I hopped off the ledge and looked back to see the men still following me. I rounded a sharp corner and started running down the alley, my footfalls echoing off the walls. I could hear the men behind me just as I looked up I realized it was a dead end, almost running into the wall. I sprang into the air looking for a chip in the brick to grab onto and climb up. I found a piece and grabbed onto it, my nose scraping the brick. I started climbing knowing they would keep going after me as long as I had it. I felt something fly past my ear before heard it. I knew it was a bullet and started climbing faster fearing for my life. Another nearly hit my hand in the brick above me. I knew it was time to fly but I couldn't it was too easy to track a black dove in a city without pigeons. I reached my hand up and felt nothing driving me off balance and falling toward the brick. I reached for the other side of the wall and found the edge; I grasped the side with my other hand as I swung my legs up and over. 'Just like a pole vault.' I thought to myself. I fell down to the other side with only barely enough time to snap out my wings. The slight updraft to pull me upward, I flapped my black wings, which were speckled with white. I had to get up away from the men and toward the top of a building where I could turn into something more inconspicuous. As I ascended I felt another bullet whizz though the lowest part of my left wing. If they got to be any better shots I'd be dead once I fell, I soared upward as an updraft helped me up. I clawed at the edge of a building trying to pull myself up onto the roof. I lost my grip pummeling down to the ground. I felt a pair of arms around me and something that felt like a nearly vertical climb as I fell into my main calico cat form. My slanted cat eyes looked upward at a teen boy with bleach blonde shoulder length hair and blue eyes as light as the air around us.
"Shhh," he said "You're safe now we're invisible. To them it looked like you fell off the building. I'll take you home."
"Who are you??" I meowed wearily
"Luitprando. Most people call me Brando though."
"I saw you on deviantART. You designed the Web dress collection."
"I am him."
"Why are you in New York though? You're Italian." I said dazed my favorite artist had come to my rescue and was right here in front of me. He didn't have the animalistic abilities I seemed to have though it seemed more rooted in magic, deep magic.
"I came here for a fashion show I got sponsored to make dresses for DKNY. You shouldn't worry so much. I'm renting out an apartment for 6 months you'll have someplace to stay away from those men. "
"They could come in regardless at any time they're human."
"There are spells to prevent humans from coming though."
"But it would mean giving something of you to a demon."
He seemed to be mulling the idea over in his head. Some of the worst things he could lose were his creativity, mind, soul, or heart. After this I'm positive I wouldn't want him to ever lose his heart not after this.
"Who are you anyways? It would be nice to know who I save every now and then."
"AH! I'm sorry I figured you knew. I'm Karen."
"And you realize just about all of New York saw a girl with wings fall to her death."
"I do now. I'll never be able to show my face again in New York."
"Are you kidding me?! I'd love to take you on as my personal project as long as you don't stay a cat." He said setting his feet down on the roof and putting me down
"Oh no of course not! Just if I changed back now all of New York just about would see things I don't want anyone to see."
"Well then come in I have something that might fit you." starting to walk down a set of stairs I hadn't seen before "Plus, "he added."They would probably only see you to Broadway." I padded after him amazed that he could be so casual about that 'Typical Italian ' I thought.
"Here's the dress." He said standing at a figure that looked about my size. I looked up to see a lilac dress about strapless and knee length.
"It's beautiful." I whispered in awe.
"Good! Come along then!" he pulled the base off the form and unzipped the dress pulling off and dropping the form with a clatter. He walked to what seemed like a blank wall until he touched it and a forest green pocket door popped into place as he slid it open. "Well here's your bedroom. Bathroom is over there; I'll call around and see if I can find any fabric I can get delivered quickly. I'll set the dress on the bed so once your human you can get it." I nodded and walked over to the bathroom as he closed the door behind him. I changeful back as soon as he closed the door my raven colored hair falling into place the cat hair falling-out and onto the floor. 'I'll have to clean that later I thought to myself.' I walked into the super modern bathroom and looked around. This was the bathroom I had saw in the trashed magazines at the lab. I looked around and found another doorway. I opened the door to a giant closet filled with clothes all in my size. There were vintage T-shirts of all colors even some anime shirts and lotica tops in the mix. I opened a few drawers and finally decided I had wondered around long enough and walked back in the bedroom and slid on the lilac dress. I opened the pocket door a crack and heard Victor talking
"Yes 4 bolts of 100% cotton in fire truck red, sea foam green, navy blue, and sunflower yellow. Yes I know I don't order cotton just send it. Just add it to the tab, I know it's high. I get paid next week yes I know. I know. Just send the fabric, yes thank you." He hung up the phone and sighed, I ducked back into my room. Then opened the door the rest of the way, my bare feet soundlessly moving toward him till I was behind him. "You heard that whole conversation didn't you." I blinked at him not wanting to say I did "its ok I get paid next week, it happens a lot DKNY doesn't pay me to buy the cloth I want only what they want. I pay a lot out of pocket." I sat down on his white leather couch and pulling my knees to my chest.
"What if you requested a cloth?"
"They wouldn't let me take it for personal use."
"Oh." I look down at my feet embarrassed by myself.
"Hey don't feel bad. This is just normal for the world where have you been all of your life?" He said sitting down beside me and looking at me quizzically.
"If you want to know the truth, a cage in a lab being treated like an animal." I say putting on a fake smile. His strong facade vanished leaving him looking at me like I'm a kicked puppy. I looked away not wanting is gaze on me. He realized that he had hurt me and apologized quickly trying to make up for his misstep. "It's no problem I haven't been out of their since I was 16. I don't even know how to drive." I grinned like yea this my life and it's quite a hellhole.
"You can't even drive?" he choked out visibly trying not to laugh.
Suddenly there was a knock on the door and we both jumped. When we recovered we noticed we had jumped together Luitprando holding onto me protectively. He slowly let go of me feeling very awkward and got up off the couch to answer the door. He opened it throwing the caution that it could have been someone coming after me.
----- End of Chapter 1-----