They bound him like an animal, tying his hands and feet together behind his back. Jakun lay on his side, completely immobile and shivering in the cold.
This wasn't the worst way he had ever slept, but it was certainly in the bottom ten.
'I told you to stop,' Anya accused bitterly. 'Now we're stuck here…'
'Shut up and get me out of here.'
'I can't. He's watching us.'
Jakun grunted quietly, hearing the sounds of something being slowly chipped at.
'Wood,' the werewolf provided, ghostly form leaving him. 'The elf, he's whittling something. A wand?'
The neko shrugged helplessly.
He startled as the human approached him. The human with the burning touch. The cat tried to stay away from those hands.
A piece of meat touched his lips, Jakun grimacing. No, he wasn't about to allow this.
With a giant snap, the cat bit down, bracing himself for a yell, or a beating. Instead he heard… a laugh…?
"I bet you're hungry, huh?"
This was… a salted sausage. Food, not a dick. And it tasted amazing.
'Why didn't you tell me before I made an ass of myself?'
'You didn't. If anything, you helped your case as the starving slave,' Anya said smugly.
He supposed that was good. Still…
'We're powerless. Helpless in their hands,' Anya sighed, sitting beside the neko.
'You're free to go wherever-' he pointed out silently, chewing the meat.
'Untrue, and you know it. Now, let's think. There has to be a way out of this. The human… Jeremy? He likes us. Well, he likes you. I doubt he'd appreciate my presence. But I digress. How do we get him to remove the restraints?'
Jakun grunted. He could promise not to run… but no, they wouldn't believe that. Unless…
'I'm not causing a distraction,' Anya said, cutting off that line of thought. 'Loran doesn't know I exist, and these two would certainly tell him.'
"Here, have another."
The cat was startled at the words, looking up at his captor.
"Jeremy, don't feed him all of today's rations," the elf said, not pausing in his work.
"They're my rations. And I can do with a little slimming down," the human replied.
He held out a piece of bread for Jakun, the neko accepting the food gingerly. Who knew what they'd do if he accidentally bit the man?
'Oh, now you're going to keep them in one piece. You literally just tried to bite a dick,' Anya snorted.
'Self defence,' Jakun snapped. 'Besides it wasn't a dick.'
'Sure… We have a piece of information now though. What Loran did with your mother. For some reason, the gods have deemed it your act of evil, not his,' Anya continued. 'That is what I consider a dick move. But maybe we can use it to our advantage. We just have to figure out how.'
Jeremy held up a cup, mixing what smelled like… poison? Jakun shivered. Surely they didn't mean to kill him?
"Wait… wait… he'll pay money for me!" he coughed, his throat closing up around the words.
Jeremy frowned, staring at him.
"Pay money for what he sees as his property? Somehow I don't see that happening."
Touching a stick to the cup, the human held the mug to Jakun's lips.
'Don't drink it!' Anya hissed.
"Drink. It should help your throat. Maybe not enough to cast… but it should allow you to talk more easily at least," the cleric said.
"P… poison…" Jakun coughed.
"The Drunken God provides. I merely offer some spice," Jeremy said. "Drink up."
He tipped the mug against Jakun's lips, liquid spilling over the cat's face. The cleric frowned at the wasted liquid.
"I'm trying to help you," he urged.
"I've always told you people don't like to trust someone willing to poison themself," the elf scoffed, blowing on his wood. "Do you think a skull is too much? Or should I try a dying infant? I'm trying to come up with something a necromancer would enjoy."
"Er… I think the skull is fine," Jeremy frowned, as Jakun winced.
The cat's tongue ran around his mouth, trying to get rid of the wetness.
'The poison!' Anya hissed, and Jakun yelped, spitting out the liquid.
"I'm never giving you my Greensting Brew again," Jeremy frowned sadly, before draining the mug in a single gulp.
Jakun stared at the mug, wide eyed. The human had just poisoned himself!
"You realise it was just alcohol, right?" Jeremy chuckled. "No, I suppose not. Well, we'll find another way to fix your throat, I suppose."
"He'll have to earn it though. Already he's in the hole," the elf said.
"Oh, quit being mean. So he's done some bad things. I'm sure he didn't mean them, right?"
Jakun nodded quickly, trying his best to look innocent.
"How did you know I was using poison though? You weren't looking."
The cat's nose quivered in response, and the human chuckled.
"Ah, you're one of those nosey Amurrans," Jeremy laughed. "Well, good on you. But I wasn't trying to kill you."
He was nosey just because he could smell properly? That made no sense. Unless… was he trying to be funny?
'That was pathetic,' Anya grunted.
"Well… if I give you water, will you knock it out of my hands?" Jeremy asked, holding up his mug again.
Jakun thought for a moment before shaking his head no. As long as he wasn't poisoned…
A brief chant later, the cleric held the cup up to Jakun, hand gently stroking the cat's cheek. Jakun gulped the liquid eagerly this time, fresh, cold water running down his throat.
"There we go," Jeremy murmured. "Now… why don't you go to sleep? There's not much happening right now."
The cleric put his things away, before curling up next to the cat. Petting him gently, Jeremy hummed quietly, apparently in an attempt to lure him into sleep.
'I suppose we might as well,' Anya sighed, flooding back into Jakun. 'I have the feeling nothing much is going to happen tonight. Loran doesn't even know we're gone yet. There is no way he's looking for us. And even if he were… I think we're relatively safe here.'
Nodding silently, Jakun let out a yawn. He was exhausted after all. A nap would be amazing. It wasn't long before the catfolk was dead to the world.