With exception of the Cahill siblings and the people who gave him food, Saladin hated humans.
No, he wasn't a grumpy cat. No, he wasn't a selfish cat. And he obviously wasn't a snarky one, either (or so he thought). He just treated people the way they treated him. If they were nice, then he'd be nice. If they weren't, well…he would make their life miserable.
And that's something that a certain British teenager would learn that Christmas.
It was a very cheery night in the Cahill mansion. Nellie had made sure that everything was decorated perfectly –the Christmas lights all shone brightly; the tree was located in the center of the ballroom, decorated with polished ornaments; and the delicious food platters were placed in an elegant matter on large tables.
Saladin stared up at them hungrily. All of the food looked simply delicious, but what most attracted Saladin were those exquisite-looking sandwiches. They practically shined in his eyes, urging him to take a bite.
When he couldn't take it any longer, Saladin made his way to one of the table's corner. He stealthily began to climb up, his mouth watering every time he got closer to the sandwiches. Just when he was about to reach them, though, a cold large hand grabbed his fur and pulled him up.
Saladin hissed once he saw the culprit.
Cold amber eyes, evil smirk and coffee-colored skin, it was none other than that jerk Ian Kabra.
"This food is not for ugly and filthy creatures like you," Ian snarled. And with one last look of disgust, Saladin was sent flying across the room.
That idiot, Saladin thought, once he was up on his feet. He'll someday get it from me. He couldn't believe it. How could a cat like him be treated like trash? Saladin just couldn't accept the fact. He was smarter than most cats –he had passed the Madrigal test with flying colors, after all. And what other cat had such an incredible taste in food? Saladin was sure he wasn't filthy or ugly, either. He prided himself of always smelling nice, after all. And Egyptian Maus are considered the most beautiful and rare cats of all, you know.
Saladin would always think that Ian was a lunatic...the same went for his sister.
Nevertheless, a cat always needed comfort. And Dan and Nellie weren't available –Dan was off talking with those Moonling or Starking triplets about video games and Nellie was too busy eating and flirting to take notice of a poor cat like him. So that only left Amy. Saladin didn't mind, though. Amy's sweet manners always made him feel comfortable and appreciated.
At first, he thought he'd spend the whole night looking for her. But as if it were faith, he saw a reddish-brown haired girl making her way to the back porch, holding a book in her hand. Definitely Amy.
Saladin smiled to himself and quickly trotted behind her. Once he stepped outside, a cold breeze of air chilled him to the bone. His hair was on end and he was trembling as he slowly began to walk toward her.
Amy was quietly sitting on the steps, a peaceful expression on her face as she began to read her book. Saladin recognized it as Around the World in 80 Days, which was part of Jules Verne's collection (Amy's newfound obsession).
Saladin was about to call out for her when a dark shadow was cast upon the two. The cat quickly walked away, climbing up the nearest tree he could find. He nervously sat down on a branch that gave him a clear view of Amy. He had to prepare himself for whoever the figure was. If it was a Vesper, he'd jump off the tree and claw its eyes out.
The figure stepped forward, just to reveal a mischievous and conceited-looking boy. Saladin resisted the urge to hiss. Ian Kabra always had to ruin his moments.
Amy, however, was so focused in her book, that she hadn't noticed Ian's presence.
Ian smirked as he leaned down. "Good evening, Amy."
Amy gasped, letting the book slip from her hands. When she saw who it was, her expression turned unreadable. "Oh, hey Ian."
"You don't look too happy to see me."
Amy shrugged. "You nearly gave me a heart attack. You should know better than to sneak up on people like that, you know."
Saladin was more than glad that Amy's stutter was gone. He wouldn't have wanted to see the satisfied look in Ian's face if he heard Amy stammer. He was so full of himself, he'd probably think Amy was head over heels for him.
"Sorry," Ian replied half-heartedly.
What happened next made Saladin roll his eyes in annoyance.
Amy reached out to grab the book, so did Ian. And…you guessed it. Once they both reached the book, their fingers slightly intertwined together. Amy quickly pulled away, her cheeks suddenly red.
Oh, come on Amy, Saladin thought desperately. Can't you see he's probably using you again? Saladin was highly intelligent, and he quickly saw through Ian's façade. It was obvious he had reached out for the book in an attempt to hold her hand. Idiot.
Ian's hand remained on the book, and Saladin couldn't help but notice that his cheeks were slightly pink.
He quickly snapped off his daze and returned the book to Amy.
Amy gave him a small smile before taking the book.
Saladin held his breath. Please don't stutter, please don't stutter…
Saladin exhaled in relief.
Ian cleared his throat as he awkwardly sat next to Amy. Amy slowly closed the book, biting her lower lip, as she began to run her fingers through the book's cover.
Ian glanced at it "That's a very nice book you've got there."
Amy's eyes lit up, probably excited that someone else also liked Jules Verne. "You've read it?"
"I was talking about the cover."
An awkward silence filled the air, affecting even Saladin. If the guy had come looking for Amy to flirt, couldn't he have come more prepared? Saladin actually thought that Ian was 'suave with the ladies'. Especially after he had heard a conversation about how annoying his fans were.
"I've seen the movie, though."
Saladin wanted to laugh out loud (if cats could do that). He already knew what was coming for Ian.
"The book is way better," Amy began. "Once you begin reading a book you like, it's like you've entered another world. It practically hypnotizes you! You can imagine everything the way you like, and sometimes, you even feel as if you're part of the book."
Ian frowned. "That's the excuse that every single person who enjoys reading uses, Amy."
Amy glared at him. "And how would you know if it's true or not? You've probably never picked up a book in your life."
"Oh, I have," Ian replied. "In fact, I have that same Jules Verne collection that you are holding. It's the treasure of my personal library."
Amy looked at him incredulously.
"Him and E.G. Wells are my favorite. The rest are not worthy of my time," Ian continued.
Amy's green eyes widened. "What about Jane Austen? Lewis Carroll? Rudyard Kipling? Charles Dickens? J. R. Tolkien? Shakespeare?"
Ian looked slightly surprised for a second. "Wow…you are obsessed with books."
Amy lifted one shoulder.
"Well, unless you include that Nicholas Sparks guy, I'm quite impressed with your favorite authors list."
Amy blinked, confused. "What's wrong with Nicholas Sparks?"
"Besides the fact that he always has to kill someone in his books, his stories are what you Americans call 'cheesy'."
Amy silently nodded.
All of a sudden, Saladin felt an uncomfortable tingle in his left ear. He tried to ignore it, but the itch got greater every time he tried to forget.
"So you agree with me?" Ian asked.
"A bit…I did enjoy A Walk To Remember, though."
Saladin couldn't take it anymore. He had to scratch his ear. As he moved his leg, though, he slipped, causing the branch to bounce loudly.
"What was that noise?" Ian asked, as he placed his hand on his jacket's pocket (where he hid a gun).
Amy looked around. "Don't worry…it's probably just Saladin."
Poor Saladin was now dangling off the branch. With an effort, he pulled himself up and returned to his hiding spot.
Ian snarled. "Saladin is your cat, right?" After Amy nodded, Ian scowled. "Cats are such filthy creatures."
Saladin perked up at this.
"The only thing they do is sleep and ask for food. I don't know what the purpose to have a cat is. They'll lie on top of your bed, and leave it full of dirty fur. They'll wake you up in the morning just because they're hungry, and their litter box fills the house with a disgusting smell."
"You've had a cat?"
Ian snorted. "As if! I don't, but your stupid cat is a great example."
Saladin's eyes widened. The nerve of that idiot! Saladin was far from stupid. In fact, he probably had a higher IQ than Ian.
"They're just creatures roaming around the Earth, with no purpose," Ian finished, glaring at nothing in particular.
Amy was about to reply, when Dan's shouts cut her off.
"IT'S TIME TO EAT SOME FOOD!"
Ian and Amy silently began to stand up, but Saladin couldn't shake off the hatred he now had toward Ian. The boy had never been one of his favorites, and now he definitely was first on his death list.
And then he saw it.
Saladin's heart plummeted to the ground, feeling extremely sorry for Amy.
On top of both teenagers, dangling off the roof, was a mistletoe.
This can't be good, Saladin thought, sitting up. Saladin prayed for none of them to notice the darned plant.
As if on cue, Ian's gaze shifted up, his breathe suddenly caught in his throat.
Amy inspected him. "What's-"
Ian silently pointed up. Amy followed his finger, and her face turned bright red once she saw what he was looking at.
Saladin bared his teeth.
Ian turned pink as he looked back at Amy. "Rules are rules, right?"
Ian was trying to act nonchalant, but Saladin could tell he was happy. What a fool.
Amy inhaled, still staring at Ian.
No way am I letting this happen, Saladin thought, placing himself on an attack position.
Ian began to lean in, and automatically Amy closed her eyes.
Saladin lifted one of his paws, inspecting his shiny and sharp claws.
The tip of Amy's nose made contact with Ian's, as he slowly brought his lips closer to hers.
You never mess with me, you snob, Saladin thought, hissing.
Just when Ian was about to plant a kiss on Amy's lips, Saladin jumped off the tree. He lunged toward his face, claws out, ready to scratch whatever they touched.
—So, what did you guys think? If you didn't understand the ending, well…basically, Saladin scratched every inch of Ian's face :P Also, if you thought I hate cats because of Ian's opinion on them, you should know that I love them! By the way, I'm a new writer (as if you hadn't noticed), and the only experience I have is in English class projects. Any tips are welcome. Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed this and...Merry Christmas!