Bitten Kitten Book 4
Fiction, Fantasy, Dark, Mystery
January 1, 2021
Natalia is learning what it takes to raise a Viperian daughter. Things are not quite what she remembered growing up. A one year old is supposed to be cute and cuddly, not conniving and devious. Victoria is challenging the conceptions that Natalia has about children. At first, a new kitten in the family curbs Victoria’s rambunctious style. Who knew that a kitten bitten by a young Viperian could become something different. Natalia and Uri have more than a few worries on their hands. Uri has bought a few businesses, trying to launder the money he had stolen, but he keeps getting audited. It is testing his accounting skills. Natalia steps in with a clothing store idea that goes totally askew. What can be counted goes missing. What is cute becomes ugly. And innocence isn’t what you think.
or FREE with Kindle Unlimited
“Are you sure, this is what you do?” Natalia said.
“We’re almost late in doing this. She’s escaped her room twice already without us knowing,” Uri said.
Natalia stared at the device Uri was installing.
“I’m glad I already installed the sensors on the windows after Mag and Zena finished remodeling the nursery,” he said.
The nursery no longer had a crib, but a twin sized bed. It was pushed against the wall in a corner. The one long side not against the wall had a railing. The short end not against the other wall was the only side not blocked.
“I don’t even think we need the railing any more. She doesn’t roll off of things. She can sleep on the sofa without falling off,” she said.
He nodded while he worked.
“Where is she at?” she said.
He cocked an ear.
“Last I saw she was hiding behind the sofa. Yeah, I can hear her giggling.”
“So what does this do again?”
“Since she can open the door, these sensors let us know when she has left her room. It gives us an alarm in our bedroom. She’s old enough where she’s not going to want the door closed. Viperians don’t like being alone.”
“We sleep with the door closed.”
He laughed. “We’re sleeping together. We’re not alone.”
“So, what’s the big deal. We can track her by her earrings.”
“This is when we’re sleeping,” he said. “And she decides to go off to do mischief.”
“What sort of mischief can a one year old get into?”
Uri adjust one screw, then stood.
“Done. We have a remote in our room that turns this on and off.”
“Your mother used one of these?”
She noted he hadn’t answered her other question.
“Yeah. It took me until I was three to figure it out,” he said.
“How to get around it?”
“No, that it was there. You can’t get around it. Every five inches there is a beam. It goes all the way up to the top of the door. And they are invisible. She won’t be able to tell when it’s on or off.”
“This seems excessive.”
“Let’s go get dressed.”
“Every time I question Viperian parenting, you try and distract me.”
“Mag is instructing you on what you need to know and do.”
“A lot of it seems...counterintuitive and cruel.”
“It builds discipline which is essential for fitting into our culture and the Undent world.”
She eyed him.
“You don’t want a Gussy. There’s a new meaning to that name.”
“Yes, so I’ve heard. It means someone uncouth and undisciplined. But still… she’s only one.”
“The early impressionable years are the most important.”
Natalia remembered how Victoria had learned to handle being away from her when she was an infant. Mirren, her grandfather, had told her that her mother was away and she had to be good.
“Now that she is ambulatory, she is going to test all of the teachings we’ve already given her,” he said. “We do have to get dressed. The Festival starts at dusk.”
“From what I’ve seen, dressing seems rather simple or lacking.”
He smiled. “You don’t want to be overdressed for the Festival of Sex.”
“I’m almost leery ofgoing.”
“I missed it last year. I want to go this year.”
“What were you doing last year?”
“We were having a baby.”
“Oh. Will everyone be there?”
“Most everyone. Sixteen on up as long as your mark has appeared.”
Natalia turned when she heard Mag’s voice downstairs.
‘Where’s Victoria?’ Her voice was almost singsongy.
Natalia could hear giggling.
‘I hear her. Where is that little girl?’ Mag said.
Natalia eyed Uri.
“And what does this little game do?” she said, referring to Mag pretending not to find Victoria.
‘I can’t find her anywhere.’
There was the sound of Mag retreating to the kitchen.
“Let’s get dressed,” he said, taking her arm and dragging her into the bedroom.
“I can hardly call these clothes,” she said, holding the small piece of fabric.
“Everyone wears the same thing.”
“The men wear a front cloth, and the women weara skirt and a strip across the breasts.”
“This doesn’t even cover the breasts. And why are they all blue?” she said.
“This is the Festival of Sex, sweetheart.”
He started undressing her. She again noted he didn’t answer her last question.
“If you keep undressing me like this, slow with kisses, we’re going to be late.”
“Just getting us in the mood,” he said.
“We are not having sex at the Festival.”
“Why do you think it’s called the Festival of Sex?”
“I prefer sex in the privacy of our bedroom.”
He smiled in her hair. “Get dressed. You can wear one of your loose dresses until we get there in case we get pulled over or have an accident. I’ll wear shorts. Bonnie is going, too, even though she is driving us.”
“Who else is going?”
“Last year everyone missed the Festival. I’m talking about our staff because of Victoria. And because of Victoria, one of them has to miss it again. They drew straws. Mag lost.”
“But just for tonight. Everyone is taking turns. Tomorrow is Kate. The next night is Zena. Then the last night is Bonnie which means we have to drive ourselves. We have to pay everyone a premium to babysit. This is when babysitters strike it rich.”
“We already pay them.”
“To babysit during the Festival requires extra pay.”
“What did you do last year?”
“I had to give everyone extra pay. It is a Viperian law that if you have workers who cannot go to the Festival of Sex because of work, you must pay them a premium.”
“I guess I better see what this is all about.”
“Sex,” he said with a smile.
Victoria cocked an ear. Her parents were using the voice and words that she didn’t know. However, she knew her name when they spoke it. They were talking about her. She wished she knew what the other words meant.
She decided to move behind a chair for a new hiding spot. That was where Mag last looked, so she knew Mag wouldn’t look there again. With care, she tiptoed behind the chair and sat. She giggled that they couldn’t find her. As long as she stayed squatted down, they wouldn’t see. They never looked down.
She peered around the chair. Her nose caught the scent of fresh cookies. She wished cookie time would hurry up. Being alonein the living room wasn’t any fun.
Beside the chair was a table with a lamp. She looked at it. The cord snaked down to a plug in the wall. She grabbed the cord and pulled hard. The lamp crashed to the ground. She knew that would get Mag out here.
Mag came out of the kitchen. The door banged.
‘What are you doing?’ Mag was glaring at her.
‘Hide and seek.’
Victoria made herself as small as she could while making her eyes as big as she could.
‘Did you push that over?’
Victoria shook her head, then glanced up warily. Her mother and father were coming down the stairs. They were talking using those strange words again.
“Mag, that’s the third time she’s knocked that over,” Natalia said.
“That’s why there isn’t a light bulb in it. It’s plugged into the outlet that’s controlled by the switch. It’s off.”
“She’s probably pulling the cord,” Uri said.
“She just want