a story by
with David Shoulder
Story and Disclaimer (c) 1998-2012 by Chris Yost. Chapter 58 (c) Chris Yost and David Shoulder.All rights to story content reserved. Characters Sabrina the Skunkette, Amy the Squirrel, Tabitha, Carli, Tammy Vixen, Sheila Vixen, Clarisse, Timothy Squirrel-Woolfe, and Carrie Squirrel (c) Eric W. Schwartz. Character Roxikat (c) John Barrett. Character Thomas Woolfe (c) Michael Higgs. Characters Chris Foxx, Susan Felin, Cindy Lapine, Debbye Squirrel, Clarence Skunk, Dexter Collie, Angel Collie, Stacy, Wendy Vixxen, Sarge and Endora Mustelidae, Wanda, Mrs. Sharon Skunk, Marci Pardalis, and Dawne (c) Chris Yost. Character Florence Ambrose (c) Mark Stanley. Character ZigZag (c) Max BlackRabbit. Character Cyberhorn (c) William Morris. Character Terl Skunk (c) Rodney Stringwell. Character James Sheppard, Marvin Badger, and Chrissy the Bondo Vixen (c) James Bruner. Characters Kittiara and Katja (c) "Kittiara". Character Mark the "cheetaur" (c) Mark White. Character Tyler Leone (c) Michael Mullig. Characters Kevin and Kell Dewclaw (c) Bill Holbrook. Character Trudy (c) Jeffrey Darlington. Characters Chatin and Cilke (c) Tiffany Ross. Characters Jack Black and Cecil Stewart (c) Scott Kellogg. Characters Packard Melan and DJ Gabe (c) S. Adam Tindall. Character Ricky Boone (c) Ricky Boone. Character Portia (c) Matt Trepal. Character Josh Fox (c) his player. Character Hikaru Katayamma (c) Keith Dickinson. Character CottonLop (c) her player. Character Tina (c) Tina Amberg. Character Elmer Foxx (c) Elmer Yost. Character BondoFox (c) his player. Character Vikki Vixen (c) her player. Cirrel Concolor (c) his player. Bob and Sue Logan (c) Bob and Sue Logan. Ginger Mainecoon (c) Natalie Johnson. Eric Schwartz (c) Mr. and Mrs. Schwartz. All rights to additional characters reserved by their respective owners. Story based on characters and situations created by Eric W. Schwartz.
Windows95 (TM) Microsoft Corp. Amiga (TM) Gateway Computers, Amino Systems, or whoever the heck owns them now (I think it's Amiga, Inc as of the time of this chapter's writing). "Cooking for Dummies" (c) 1999 IDG Books Worldwide. Chalupa is a registered trademark of Taco Bell. Mercury (TM) Ford Motor Corp. Honda and Honda Civic (TM) Honda Motors. BeastWars and Pikachu are registered trademarks of Hasbro, Inc. WBUT is owned by Brandon Communications. "Extinctioners" (c) Shantae Howard. Pixie Stix is a registered trademark of Willy Wonka Candy Company.
Reproduction or altering of this story by any means or any unauthorized use without the expressed written permission of Chris Yost is strictly prohibited.
The toaster seemed louder to the fox as its eject mechanism popped two slices of dark toasted bread up from its slots. The naked fox allowed them to cool slightly and harden before picking one out and lathering one with brown deli mustard, then covering it with several slices of salami and sliced American cheese.
Once fully assembled three large bites were torn and pulled into his maw, allowing his teeth to set to work chewing them halfway before he washed them down with a slug of milk fresh from the plastic gallon container of the type they don’t sell in England.
As Chris devoured his second sandwich over the left-side partially-empty kitchen sink basin, he remarked aloud to himself, “I may give myself an excuse to drop into the company's health club yet.”
Lowering the jug from his mouth he spied a tiny white hair of fur clinging to the threads around the mouth of the jug. Out of habit he looked for Sabrina's approach, then quickly used his thumb to push the hair to the top where he could grab it.
“I suppose I could argue it was one of hers.” Chris thought about that for a moment. “Her muzzle's got white fur, my muzzle's got white fur. It's shorter and softer than mine but how can you prove that with just one?” Finishing his lunch he began convincing himself he could have made her believe it easily if he worded it just right.
Moving one of the new curtains aside from the window over the sink he watched snowflakes flurry past. “Gawwwwwd,” he said out loud as he chewed, “I'm bored.” Swallowing the last bite of his sandwich he looked out the window again. “Six months or so of cohabitation and I can't believe how lonely it gets when she's not here.”
Chris padded out of the kitchen and as he passed through the dining room he stopped in front of the mirror Sabrina had bought for the house last year. She had a knack for decorating, he couldn't deny that, which he thought about as he stood in front of the mirror and struck several weightlifter poses, malnutrition negating the need for sucking his gut in. “Y'still got it,” he reminded himself for the umpteenth time and twisted into a profile pose.
Stepping up to the reflective glass he lifted his eyebrows and stared at his reflection.
“Bond,” he said, “James Bond”. Then belched the alphabet as far as H.
It seemed to Chris that Sabrina wasn't happy with having a bare wall anywhere in his house. She'd ask him, “What do you think of this wall?” Chris would shrug and reply, “I guess if it forces you to use the door to leave the room, it's doing its job.” Then she'd get pouty and he'd have to go into Troubleshooting Mode which, let's face it guys, never works, so he learned that if you just back away and give it time everything fixes itself. Usually. Sort of.
Chris stood in front of the mirror and looked at it blindly. And sighed. He was bored.
“I'd just said that.”
True. He stepped over to the phone and dialed Dexter's number. Which answered with, “You've reached the Collies, no one is here to take your call, please leave a message and we'll call you back.”
Chris now remembered, Dexter took the family away for the weekend. He held the phone to his ear and replied to the beep, “I'm naked, what are you wearing?” and hung up. “He paid for the machine, he should have something to listen to when he comes home.”
Now he blew a stream of air that made his lips vibrate audibly. “I'm booorrrred.” He slid his feet and shuffled into his living room, flopping down upon the couch. Laying back he pointed the remote to the screen and switched it on, surfing through channel after channel and the barrage of political broadcasts, religious broadcasts, infomercials, sports from overseas he had no interest in, bad movies in which the titles were followed by Roman numerals which is redundant to say, perpetual Beg Week on the PBS station from Pittsburgh, seemingly 4,000 music channels, and it was all the same on the third and the fourth circuit of the channels. All of the crap they save to run on the weekends.
“What the heck did I do before Sabrina moved in??” Chris tossed the remote back onto the coffee table, looked over his shoulder at the door, lifted his legs and put his feet up upon it.
“The snow's been shoveled. I had lunch. I could take the car to have the oil changed … that would mean going outside though. Dad's at the station, Dexter's out with the family, I've looked at all of Kitten's sketchbooks and everything she's done for Zig Zag, twice, so I'm good in that department … filth, this stinks.
“Must be somethin' … ”
The Clique all piled into Susan's car, Debbye calling shotgun and diving into the front passenger seat. Sabrina wasn't used to sitting in a back seat, she hadn't since the day before she moved away from Ohio. Her mind got distant, she was feeling the nerves getting to her again, how her life is going to change forever. Changing her last name, being someone's wife, with luck being someone's mom … it was possible now, her monthly cycles didn't skip a beat and other than the normal crampings and need for ice creams with foreign-sounding names and mood swings, everything was working the way her high school health teacher and that film they chased all of the boys out to the auditorium said it was supposed to work.
The car passed the on-ramp to the expressway, she recognized it as the one she used to come into town and drive to the studio. Oh gawd, she thought, that was something else, to be sure ......
Sabrina had steered around the corner which chased the pedestrian the rest of the way across the intersection and sent him diving behind a lamp post. As she drove down she slowed quickly; the closer she got to the studio the slower the traffic was moving.
“What in the … I've never seen the traffic like this before.” As cars slowly moved they began to arc to the right, that's when Sabrina looked over her steering wheel and up to see what could only be a news truck satellite transmitter.
Sabrina's paws tightened on the wheel. “Omigod, did something happen to the studio??”
She followed the arc of traffic and could make out two news trucks and people gathered in front of and around ZZ Studios. She opened her window into the cold winter air to see better, looking for a fire engine, police cars … what she saw was the words PORN CORRUPTS and from that figured it out.
Sabrina let out an angry sigh. “Great,” she said. “Picketers.” And quickly rolled the window up.
As the arc returned the traffic to the normal path Sabrina found a parking spot a block away and parked, rolling forward to drop the back tire off of the curb to avoid another ticket and shut the engine off.
Sabrina zipped her coat and grabbed her underarm case with her new brochure layouts, thoughts of doing this another time running through her mind. “But I'm three days late already with them,” she reminded herself aloud and shook her head. Stepping out she locked her car and trotted across the street, pulling her black and gold wool cap down over her head and as close to her eyes as her glasses would allow, hoping the protestors and the media wouldn't stop her. She stopped with a small pawful of onlookers, a couple of them jeering the collection of females, none of which it was obvious Zig Zag would ever hire, and older men marched in a wide oval in front of the building. Now Sabrina could make out the signs:
1 Corinthians 14:41-42
Get Your Smut
Out Our Town
and possibly her favorite
STOP INTERNET PORN
with another protestor standing to his right holding a sign with an arrow pointing to him saying
I'M WITH STUPID
though she admitted he might not be with the rest of them.
Making sure she wasn't in line with any of the cameras on the scene, Sabrina slid through the crowd and ducked down the access road beside the building to the rear parking lot and repeatedly rang the bell on the back door. Sabrina was looking over both shoulders for anyone with a camera who might've seen her and followed her back, then the door opened and she ducked quickly inside.
Sabrina collapsed against the wall as her boss pulled the fire door closed. “Nice of you to join us,” Zig told Sabrina in a mockingly-scolding voice. “You know what happens to little girls who can't show up to work on time, don't you?”
“Oh, ha-ha.” Sabrina said and pulled her Pittsburgh Penguins dutzel cap off, throwing the dusting of snow it had accumulated at her boss’ feet. “I've never been so embarrassed,” she told Zig Zag, “Back home I never have to feel I have to sneak into work!”
Zig Zag looked at her watch. “It'll pass soon,” she told the younger skunk as she took her coat off. “They'll only be there another hour, then they'll be gone.”
Sabrina looked at her quizzically. “An hour? What, they cleared it with you?” she asked.
Zig nodded her head. “They had to. I don't enjoy having to pay top prices for a weekend morning but this was the earliest opening they had.” She put an arm around Sabrina as they walked up the corridor, animatedly gesturing with her arm to distract her from the fact that she was holding her close and as personally as she could get away with.
“You hired picketers.”
“Sales figures were down over the holiday season so I needed the Rent-A-Mob group again. It's been a while too, that's thanks to you y'know.”
Sabrina got it. “So they picket you and that draws out the news media.”
“You can't get better advertising than prime time news or front page above the fold.” She smiled as she turned them past the hall to the sales showroom and down the hall past their offices and toward the front of the building. “Once the media gets what they need and get lost, my pickets go up the street and two blocks over for a free lunch. Rent-A-Mob's great but they eat like food's about to be outlawed.”
Sabrina shook her head. “That's amazing,” she said, not for Zig Zag's masterful use of the local media to increase her sales, but … no, that was the reason.
“Little tricks of the trade we use. If it's not the porn business, it's the politicians, and basically we're selling the same thing.”
Sabrina pulled her boss' paw away from the opening of her coat and raised her carrying case up and into it. “The ad layouts for your Valentine's Day promotion,” she said. “I know they're late, but the website'll be updated on time, I'll promise you that.”
Zig's face beamed. “Good girl! Thanks, Sabrina.” She put her paw on her head and ruffled her hair while Sabrina made a face. “Looks good like that,” Zig told her. “Let it grow out and I'll treat you to my hairdresser. You'll love what she can do with a do.”
“Thanks anyway,” Sabrina said as she shook her head. “I just haven't found a hairdresser back home that I trust yet. That's why it's looking shaggy.”
“'Back home'?” Zig asked. “Girl, you are back home.”
Sabrina paused. She was right, this was her home … well, was her home. Now she was feeling confused, part of Zig Zag's master plan for her, no doubt. “I guess I'm not an Ohioan anymore,” she said as her shoulders slumped. It was a weird feeling she had, almost like giving up your citizenship when moving to an entirely new state. It also unnerved her to notice Zig Zag talked the same way Susan did. It was funny to think that if she were to introduce Susan to Zig Zag that they'd probably hit it off, in their own ways they were very much alike. Except Susan still won't come within a dozen blocks of the studio since the last time she was here.
“Yeah, well … I'll be around for a little while, then I'll be back later. Getting my gown fitting today.”
Zig Zag stood in her office doorway and watched Sabrina walk away, a puzzled look on her muzzle, wondering what was going on inside that head of hers. And watching her backside sway back and forth as she walked …...
My gown fitting, yeah. “The most expensive dress I'll probably ever own,” she said quietly to herself, “And I only get to wear it once.”
Like her bridesmaid's gown she'd worn for Amy's wedding. It had surprised her at the time that Amy had decided on a church wedding, especially after the baby had been born. But, Amy always wanted a church wedding, like most women do, and despite the circumstances she got her wish.
Sabrina opened the door to her squat little office and hung her coat on the back of her chair. She went through her emails, sending her fox over the state line a quick love note, and looked through her new assignments for ZZ Studio's website and print mail flyers. She also opened her pay envelope and compared Zig Zag's generosity to that of Strongarm Corporation's. And weighed a decision she'd weighed a number of times. And came up with the same answer, “But the extra money is sooo good!”
She checked her watch. Time was moving along! “I need to ask Zig about this 'White Sale' for Memorial Day.” It was weird to work on summer advertising projects when there was still three inches of snow on the ground. But then, she compared that to Thanksgiving layouts during July fireworks. Grabbing her coat she left her cubbyhole office and pulled the door shut behind her.
On a weekday Sabrina would probably have never caught the very quiet sound of the Studio A door closing after she passed by. She slowed her pace, listening. She felt that feeling, she was being followed.
Oh c'mon, you're paranoid, she told herself. It's a place of busi – And that's when she stopped. She swore she heard a footpad. Straightening her shoulders in mock bravado she turned abruptly.
BondoFox was about four steps behind her, standing rock steady and mid-stride. When he discovered he was caught he reached a paw slowly into his front pocket and took out a wrapped peppermint from Pizza Barn and held it out to her. “Candy, little girl?”
Sabrina slumped her shoulders back to where they were and walked up to him just out of arm's reach. “Don't you ever give up?” she asked him.
“Never easily,” the fox told her with his trademark sinister toothy grin as he took another step toward her. He straightened his arm to its full length and held the mint out within his right arm's full reach. “First one's free, kid.”
“Y'know,” Sabrina decided to warn him, “One day you're going to do that to a woman and find out she's a judo black belt.”
BondoFox shook his head. “Nah, never happen,” he explained while his other paw slid his favorite length of soft cotton rope from his back pocket, his grin widening as he approached closer. “I always learn about the girl before I pounce. It's more fun for everyone, and it's always all in fun.”
While Sabrina didn't catch his paw slipping to his rear pocket, she did remember something and opened her purse. “Which reminds me, I have something for you.” And she removed four sheets of tri-folded paper, all stapled in the upper corner, and offered them to the fox.
“Awww, but I didn't get you anything.” BondoFox took the papers as one end of the palmed rope fell out and swayed from his closed paw. “Uh, skin condition,” he said quickly as he stuffed the rope back into his pocket. Opening the papers he read out loud the three letters at the top. “'P.F.R.'?” he asked. “I know what a P.F.A. is, what's a P.F.R.?”
Sabrina just closed her purse and watched him reading it. “Protection From … hey, 'Restraint', that isn't real!” His eyes skimmed over the words. “Who the hell's 'E. Schwartz'?” Skim-skim-skim … “ … Schwartz Directive … is this legal?” When Sabrina reached forward and lifted the top sheet, he saw the notary stamp at the bottom.
“There's got to be a loophole in here somewhere.” BondoFox folded the paper back up, then in half and slipped it with the dangling end of rope into his back pocket. “Okay, you win,” he told her. “At least there were those two times … remember though,” he said, pointing a finger at her, “I'd never have taken advantage of the situation. You're engaged and I respect that.”
“Yes,” Sabrina said, “I'm engaged, that should be deterrent enough.” Even though you two look so much alike, it's frightening!
“You're engaged,” BondoFox said, “But you're not dead. And your boyfriend is one good-looking todd if I may say so.”
Sabrina was beginning now to regret having talked Chris out of coming out with her. But she got her point across on her own.
“But we're still friends, right?”
“Uh, oh, sure.” She took a step backwards. “Now I really have to check out with Zig, I have an appointment with my girlfriends and I can't be late.”
“Girlfriends?” BondoFox's ears pricked up. “Do you think I can – ”
“Ah,” he said. “Yes. If you really need to see Zig, I better walk along with you or else she won't be saying much.” BondoFox unwrapped the mint as they walked down the hall toward Zig Zag's office.
“How did you two meet, anyway?” Sabrina said to make conversation.
“Once I had her tied up we made friends right away.” Sabrina rolled her eyes as they opened the door to her boss' office.
Clarence walked the white washed corridors of the building, he had a note pad and a list of different aspects the women of the studio had suggested for Cindy’s possible future wedding dress. He liked the underwear ideas a few had offered; he wouldn’t admit it, but he was a male after all. He couldn't suppress a blush when Tina had told him to forgo underwear as it would only delay the inevitable.
Turning the corner he spotted the feline he wanted to get some advice from. She was sitting talking to someone, as she turned her head and smiled to Clarence, the instantly recognizable bust of Wanda that had poked out and silhouetted itself to the far wall from the Halogen lights.
Clarence raised his eyes heavenward. "... and the Lord spake, saying 'Clarence, you're looking at one of those days'." he looked at Ginger beckoning for him to come over and put on a smile. At least I can talk to her.
Ginger got up and kissed Clarence on the cheek, and gave him a nice warm hug. “Clarence, good to see you!” She couldn’t hide the wide smile that made her teeth show just how one of her bites could easily hurt. Wanda, about to do the same, hid a scowl at Ginger being so friendly to her male. “Have you got time to sit with us?”
Clarence nodded, which made Wanda smile too, and she slid over to give Clarence just enough room to sit with her thigh against his. “I actually came to see you specifically, Ginger.” Clarence looked at Wanda who until now was silent for once, at the mention of his intent her smile wavered just a second.
“Oh?” she said, “Sounds good, please sit in between me and my newest friend Wanda.” The sexy fox turned slightly towards Clarence and smiled then looked at the floor and rolled her eyes sadly. If what they were saying about the shy skunk was true, all her womanly wiles where not enough to turn his head.
Wanda looked at the note pad Clarence had laid on his lap, even through the bad paw writing she saw the words ‘Veil’ ‘Train’ and most strange was ‘Cleavage’. I like that last one, good to know his mind is in the right place. But it was true, he was getting married. It was at that moment her whole body tightened, pins and needles ran down her arms and legs to all four paws.
“... Well I can only go on what I liked for my own dress.” Ginger pondered a bit. “Do you have a picture of Cindy? It would help with styles.”
“Yup, I thought about that so I brought one with me.” He pulled out a folder with various work-related documents, but seated between an order form for 500 light bulbs and one for 750 different sized adult toys (you can see where priorities lie here) was a glossy of Cindy. He smiled when he saw Ginger's eyes light up.
“Oh Clarence, she is so pretty!” Ginger until know had only imagined what the doe would look like, she was surprised she didn’t wear glasses.
Wanda looked over at the photo of Cindy lying on the hood of Clare’s car. She didn’t know how jealous she was until she was thinking how much better it would have been if it was her on that hood. It too was the first time she saw the doe that had got Clarence first. She had to admit, she was very attractive and looked very athletic with those long legs and soft looking thighs. If she hadn't been engaged to Clarence already, she might have considered . . .
Ginger, who had not exactly noticed but had heard the stories about Wanda and her feelings decided to put the photo away. “Could I have a copy of that?” she asked.
“W-Why?” It's not every day a woman asked Clarence for a picture of his fiancée, though working in ZZ Land he learned anything was possible.
“Well, I may not be Sabrina,” she explained, “but I did take a design course back home in fashion, with a photo I could get some basic sketches done. Hey, it's up to you and the good Cindy of course, I know that she might want Sabrina more, but I’m at your disposal.” She smiled and kissed him on the cheek again. “I hope you don’t mind me doing that all the time, I just do it out of reflex.” She looked him over some more. “I think I’d rather make your suit though, I’d love to create something for you personally.”
“Nah it's okay, I will ask Cindy but I’m sure any help is good help.” Kissing his cheek, at least it’s better than what the other women did to him. “I think I would like that ‘tux’, you think you and I could put our heads together for that one?”
Talking of other women, Wanda was once again feeling jealous. She tried to hide a scowl as she looked at Ginger; here this female is with her bits of paper, telling her how much better she is than everyone else, she moves in on Clarence with his dancing, and now she’s even going all Sabrina on them with her art.
Wanda had closed her eyes but opened them quickly realizing how bad that all sounded. She wasn’t a bad person but Ginger, however innocent she sounded, just made her feel small. Lookit, Clarence was talking to her now and she didn’t even realize. “Sorry Clare, can you say that again to me?” She said with a smile on her face and as for this moment now, she felt, it was just him and me.
Clarence, who had obviously said something he was trying hard to say again, blushed. Ginger was giggling but took a mouthful of water trying to hide it. “I-I-I said that you are the most p-p-physically beautiful person I know and I’d like to know if you had a wedding d-dress what w-would it look like.
Wanda sat there for a few seconds, half reveling in the complement she just received from Clarence, but the other half thought how sad that statement was to her ears. Unless something happens now, that’s the closest he is ever going to come to asking me to marry him. She looked at Clarence, into his eyes, the window to his soul as women believe. “Well, it would have to be tight to the body,” she began, “and long, very long, I always wanted a train that would go on forever.” She sighed, as much as she loved her work and her lifestyle she so desperately wanted that day to come ... she looked over to Clarence and saw he was hanging on every word she said. Ginger was sketching and noting, it was like being the head of a company. “I love roses,” she went on. “I saw a dress once that had a material rose stitched into it that held the two halves together. I would love that just here,” and she picked up Clarence’s paw and laid it over her heart that was racing faster than his.
There it stayed for at least 20 seconds Clarence was trembling and to his surprise so was Wanda. They looked at each other, Clarence was trying his hardest to feel comfortable with the situation, but looking to Wanda’s eyes and he saw how sad they were, he didn’t want to make her any sadder, it was an uncommunicated understanding that this was her telling him that she wanted him and as his attention was glued to those huge moist eyes of hers, it was more than just the physical he'd felt her want all of this time.
It would have gone on like this, Clarence getting more comfortable with his paw on Wanda’s soothing heartbeat and Wanda believing more and more that she was turning him, not with sexual temptation but with a sincere need for him. That would have been if Ginger hadn’t of taken her eyes of the drawing she was doing for Clarence’s wife to be, she looked at the fox that walked past and started to shake with her own excitement.
“MISTER B!” she shouted with paws to either side of her mouth, it made Clarence jump and quickly remove his paw and made Wanda like Ginger even less. The fox jumped slightly and spun around.
“My gawd, GG! Is that really you?? How’d you get here?! And why aren't you at my studio?” He walked back to the trio and gave Clarence and Wanda a strange look as if he knew they had been interrupted in the middle of something big.
Ginger wrapped her arms and squeezed the fox so tight his arms where still out stretched. “Mr. B, it’s really you, oh my god it’s really you, Mr. B!” Her whole body was shaking now she was so excited to be with BondoFox she was unable to contain her normally reserved nature.
Wanda couldn’t believe it. Ginger, a person in all her limited knowledge, new to the business and hadn’t ever acted before, knew “Mister B” well enough to hug him, what’s more is that BondoFox let her!
BondoFox, who hadn’t had this kind of attention from someone in a long time, was shocked to say the least. He placed his paws on Ginger’s shoulders and took a good long look at her, taking in her shape and remembering the first time she and he met.
“You and I haven’t been face to gag in over seven years.” He shook his head. “Boy, that means I’m getting old!” He smiled wide. “Just LOOK at you GG, all dressed up!” He had a sudden thought. “You acting? I got a good movie coming up and you and that body … ” he made honking motions with his paws that made her giggle. “I could make you a star! I even have some tape and a LONG rope in the van, we could start now!” he said with an arm around the feline.
Ginger put her paws on her hips and gave him a smirk. “Oh I know what you could make me Mister B, and you ‘ave been trying ever since the first day I met you to get the chance.” She smirked and kissed him on the nose that made them both laugh. “Oh it’s so good to see you!” she almost squealed.
“You too GG, so what’s the deal? Why're you here, you really an actress?” He raised his eye brow. “I’d thought Doc was always against that.”
“Please sit down with us Mr. B, it’s a long story, that and …” she turned to Clarence and Wanda who both wore open mouths and blinking eyes. “ … they look like they want an explanation.”
So the four of them sat on the now crowded hallway bench; Ginger on the end, BondoFox and Clarence in the middle and Wanda on the other end resting her head on Clarence’s shoulder running a finger in little figure of ‘8s’ on his leg. BondoFox and Ginger reminisced.
“You see,” Bondo started “I knew Ginger’s guy from way back, we met some time, it was in an English E.R. I got clipped by a car and nearly broke my arm, he attended to me and we became friends.” He laughed, “It would be just my luck that I go to a hospital and I get a guy. I was looking at all the girls in their white nurses’ uniforms and I got this guy in glasses.” He stuck out his tongue. But he was a good nurse.”
“From then on,” Ginger said, “Mr. B called him Doc; it’s been that way ever since.” She looked to the ceiling in thought. “Was that the trip you had when you and D.D. went into the bar and found it was full of guys in drag?”
“She means Dawne, you met her at the Christmas party.” He laughed at Clarence’s confused expression. “We had silly nicknames; I haven’t been called 'Mister. B' in years.” His eyes went narrow as an evil gin spread. “Normally, 'Master' is enough.” He squeezed Wanda’s thigh, which made her jump. “Good to see you're still with us,” he grinned, then sighed. “Yeah it was, man I wish Doc had told us.”
“He wanted you to find out for yourself.” She grinned her own evil smile.
“Such a caring guy, isn’t he, we were out of there quick as lightening! Got nothing against all that, but nope, not for this brown fox!” Bondo shifted his weight so his tail dislodged itself from the back of the wall. “Kitten – that's what I call Dawne – she and I were doing a tour of European D/s houses and home-made dungeons for inspiration for a new film I had planned.” He looked at Ginger again. “It’s a dang shame you missed D.D. … I mean Dawne, at the party, it would have been great for the three of us to have found out we were all here that night.”
“Oh man, I can’t believe I didn’t see you either Bondo, I didn’t stay for long, I had only just taken the tutoring job.” She shrugged. “Hey I ‘ave you here all the time now.”
Mister B nodded. “Well, off and on, I only come here every so often to use the facilities here. I know Doc told me that you were moving, but that was about six months ago. I never would have thought here would have been the place I would first see you! I mean he has cousins in Pennsylvania.”
Ginger nodded and shrugged. “He got a nice job here in Ohio, working in a local school, a great way to practice on minor injuries; after he was unwell he needed to de-stress.” She laid her head on BondoFox’s shoulder the way Wanda was still with Clarence. “So are you still trying to tie up every woman you see?”
“Hey yeah, of course it’s my charter, my mission statement, and now you’re here!” Bondo got up and winked. “We will call that a half GG.” He kissed her on the nose and walked toward Zig Zag’s office, then he turned back to Ginger. “Tell the Doc I’m taking you two out tomorrow night with D.D.” He politely laughed. “Just like the old days, laters GG”
“Okay, sounds fun, Mister B – Wait, call what a half?” She tried to get up but she found her wrist had been pawcuffed to the arm of the metal bench.
As the eight chords banged out on the piano, Chris slid from the kitchen doorway across the hardwood floor of his dining room almost reaching the living room doorway in his open white shirt and underwear holding Sabrina's favorite spatula up to his mouth, lipsyncing, “Just take those old records off the shelf! I'll sit and listen to 'em by myself … ”
Colic. Poor Timmy was down with it, keeping Amy at home today while Thomas was at his internship with the parks department. Sadly it also kept her home for her own bridesmaid's gown fitting as well as making Sabrina potentially homeless for the weekend.
“Nothing doing, girlfriend!” Susan had scolded the skunkette. “You know I won't let you stay at a hotel!
Inwardly, Sabrina was proud of herself. Her fox was right, instead of asking, it's always better if you finagle an offer.
“Hey,” Debbye said excitedly from the front seat and snapping Sabrina back to the present, “Why not make tonight a slumber party!”
“Slumber party?” Sabrina said. “Isn't that kind of 'high school'?”
“No way!” Susan said! “Everybody bring snacks and their PJ's, we'll order in some pizzas … who says you have to be in high school to have a slumber party!”
Sabrina thought about it for a moment, then turned to the bunny doe. “What do you think, wanna slumber party?” she asked.
Cindy ran the date through her mind. “I don't have a date lined up tonight … it would be fun. Yeah, let's!”
“We can invite your mom too, Sabby,” Susan kidded, “She can yell at us to quiet down and go to bed.”
“Nooooooooo way!” Sabrina said and sat up, taking her seriously for a moment. Then, “Knowing us, you've got plenty of neighbors who'd do it for her.”
Susan laughed out loud as the rear tires drove over the curb as she entered the parking lot. “True dat!” Sliding through the snow she found a spot, pulling up as far as the snow pile would allow the car to enter.
Sabrina looked at her watch. “She's late.”
“Be nice,” Cindy told her. “I know you don't get along with your mom, but still.”
Sabrina sat back as listened to her coat rumple around her. Their last visit with her at the bridal shoppe went well enough; maybe this time wouldn't be any different.
Debbye turned down the radio. “Is that her car, Sabby?”
Everyone turned to see the dark blue sedan spinning its wheels from over-acceleration and fishtail as it was driven into the lot and into a space two slots down and bend the parking meter pole.
“Yep, that's her.”
The Clique stepped out of the car, avoiding the slush and the slop and meeting Endora as her car chir-chirp'd and she placed the key and fob into her pocketbook.
“Hi, Mrs. Mustelidae,” Susan said with a big smile. “That's a lovely coat you're wearing.”
“Hi, Mom,” Sabrina raised her arm in a half-hearted wave. Then, looking behind her, “Where's Tabitha?”
“She's at home,” Endora answered. “It seems her dress isn't quite ready yet, so I'm taking her down on Tuesday. Good morning, girls. I would have been here sooner, but they're redirecting traffic on the other side of town, apparently some big demonstration's going on somewhere.”
“Eh, it'll be on the news,” Sabrina waved it off. “So, let's do this!” And the chitchat began as they walked to the shoppe, Cindy and Susan working together to pull Endora into their conversation and getting along quite well. Sabrina thought about what Cindy had said in the car and flashed back to New Year's Eve, her mother's words about being held at arm's length echoing and now making her feel a little guilty.
End of Chapter 58