Monica looked at you and, carefully, imitated the gestures. She sipped some water, drank some, sipped some more, gargled, and then spat it.
"Yes!" You claimed in victory, pulling her into a kiss, one she quickly reciprocated eagerly, pulling you into her embrace, moving to pin you down, her hands... "Ok, ok, stop..." You struggled to pull away from her needy claws as she was just about ready to strip you.
She was getting way better at this. "Purrsian?" She was flushed, her face leaning into your neck, hot breath on our ear, licking it, licking your cheek.
"It's... ah... it's called clean breath." You said, trying to explain, unsure how much she was absorbing. The signs were clear that she was learning, calling her by her name made her turn in your direction, and though she wasn't speaking, there was some obvious progress going on.
She leaned back, eyes flashing with curiosity as she puckered her lips, licking her lips a little.
"That's kissing." You added, doing just that, feeling slightly overwhelmed at all the tongue she kept adding to the formula even for the lightest ones. It was like she wanted to taste all of your mouth all the way down to your tonsils.
You weren't going to complain... so long as she didn't stink of rotten meat, hence this little ritual you were trying to teach her.
"Purr..." She grasped your hand and guided it towards her loins, the heat of her sex feeling like a warm oven, moist against your touch.
"We need to return to the others." You said, kissing her cheek, noting the dimness of the approaching night.
Monica pouted and gave you the sexy variant of kitty-eyes, wide and watery, her hands pawing at your crotch as she was clearly oh so very close from just ripping it off. It was, strangely, your newest weakness, though one you were quickly learning to fight against.
"No, no, we really need to go." You forced yourself back into reality, it was going to get dark very soon, the sun might not have reached the horizon, but the forest darkened fast.
She seemed to realize the intent behind your words and sighed dejectedly.
It was you who had to step away, getting out of the water that had stopped feeling cold well over an hour ago, and despite all the activity that had taken place around this particular area, you felt somewhat refreshed and clean. No sooner were you headed to your clothes that a blur of flesh and determination had gotten there faster, your clothes getting snagged by Monica. "Purr." She declared indignantly, burying her nose on the clothes and purring, suddenly the grin in her face spoke that she wanted to keep the clothes for more than just to prevent you from putting them on.
Though the "prevention" aspect was clearly amusing to her.
You were willing to part with some of your clothes, but one big part of the issue was trying to convince her to "negotiate". Shoe-less, flinching with every step you'd need to take, you knew that approaching her could mean she'd run. It was clear she wasn't going to like the idea that you'd sneakily take everything away the moment she gave you the opportunity to do so. It took a lot of thinking, before just giving up and looking at her with half-hope and expectation of out-doing the crafty feline.
"Please?" You asked, now it was your turn to do the Rick-puppy-eyes (trademark pending).
She huffed really loudly when she saw you looking at her like that, then pouted, then huffed, then yowled at you. The woman got closer, glared at you, clutching at the clothes with her big paws, looking at you, at your eyes, your outstretched hands, and the clothes. She pulled them, rubbed her cheek against them...
And proceeded to let you have a single shoe.
Just the one.
You looked at it dejectedly, then at her. With a deep breath, you frowned, taking a step forward and flinching. "Ow." You said, lifting your foot so she could see the little scrape you'd gotten from the rock. It made her look at your foot with concern, frown, lift her own foot and look at it. Hers were unhurt. She then looked at your foot, leaned down, and poked at it with her claw.
"Ow." You said again, it made her pout more.
Glancing at the pile of clothes she was holding, she begrudgingly dropped a handful of others. Pausing, sighing, and then dropping the rest. There was something about the way she deflated that felt just so... un-Monica, up until now you'd seen her being full of confidence, only allowing you to get what you wanted when you really put your foot down.
You'd never thought that asking nicely would get wild-rumble-and-tumble Monica to agree to it with such minimal resistance, it seemed there was some edge of concern over the fact that you got hurt from merely walking without shoes. As soon as you'd grabbed the clothes she'd deflated further, seeming utterly defeated and demotivated while you began to put those layers of clothes she'd have to try to get you out off of sooner or later.
There was a definite feeling that you had to reward her for this.
Dressing up quickly, you stopped when you were going to put on your shirt. "Monica." You called out to her, she turned her head upon hearing her name, you approached.
As you touched her arms, she raised a hopeful eyebrow, but it changed to curiosity when you began guiding her hands to put on your shirt. The woman was curious and complied, watching you move around her. There was a definite sense of "Bigger dog letting smaller dog run around because it amused them" kind of feeling coming from her, but you weren't going to complain.
When you finished putting the shirt on her, you'd considered buttoning up the front, but... well, there were two pillowy aspects of Monica's anatomy that made that attempt fruitless in its entirety. A pair of bountiful mounds of fruitlessness. As soon as the shirt was on, she raised both arms as she looked down at her body, carefully she sniffed the shirt on one side, then the other. Her arms moved this way and that, she twisted her body, gyrating her hips and looking over her shoulder to confirm her tail was free and moving without issue.
Monica looked at you, a slight sense of disbelief before her mouth went slightly wide, a slight grin came upon her lips as she quickly turned towards the cave and began to move quickly. You had to jog to keep with her pace, Monica barely would take more than some seconds to wait for you and check that you hadn't gotten lost along the way.
This time she didn't do her running shenanigans, she instead appeared to orbit around you, going this way and that, smelling a tree or a bush or the ground, leaving scratches on certain trees, smelling the shirt, and continuing on her seemingly spastic investigation of the darkening forest.
By the time you'd gotten back, the sky had darkened in its entirety and... there was no fire.
Monica didn't seem to notice or mind, having puffed up as she approached, practically swaggering when she leapt onto the small area in front of the cave she called home, leaving you to carefully climb the cliff. Half-way up, you heard some laughter that only got louder the closer you got.
You were greeted by the sight of Katherine cooing over the shirt and Monica seeming to swell like a balloon the more Kat spoke about how well it looked on her. "Are you trying to distract from the fact that you didn't find firewood?" Your question made Kat freeze on the spot and look the other way.
Monica did not mind, glancing at you, making a purring sound, and then standing proud, shoulders out, swaggering with exaggerated arm movements as she walked back and forth.
"Wait, is she..."
Then Monica grabbed her tail, tugged it between her legs, allowing it to protrude out from between her thighs.
Kat burst into laughter as Monica then swaggered again, her tail playing the part of a faux-dick.
"Big Dick Rick." Katherine howled in laughter, the sound being slightly mimicked more discreetly by the others present. The sound got only louder as Monica placed her hands behind her head and began swaying her hips in a spiral.
"Wood, fire, cold." You said, cheeks burning as Monica approached you, swinging her... tail, humping lewdly, and shooting you very cocky grins.
You weren't sure how, but you were going to get your revenge one day.
"They did find food." Alice offered, showing to you a bag filled with what looked like berries, though you'd be lying if you said you could recognize them.
"Any poisonous ones?" Kat flinched again as she earned your scowl for trying to divert the attention from the failed fire. You were still slightly wet and cold.
"All the ones I recognize are edible at least. And look at this one." Alice brought out a fist-sized grape.
Monica appeared dejected that she wasn't the centre of attention anymore, huffing, she looked around, found the... meal... she'd left behind, and moved in to grab a bite.
Everyone made an extra effort to ignore her.
And yet... your belly decided to remind you it had gone most of the day without a meal and that Monica had been the sole cause for a great deal of the calorie consumption these past 24 hours. The culprit was currently biting on a ripped arm, albeit seeming very careful not to let the blood stain the white shirt... which appeared to be a task in of itself.
"...extreme care then." You muttered, turning towards Mr Gabriel. "How was she?"
"Only woke up to eat and fell asleep again." He declared, you noted the mouse was currently sleeping with her head on his thigh, but the position was such he was between her and everyone else. The old man had a gentle hand on her head, fingers idly touching her hair; there was a look of compassion in his eyes. "She went through a lot." He muttered under his breath, glancing at Monica for a second. "Makes you think what else is the norm in this strange place."
An idea struck you as he said this. "Have any of you spotted any animals in the forest? Any at all?"
The others looked at each other and shook their collective heads. "I haven't seen even so much as a bird." You muttered, feeling a chill up and down your spine and glancing at Monica again for only a moment. "...and she seems pretty used to eating... that."
Alice frowned. "What do you mean?"
"What if..." You made a slight gesture towards the mouse, and then towards Monica. "What if they're what's normal in these parts? That they are all humans with odd animal traits and behaving wildly?"
The group's collective sense of dread increased by a notch. "Are you saying there's nothing else? Just... human-shaped monsters?" Tomas spoke carefully.
"I... I don't know. Maybe the animals have adapted, found ways to... hide. I've seen Monica moving, she could hunt all life within the area if it wasn't... careful." The realization shook you. "That's something for some other time. There's a stream north of here, if we follow it, it could take us to a river, and civilization is always near rivers."
"..." Everyone was looking at you with scepticism, though they nodded. You knew they had to, otherwise, it'd mean they were giving up on finding safety.
"We should sleep." Alice broke the silence. "And tomorrow we should climb the hill before going to the river, check if there's anything we can see from up there."
"Agreed." Came the collective response, you nodded along.
"Just... one thing." Kate spoke, looking nervous. "What if... we run out of... vegetarian options?"
Her movement towards a more sombre tone made everyone freeze, especially as Monica looked at Tomas, and offering the partially eaten arm.
Tomas' face became green, Monica just went back to chewing loudly.
There was a collective shudder. "Let's pray it doesn't come to that." Mr Gabriel stated quietly, a deathly whisper.
Silently, everyone agreed with barely a nod. And without another word, they each turned to their own thing. Kat approached you. "Sorry about the fire." She said. "We've tried, the wood is bad."
You had to sigh and nod. "Don't worry, we'll figure out how to do it better next time."
She nodded, moving to sit next to Tomas. May had never left Alice's side. Mr Gabriel merely laid back against the cave wall and closed his eyes while the mouse slept with her head on his leg. That left you with little companionship to have except the feline that was having a meal. You just crouched to look down at your things and re-check inventory.
The movements were automatic, without thought, but you had to give yourself something to do, you weren't going to get close to Monica at the very least until she'd finished. And it didn't take her long, the chewing grew silent, and you glanced her way as the darkness began to grow.
She looked at you with those deep emerald eyes, a smile appeared on her face and she crawled towards you with ease, circling around you once and then, slowly, pressing you against the floor with a kiss you felt too tired to fight against. "Meownica." She whispered softly, the energy was... it wasn't the hot wild need for sex, you were thankful, you ignored the taste in your mouth and the revulsion, pushing it down, feeling as she cuddled her warm body against yours with a catty smile.
It took some effort, but with how tired you were, it was easier than you'd thought to fall asleep even while under the attentive eyes of the feline woman.