Katie ran through the African bush blindly in a almost panicked state after learning Zander was tracking and pursuing her. He had already captured her once and she knew that she would not get another chance to escape the next time. She didn't know how long she ran for or even how far, and frankly she didn't care. The only thing she cared about was the distance between her and that crack-pot Zander.
Taking a small breather, Katie sat down and panted heavily. As she rested, she looked at her surroundings and she started to feel uneasy. "I don't like this place," Katie thought to herself as her fur stood on end. She had a bad vibe about this place. It reeked of fear and it was quiet. Way too quiet. She couldn't even hear any birds in the trees.
A young poacher saw a leopard just through the trees. "Awesome. What a beauty you are," He thought as he took aim with his tranquillizer gun.
Starting to back away from this area, Katie suddenly let out a sharp cry of pain. Looking round she saw a tranquillizer dart in her hip.
Poachers! Katie thought as she started running to hide somewhere before the drug would take effect.
When he fired the dart gun, the young poacher frowned when the leopard yelped, looked at the tranquillizer dart before taking off, the yelp it emitted somehow sounding human to him.
"What you shoot at?" another poacher asked as he joined him.
"It was a leopard, but something... was odd about it, boss."
"A leopard? What was odd about it?" the second asked.
"Well... I swear it looked like it was carrying a backpack and it yelped when I shot a dart at it. It sounded almost human."
"Don't be stupid, boy. Animal don't wear backpacks! Get the others and go find it before some other creature does. Leopards fetch a very tidy sum."
"Sure thing, boss."
Panting as she staggered across the bush, Katie headed for a densely packed area to hide.
I... got to stay... awake. Got to... hide before...I pass... out Katie thought as she dragged herself under a bush, sighing with relief that she was safely hidden. Laying down, Katie's eyes darted left and right, her ears twitching and moving at the slightest sound, checking, and hearing her surroundings before slowly losing consciousness as the tranquillizer gradually took effect.
After many minutes, Katie awoke suddenly and after a few seconds had passed, she held her head in her paws and groaned loudly. "This feels like the worst hangover ever," Katie moaned out loud as she lay there. Looking around groggily, Katie then stood up, feeling a little unsteady and a bit nauseous. Shaking her head to clear the last of the tranquillizer's effects, Katie crept out of the bush she was hiding under and decide to take a huge detour around this area by crossing the river to avoid the poachers completely.
Heading back unsteadily along the cliff above the river, in roughly the same direction that she had come, she soon regretted the decision after she ran straight into Zander.
"You?!" Zander growled acting quickly and tackling her to the ground. Straddling her, he started using the length of his gun's barrel to choke her. "You dangerous and evil creature!! Stop squirming and I promise I'll make this quick!"
"Shut up, you fool", Katie hissed quietly, using her strength to throw him off, her back pack slipping off her shoulder and fell to the ground by a tree. "You want the poachers to find us and kill us?"
"Poachers? Here in the safari park? I knew it! You are from a group of poachers! You're working with them, aren't you?" Zander snapped attempting to aim his gun on her.
Quickly grabbing the barrel with her paws before Zander could attempt to use it, Katie stood up and stared at him angrily, gripping the barrel tightly.
"Never call me a poacher! I find that plain insulting!" she retaliated, bearing her fangs and snapping her jaws angrily at him as she started pushing him away.
"There's not much human left in you, is there?, Zander spoke in a snarky, provoking tone as he started to push back. "You're becoming more and more feral," Zander sneered as he looked straight into her blue eyes, frowning when he noticed her pupils were slowly starting to change their shape, becoming more almond shaped the longer she was provoked.
"I will not let you play these mind games on me!" Katie roared, twisting round her arms suddenly, throwing Zander off balance and ripping the gun from his grip.
Looking up fearfully as Katie stood over him, she looked down at him in disgust, holding the gun tightly in her paws, knowing exactly what he was thinking.
"AS if I would!" Katie hissed at him. "You're not even worth it," Katie spoke, throwing the gun behind her. "I will never be like you!" she spoke down at him, turning away and started to walk away.
Attempting to retrieve the gun that she discarded, Katie turned her head back towards him and snarled aggressively, quick to stand in between him and his shotgun. "You would still shoot me, even if I won't shoot you?!!" she asked, completed appalled by his actions.
"That's you weakness, not mine! Besides, I don't need a gun to finish you off," Zander sneered at her. "Do you think I need a gun for everything?"
"I'm not thinking that at all!" Katie snapped back at him. "I'm thinking why don't you just leave me alone. I'm causing no harm!"
"No chance! You're evil and dangerous. It'll be irresponsible of me to let you just go around freely," he whispered threateningly, taking out a flick knife out of a pocket.
"Take a look in the mirror, Zander! You're more dangerous than I could ever be!"
"Wrong! Leopards are the root of all evil in the animal kingdom!" Zander screamed as he lunged at her.
Rolling to the side, Katie scowled aggressively and swiped a paw, knocking the knife out of his hand, then threw it far away with her other paw.
"Are you insane?" she questioned as she stood up, turning around to face him. "Leopards are the root of all evil?" "That's the most ridiculous thing I ever heard!"
"I am not insane! Leopards are evil creatures and poachers are evil too and you happen to be both!"
"Leopards? Evil creatures?" "Where on Earth did you get that idea from?" she questioned stepping towards him, wondering what the reason is for his feared hatred towards leopards.
"Don't act like you don't know," he retorted, slowly stepping away from her as he was now defenceless.
Her sensitive ears twitching, she heard a slight cracking sound. Glancing down towards the sound she saw that Zander was standing on a overhang above the river which was about it give way.
"Zander, stop!" Katie ordered holding out her arms. She didn't really want to help him. He was trying to kill her after all, but it was in her nature to warn him and she knew that her helpfulness would be her greatest weakness.
"Keep away from me, you evil freak! I'm not falling for any of your tricks," he snapped, taking another step back.
"STOP!! Katie roared, quickly pouncing towards him, grabbing an arm as the ground gave way beneath him.
Gasping as the ground gave way, he looked up as Katie leaned over the new edge, only just managing to grab his arm.
"Why... why are you doing this? I'll let you know that this won't win any sympathies!"
"Just... shut up and quit squirming or I'll drop you!" Katie groaned with the effort of holding him with just one arm. Concentrating, Katie summoned all her leopard strength and slowly started to pull him back up.
Katie turned her head and saw the ground beneath her was cracking too. She barely had time to gasp before it broke away and they both fell to the river below.
Breaking above the water surface, Katie gasped for air and looked around and saw a unconscious Zander floating down river, knocked out by the falling debris and heading towards a waterfall.
Cursing her helpful nature, she swam over to him and grabbed hold of him and swam to the river bank. As Katie pulled Zander ashore, she shook all the water out of her fur, she saw the sun reflecting off of something in the water. Curiosity getting the better of her, she went to see what it was and saw that it was Zander's shotgun lying on the bottom of the river. Going back into the water, Katie dived and picked it up.
Not taking any chances of Zander getting it back again, Katie walked a little way off to her left, over to the edge of the waterfall with it. Checking to see if it was loaded, Katie tried to work out how the shot gun opened so she could remove the shells and after a few minutes she thought it was taking too long, so she held it in both paws and fired them into the ground. Her ears flinching violently at the sound of the shot, she dropped the gun and she suddenly became tense all over. Looking up slowly, her pupils had changed to a distinctive almond shape, her claws extracted and she started growling ferally. Shuddering after a few seconds, Katie shook her head, wondering what just happened, then dismissed it, reaching down to pick up the shotgun, then threw it over the edge of the waterfall.
"Now your less dangerous." Katie hissed quietly as she walked past the still unconscious Zander. Katie looked around for her backpack then figured it must have slipped off when she was fighting with Zander. Swimming back to the other side, Katie shook the water out of her fur again, then started climbing up the rocky cliff.
Up on the top Katie looked around, then eventually found it partially hidden by a tree by using her sensitive sense of smell, but before she could retrieve it she was quickly surrounded by the group of poachers. All of them aiming their guns at her.
They must have heard me and Zander fighting. Or me fire his gun. I hope they didn't see me fire it, Katie thought as they started to surround her. Trying to slip away and run for it, she heard a snap of a twig from behind her. Turning her head sharply, she felt something hard quickly hit the side of her head then everything went black.
After roughly 20 minutes, Katie began to stir as she slowly came round, hearing voices talking. Voices that were discussing her.
"I never seen a leopard like this one before," a voice spoke. "It has no whiskers, which I never seen before and it's a polydactyl. That's a rarity in wild cats."
"Poly-what?" a young sounding voice asked.
"Polydactyl. It's a mutation where cats are born with extra digits on the paws. See?" the male voice said, poking something at Katie's thumbs, through the bars of the cage they had put her in.
"It's awakening, boss" the young one spoke, seeing her arm pull back as she was poked. Opening her eyes, Katie glanced up at them and started growling instinctively.
"That's a relief," a third voice called out. "I was beginning to think I'd killed it."
"No! I can't believe it," the boss spoke quietly, kneeling down and gave Katie a closer look. "It has blue eyes. She's an absolute beauty. Her value just keeps going up and up. We'll make a fortune with this one alone. She'll pay for our whole trip and the next one."
"That's a her? How can you tell?" the young poacher asked, kneeling beside his boss and giving her a closer look as well.
"Stupid boy!" the leader muttered, staring at him. "I'm sure you'll figure it out... eventually," he sighed, rolling his eyes as he got up.
"Hmmmm," the young one thought as he continued to scrutinise Katie carefully, making her feel uncomfortable.
"Don't hurt yourself from thinking too hard," one of the others teased as they were about to walk away.
"Hey, don't her eyes... look kinda human to any of you? I think she understands what we're saying as well." the young one asked, either ignoring their teasing remarks or they just went over his head.
Mentally gulping at what the youngster just said, Katie had to act quickly to avoid any of them from learning the truth about her. Suddenly roaring loudly, she swiped a paw at him through the bars.
"Argh!" the youngster yelped in surprise, falling backwards.
"Does that answer you question?" the others asked, laughing as they walked away. "Just leave her alone. We don't want it getting too stressed."
Staring at them as they all walked away from her cage, Katie yawned slowly, still feeling a little lightheaded from being hit hard on her head and thought it'll be better if she rested now, then escape later, if she could.
As Katie tried to get some rest, she had the feeling she was being watched and opened an eye and saw the young one was still standing there, staring at her. As she looked up at him, Katie had the urge to tell him what to go and do with himself. As talking was definitely out of the question, she just turned her back on him and tried to ignore him so she could get some sleep, trying to ignore the fact that she was in another small cage.
On the bank of the river, Zander finally began to regain consciousness. Slowly getting himself up, he crawled over to the river's edge so he could splash water on his face and he grimaced at his reflection. Tenderly feeling the lump on his head, he reckoned he must have been unconscious for quite a while and judging from the distance he was from the water edge someone must have pulled him ashore.
Why? Why did she save me? Twice? Zander thought to himself. The cunning thing must be trying to mess with my head.
As Zander thought, he started considering the possibility that he might have been wrong about Katie after all, looking up as he heard a sudden loud roar. Then he heard someone yelp in surprise, followed by laughter, and lastly followed by people talking amongst themselves.
"The poachers," Zander scowled under his breath with disgust. Looking up to the top of the cliff on the other side of the river, Zander started making his way across the river towards them.
After scaling the cliff, he soon came across the encampment. Seeing the sheer amount of animals the poachers had caught already, Zander gasped and began to have a flashback from when he is 12 years old.
"What are we here for? Are we even allowed to be here, Dad?" A young Zander asked, walking though a jungle.
"You asked what I did for a living and now that I think you're old enough to start learning, I'm showing you. Get in." Zander's dad spoke, helping his son get in the Jeep.
As his, Dad drove through the jungle, Zander couldn't help but notice the amount of cages in the back of their jeep, but innocently didn't think there was enough wrong with it until he arrived at their destination, very deep in the jungle.
"Boss, who's the kid?" one guy asked, that was already there waiting for them.
"He's my son. He's learning the family business."
"What are we doing out here, anyway, Dad?"
"You didn't tell him?" one of the other guys asked."
"He'll soon learn," Zander's father bluntly said, putting a utility belt around his waist and clipped on a hunting knife with a carved handle of a leopard.
"Dad, where did you get that knife?" Zander asked, recognising it. "It was made for me. I had this for years. Why?"
"You're... a poacher?"
"Who told you that, Zander?!"
"I... seen that knife. You... killed that gorilla."
"Wait...? You where there?!"
"You murdered it!" Zander yelled at his dad. "It wasn't doing anything! You killed it!"
"Of course I did, Zander! It would have attacked me if I just took it's baby. I know it's hard to understand now, but you'll soon learn why we do all these things."
"No! I don't want to do anything like that! It's horrible!"
"You're my son, Zander! You got poaching in you. You'll be taking over from me one day, like it or not!"
"NO! I'll never do this! You can't make me!!" Zander screamed at him, before running away into the jungle. the last thing he heard his dad say was "Get him!!"
His memories flashing by in just mere seconds, Zander shivered with the memory, glancing down to an area by his rib cage where his dad's cronies had shot him, mistaking the orders of "Get him." as orders to kill him, leaving him to die when they learnt of their mistake. He would have died from his wounds if Jarobi hadn't found him by a dirt trial and took him to the local hospital. After he recovered, he was left with a scar from the ordeal, refusing to tell anyone where he was from or who his parents were, eventually being taken in by Jarobi as an assistant in his work as a ranger.
Looking up at the poachers encampment, Zander only one thing his mind: Revenge.
"I'll make every poacher pay!" Zander growled angrily, subconsciously picking up one of poachers own rifles. Looking at all the animals the poachers had caught already, he held the rifle tightly, looking up at the poachers tent maliciously. "I'll make them all pay!!"
As Katie slept, she jumped awake suddenly to the sound of a gun being fired multiple times.
"What's going on?" Katie thought she continued looked in the direction the shots were coming from, seeing Zander emerge from the Poachers tent, holding one of the poacher's gun in his hands.
Oh, my God, he didn't? Katie thought she continued to watch him as he slowly approached her cage He's insane, she thought, watching as he broke every cage containing an animal open.
"Like the saying "There's no honour amongst thieves" There's no honour amongst poachers either I take it?" Zander sneered in a hostile tone as he walked slowly over to the the last occupied cage, looking down evilly at Katie as he stood in front of her cage. "Turned against have they?" Zander asked, giving a slight nod of his head in the direction of the poachers tent.
"Why don't you get it into your thick head!" Katie retorted angrily. "I am not one of them. I am NOT a poacher and I will never be!"
"Don't lie to me!!" Zander hissed menacingly, raising up the rifle and aiming it at her. "I know that you're one of them. I was even starting to believe your story before I saw you here. You expect me to believe that you just happen to run into poachers by coincidence? You can't save yourself this time," Zander spoke harshly, placing his finger on the trigger.
"You might have thrown away my old rifle, but this will make a very nice replacement. It's a lot more powerful. I promise this will end quick for you, but I half wish I could make you suffer for the torment you kind of people cause!"
Whimpering as she looked into his rage filled eyes, she knew Zander was well capable of shooting her. Backing away in fear, Katie huddled in a corner, closed her eyes and waited, trembling like a leaf.
As Zander took aim at Katie, all he could picture was her trying to save him from falling off that cliff then pictured her saving him from drowning. After a few minutes of wrestling with his conscious, he sighed in frustration and shot at the lock instead.
When she heard the shot being fired, Katie's ears flinched violently at the loud, sudden noise. It was much louder than Zander's original shotgun and she felt her whole body suddenly tense up even more than before, as a new sensation come over her: something that she knew deep down that she would not be able to control.
Opening her eyes, she looked up and instantly growling at the sight of Zander. As she watched him, her pupils quickly changed their shape.
Continuing to growl more and more ferally, she extracted her claws, getting more and more agitated at the sight of him.
"I'm only doing this because you tried to save me back there. This changes nothing between us.Understood?" Zander spoke to her as he threw away the padlock away then opened the cage door.
"ROOOAAARRR!!" Katie roared savagely, suddenly pouncing on him then slashed a paw across his face. Roaring madly, Katie tried to bite, while Zander kicked and shouted at her, desperately trying to fight her off, using his arms to protect himself from Katie trying to bite at his throat.
Using the little human intelligence that still remained in Katie's feral side, she used her hand-like paws to pin his arms to the ground. Trying desperately to squirm out of her grip, Katie suddenly growled menacingly as she looked down at him, letting out a deafening roar, demanding him to be still, digging her claws deeply into his arms and making him wince when he didn't comply.
She could easily kill me now, Zander thought as he looked up at her. Gulping as she started lowering her muzzle, Zander, thinking that his life would soon be over, turned his head away, fearing the worst. After a few seconds, nothing happened. Zander turned his head slightly and looked up at her out of the corner of his eye, breathing nervously.
Her muzzle, inches from his face, Katie suddenly growled and bared her fangs, when he stared at her. The second he looked at her, he noticed her ice blue eyes seemed to be lost of all humanity, her pupils almond shaped, like they were before. Cautiously watching her, Zander flinched slightly, when he feeling Katie shudder suddenly and shook her head with a growl.
Looking around, Katie slowly looked down in confusion as she looked down at the pinned Zander.
I... I tried to kill him! Why couldn't I stop myself? Katie thought, her eyes changing back to normal again and she looked at all the bites she had just given him.
"I... I couldn't... stop myself. I wanted to stop, but... I... I... " Katie stuttered, before running away on all fours, fearing that she was a wild and savage beast after all.
As he continued to lay where he was, Zander closed his eyes and let out a deep sigh of relief, his heart racing as Katie retreated and ran. Slowly sitting up, Zander raised a hand, feeling pain across the right side of his face. Looking at his hand, he saw streaks of blood, where Katie had slashed a paw across the side of his face, scaring him across his cheek, nose and eye. Glancing at his hand, then at all his other wounds, Zander scowled vengefully as he look towards the direction that Katie ran off to.
Going back to retrieve her backpack, Katie's eyes were watering. She felt ashamed that she was fully aware of what she was doing but had no control over her actions. Slowly slipping her backpack over her shoulder, she looked up and shuddered as she heard Zander's voice.
"You have the savage and uncontrollable rage of a leopard, Katie! I'll make you pay for this! I know you can hear me, you freak!!! You're a monster! A danger to everything around you! I will not rest until you are stopped!! You hear me?!!"
Looking down at what he shouted out to her, Katie couldn't bear to hear any more and just start running out of fear and shame.
"So you have no control over your actions when you are being threatened or enraged?" Andrew asked when Katie stopped talking.
Looking up at him, Katie could hear the fear in his voice and see it in his eyes too.
"I think it's best that I leave now," she spoke quietly, getting up from the table to leave. "What? Why?" Andrew queried, watching as Katie got up and started to leave the room. "I had this reaction before. I can hear the fear in your voice too! Don't insult me by denying it. It's best I leave!" Katie answered, not turning around and walked into the hallway.
"Now, you wait one minute!" Andrew snapped at Katie in protested as he joined her. "I'll admit that it's a little scary, but be fair! It's not something you hear every day is it? Plus the way you described it just now? It seems to me that you get like that whenever you're provoked or after hearing sudden, loud noises. How often... I mean... does this happen... you know... a lot?"
"Then what's the big deal? Why are you constantly trying to hide yourself away?"
"Because I'm a monster OK?!" Katie snapped at him. I hide away because I'm a savage beast when I can't control the wild part of myself. I hide myself away, so I can't hurt anyone."
"But... don't you get lonely from all that isolation?" Andrew asked. "Of course I do!" Katie snapped back at him. "That's why every so often I find a place closer to other people, so I feel less lonely. Even though I shouldn't because of how violent and savage I can get when I lose control."
"I'm sure you can learn to control your wild part. All you need is some support. I'll help you."
"I tried everything!" Katie sighed, sitting down on the stairs. "Nothing works! The leopard part always wins! Zander was right. It's uncontrollable and dangerous."
"Don't you pay any attention to what that Zander guy said to you! He obviously has some screws loose somewhere. You just need to learn some form of control and have someone give you a little encouragement. Running and hiding isn't the answer!"
"You think I run and hide because of him?!" Katie queried as she looked up at Andrew. "Well, I don't! I only started avoiding people after... someone tried to... mug me. Do you have any idea what it's like to be aware of your actions but you can't do anything to stop yourself?" Katie asked, crossing her arms and lowering her head on them, a tear going down her muzzle.
"No. I can't begin to imagine what that would be like... Why? Wha... what did you do?"
"I..." Katie started to say, feeling a lump in her throat. "I tried to fight this guy who tried to mug me off in self defence. I managed to throw him off, but... before I had the chance to run... my leopard side took over."
Katie started shaking, trying to tell Andrew what her leopard side had done. "I... I..." Katie stuttered, struggling to say what she did.
"Take your time," Andrew spoke with encouragement, sitting beside her. "What did you do?" he asked, starting to place his hand on her back for support.
I... mauled... I mauled him to death," Katie spoke shakily, holding her head in her paws, grieving with despair as every horrifying detail played through her head.
Mau...led?!! Andrew thought, pulling his hand back quickly. She... she mauled a guy? Andrew thought, his mind racing with fear, starting to wonder what other things Katie can do when she loses complete control of herself.
"There... there was so much blood. I couldn't stop myself," Katie continued, wailing in distress. "I just kept on biting and tearing at his throat. Then with one brutal bite, I felt his neck snap in my jaws. Hearing his laboured breathing was just horrible to hear, then that haunting, fearful look he gave me as he slowly bled to death. It... it was horrible!!"
She fears herself more than I do, Andrew thought a few seconds later after seeing her trembling and hearing how distressed she was becoming.
Hearing her start to hyperventilate, Andrew gently placed a hand on her back.
Looking up at him, with tears streaming down her muzzle, she saw his fear was now replaced by symphony. Wrapping his arm around her to comfort her, Katie suddenly clung to him tightly, making Andrew jump slightly. "I'm afraid of myself, Andrew! I'm a monster! A monster!!" Katie wailed, starting to cry hysterically on his shoulder.
"You're not a monster. It's okay, it's okay," Andrew spoke softly, comforting the panic stricken Katie, stroking the back of her head. Her own fear of herself has made her develop a very low self esteem, Andrew thought as he felt how much she was actually trembling against him. She's a nervous wreck, he thought as he wrapped his other arm around her and cuddled her, slowly growing protective of the poor girl.
"I can prove you're not a monster," Andrew continued speaking softly to her, continuing to comfort her.
"How?", Katie asked, wiping the tears from her eyes.
"Do you remember when I told you, that you were unconscious for 3 days?" Andrew asked, then continued when Katie nodded in response. "Well it wasn't exactly true. The truth is you were slipping in and out of consciousness constantly during that time. I felt so responsible for misjudging you like that, so I decided to take care of you. You were never conscious long enough to eat anything, so I made sure you drank enough. Sometimes you were only conscious for just a few seconds, the most being half an hour. I stayed by your side all that time and not once did you threaten, growl or try biting at me. It proves that you're not a monster. You're still just a human being."
"You did all that... for me?" Katie asked, bewildered that someone would care for her wellbeing and not be scared off by her appearance, a small smile appearing on her face.
"What is that? Is that a smile, I see?" Andrew teased. "I think I just saw your first smile."
"Thank you," Katie spoke, hugging him tightly "Thank you so much!"
"What's the thank you for?"
"For not fearing or judging me on my appearance. And thank you... for not running a mile with what I just said."
"I was a little ... scared by what you said, but the thought off running off leaving you getting so distressed like that? It wouldn't have been fair. I think you probably made yourself suffer enough anyway" Andrew said, subconsciously petting the tuft of fur on the top of her head. "How are you feeling anyway? Are you starting to feel better now?"
"A little." Katie admitted.
"Would you like a walk?" Andrew asked, thinking some fresh air would do her the world of good.
"Yes. I would like that."
"And when we come back," Andrew began, putting an arm around her to help her up. "you have a early night and tomorrow, we'll see if we can teach you to control that leopard part of yours, okay?"
"Okay," Katie nodded, not liking the idea in the slightest. "I'll just get my bag."
"You think I was born yesterday?" Andrew smirked as he grabbed the back with her hood of her jacket and opened his front door. "You're bag is staying right here while we are out and that's final."
"Fine!" Katie spoke with a huff, walking out into his garden.
As they started their walk, they walked past Andrew's dogs, where they instantly started barking aggressively at Katie.
Hissing with anxiety, Katie's leopard half quickly grew annoyed and agitated, making her extract her claws and roar savagely at them, sending them all running.
"I can't believe you did that." Andrew spoke in amazement.
"I am so sorry," Katie said apologetically, when she regained control of herself again. "I just get so anxious around dogs."
"That is the first time I ever seen them show fear."
Glancing at his dogs, then back to Andrew, Katie starting thinking. "What exactly do you do?"
"I'm a security dog handler. I work most nights at the local department store, but I'm officially on holiday at the moment."
"You're a dog handler? Oh, great!" Katie huffed, folding her arms and rolling her eyes. "I just can't wait until tomorrow now!"
"We can always start this afternoon when we get back, if you prefer?" Andrew offered in a teasing tone, whispering in her ear. "Well? Shall we start our walk or not? Don't worry," Andrew spoke gently, putting his arm around Katie, who was getting nervous about walking around in the middle of the day. "You'll be just fine."