16. Kujo

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The white cat found them when Adam had been playing with Vitesh's thick hair in his lap, the Jinni laying on his side with his head resting on Adam's thigh. The moment the fluffy ball of Doom (yes, that cat deserved a capital for that) dropped down from a high branch and hit the grass, Adam's lips widened into a frighteningly large grin. "Kujo!" He waved one hand over to the feline and watched it flounce closer until it growled at the Jinni. "No, no, he's my mate."

"How did that beast get here?" Vitesh whispered, eyes wide. He had enough brains to move when the cat hissed at him. "If he scratches you," The wary threat aimed to the cat hang in the air as he sat with his nose scrunched up.

"Kujo won't," Adam kissed his cheek before he occupied himself with petting the feline. "He's sweet."

The hissing and growls cut off with the feline kneading his paws in Adam's lap to get comfortable. "Those are not words used when speaking about this... cat," Vitesh remarked with a frown. "How are you doing this? A scent douser or is it just your pretty eyes doing their magic?"

"They're not pretty," Adam rolled his eyes with cheeks getting pinker. "I'm not sure but he feels safe. Can I keep him safe?"

"Adam, do you expect me to ever be able to say a concrete no to you?" Vitesh retorted and leaned over cautiously to peck the wolf's cheek. "You can but one scratch and he is thrown out into the rainy evening."

"You wouldn't, but okay," Adam grinned. "Kujo, wan' cuddle Vi'esh?"

The cat, in any uncertain terms wouldn't allow that without a fight and Adam cuddled it close to his chest as an apology. "You know what they say about white cats?" Vitesh asked while Adam had taken to easing out some leaves and twigs caught in the long fur coat.

"Uh, higher chance of cancer?" Adam asked. "Or is that dogs?"

"I didn't mean that fact but you aren't wrong," He ran a hand through Adam's curls and got an affectionate bump back into his palm. "My grandmother had many superstitions but she'd always be extremely respectful of white coated felines. She would tell my mother that they were born without souls and as such, could become a vessel for any wandering ones. She would cover all the mirrors in the house to be sure that 'the souls wouldn't transfer from that cat to the other side'. It makes for rather pissed off entities when they are forcibly wrenched from one vessel to the other and she wanted to avoid any spirit's wrath."

"My brother would say souls are unnecessary, that he can live perfectly without one," Adam shook his head. "I guess when I shared mine, it meant he does need one."

"Possibly," Vitesh allowed with a frown. "Sibling bonds are very confusing things. Blood shared and your birth would link you even if you hadn't shared your soul. I don't understand how you could do it without lessons though."

Thinking back to that horrible night, Adam couldn't recall how he had done it either. All he knew had been the faint buzz of mate bonds being dampened and swarmed with Abel's agony and crippling loneliness. He'd never regretted that bond when it meant Abel had slowly healed inside and out. Adam would probably be dead if he hadn't always retreated to that steady flow of love from his brother's side of the connection those long ten years.

"Le's go?" Adam offered with a soft smile directed to his mate.

"Let's," Vitesh agreed and stood, packing the provisions with a swipe of his hand. The crimson dust that materialised gathered everything up into the basket and folded the blanket into a small square. Adam took the offered hands and Kujo curled around his neck in response, fashioning the furry body into a mock scarf. The purring at his collarbone even inspired a smile from Vitesh. "Who would have thought this fluff ball of evil would willingly help another?"

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