They had taken it away from him. The one thing that meant more than life itself had been stripped away. Now, he felt so empty, so alone.

Miserably, he stared out of the rain-streaked window. The village below was sleepy; the rain had put a damper on the usual flurry of activity. He sighed and turned away. He was depressed enough as it was.

"Saladin?"

Irritated, he ignored the voice. He knew what that young, punk charlatan wanted. She was going to try and force-feed him again with that vile substance that she considered food.

"Saladin, don't ignore me. Come on – it's food! You haven't eaten since France!" When Saladin haughtily gave her the cold shoulder, Nellie scowled. "Fine. Be that way. But sooner or later you're going to have to eat. Just don't come crying to me when that day comes."

Upon Saladin's distant response, Nellie sighed and placed her ear buds back in her ears. Immediately, Saladin bolted and hid himself under one of the rackety sofas. Down there, among the dust bunnies and numerous dead flies, it wasn't soundproof, but it was the only thing that partially blocked the sound of Nellie's screeching.

Honestly, though, the girl wasn't that bad. Even though Saladin would never admit it, he sort of liked the girl. She had spunk, not to mention willpower, and those two attributes made her a worthy opponent. She could also be somewhat pleasant at times, especially when she wasn't listening to her iPod. She was even pretty nice around Dan and Amy, which said a lot. If a person could be trusted around Amy and Dan, then he could safely retract his claws. And besides, he'd seen Nellie once with Grace and –

Grace. Saladin let out another meager sigh. She had been gone for awhile now, but he still missed her. He still remembered. She had always fed him snapper.

Ever since she had died, though, things had gone downhill. There had been that fire that had burned down her mansion, not to mention almost killing him. Definitely not pretty. Then, there was the constant travelling, and constant travelling meant the-the cat carrier. Saladin could barely even bring himself to think that dreadful word. It was too horrid. Not only that, but he had been forced to stay with that man. William McIntyre. What a dog person. And finally, to add insult to injury, there was the stunning lack of snapper.

Saladin could tolerate considerable hardship, but no snapper? That was… that was, well, there were no words to describe the total and complete horror of it all. When would it end?

An itch began to work its way across his neck. Not again. There was that thing that the lawyer had attached to his collar, and it hurt. Because he couldn't scratch himself properly under the sofa, Saladin reluctantly climbed back out.

Compulsively, he began to claw at his ears and neck. So intent was his scratching that he barely noticed Nellie switching off her iPod.

Obviously concerned, she reached down and picked him up. Usually Saladin would have been appalled at being manhandled, but now, other things were on his mind.

"What's the matter, sweetie? Have you got fleas?"

Saladin squirmed slightly before Nellie quickly plopped him back on the ground.

Immediately, he bolted underneath of the sofa. The sound of a key jiggling in a lock filled the air, and Saladin's ears instantly perked up before he peeked out from underneath of the sofa.

Amy and Dan appeared, dragging their feet as they walked in.

"Uh-oh," Nellie said. "Rough morning?"

"Oh, it was a blast," came Dan's sarcastic reply. "Picture a million-year-old hou-"

Saladin scampered off before he could hear the rest of the rant. As much as he loved Dan, he didn't feel like listening to his complaints. He had enough of his own.

With his stomach growling loudly, Saladin curled himself into a tight ball on the farthest windowsill. Raindrops were smeared across the window, leaving little trails of water behind them, and his breathing was fogging it up, obstructing his view. All of nature seemed to be reflecting his dreary mood.

He just wanted to go home! Was that so wrong? He longed for his soft, comfy pet bed with Grace and Amy and Dan doting on him, petting him, spoiling him; he longed for a roof that didn't leak and would remain over his head – no more cat carriers – and, most of all, he longed for snapper. Rich, flavorful, heavenly, snapper. Nothing less would do.

If his hunch was correct, however, they would continue to try and force feed him that rubbish, whatever it was. They were stubborn – he would hand that to them – but obviously, they didn't realize who they were dealing with.

No way was he giving up without a fight.


My first Angst/Humor. I feel so accomplished!

Anyway, this is for The Significant Minority contest. I took page 26 and a bit of 27 from book two, and switched to Saladin's POV. Just for the record, I feel compelled to point out that I was planning on doing this way before I thought of joining the contest. It was just a weird coincidence that they suggested using Saladin and that I followed through on that. Just wanted to point that out.