Continuing Tales

Saved By Suprise

A Beauty & the Beast Story
by GodlyJewel

Part 3 of 15

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It was an unusually busy day at the diner. The weekends usually brought in people from out of town on vacation, and Catherine was loaded down with stress from impatient customers. What made it worse was seeing all the families together. It just reminded Catherine of the life that had been denied her and her daughter. Pushing herself out of her daydreams, Catherine returned back to her always-hungry customers.

As Catherine was busy catering to a family of eight, she didn't notice the elderly gentleman being seated in her section. If she had, Catherine would have immediately taken her break. After being served a cup of coffee, and waiting for his waitress, the man began taking the estate papers out of his briefcase for one more review.

"Hello!" called a small voice.

The man looked up from his work to see a toddler smiling up at him. The man marveled at how fairy-like the child was. She wore a pink dress and white shoes. Her skin was fair and she had an adorable kitten nose. Her hair was a slightly rustic, golden strawberry-blonde that fell past her shoulders. But it was her eyes that caught his attention: such a deep, yet bright shade of blue.

If it wasn't for the hair and eyes, I'd swear she looks just like… Remembering he had been spoken to, the man smiled and replied, "Well hello little one, and who might you be?"

"Rosie," she answered.

"Well isn't that a pretty name," he commented. "My name is Peter."

There was a pause and then the girl asked, "Can I sit down?"

Before he could answer Rosie slid into the booth across from him. Peter was stunned. "All right, but don't you want to sit with your parents?"

"Mommy working and Auntie Kitty in da kitchen," Rosie said.

"Well, what about your daddy?" Peter asked. Rosie tilted her head down, and her hair covered her face. Now who does that remind me of? Peter thought as he recognized the familiar gesture. Peter was about to say something when…

"How many times I gotta tell ya, stay away from me or, so help me Johnny, I'll call the cops!"

Peter looked over to see a strikingly handsome young man bothering a pretty, blonde waitress. Just then the cook appeared through a window into the kitchen.

"Damn it Johnny! I warned you bout-harassing Margaret. Now ya gonna have to deal with ol' Bertha." Everyone except Peter seemed oblivious to what was happening. Suddenly a loud noise came from the kitchen.

AS if taken from the scene of a horror movie, the cook burst through the doors with a chainsaw in hand. The blade had been splattered with red paint, with M.E.O.W. tattooed on the side. The boy, Johnny, turned white and before Peter could blink, Katie was chasing him out the door, yelling, "I may be retired, but my license to kill ain't expired yet!"

Once they were out of earshot, everyone continued their business as if nothing had happened. Peter was flabbergasted to what just occurred, and even more so that everyone just acted like nothing happened. "Isn't anyone going to stop her?"

Rosie started giggling and Peter wanted to know what was so funny. Peter then reviewed the events that had just taken place and realized he would do no less if anyone harassed his own daughter. Soon he started laughing at the matter right along with Rosie.

Catherine, noticing her daughter was no longer at the counter, looked for her through the crowd of people. Hearing her daughter's laughter, Catherine called her name.

"Mommy calling, I bedda go." Rosie excused herself from the booth to go to her mother.

"Well thank you for the wonderful chat," Peter said. She waved goodbye and ran off to find her mother. What a delightful young girl. Reminds me of when Cathy was that age. The thought of his deceased goddaughter brought on another wave of sadness. Peter paid for the coffee he ordered, and left the diner. He was going to check into his motel for the night, deciding to go up to the Chandler's cabin the next day.


"Mommy, we see Tasha?" Rosie asked as her mother finished cleaning the tables.

"Well I don't see why not. We haven't had a chance to visit her since she returned from her trip to India."

Tasha was Katie's daughter, who helped run the local animal shelter. Katie's husband, Brutus, owned it but he was helping a sick relative in Maine. Tasha was very spirited and very active. She spent a lot of time in self-defense classes with her mother and she rode a Harley. Her motto was, "I always take life with a grain of salt... plus a slice of lemon... and a shot of tequila." Tasha also babysat for Catherine when she had to work the late shift. The two had become close friends over the past three years.

They headed out after Catherine punched out and said goodbye to Katie. Soon they were in stepping into the office of the animal shelter. Tasha, hearing the bell on the door ding, came around the corner and smiled as two of her favorite people came in.

"Tasha!" Rosie cried as she saw the young, red-haired woman make her way around the counter.

"Hi there." Rosie ran over to Tasha and was welcomed by the older girl in a tight hug. Catherine smiled as she saw the two laugh and talk about the day.

"Hey what am I? Chopped live?" Catherine said as she crossed to join them.

"Sorry," Tasha apologized, "almost forgot about you. How've ya been Cathy?" The two women hugged as an excited toddler jumped up and down.

"New aminals Tasha?" Rosie asked.

"As a matter of fact I do have a new friend for you to meet," Tasha said as she led Rosie and Catherine to the back room. "His name is Thomas, and he'll be living with me. He came in a few weeks ago after Murray rescued him from a smuggler."

As they came into the back Catherine noticed a very large box with holes on the side. The side read "CAUTION" and Catherine turned to Tasha with a puzzled look on her face. Tasha smiled and told Rose to step back while she opened the box. The creature inside made Catherine freeze.

"Mommy look," Rose squealed, "lion!"

"It's ok Cathy," Tasha reassured the startled woman, "Thomas is as safe as any house-cat. The smuggler we liberated him from stole him from a circus. His teeth are dull, so he mostly drinks milk, but he does eat steak and burger meat. He's to domesticated to be returned to the wild, and there are no zoos around that will take him."

"What domestifcated?" Rosie asked.

"Domesticated," Tasha laughed, "means that Thomas is to used to people. If he were released into the wild he wouldn't be able to take care of himself."

"So what will happen to him?" Catherine asked, coming out of her trance.

"Well, since he's taken a likin' to me, I decided to get all the permits in order and, ba-da-bing ba- da-boom... he's mine now."

"You mean Thomas is now your, pet?" Catherine asked

"Yep." Catherine looked down at Thomas and her thoughts drifted back to the man who resembled this large cat.

Although she lacked the facial features, Rosemary often exhibited some cat-like qualities of her own. Rosemary often tilted her head in that endearing way Vincent would do. Her nails were sharp and had to be cut as a baby to keep her from scratching herself. Her daughter also appeared to be getting fangs (Catherine was glad Rosie didn't need a dentist yet). Most extraordinary was what Rosemary did when she was really happy: she purred. This made Catherine wonder if Vincent also possessed this trait.

While Catherine pondered these thoughts, little Rosemary decided that Thomas was just another kitty-cat to play with. Quickly she walked up to the lion and began stroking his fur and mane. Thomas, having grown accustom to little children from his circus life, didn't seem to mind the attention. Then Rosemary found a spot behind the lion's ear to scratch, and Thomas instantly became the girl's new best friend.

Catherine was brought out of her daydreaming at the sound of her daughter's laughter. Thomas was licking Rosemary's hand and out of excitement the girl through her arms around the lion's neck. The sight brought tears to her eyes and Catherine wiped them away, but not before Tasha noticed.

"You ok?" she asked then looked down. The sight of her six-year-old lion and Catherine's three-year-old daughter playing on the floor made her laugh.

"Don't worry Cathy," Tasha assured her, "like I said, Thomas is tame and, as you can see, he loves kids."

"It's not that, it's just, seeing Rosie with Thomas reminds me…" Catherine quickly closed her mouth when she realized she almost said Vincent's name.

Tasha saw that the tears were coming again. She knew Catherine's story, but the topic of Rosemary's father was still a mystery. Even her mother and aunt didn't know who the mystery man was, but they could tell Cathy loved and missed him a lot.

BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! Catherine grabbed her pager and checked the message.

"Oh great. The weekend rush hour just pulled in and Katie's low on staff," she groaned. "Tasha, do you think you can look after Rose tonight? This 911 your mother sent me means I won't get back until late."

"Hey, no problem Cathy. I can look after the little squirt tonight, but is it all right if I bring Tom? I can't leave him alone or he'll go berserk."

"All right with me."

Rosemary, who'd been listening while playing with Thomas, got very excited about having a lion in her house. "Yeah, Tom and Tasha come play."

Saved By Suprise

A Beauty & the Beast Story
by GodlyJewel

Part 3 of 15

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