Chapter Seven
by Katsuko

Disclaimers and warnings can be found in Chapter One.

Dedications: My wonderful beta reader and co-author for the series Eternal SailorM. Also the kitties Aya, Biscuit and Mika for keeping me company while I type.

It's almost funny, the way Dorobou is doing everything in his power to avoid going inside. Even more amusing is the Yuugi-shadow he's developed. Of course, that might have something to do with the 'chat' Malik had with him on the helicopter; I'm not sure is I should be annoyed over hearing my mate tell my best friend 'If I catch you doing anything with my Katsuya you won't be coming back this time' or stick with amused.

"Jyonouchi-san." I turn my head to see that Dartz has joined us. From his eyes and scent, something's up.

"Where's the kit?" is automatically my first question.

"Inside with the small Kaibas," he replies; I breathe a quiet sigh of relief. If Ryuzaki's fine then it's probably-- "We have visitors at the gates."

"Fuck," I snarl, feeling my fangs sharpen. "I did not want to deal with this shit until morning."

"Dartz! There you are!" And Dorobou appears out of nowhere, Yuugi right behind him. "I need to introduce you to someone."

"It's okay," I say as my Leopard looks at me questioningly. "I'll handle this."

I walk away as Dorobou starts talking again. I wait for nearly a full minute before asking, "And you're following me because...?"

"The Boss is boring me," Malik responds, falling into step beside me. "I figure that whatever's happening out front has to be more interesting."

"I don't need any help, Malik-chan. I'm--"

"Yoiu did it again."

I stop in my tracks and turn to stare at him. "Did what again?"

"Added -chan to my name.' He says it with a micture of confusion and annoyance, almost like he doesn't understand but wants it to be of the good.

I actually have to take a minute to mentally backtrack to every time I've spoken to my mate--and realize that when I started to think of Malik as such I added an endearment without a second thought... although apparently up until now I kept it to myself.

"So I did," I remark as I start walking again. "Guess that means I'm keeping you."

"You can be a real asshole, Katsuya," Malik says as he falls into step with me once again. "I think I either love you or need extensive therapy."

The conversation leaves me in a good mood right up until the gates are in sight. Thanks to my guests being downwind, I had no real idea who my former Nimir Raj had sent; I'm annoyed to discover just which Leopards are waiting. What the fuck?

Hirutani is seriously pissing me off.

"What is this, amateur night?" I snark as I glower at the three Cats before me; the only one to meet my gaze for more than a few seconds in the German, and even then his eyes drop before a minute passes.

"Katsuya?" I hear Malik ask, and it doesn't escape my notice that all three of my guests turn their attention to him. "Who are your not-friends?"

Honestly, I could kiss him when he says stuff like that. Especially since the small fry just realized that my scent's all over Malik and looks like his eyes are about to pop out.

"The midget there is Esper Roba; tall, blond and ugly is Raphael; and the one with pink hair is Siegfried von Schraider." I turn a hard look on the trio and don't try to keep the growl out of my voice: "So what, is Hirutani sending you guys out in squads now?"

"Hirutani left town."

I snap my head around to lock eyes with Siegfried's. "He what?" I ask, ice in my voice. The larger and smaller Cats both flinch but the German doesn't falter under my glare. This one used to delight in obeying Hirutani's orders; I'll have to watch him closely.

"Left town," Siegfried repeats. "Took what was left of the core pard and headed for Nagasaki."

"He said he was leaving the refuse behind," Roba finally adds, gaze still locked somewhere around my midsection.

I growl softly, eyes narrowing to slits. Hirutani is a fool; with Siegfried and Raphael in his ranks he may have stood a chance against me. Siegfried had a passing respect for him while Raphael followed him blindly. Cutting them and Roba loose--especially since Roba has a lot of power for how small he is--will be a mistake he'll come to regret.

"And you came here because...."

It's Raphael who answers this time: "You vouched out effortlessly three years ago, without anyone to second you. You refused to return the kit and then accepted Dartz-san as pard. None of us is cut out to be an Alpha or a lone Were."

I take a moment to look them over. It appears that Hirutani was brutal in his elmination process as I can see that all of them are still bleeding. I feel Malik move to my side even as I make my decision.

"Isono-san," I direct to the nearest vamp guard. "Pass the word that there are three more Leopards on the grounds."

"Yes, sir," he responds even as he moves to direct the others. The trio looks wary but hopeful.

"You three need to see Varon now," I tell them before turning back towards the house. "I'll be damned if any of my pard is walking around with open wounds."

"Is this a good idea, suncat?" Marik asks as he takes control of their body; I almost snicker as my new Cats note the change in his scent with varying degrees of confusion.

I can't help but smirk. "Good for my pard, fatal for Hirutani. Next time that bastard shows his face in Domino, only one of us is walking away."

And it sure as hell won't be Hirutani.

Sometimes it might be a good thing that I miss out on the excitement. Not more than three minutes after Malik and I left the den to get some food for my Cats, I glanced out one of the windows and noted a Tokyo police cruiser sitting outside. Lovely. Aren't they a little, I don't know, early for how long ago we left that godsforsaken city?

No offense meant to Pegasus or Lady Cynthia, of course. I just don't like Tokyo when I have Domino.

I'm still rather impressed that I managed to keep my mate's attention away from the front of the house for the duration of the 'visit;' in case I haven't said it lately thank the gods for enhanced feline hearing. Although the patchouli that one of those officers was wearing has to go. Ugh, I'm going to have to shift and rub-mark everything all over again to kill that stench....

"So," I ask casually once we're outside the den again, "they're gone?"

Malik turns and gives me a very confused look; behind him Siegfried rolls his eyes. I really do need to have a talk with that Cat. "Who's gone, Katsuya?"

"Tokyo P.D."

...okay, I didn't expect that reaction, but it's still funny to watch his hands shoot up in the air. "Whatever it was, I swear I didn't do it!"

"Except that you did break and enter, nutball," Dorobou replies from inside the room; I lean in and sure enough he's smirking. "You just didn't commit another murder, is all."

Malik blinks. "Oh. Yeah. Guess I did. So," he adds nervously, "they're gone?"

"Wie wurde dieser Dummkopf der Alphagehilfe?" Siegfried grumbles behind us, and I turn a sharp glare towards him.

"Don't think I don't know what you just said, Larry. It would be wise for you to not piss me off," I snap back. I knew those German lessons Seto insisted upon would come in handy, but I didn't realize how at the time. It makes me feel more like I truly can control this small pard when the pink-haired Cat backs down and lowers his eyes in acknowledgment. To Malik I add a gentler, "They're gone, Malik-chan. Although the stench remains."

"Maybe we can spritz the whole house with Cop-B-Gone," Dorobou quips from his spot next to Yami. "Or burn the whole thing down and rebuild."

"I don't think so," Seto says, glaring at his deck. I honestly wish I knew what all this Duel Monsters hype was about. I only like two of the cards, and those are that black dragon and the panther guy. "Are you two finished yet?"

I shake my head as I settle back on the couch with Malik and keep one eye on the duel and one on my Cat. This won't be easy, but I'm home. That's all that really matters in the end.

Wie wurde dieser Dummkopf der Alphagehilfe? - How did this fool become the alpha mate?

Yes, this is the last chapter of Avarice, not counting the epilogue. I'm going to take a very short break after the epilogue to work on a few other stories of mine; I should be ready to go with Endear sometime within the next month. Possibly sooner. I won't really know until I sit down to write. All I really know for the moment is, Hirutani will be back in town and the Domino pard will deal with him once and for all. That's all you get for now.

Epilogue coming soon.

[ Cursed Gold 01 | Cursed Gold 02 | Cursed Gold 03 | Cursed Gold 04 | Cursed Gold 05 | Cursed Gold 06 | Cursed Gold 07 | Cursed Gold 08 | Cursed Gold 09 | Cursed Gold Epilogue ]
[ Avarice 01 | Avarice 02 | Avarice 03 | Avarice 04 | Avarice 05 | Avarice 06 | Avarice 07 | Avarice Epilogue ]
[ Endear ]
[ Unbreakable ]