“I don’t mean to sneak up on people, I just forget to make a sound sometimes.”
Cob looked at Lea, her ears raked back, her tail limp, everything in her body language saying “I’m cute, please don’t hurt me,” and sighed. This adorable little kitty had been trained in combat since she was old enough to walk. The mods she’d inherited from her parents had given her sharp teeth and sharper claws, and, whether it was nature or nurture that had made her predatory, she had turned out bloodthirsty either way.
“Lea,” he said patiently. “That’s a very good skill to have when you’re in the field.” If she was ever sent into the field. For all the training, he wasn’t sure the Agency would ever use their hybrid cat-people for their ostensible purpose. They looked too cute, even licking blood off their hands, and were too human-cat creepy, even by the standards of pet-shop moddies. They, Cob’s fellow trainer Jac had muttered, were firmly in the Uncanny Valley, and, being there, were too damn freaky to send out into the general population.
Even to their trainers.
“I’m very good at it, too,” she answered sweetly. “Aren’t I? Seen and not heard, right, that’s what Lady Pia said, but I’m not seen, either, am I? Unless I want to be.”
“Aaah. Come here, sweetie. One. I’m sorry about Pia. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about – but don’t quote me on that. Two. Don’t take out your frustration with the higher-ups on me, Miss Kitty.”
She blinked at him, all innocence, but her tail was lashing. “But Cob,” she complained sweetly, “you are my higher up.”
Cob studied the charming teenaged assassin-in-training who was his primary responsibility and realized, perhaps for the first time, just how human the hate in her eyes was.
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