull the herd separate the boars from the sows, nut the boars, worm them all an' we'd have us a big ole pig farm called Hog Heaven. Y'all think that might work?"

Pettie didn't answer right away because he was laughing too hard. What he did do was gather both Hughie and Squeak in his arms and hug them before he squeezed the two together. "What y'all need to do right now is get off to bed in your bedroom by yourselves. Scotty an' me got some unfinished business with Tracy in our bedroom by ourselves, an' come mornin' we'll talk this over with Daddy, cause we'll need to borrow some cattle feed to start off feedin' them pigs while pig feed and fence gets ordered."

"No can do - yet - we got us some barbecue pork an' a bedtime drink to finish off first," Hughie countered. He did not argue about who slept where because there was going to be another power failure after the 30 pound snack was finished off. Then after the three guys got too busy with their business to care; they would be joined by two horny toad boys for some low down kissing at first, before the little boys explored regular coupling together after some close up visual lessons provided by the three guys. Squeak could always see in total darkness and so could Hughie if he maintained close physical contact with Squeak, and that was part of the plan.

Pettie carried the kids into the kitchen where he found the 30 pound pig that Hughie over-levitated by sending it to the cooler. The pig had been dressed, was sitting in a roaster pan and the odor and rising steam indicated that it had been cooked to perfection. All that was needed was barbecue sauce and a carving knife. Spot ushered Scott and Tracy into the kitchen since Tracy was intent on paying his debt by coupling with Scott before he moved on to Pettie, the 'big gun'.

Scott was in charge of making up a batch of his grandfather's famous and secret recipe barbecue sauce with limited ingredients, while Tracy made a monster drink in one of Spot's travel bowls, which arrived just in time for the party along with a bigger surprise; his new communicator. Pettie hung it around Tracy's neck and was first to greet him before the barrage of sleepy greetings from the rest of the world. While Tracy admired his new gem, he wondered half seriously if it wasn't part of a set that included matching ear studs, a cocktail ring and maybe a broach.

Since Pettie, Hughie, Squeak and Spot had no assigned tasks; they set about reapplying fresh Stuff on everyone. The kids concentrated their efforts on the most important parts they were interested in and could reach easily and allowed Pettie and Spot to cover the rest of each body. When Hughie got to Pettie's erection, Pettie held still after he decided that Hughie's fascination would end if he allowed his cock to be handled clinically just like the kids handled Scott and Tracy. And after the kids finished and were admiring their handy work, Pettie decided that it was their turn to be re-covered with Stuff especially the ticklish spots as a cover for handling the more sensitive areas for the first time.

Pettie knew that it was pointless to forbid the developing relationship between the boys and he hoped their interest in each other would end their ongoing interest in his body. He also had to admit that watching the new mini-couple make out with each other was exciting in a perverted sort of way, just not perverted enough to look away from them making out together in the middle of the kitchen.

Squeak did get called away to do the carving since he was the most experienced butcher. He cut generous portions for each guy and Scott anointed the servings with sauce after warning about the heat. Tracy served drinks in coffee mugs by dipping from Spot's bowl before Spot could dip his head in the bowl and there was no more to drink.

After everyone but Spot was served, Scott poured the rest of the sauce over what remained of the carcass and stepped back out of Spot's way. Hughie picked up his and Squeak's drink and Squeak picked up Hughie and ran with him upstairs without so much as a 'goodnight'. Pettie, Scott and Tracy soon followed with the first sound of crunching bones as Spot ate his bedtime snack by himself.

Pettie held his breath until he saw that Hughie and Squeak weren't already in his and Scott's bed and then damned himself when he realized that there was no deadbolt on the door, although none had been needed before. The simple interior doorknob lock would have to do that night; it might work to keep Spot and the kids out since it was manual but only intended to keep honest people out of an occupied room.

When Spot arrived in Hughie's room, the boys were practicing mutual low down kissing with Squeak on his back and Hughie on top, plugging away at Squeak's mouth while he nursed Squeak's cock like a starving newborn puppy, all without result until Spot resumed sending the exquisite feelings obtained from Scott and Tracy's minds. Then the boys could see Scott mounted on Tracy, engaged in the first couple of the night, with Pettie using his hands and fingers everywhere to heighten and shorten the experience since he was next to enjoy Tracy and it had been a long sex free day after they arrived.

"Now would be a good time to give Pettie a light couple, before he mounts Tracy," Squeak suggested after he sensed Pettie's urgent need for relief. Spot agreed by stopping the feelings, which ended the mutual light couple as if it never happened.

The lighting failed once again as Squeak led Hughie down the hallway by the hand. The doorknob lock also failed when Squeak turned the knob. Pettie, Scott and Tracy should have taken the electricity failure as a warning that they were about to have company, but at that point, they were too hot to trot to care.

Spot pulled Pettie away from the busy couple and pinned him to the bed with a paw on his chest while Squeak used his strength to separate his legs until Hughie was firmly in place between them. "God damn it Hughie, get away from that," Pettie ordered, although his little head rose off his gut to meet and greet a pair of little hands despite his big head's order.

"I'm not doing anything," Spot argued using Hughie's voice from the pillow next to Pettie's head. "Squeak is showing me how he gives light couples to older guys," he added and probably shouldn't have.

Pettie's head flopped on the pillow, his body bowed up at the first touch of a small warm mouth, "Well, sneaky Squeaky, y'all are in for a big surprise, get ready to swallow," he warned with a moan and began to convulse.

"We should switch places now, before he becomes aware," Squeak sent to Hughie 30 seconds later.

"But he isn't finished," Hughie protested while he continued to swallow as Pettie instructed.

"We will share," Squeak said and nudged Hughie aside. Pettie made believe that he didn't feel the different mouth with increased sucking power, or the delicate change in much stronger hands holding him up. Instead he pretended to fall asleep so Spot would remove his restraining paw and allow the boys to finish as they pleased. Then after he was properly drained in round one, his cock was abandoned. The bed jiggled to betray the movement of two little bodies until they were lying together at his side.

"Can we watch you couple with Tracy now? He has to pay his debt," Hughie whispered a reminder.

Spot eliminated options by booming Scott to Tracy's other side and replacing him with Pettie's body. "You know I would have enjoyed a little break between sessions," Pettie grumped at Spot.

"You are young and strong and the Stuff is extra potent," Spot replied.

"I will be Tracy and you will be Pettie while we watch and feel their pleasures after Spot gets to this side of the bed," Squeak said to Hughie. "That was a hint," he added for Spot's benefit.

"Are you sure you want to do this? I never want to hurt you," Hughie questioned even as he allowed Squeak to feel his larger size enter when Spot gave his butt a push to get him started.

"I am quite sure; Spot has been using his tail to show me how good it feels."

"Me too," Hughie whispered, "I can hardly wait to feel you from down there."

All further discussion ended after Spot resumed relaying the guy's pleasurable feelings to the boys the moment they occurred right through the moments that Hughie saw the same mind blowing fireworks that Pettie saw and felt. A bit later, Squeak and Hughie switched places when Scott replaced Pettie on tireless Tracy, only this time, Spot snuggled Pettie next to Squeak and Hughie. Once again, Pettie faked a nap even though he couldn't keep his eyes closed because he was watching his little brother really getting it 'on' with a friend his own age.

Squeak looked to the side at Pettie and grinned; he sent a simple mind-speak statement that could impact the Cross family in general and Hughie in particular, not to mention the Cat People. "Pettie, I believe I have found my mate!" He announced without pause or missing a stroke.

William Penn and Ethan Case, owners of the Penguin Buyer's Club did not become successful by sitting around waiting for internet orders; they were superb marketers. They began selling Stuff by blanketing the net with advertising that offered a free single use sample, postage paid to the first one million adults who clicked on the request button. They optimistically made 40 million samples by impregnating small tissues with Stuff that were packed in sealed foil packs, much like typical single use eye glass lens cleaners.

One side identified the contents as Stuff, a revolutionary topical herbal essence for use by adults only, a simple restriction that was guaranteed to attract every sexually active teen as they intended. The directions on the packet's obverse were a bunch of circles; some with arrows, some with lower case tees symbolizing males and females, with arrows and tees penetrating other circles of either gender. Of course the internet ads were slightly more explicit that included a simple request to sniff the open packet just before use and very brazenly included a price list up front without apologizing for the prices or offering any 'specials' or sales.

But requesting a sample did not include a demand for credit card information unlike other internet purveyors of miracle herbal concoctions that offered 'free' samples before a month long supply arrived and the credit card was charged. Penguin received 20,000 requests for free samples the first day the ads appeared with number climbing dramatically from there daily. Three days later after the samples arrived and presumably were used; they were literally overwhelmed with orders for larger sizes including some ordering the largest; one ounce of concentrate packed in a small 14 carat gold jar priced at $10 thousand dollars each.

Ethan Case announced the 'Treasures of Atlantis' auction by flooding the Penguin Buyer's Club auction site catalog with a dozen or more photos of each numbered item, but the only reference to the most likely source or provenance; Atlantis, was in the collection's title. While the source was implied, Ethan left the truth up to the potential customer's imagination beyond listing an item's 24 carat gold weight in pounds and ounces and estimating the weight of flawless uniquely cut assorted gemstones in carats. The inference was clear; who but an ancient civilization with infinite resources and unknown skills could afford to produce such precious works of art and risk having them labeled as fakes? Obviously, none of the treasures were fake.

Further, what forger would invest in over two pounds of gold to make a humble mundane back scratcher or a six inch solid gold dildo? Dildo became dildos, plural, in assorted sizes after Sidi and Kad saw the original and began recreating life size cocks belonging to white warrior friends just to see who recognized that they had been immortalized in gold.

While Bani's fabulous stonewood tree was pictured, it was labeled as being on loan from a private collection. As compensation, Bani's tree was surrounded by smaller representations of the stonewood and other fanciful tree species that were unknown to exist in nature currently or in fossil form so far. Since the Ming style trees were numerous, 'experts' theorized that the trees were items of nature worship, perhaps representing a god while there was no question that the statues of ferocious cats with real emerald eyes, in infinite poses were icons representing a protective deity.

All interested buyers were cordially invited to Penguin's New York gallery by appointment only and only if they had provided a current verifiable financial statement in advance. Those lucky few were even encouraged to touch, handle and even attempt to pick up an item for further examination if they wished, as well as be accompanied by a certified gem appraiser of their choice, of course while being watched closely by a tour guide and several well-armed hard eyed guards who were posted everywhere.

The Penguin guard force was still chafing (thoroughly pissed off actually) about being robbed by furniture movers armed with unloaded weapons, and vowed that history would not be repeated at any time in the future. The night before the treasure was to go on view they were expecting unknown, unidentified guests of the owners at a private party. Ten minutes before the party, the alarms went off.

"Freckles, goddamn it," Peter raged from outside the back of the building, "I told you to just push the doorbell, but oh no, not you! You had to fuck with the electronics, now the cops have been called and the guards inside are going to shoot your big furry ass as soon as you open that door."

The gang that lived at Trenton Hall had ridden into the city on the Cat Mobile with Freckles, and Peter had been elected to sit in the driver's seat while Golden Great Cat Fang did the actual driving, it was Peter who directed Fang to park in the back of the gallery so Fang and Freckles could get into the building without being seen. "Relax Peter, you are still too human," Freckles chided long distance from inside the building as the audible alarms stopped their clamor. "This security system was greeting me by using his voices; he did not call the authorities. He is just so happy to see me."

True or not, Peter noticed that the electronic door locks remained off until all the guys and Fang were inside, before they reactivated. Of course just inside the door, three guards were backed against a wall and looking up at their weapons that Freckles was holding in his tail above their heads. "Give them back their guns Freckles," Peter told Freckles, "I'm sure they recognize us now."

After the men held their weapons, one brave soul asked, "Can we pick up our ammo too?" He pointed at the floor where the rounds lay scattered.

"How the hell did you do that?" Peter asked Freckles silently. They agreed that he wouldn't talk while at the party. It would save time with bothersome explanations if there were strange party goers present.

"I made the sliding thing on the top go very fast before the trigger thing could be pulled." Freckles added, "Why is it that no humans are good at rough and tumbling? These three just screamed. It was lucky that the security alarms were louder."

"I will not dignify that question with an answer." Peter switched to vocal, "Where's the reception being held?" He asked the guards. They were directed to the main gallery on the second floor while the guards chased rounds of ammunition that seemed intent on skittering away just out of reach until Peter elbowed Freckles in the shoulder.

"What is reception?" Kad asked.

"It's where the food is."

"Why not just say that?"

"Why ask at all? The food smells delicious. It is this way," Freckles said before he ran up the nearest staircase with his tail straight up with the tip pointing the way while his eyes watched where his paws were on the confounding human stair steps.

Kad and Sidi remained almost glued to Freckles' sides because he was carrying their Ancient tools in his Catpack and they wanted to remain close in the event of an emergency even though they were accompanying the biggest potential emergency in the building.

Since Bill and Ethan had dined at Trenton Hall, they knew the Great Cat's preference was gold so Ethan requested the loan of his dinnerware from Bani in advance and Bani told Freckles generally, not specifically, what Ethan needed to borrow; big mistake. On the day of the party Hamilton, the Trenton butler, found Freckles sitting in his pantry where all the dishware is kept. Freckles only mentioned that he needed to borrow some dishes but not the reason; another mistake.

Hamilton had barely turned around before noting that Freckles had gone, along with every bit of the gold service that he'd gifted to Victoria when he first arrived along with his personal platters and bowls. Hamilton immediately informed Victoria. Victoria correctly assumed that the service would be used at the Penguin cocktail party that evening but wondered if there were any guests outside the Family invited, because of the service's most peculiar properties; self-determining temperature control, and composition. Everything was 'created', for want of a better word, of light weight solid gold; there was no such thing known to exist. A quick call to Bill Penn at Penguin put her mind at rest; there would be no outsiders at the party.

It is curious that people who can afford full-time regular servants often tend to ignore them as nothing more than very useful mobile items of furniture. Bill Penn completely forgot that the party would be catered even though he was paying the substantial bill and Victoria didn't think of the caterer, servers and bartenders as outsiders either.

The catering staff immediately migrated to the catering kitchen adjacent to the gallery as soon as they saw Freckles; eye glasses and necktie aside, he was still a wild cat as far as they were concerned. It was actually fortunate that they weren't present to see Great Cat Fang enter the room and then drift over to sit by Bani's stonewood tree.

Fang had decided that he would remain at the gallery until after the treasure was auctioned so no more would 'grow feet' as the boys described theft. While Fang the artifact wouldn't move from his position he would subtly swivel his bulk so he could 'eye' the entire display hall as necessary.

"I wonder why your mother's complete dinner service is here, that's risky." Doug commented to Buck as soon as he saw the buffet and the bar.

"This party is just for Family, so we can see everything is properly displayed to bring in the most money. There's no risk since we aren't going to steal from anyone else in the Family."

Unlike Buck, Doug was not used to having servants at his beck and call or super servants like Hamilton who always seemed to anticipate a beck and call and was always ready to satisfy a need in advance. "Yeah, but what about the caterers if Bill and Ethan can coax them out of hiding; they aren't Family or your servants, they're strangers," he reminded Buck. "We should get Bani to touch some minds to be sure there aren't any sticky fingers in the bunch," he suggested.

Meanwhile Freckles had zeroed in on his drink bowl that because of its size had been set up for use as a punch bowl to dispense a recipe the caterer was given for sangria that was fortified with vodka. He obviously was unaware that the full bowl was one drink for a Great Cat or that the afore mentioned Cat was self-centered and had no intention of sharing his drink one ladle at a time with humans or Cat warriors.

Freckles scanned the room to see a sitting group close to the food that included facing sofas with a low table in between; the perfect place to park his furry butt, drink his drink and eat his tail foods while watching and listening to the goings on around the large room. Once again it was fortunate that the catering staff didn't see the full bowl rise from its table and drift to where Freckles was seated.

Freckles next challenge was to find one or more of his platters that were piled with his tail foods. He located his platters but they were all but hidden by human finger foods on the buffet table. He had no recourse but to complain to Peter, Tara, or not, about what was rapidly becoming a case of Great Cat neglect if not outright abuse by the uncaring caterer.

"Cry baby, you're just lucky that I need to find some towels, so I'll see about your snacks at the same time. I hope they have something made up for you because I'd hate to see a Great Cat cry. Meanwhile don't you dare stick your head in that drink before I get back with some towels."

"The Cat out there is not dangerous," Bill Penn was saying to the caterer when Peter entered the kitchen.

"But he will be dangerous if he has to come in here to find out where his golden tray of special Cat food is," Peter added to Bill's assurance. He frowned when he saw two of the cooks making lobster and shrimp rolls and then chunking them into sections to make more human finger foods and carefully placing them in a pattern on another of Freckles' platters. "Look guys, enough with these little canapés. Put all those on another tray, make a bunch more of the rolls and then serve them whole, stacked on this gold platter and get out there and serve the tray to the Cat. And while you're doing that, someone else needs to make another bowl full of sangria to replace the one that will be empty in about five minutes and put in lots more cherries to slow him down," he added.

Peter was about to exit the kitchen when the chief caterer said, "Get a move on guys. Since we don't have another gold punch bowl, we'll have to use our silver plate."

Peter turned back to stare at the caterer, who was careful not to make eye contact with either him or Bill. Peter sent a message to Freckles; meet him at the elevator, because he found a guy who liked Freckles' bowls better than Freckles and they needed to go downstairs to retrieve them. "Come with me," Peter said to the caterer, "there were two other bowls that must have been misplaced. Let's go see if we can find them."

The man reluctantly followed Peter into the elevator and just before the door rolled closed they were joined by Freckles and the two little warriors. Kad and Sidi were already arguing about which of them would be credited with this thief's kill in open mind-speak. "There will be no kill," Peter spoke as a Tara, "Freckles will scare the shit out of him and we will recover his bowls and some of Victoria's dishes."

"But we could give him a head start in these many deep New York City canyons," Kad argued out loud for the caterer's benefit, "This great warrior will dart him and you will send the body to nothingness, just like we do with all thieves."

"You have no right to this kill, Great Cat Freckles is the offended party," Sidi reminded, "Perhaps he would enjoy a hind quarter after this great warrior makes the kill."

By then they had reached the service entrance near where the bus was parked and the caterer's step van was backed into a loading dock bay. The alarm on the rollup door switched off and the door rolled up at the same time. The van's roll up door was double padlocked. The caterer watched his padlocks fall away in pieces to the pavement below his truck along with the back door rolling up after the heavy latch disassembled while he watched with growing amazement and no small amount of fear.

Something or someone gave the caterer a mighty push to inside his truck from the dock as his white chef's dress clothing suddenly got too loose to wear due to the absence of buttons, zippers and all the parting seams. Vagrant pieces of cloth shed themselves when the man rushed to a side rack and pulled out a cardboard box that revealed Freckles' missing bowls, a platter and a half dozen gem encrusted goblets that were a part of Victoria's dinner service.

The man screamed when his naked body was suddenly hauled aloft from being hoisted by one ankle and his upside down view was of the two well-dressed little warriors with drawn knives. "Is this the quarter you want?" Sidi asked Freckles as he felt the ass cheek in question.

Freckles spoke for the first time, "Don't be silly," he chided, "if you remove the hind quarter I am holding, this thief will fall and injure his head."

Sidi shrugged his indifference and said, "Okay, well what about his Rocky Mountain Oysters? They will make a delicious appetizer," he added. The man felt the boy's fingers encircle his nut sack and pull.

Freckles declined, "Too small and too few. You brave warriors can share them."

"I believe I have a solution," Peter entered the conversation, "This thieving caterer runs a family business. He has three sons who are working upstairs right now. If we lure them down here, you could each have four oysters to eat and Freckles could have enough young and tender hind quarters to eat for a week before the meat goes bad."

That was the moment the caterer's bowels released via a gasping sphincter while he pled for his innocent son's lives. Freckles dropped him then, on his head, and moved away from the resulting mess. While the man lay in a fetal position hugging his knees, Peter sent him a warning picture that Squeak used recently on Evan's furniture movers. He just took the artistic license to use the caterer's son's faces among the bloody body parts. Peter also suggested that he stay hidden in the truck during the party and added that the party had been paid for in full, in advance.

Back upstairs again, only one of the three sons turned pale when he saw the bowls and goblets. The other two, both younger, just continued serving. Peter informed the second culprit that his father was in the van resting; he wasn't feeling well. He relayed a message that the party should continue, and when everything was packed up, he should be very sure that none of the gold service was accidently included.

Medi was on the other side of the room, busy talking on his phone with his father, the Emir. It seemed his father Ali; was interested in acquiring a collection of solid gold dildos and was relying on his oldest son to judge only the best examples that had been assembled to be auctioned in January.

Medi was the first to discover that there were definite similarities between at least one of the dildos and the real thing that was wandering around the party hidden in Doug's jeans. Kad and Sidi had improved on the real lone Ancient original by adding balls to each of their works so the dildo would stand up on its own without being held, and the balls could be used as a handle or as an extra special bonus, they could act as a stop if put to use, in the case of smaller models such as Medi's. A small dildo could be 'lost in space' if there was no stop. The person using such a dildo would either have to go 'fishing' somehow, or simply wait until it passed naturally; meanwhile packing several pounds of gold around where it really isn't wanted, could inhibit walking, and jogging would be out of the question and the damn thing would definitely affect one's center of gravity.

Medi called Doug over to the dildo display table, "Do you recognize anyone here?" He asked maliciously and pointed at Doug's life-like and exact size dildo.

Doug took one look and called out, "SIDI, KAD, you two get over here now!" He looked around just in time to see the two not so brave sculptors duck down below Freckles' sofa. However they couldn't contain their laughter, even after Freckles fished them from hiding and sent them flying toward Doug.

"We are caught," Sidi admitted, "Do you like the workmanship?"

"It's so perfect I have to buy that one," Buck said with a laugh. He laughed until Kad offered him a slightly larger work that nearly pulled his arms out of joint.

It was Doug's turn to laugh, "If you bid on me, I mean mine, I'm buying yours," he promised Buck.

"I'm rather afraid that won't be possible old chaps," Medi interrupted using his best British accent, "The most high personage in Bachal, the Emir, my honorable father is buying the lot in its entirety," he announced imperiously.

Medi made the mistake of holding his phone to his ear. That coupled with his flowery reference to his father gave Doug the idea that he had his father on the phone. Doug snatched the phone away and turned on the speaker phone. "Why are you paying your dad so much honor over the phone you little asshole, he should hear what you call him behind his back. Who are you trying to impress anyway?"

A laughing voice on the phone answered Doug, while Medi's face progressed from a perpetual tan, to a red-brown blush, to a sickly gray-brown, "I say there Douglas, pleasure to meet you and all that. This is the most high personage, the little asshole's father, Ali. Medi and I were just discussing a collection of dildos I wish to bid on, but now I think we must discuss which of his younger brothers shall succeed me." Ali accompanied the thinly veiled threat with a laugh that got all the guys except Medi and Evan laughing.

Evan had been talking on his cellphone. After he finished the call, he grabbed Bucky's arm, whispered something and walked to the gang surrounding the dildo display. Bucky took Medi's phone from Doug to begin talking to Ali without preliminaries. "Ali, this is Bucky Trenton, sorry to interrupt the succession, but Evan Falconburg's here at my side and just told me that one of his supertankers loaded with Bachal light crude was high jacked off the coast of Somalia. The tanker is his but the load is his and mine bound for Hamburg around the Cape since it's too big for the Suez. The oil aside, there is a crew of 20 aboard that boat, which we are prepared to do anything to get back safe and sound, up to and including invading that goddamned country, if necessary." Bucky's voice was grinding rocks and he swore; good indicators of just how upset he was.

Hans and Herman, Will, Joe, David and Noah quickly infiltrated the group of boys standing near the forgotten dildos; all were waiting for instructions from their bosses, Bucky and Evan. Evan looked to Bucky for some specialized direction; he was out of his depth, but then so was Bucky at the moment. Invading a sovereign nation, even a piss poor country, was easier said than done.

"Resources, gentlemen," Ali said from the phone, "we must inventory our resources. I offer Bachal as a local base of operations, I maintain an experienced 500 man security force that would be at your disposal and I have a dozen assorted gunboats with crews available that patrol our port and the coast to ward off would be undocumented immigrants. What I lack is leadership, experience, and perhaps a heavy weapon or three if you should happen to have any spares lying about close to hand.

"Of course I will pay any amount to be rid of these blighters." Ali added, "Contrary to popular belief, this region is not the only oil rich area in the world and these scum are adversely affecting business by driving away customers."

"Do you have any local intelligence? I mean I can't believe that a few coastal fishermen turned pirates would have the expertise to highjack tankers and freighters, and make a big show of ransoming the crews while they trans-load the cargos before they ransom the empty boats," Bucky questioned, "There has to be some individuals or groups that are orchestrating and financing these complicated heists."

"To be sure," Ali agreed, "Rumor has it that there is an Indian expat living in South Africa who has become a rather successful importer of assorted goods in shipload quantities. And there is a syndicate of those ever enterprising Nigerian chaps who have invested their income from internet swindles in buying fast new boats built to look old for a group of Somali fishermen. I will email what few particulars I have, if that would be of help. Will you be arriving earlier than planned?"

Bucky held his breath. He just knew that Christmas at Dagger Key and his plan to give Doug his 90 foot gift was fucked up. Most likely until January or not until at least the crew had been recovered.

"No," Bucky decided, "we'll arrive as scheduled. If we arrived early, anyone watching would assume we were there because of the ship. It will be business as usual. Meanwhile, we'll have the Indian checked out to see where he's getting his merchandise and use Snoopy to watch the tanker to see if we can't identify any bossy types that we can track back to the organization's chiefs."

Medi was happy that his father rang off with a promise to see and meet everyone soon, without any more discussion about his or a younger brother's succession to the family throne. At the moment he and his buddy Sean were using mind-speak to discuss the ways and means of shoplifting the exact replicas of their immature tween cocks since Kad and Sidi had been nonpartisan in creating their dildos.

Peter and Edvard, JC and John were having fun picking out their personal replica dildos and were joking about how much they would bid to buy each other's replica. They all agreed that they would use the pairs as book ends in their bedrooms so they would be handy if a couple decided to experiment just once, before they went back to being bookends.

Bucky approached the group. "I asked Buck and Doug who in the group were best working with computers and they pointed me to you guys. They called you elite geeks, which I hope means you guys are the best. I need some help with Snoopy while we're still here. I thought you could set up in our theater since it has the largest screen that can be split."

"Wait up Bucky," Peter interrupted, "They weren't pointing at me they meant Edvard and John, I don't know about JC."

"Nope," JC agreed, "definitely not me either. You want Edvard and John and Freckles, Snoopy's best bud."

"Freckles already agreed to help and I think he touched base with Snoopy already too."

Peter stretched his neck to see what the Great Cat was doing; it was way too quiet in the vicinity of the sitting group Freckles made his own. Bucky giggled, "He's alright," he assured, "he and the warriors are busy recovering his platters that someone covered with human canapés. The warriors are busy feeding him and their own faces at the same time. I'd hate to get the caterer's bill for this little party."

It was Peter's turn to laugh, "There won't be any bill. The caterer got sticky fingers, Freckles reasoned with him in the back of his step van where he hid Freckles bowls and a few of Victoria's goblets. If he stays in business, he'll never steal anything again from anyone."

Peter saw that Sidi and Kad were seated on the sofa opposite Freckles with a gold tray on their laps. They were taking turns tossing snacks in Freckles general direction. Peter was surprised to see the Great Cat miss one apparently intentionally. Then he saw that a young server, the caterer's oldest son was retrieving the missed treats and was carefully, nervously, placing them in Freckles open mouth. Freckles waited a split second after the boy removed his hand before he closed his jaws with a snap.

"I don't think that poor kid will ever help his father steal anything ever again either," Peter surmised.

Peter had an idea he wanted to talk to Bucky about while they were alone, based on Tracy's experience with Fang and Spot in Texas. Tracy's telepathic ability was nil until repeated applications of concentrated Stuff, both self-applied and special Cat Stuff applied by a Great Cat. He asked if Bucky would allow Freckles to visit the couple more frequently to perhaps 'switch' on his and Victoria's mind-speak abilities. He reminded Bucky that he could already communicate with Fang through the golden Fang that was frequently at his side.

"Tara Peter has a very good thought," Fang sent Bucky.

Bucky turned a beautiful shade of red before he said, "You might tell Freckles that our bedroom door is always open if he wants to visit."

Bucky, Will and Joe rode back to New Jersey with Evan, Billy, Hans and Herman in what looked like a small to medium size RV camper. Appearance was where comparisons ended; the interior was tricked out as a small but elegant sitting room. The custom built limo was an early Christmas gift from Evan's partner Billy and like all limos owned by either Bucky or Evan; it was both armored and fully armed.

"I thought you had your entire fleet retro fitted with weapons systems to repel uninvited boarders," Bucky said to Evan. He was referring to Evan's fleet of tankers and freighters.

"Almost all of them are. Retro fitting isn't the problem; that goes pretty fast, the problem is scheduling them into Hamburg. Like this tanker has been kept busy hauling loads to South Africa or over to ports in Asia. It should have crossed paths with its replacement along its route to Germany so there wouldn't have been any interruption in service."

"How effective is the arming if it can be done so quickly."

Evan grinned, "Dieter and Billy got the idea of prefabbing the weapons modules. There's egg shaped pods that are mounted on the fore and aft masts. Each pod contains a mini-gun stuffed with 5000 rounds of ammo that has a 360 degree field of fire. The pod splits open with a click and good old Snoopy takes over directing fire."

Bucky grinned back, "Are they effective? Have any bad guys tried to board?"

"Two so far in about the same area; in both cases one pirate boat got away, the Captains made sure there were no survivors from the boats they sank as kind of an object lesson. Maybe they saw or someone told them that this boat didn't have the mast pods. Shit.

"Of course two guns can't be effective against three or four fast movers at the same time, so Billie, bless his sneaky heart, came up with the idea on mounting Gatling's on 50 foot swing out booms they install at the main deck's mid-point that's also where the free board, um, the side of the ship is lowest; the deck is closest to the water, it's easiest to board there using a rope and a grappling hook. If a boat managed to get in under the mast guns, these hinged booms that look like part of the rail bulkhead swing out so those guns can blast away all along the side of the ship.

"The guys that keep getting away have been bothering me, so I asked that a portable rocket launcher be fabricated that can be flown out to ports wherever. I've also had several inquiries from other shippers to provide and install these systems on their boats, so what was necessary but expensive is turning out to be profitable but still just as necessary. Of course the whole idea is to keep the crews safe, out of the line of fire and none of my competition can do that without also subscribing to Snoopy's services," Evan added innocently before he broke out in a fit of giggles.

Evan received an update on his phone along the way home that ended the levity. Of the 20 crew, only three officers on the bridge were captured while the other 17 crewmen, including the engineering officer managed to get into a hidden safe room. Luckily the engineer managed to shut down two of the three mighty engines, which no pirate was likely to restart unless he possessed an advanced college degree in mechanical engineering and years of experience on one of those monster ships. The net result was that the behemoth was proceeding to its new destination at a snail's pace that was just above steerage (the minimum power required to steer the boat) and if a wind came up, the tanker had to point its bow or astern directly into the wind or be blown off course if it was hit in either side.

The ship's safe room was modern and well equipped for the entire crew to hold out for 30 days even if the bad guys outside knew where, for sure, it existed and where the bank vault style entrance was. Further they had a radio with an emergency frequency that no conventional channel scanner could find. They could also monitor all nearby radio transmissions so they knew that they were headed for an anchorage where there were at least two other smaller tankers waiting to fill up with stolen oil and head for parts unknown. Clearly this massive theft had been carefully planned and expertly carried out way beyond the ability of any native Somalian most used to catching fish with a cast net from a canoe.

However the next part of the update was shocking. Evan received a still photo on his phone of one of the captured officers who was otherwise unidentifiable because he had been hacked to death by a machete that was left imbedded in the victim's skull. The poor man was an example of what would happen to the remainder of the crew if a $20 million ransom wasn't paid promptly.

Everyone in the limo made noises of extreme displeasure that Bucky summed up for them all; "Life is cheap in this part of the world. These bastards will pay dearly for this senseless death. I think it's time to wage a war of extermination since no government has the balls to do it."

"What about women and children?"

Bucky shrugged, "We could warn them and if they don't evacuate, tough, I have to believe the woman are complicit in this operation; they know exactly what their darling husbands are up to. Now Evan, how many of those missiles do you have aboard Sea Song and what additional armament have you added?"

That question drew a slight smile from Evan. "Well, you know the helicopter he carried has been more of a liability than a help, so I replaced it with something that will bite the bastard's asses. I had one of my Black Hawks painted white and when it's sitting on Sea Song's pad, the two arms that hold the weapons arrays are covered with canvass so they look kind of like harmless floats from a distance."

"Very good, but what about the missiles you fire from the converted antique cannon on the bow?"

"R and D refined the missiles so they have a greater range and twice the punch. The launcher is now auto loading from below in the chain locker so we can pop a shot off one per minute. I had 20 made up but I can't imagine the need to use more than one per target and we wouldn't use them on the little speed boats, they're too expensive and over-kill; I thought we'd rely on the Gatling's and mini-guns and Snoopy to take those out if one gets to within a five mile radius."

"Excellent planning Evan, I'll make the 20 mil available in any form they want, delivered wherever they want it, if you'll handle the negotiations and the transfer."

"What do you think will happen after they collect the ransom but no crew to deliver?"

"I imagine they'll think they screwed us; we're dumb asses. I hope they'll get complacent, careless and lower their guard. After they get the money have someone keep demanding the release of the crew to keep them laughing at us. Meanwhile we need to check out the dude that lives in South Africa and from the other end we'll have Snoopy track the tankers after they load as well as watch to see who comes and goes on all the boats involved until we get to Bachal. By then we should have a target, or targets to eradicate.

WOW! Emoe returned this in time to send it off as a belated Holiday gift! Thank you Emoe, it's just what I always wanted.


Jamie Haze

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