Answered Prayers: "Why me?"
Unending BE - episode 498843
I changed "Duncan Paul Matthews" to "Pavel (Paul) Leonidas Matthews". The name makes a difference. - R.A.
“TEACH HER HOW to be?” Paul said. “What does that mean? Teach her how to be what?”
“Isn’t it obvious, Paul?” Bast said. “Tasha is a human in body but not yet in mind. You prayed for your sweet little Princess to become a sweet and loving girl. Well, there you go. You’ve got your wish. Your cat is a pretty girl. She loves you, and she’s a blank slate to boot. You’ve got an opportunity most men can only dream about. You can teach her to be the perfect woman of your wildest fancies.”
Paul saw the glint in the goddess’s eyes. Even if he hadn’t seen her expectant expression, his analytical side would have called “Foul!” He shook his head.
“Does not follow, lady.” He said.
Paul pressed his chin down into the top of Tasha’s head and felt her stroke the back of his hand. Greatly daring, he shifted his head down and pressed his lips against the back of her neck. She shivered. Paul heard her soft intake of breath. He nuzzled her again and hugged her close. Then he raised his head and looked back at the goddess once more.
“You know too much about Tasha. That is, if you’re not spinning out one gigantic whopper of a story. I can deal with a certain basic level of coincidence, but not this much. You didn’t transform my little girlcat into a human just because you happened to be in the neighborhood and in a good mood when I prayed for a miracle that I never expected to see. I’m not one of your worshippers. I don’t even believe in prayer. Turning a cat into a human on a whim is one thing; standard goddess trick. Having that cat-turned-human just happen to be the Crown Princess of Cats is another thing entirely.”
“Why, Paul!” Bast said. She pressed the back of one wrist to her forehead dramatically. “What evah are you saying? Oh. Oh! Ah feel faint! Yoah vicious allegations have wounded me to the quick. To the quick, Ah say!”
The goddess’s spot-on impersonation of a fainting Scarlett O’Hara was so over-the-top that Paul couldn’t resist the sudden rush of hilarity that filled him. His laugh set Tasha’s breasts jiggling and startled her so much that she tried to sit up. He wasn’t about to give her up just yet. Holding her was far too nice for that. He tightened his left arm around her waist and brought his right hand up to cup her forehead with a light touch. She rolled her eyes at him.
“Myah?” She said.
“Meh.” Paul said. He smiled. He had no idea what “meh” meant, but he’d been talking back to her like that since she was the size of a can of soup. When he’d taken her home from the Doctor’s office she’d been so malnourished and dehydrated and just plain worn out that she couldn’t make a sound, not even the softest little squeak. It was three whole days before she found her voice and she never did become a very talkative cat.
“Myah?” was practically the first thing you ever said to me, Princess. Of course your voice was not nearly so sweet back then…
Paul’s whole spirit filled brim-full with wonder. Tasha relaxed her neck, letting Paul pull her head back until he could kiss her hair again. His kiss lingered.
If you’re a dream…I will kill myself when I wake up.
“This isn’t a dream, Pavel Leonidas.” Bast said. “This is as real as real can be.”
“You called her your dear adopted daughter, Bast.” Paul said. “I don’t for a minute believe you’d turn her over to a guy so he could turn her into his personal love-toy. Stop playing with your food for a minute and tell me what I’m supposed to do.”
Bast’s eyes narrowed.
“Be careful with stereotypes, Pavel Leonidas.” She said. “Especially feline stereotypes. I am not a cat. Neither is Tasha. Neither are most cats, as you think of them. Cats do not, for instance, play with their food out of malice. They just have fun toys that happen to be edible. Chasing mice and batting crickets across the floor is the nature of a healthy cat. They do not understand that their actions cause their toys pain and suffering. Do not fall into the habit of categorizing – oops, sorry about that, my bad. Paul. You can no longer afford to make superficial assumptions about anyone’s motives. If you do so – especially with Tasha – you will continue make some very grave mistakes.”
“Would you have let her die if I hadn’t stopped and saved her?” Paul said.
Bast blinked. Paul watched her jaw work for a few heartbeats.
I surprised you.
Bast’s mouth opened. Her voice was a reflective whisper.
“I don’t know.” Bast said.
“You don’t know?” Paul said “You could have let her get run over by a car?”
“I don’t know!” Bast raised her voice. “The rules say I should have. I watched her mother die. Survival of the fittest. Only the most capable succeed. It was her fate. Et cetera et cetera. But because you were there – because of your shining moment of denial – I did not have to make the choice. My sister Destiny says it was just one of those crazy things; the sheer unbridled randomness of humanity in action. It drives her to distraction. She likes things a bit neater.”
Paul stared. The cat-goddess was actually rambling!
Bast pulled herself back to the present with a quick head-shake. She nodded at him.
“You saved me too, Paul.” She said. “I didn’t have to let another of my precious little girls die – because of your natural impulse for justice and compassion.”
So you’re saying –
“No!” Bast said. “Not even. This isn’t payback. I do not trade people I love for favors. Tasha is not your reward. On the contrary! She is your most solemn responsibility.”
Bast was suddenly back to her old smirky self.
“Old goddess tradition. You save a girl’s life, you’re responsible for her. You’re the princess’s Guardian, Pavel Leonidas.”
Paul heard the capital G slot into place.
“I thought that was an old Chinese tradition.” He said.
“Where do you think they got it from?”
Tasha shifted a little. Paul looked down.
The princess in question had finally discovered her breasts. She was cupping them gently in her hands, squeezing thoughtfully with an adorable wondering expression on her face. She brushed her fingertips over her hardening nipples, circling them very deliberately with a slow probing motion. Her eyes were growing wider and wider –
“Don’t let her do that, Paul.” Bast said. “Not right now, anyway.”
Automatically Paul brought his hands up and folded them around Tasha’s. She turned her head and looked at him with a surprised expression that switched instantly to irritation.
“Rahh!” She said. She tried to pull her hands away.
“No!” Paul said. “No, Tasha.” He softened his voice and wrapped his fingers around hers so that they curled up inside his palms. She pulled her arms back at the elbows and deliberately pressed their hands into her breasts. The cool soft silky sensation of Tasha’s nipples against the back of his thumbs made him gasp and let go as though burned. She crossed her arms, cupping and covering each breast with its opposite hand. The irritation in her dark eyes softened, but the line of her perfect lips thinned.
“Rehh…?” She said.
Bast raised one thin eyebrow at Paul and rolled her eyes.
“Save me.” She muttered. “Just cover her hands where they are right now, Paul. She’ll enjoy the warmth and the closeness and you can probably manage that much contact without melting your brain.”
Paul’s face burned once more, but he had to admit the idea had appeal. He lifted his hands and flattened them over Tasha’s until he was cradling her pretty hands over her sweet breasts. His fingertips pressed lightly on the thin skin over her collarbones, but everywhere else her hands separated his from her delicate flesh. He inhaled deeply, with a hitch at the end. His cock wanted to play; Paul could feel the light pressure that signaled the beginning of a new erection.
Oh no you don’t. Ichi. Ni. San. Shi. Go. Roku…
Paul closed his eyes and tried to clear his mind with a quick meditation, automatically counting slowly to ten in Japanese.
“This is a good example of what I’m talking about, Paul.” Bast said. She gestured at Tasha. “Our princess is a total innocent. She has no concept of the normal rules of conduct, no cultural literacy, no nothing. She doesn’t see anything unnatural about exploring her sweet new human body right here in front of her goddess or anyone else.”
Paul only half-heard the goddess’s words. Tasha was sniffing the hollow of his throat. It tingled, it tickled, and it was destroying the desire-numbing effect of his meditation.
Paul and Tasha both jumped. Paul’s hands reflexively squeezed Tasha’s, kneading the girl’s breasts. Bast had reached out and slapped his knee with her open hand.
“Look, Paul, I know our princess is a sweet little bundle of distraction, but pay attention right the fuck now.” Bast said. “This is the most important thing that you will ever do, save one – and you will never find out what that most-important thing of all is if you don’t listen with both ears and your brain and your heart.”
When Bast saw that she had Paul’s wide-eyed attention, she nodded.
“Because of conditions laid down long before either of you were born, and because of your shining moment of compassion, you are to be her teacher of all things human. I wasn’t kidding when I told you that you must teach her to be, starting with the most basic things you can imagine.”
“Why does the Crown Princess of Cats need to learn to be human?” Paul said.
“Cats are good at many things Paul, but organization isn’t one of them.” Bast said. “Have you heard the phrase “It’s about as easy as herding cats.”?”
“Yes, but –”
“Cats are very good at what they do, but thinking, and long-term planning, and inspired tactics are not among their gifts. Thus, the Powers long ago – that’s my family, by the way – established a very special bloodline. Tasha’s bloodline. Cats with the potential to become… not human, because humans aren’t all that either; but the result is a cat-being with the potential to become humanlike in all the ways that matter – a cat-person who can feel and think and live and love just as humans do. A human-person who can order the hidden world of the Cat Kingdom. The royal line, large and in charge.”
Bast paused to see if Paul was going to interrupt again. He shook his head. Tasha sniffed his ear and then licked it. He was iron.
“There are more things in Heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your shallow philosophy, Pavel Leonidas.” Bast said. “Do not mistake me. While you are educating Tasha, you’ll be getting a crash course in a world hidden away from most humans. War is coming. The Kingdom of the Cats will be involved. They have deadly enemies – and if you say the word “dogs” I will scratch your eyes out. Dogs and cats will be on the same side in the coming storm, as will all creatures great and small who have the capacity to love. The Court of Cats lies barren, the throne empty for the last twenty years. It’s time for a new leader to ascend the throne and take the crown so that the Kingdom can be mustered to the fray.”
“Tasha...?” Paul said. He gaped. She was so small – so pretty –!
“Tasha.” Bast said.
“Tasha!” Tasha said.
“Yes dear.” Bast said. She reached out and tousled Tasha’s hair and smiled at Paul. “I told you she was a smart girl. She has tremendous untapped potential. Your job is to tap it, and release the Tasha she ought to be.”
“This could take years, Bast. And – and I’ve never done anything like this before. My sensei only let me start teaching in the children’s karate classes three months ago…”
Paul looked up.
“This is where I have to ask “Why me?” Paul said. “For her sake.”
Go back - Go to the parent episode.
- "Because you are the Chosen One." Bast said.
- Bast looks irritated. She says -
- "Okay, the short short version." Bast says.
- And then a miracle occurs -
Sat May 06 22:10:58 2006