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The door to his master’s quarters cracked open. Jarod lost interest in getting through the wall of magic so he could get to his master’s side, focusing instead on who was entering without permission. Whoever it was should have at least knocked.
He silently slunk into a deep shadow within easy lunging distance of the door as it slowly opened wider. Behind him, he sensed stillness from his master and panic from his mistress. She clearly did not understand what the real threat was, but the master did, he was glad to note. A flurry of movement was preceded by the magic barrier being dropped. The door stopped moving, not quite open far enough for whoever was behind it to get into the room.
“What is it, Albie?” The master strode over to the fire and settled into the chair beside it. Jarod didn’t move, though. That man, Albie, had not asked permission to enter the master’s den. Jarod’s instincts, both the knight’s and the beast’s, were screaming that that was suspicious behaviour.
“You, ah, your dinner is getting cold, my lord,” the old man stuttered. “I was worried that something had happened when you didn’t come down to eat.” The old man sounded nervous now that he was caught. Jarod didn’t buy the act, though. This Albie hadn’t been acting nervous a moment ago.
“And you didn’t think to ask through the door, why?”
“I’m sorry if I over stepped myself, my lord.” The door opened a little further and the old man stepped through, again without being bidden to do so, his eyes moving rapidly around the room before stopping on the mistress. The mistress belonged to him and his master. This dishonest person had no right to look at her so disrespectfully. Jarod growled softly, deeply offended.
Everyone froze, then. The intruder’s fake posture of contrition fell away.
“Look down and to your right, Albie,” the master said, calmly. The old man did so. The scent of genuine terror filled the room when he saw the giant cat crouching five meters away. “I suspect my new pet dislikes your entering my chambers without permission more than I do,” the master continued, his deep voice becoming more foreboding with every word.