Housepets! Battle of the Souls

Chapter Two: Getting to know you

"E-Excuse me? What did you say?" Peanut asked, wanting to know what Horizon just called him.

"Has an inconvinence arisen, Sire?" Horizon asked politely, still bowing before Peanut.

"There! you just said it again." Peanut pointed out while trying not to make a scene to the nearby movers, who were still waiting for the water the were promised.

"Oh, does the word 'Sire' confuse you? If that is the problem, then please allow me to explain. A 'Sire', that being your status to me, is one who-"

"I know what that means, what I mean is, why are you calling me that right off the bat? We just met. So why say that?" Peanut asked, in a calm manner still.

"Master Peanut," Horizon started.

"Oh great, now it's Master?" Peanut asked under his breath, while listening to the Husky-Collie mix.

"By natural reason of any kind that it very much true. While it is our first meeting and I shouldn't know who you are, our meeting is not by any means of the word 'natural'." Horizon informed, a gentle smile following posthaste. It had that sinster apperance, but at the same time it was innocent. Peanut didn't feel threatened by it or what he was told, if anything, he was captivated.

"We were meant to meet? What, you mean like destiny?" Peanut asked.

"That is correct Sire. Excellent deduction." Horizon complemented.

"So we were supposed the meet today? I don't know all the details but okay! It's nice to meet you Horizon!" Peanut replied, shaking off his suspicions of the canine before him.

"And I you, Sire." Horizon responded while picking the upper half of his body, now standing at full height. "But in all honesty Master, you surprise me." the husky-collie mix added, making the young pup before him arch an eyebrow.

"I do? How so?" Peanut asked.

"Normally, a regular person or pet in this matter, would find that my sudden arrival would be perfect grounds for suspicion of any kind, yet here you are, by yourself, greeting me, a total stranger. Why, if you do not mind my asking Master." Horizon asked.

"Well, you are the new guy here and you are sorta' alone, so wouldn't it be nice to have at least one local person from here to greet you, rather than you yourself have a hard time starting from nowhere and not know anyone?" Peanut asked, a genuine smile was on his face while waiting for an answer from the canine before him.

"You are correct, Sire. It would make sense, to have one who knows the area much better than I, rather than my self who knows nothing of here. So I thank you for your courtsy Master." Horizon replied with a quick bow.

"You're welcome Horizon. Huh, the whole 'Sire' and 'Master' title is going to take some getting used too." Peanut chuckled while placing one paw behind his head in a embarassed notion

"Worry not Young Master, you shall adapt." said the Husky-collie mix.

"The same can be said about your manner of speaking. By the way, what brings you to Babylon Gardens anyways?" Peanut asked, wanting to know what brought the new dog here.

"Well Sire, on the surface, My owner and I moved to this location for the peace and quite we read about, and honestly, it was obviously the correct choice to be made and decided by father. As for the main reason why I am here, well... I shall tell you later. Three individuals are upon arrival to my abode. Earl and Grape Sandwich, two from your home, and Tarot; your cherished confidante." Horizon pointed out.

"My confidante? What's that mean?" Peanut asked which scratching his head at the large word.

"My apologies Sire, allow me to inform you. 'Confidante' is another word that means the same equvialent for a fiancee, female companion or girlfriend. In your case, it clearly means girlfriend." Horizon told, granting Peanut understanding to his point.

"That's right, been together for more than two years, that's for sure. But you never met her, Grape or my dad. How did you know that me and Tarot were together or that Grape and Dad were my family?" The chocolate colored dog asked.

"About that, the reason how I know about you and those three I mentioned, you see Sire, I have this ability or power that is called: Soul Reading." Horizon explained to the dog. Peanut just stared at Horizon with knitted brows of confusion.

"A Soul... Reader? I heard of mind reading, but not soul reading. What's that?" Peanut asked.

"I am glad you asked Sire, but rather then giving you a long and complex explination, I shall bottom line it for you. A Soul Reader is a individual that can read and sense souls that are nearby. So in a way, it acts like the ability to read minds, but on a much deeper level." Horizon said, causing Peanut wonder what the extent of his power was. If it was anything like his girlfriend's, he just had to know what he can do.

"Wow, so in a way you can read minds and such?" Peanut asked, unfazed by that claim.

"On basic terms, yes I can. Would you like an example?" Horizon asked.

"Yeah! Please please pleaseee... can you show me?" Peanut asked while clenching his paws together, while rapidly wagging his tail.

"Very well Sire, who shall I analyze?" Horizon asked.

"Okay, how about-" Peanut started, but cut off by a familar voice.

"Peanut, sweetie!" called out a honey toned voice, that right away caught his attention. He turned from Horizon to see a caramel colored canine, who shorter than his average height approaching him quickly, closing the gap until the canine leaped onto him, resulting Peanut to recoil a bit from the sudden hug in surprise, but quickly wrapped his arms around the pomeranian after recovering from the shock.

"Hey Tarot, what are you doing here, I thought you had to take care of the thing at the You-know-what. What happened? Did something else come up?" Peanut asked while pulling back a bit to look down at the female embracing him.

"Well, as it turns out, what I was needed for, that was cancelled too, so I am here to say that our date later on today is back on. Also, I foreknew that we would have a new denizen among us today, and from I gather," Tarot looked to the side, seeing the black and white husky-collie mix standing there with both arms behind his back, patiently waiting for the two of them to finish. "This is the one that is new here?" She asked while looking back at Peanut, who was looking down at her.

"Yep, this is the new guy. His name is Horizon Clustrum." Peanut introduced.

"An honor to meet you Madam Tarot." Horizon replied with a bow once more, causing the pomeranian to arch an eyebrow. Peanut just chuckled at her expression.

"...Likewise, I'm sure." Was Tarot's only reply, it was laced in uncertainty and wariness of the new canine before them.

"You'll have to excuse him, he speaks in a sophisticated manner, hope that doesn't bother you too much." Peanut said while releasing the female. Stepping back a bit, Tarot right away took hold of his paw in a somewhat defensive manner while keeping her eyes on him as if trying to inspect him or find anything negative about his form, thanks to that 'sinister' air he had about him, or at least she thought. Another thing that set off alarm bells in her mind, was the fact that she couldn't read him, she read the minds of other pets but not him, not even in the slightest margin, which unnerved her even more and his narrow slitted eyes and seemingly pretensive smile didn't do more to lessen her gaze, if anything that just caused her to tighten her paw more. Peanut could feel the slight pressure and was quick to address it. "Something wrong Tarot? You feel all tense." said the canine while looking down at the female who right away lessened her grip and tore her gaze away from Horizon and placed them back on Peanut.

"Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to cause you harm. I have a bit of a stomach ache, that's all." Tarot lied while looking off to the side. But Peanut knew better.

"No need to lie about it Tarot, I already know. Sure Horizon comes off as scary looking, but he's nothing like that. Instead, he's a really nice guy, even though we just met. So please, be nice." Peanut requested. Normally, Tarot would trust her instincts and clearly they were telling, no warning her to stay away from the black and white dog before them. Obiviously something was wrong with him and she wanted to get her and Peanut away from here as quick as possible, but then again, Peanut requested her to stay and be polite to the resident. As much as she didn't want to do it, she didn't want to upset Peanut either. As much as it pained her on the inside, Tarot swallowed her pride and agreed in silent resentment.

"Well, if that's what you want... okay. I'll try to Peanut." Tarot replied, her ears lowering a bit.

"That's all I'm askin for." Peanut responsed while placing a gentle kiss on her cheek. While normally that would cheer her up in an instant, Peanut's answer didn't do anything to help her anxiety. "Well, now that you met my girlfriend, how about I show you around the neighborhood?" The chocolate colored dog offered.

"Well Peanut, I would be honored for to show me around, but what of Grape and your father?" Horizon asked. "In fact, here they come right now." he added while pointing towards the duo that were casually walking up the drive way. Peanut and Tarot tured to see that what he said was true. Grape and Earl were closing the gap, until they were within range of talking without having to call out by raising they're voice.

"So, you're the new guy huh?" Earl started while walking up towards Horizon, whose arms were still behind him.

"That would be correct, Mr. Sandwich. I am the new one here. My name is Horizon Clustrum. A pleasure to meet you sir." Horizon introduced while extended his paw to the human male.

"Well aren't you a sophisticated one," Earl replied while placing his hand into the canine's and gripped it, give a good firm handshake. "Pleased to meet you as well Horizon. Name's Earl Sandwich." Earl introduced back while letting go of Horizon's paw. "Gotta admit, you're one checkered dog with that kind of pattern on you." Earl joked.

"I have my parents to thank for that. I am a proud husky-collie mix. Thank you for noticing." Horizon then turned his attention to Grape, who was standing nearby with her arms folded, her expression was that of a unreadable one, like she was just waiting to be talked to. "You must be Grape, it is nice to meet you as well."

"Yep, that's my name. Nice to meet you up close this time." Grape replied while waving a bit before folding her arms again.

"Likewise. We'll, now that I have introduced myself to you all, allow me to fetch my father. I will not be long." Horizon said with a bow while heading towards his house, dissappearing beyond the doorway, leaving the four behind to chat amongst themselves.

"Well, he seems nice." Grape started.

"I'll say. His way of speaking is very mannered. That's something you only in purebreds or those of high pedigrees. You think he has papers of his status?" Earl questioned.

"Even if he does, that doesn't change the fact that he's one of us. We shouldn't treat him any different." Peanut pointed out, being the voice of reason for the circle of four. They all, aside from Tarot, simply nodded at the idea. After that small agreement, they heard footsteps from afar, ignaling them that Horizon had return as well as a another.

"Sorry to keep you all waiting," Horizon called while while walking towards them, they all saw him approach and something else caught thier attention and Peanut was the first to address it.

"It's no problem Horizon, so no harm done. That aside, when did you get that collar?" Peanut asked while pointing towards the object around Horizon's neck, it was slightly covered by his mane but it still could be seen very easily. As for the color that was, it was the same as Peanut's, only the shade was darker making it a crimson color. and for the tag, it was a sigil, crafted in the form of what looked to be a dog that was being enclosed with arms of another canine. The only difference of the second dog, was that it had wings and they were folded in front of the two, as if sheilding it's protectee from harm, come where ever it may. Peanut had to admit, it was a awesome looking tag.

"Oh this?" He asked while pointing towards it. "Just now, after retriving my father. before I did not have it on at the time. I was in the car over nine hours, and I really did not fancy having it on that long, especially when sweat collects. A rather clamy feeling really." Horizon answered.

"Oh yeah, I totally know the feeling, and man, when summer rolls around. It can be unbearable." Peanut added, trying to make small conversation.

"Yes, it is so much worse when you have long hair like I do, the humidity is just terrible." Horizon replied.

"Well isn't this nice. Only an hour and already you're getting to know the locals." said a voice that came from behind Horizon, causing all five of them to turn their attention to he human that was ther, simply standing casually with a smile on his face.

"Everyone, allow me to introduce you to my father." Horizon started.

"The name's Harold Clustrum. Pleased to meet you." He said while extending his hand to Earl, who right away took hold of it and gave a manly handshake with Harold, along with a bit of squeezing in there to measure the girt between them, a type of bonding thing between men.

"I can say the same thing back to you too Harold. Nice grip by the way." Earl replied while gripping just as much as Harold was, both of them grinning, trying to see who will back down first.

"Thanks, I work out from time to time. Seems like you do as well." Harold complemented back.

"It's a must at my job. Managing customers belongings aren't as light as you think they are." Earl stated. They both decided to release one another, seeing as how neither of them were going to back down before the other, they decided to go with a silent agreement and agreed to let go at the same time to save face in front of the pets.

"Is that a fact. Well, you must be good at your job."

"You bet I am."

"Good to know," Harold acknowledged. He turned his attention to the choolated colored dog that was standing there with a large smile that was aimed at him. "You must be Peanut, am I right?" Harold asked while kneeling in front of the dog. Peanut nodded with enthusiam while his tail reacted the same.

"Yep, that's me! Nice to meet you Mr. Clustrum!" Peanut greeted while extending his paw out towards the human.

"Well it's nice to meet you too Peanut." Mr. Clustrum replied while taking hold of his paw, giving it a gentle shake. after that he released him.

"Yeah, it's nice to meet new faces. Also," Peanut placed his paw Tarot's shoulder and brought her close to him. "I'd like to introduce to my awesome and precosmical gorgeous girlfriend; Tarot."

"Please to meet you Mr. Clustrum." Tarot followed up while placing her paws in front of her body, showing a humble expression to the human, as well as a slight blush from the fact that Peanut proudly addressed her as his signifigant other in front of the new residents.

"Well aren't you a pretty little thing, I see he adores you so," Harold then looked back to Peanut, a knowing smile on his gruff face. "You have fine taste ladies Peanut, this one right here, she's a keeper. Don't lose her now." Mr. Clustrum advised.

"Yes sir. I promise." Peanut replied with a smile.

"Good lad. Now if only I could get Horizon to be this social with the ladies..." Harold hinted while keeping his eyes away from the monochromatic canine, who didn't find what his owner said funny.

"Father..." Horizon warned, trying to keep his emtions in check from that remark.

"Anyways moving on," Mr. Clustrum then turned to Grape, who was simply standing there, her arms still folded, and her expression; that of a bored individual. "And I assume that you are Grape. Aren't a rare one, I've never seen a cat with purple fur before." Mr. Clustrum pointed out.

"Well, you'll be seeing more of my particular colored fur around the neighborhood often, so it'd be best to engrave it into your memory now, it's also nice to meet you as well Mr. Clustrum." Grape replied.

"Ah, don't worry about it. I've seen odd things in my life, so I'll be used to it in no time. Well, now we all have been properly introduced, would you all like some refreshments?" Harold offered.

"I would, if you would be so kind." Mr. Sandwich accepted.

"I'm okay thanks, had some milk not to long ago. So nope, but thanks for the offer anyways. Besides, originally I had a nap planned, but seeing as how a new turn of events took place, I now have date with Max, and it starts in the next 10 minutes, so I'm gonna get a headstart. I'll be back home around the usual time dad." Grape informed Mr. Sandwich before doing a perfect turn and started heading down drive, leaving Peanut, Tarot and Mr. Sandwich with the new neighbors.

"Well, that one vote for yes and one for no, how about you two, would you and Tarot, would you like something to drink?" Harold asked.

"No thank you, I'm good. How about you Tarot, are you thirsty?" Peanut asked.

"I'm fine Peanut, thank you for asking, and thank you for offering Mr. Clustrum." Tarot politely declined.

"Well, it looks like it's just you and me Earl. Come on in, I'll show you around the, it's a bit bland right now, but don't worry about it. In the mean time; Peanut, Tarot, could two please be so kind as to show Horizon around the area? You know, help him get settled and be known by the other pets and owners. Can you do that for me?" Harold simply asked. Tarot was about to decline when Peanut jumped in head first at the offer.

"We'd be glad to! Just leave it to us, we'll make sure that he's know to the pets here right, Tarot?" Peanut asked the pomeranian. She was about to decline the offer that was made, a familar sensation went off in her head, one that she had know and was used to for a very, very, very long time. Honestly, Tarot was glad that she was given a chance to get away from Horizon as soon as possible, but on the negative side that granted chance, she didn't want to leave Peanut alone with him, for his safety and his well being. Just being near him was unnerving, but leaving Peanut with him was much worse, but this kind sensation she was feeling told her that she HAD to leave him, much to her chagrin. As much she didn't want to, she would just have to place her trust in Peanut.

"Sorry Peanut, but I can't. I just recieved word from my other assignment and it's an urgent matter Imust attend to. I'm sorry." She replied lowly, not wanting Mr. Sandwich, Mr. Clustrum or Him to grow suspicious of what she meant. Peanut could her the dissappointment in her voice and yeah, he didn't want her to leave, but she had a job as a protecter that needed to be done, good thing it didn't constantly demanded her attention 24/7/365.

"Hey, I'm not upset. It's important to you, so I understand what you need to do. So go on and take care of it. We can plan our date next time." Peanut replied in an accepting tone voice, granting her some comfort. After give him a quick but meaningful hug, which he returned in tune, she walked down the drive way and proceeded to her home, but not before casting one last glance at Horizon, who still standing here, only this time, he waved at the Pomeranian with that same smile, which irked her vastly, she clenched her paw that was out of the view of others before turning away and taking off.

"And then there were two. Come on Earl, allow me to show you the house." Harold offered.

"I'd be delighted. I'll see you at home Peanut, just make sure you're not out too late." Mr. Sandwich infromed before following Harold to the house.

"Bye dad, I promise!" Peanut called back while waving to his father. Once he saw the two adults dissappear into the house, he turned his attention back to Horizon, who had his arms behind him still and his smile never fading. "Okay, ready to meet the other pets?" Peanut asked.

"Of course Sire, please lead the way, and I shall follow." Horizon answered. The sudden transition from being addressed by his name to now by his new appointed title, caused Peanut to ask.

"Um, I don't mean to be rude or anything, but why calling me Sire now, just a few minutes ago, you were calling me by my name normally, why the sudden change?" Peanut asked clearly confused by the sudden shift to his new title.

"Forgive my earlier discretions by using your name on first basis so losely Master," Horizon replied while quickly getting down at on one knee with a fist on the ground beside him, causing Peanut to jump a little. "Allow me to explain my arrogance. Neither Mr. Sandwich, Madam Grape, Madam Tarot, nor my father know of our relationship thus far. If I may be so bold, neither do you, or at least not yet Sire, but you shall in due time. I apologize if I have shamed you Sire. What method of punishment is recommended of my being Master?" Horizon asked, not moving from his position.

"Uh, it's okay, really! No need for punishment. And could you please stand up? There's no need for you to be like that, plus you're making me look like I'm better than you are, please don't do that." Peanut requested, trying to get him to stand up, not liking the way he was addressed while a fellow dog was kneeled before him.

"But you are Master, that is the way it was written and how it must be. But that what you wish then so be it," Horizon replied while standing back up, allowing the chocolate colored dog to breath out in relief. "I humbly and thoroughly apologize if I made uncomfortable Sire." Horizon added.

"It's fine, no harm done. Just don't go dropping down like in front of me like that, I was worried that some of the other pets would have seen that. But in all seriousness, don't worry if you slip up with my name, in all honesty, I'd prefer if you did just that." Peanut pointed out.

"My apologies Master, but it is forbidden for me to use your name so casually, it's the way I was raised and the law of my heritage. I hope this does not upset you Sire. Also, allow me to add, in the presences of the other pets, I shall be forced to address you by your name, not the titles that you have dominion over, it that alright with you Sire?" Horizon asked.

"Hey, that's cool with me, just makes things easier. Also, what did you mean by 'The way it's written and how it must be'. What did you mean by that?" Peanut asked, clearly wanting to know.

"Worry not Young Master, by tonight I shall tell you what you wish to know. But for now, would you please show me around?" Horizon asked.

"Tonight huh? Well okay, if I have to wait, I'll wait. Alright, first on the list, we need to get you acquainted with fellow canines the Good Ol' Dog Club, or GODC for short, so they don't see you as an intruder later on. And don't worry about Bino, his brother is here to put him in his place if he gives you any trouble." Peanut said as he and Horizon proceed to walk down the drive way.

"Oh, it sounds as though this Bino fellow my not be so pleasent." Horizon replied.

"Just wait until you see him person, then you'll understand." Peanut replied while chuckling.

"Oh? Does he have more then one malfunction I should find humorous?" Horizon asked. Peanut simply burst out laughing at the reply.

TBC...

Well, there you go, chapter two done and done. Hope you liked the little in-depth I went with for Horizon.

Let me know if I should add anything else in the next chapter.

Til then, this is EveningPen; signing off.