CLARENCE AND CINDY

Will You

a story by
Chris Yost

2006 by Chris Yost. All rights to story content reserved. , all rights reserved. Characters Clarence Skunk, Cindy Lapine, and Susan Felin Chris Yost. Reproduction by any means in whole or in part, or posting to any internet or intranet site, without the expressed written permission of the author is strictly prohibited. Based on characters and situations created by Chris Yost.

Will You is 2000 by Hazel O'Connor from the CD Beyond the Breaking Glass.


            " … Okay Daddy … " Cindy twirled the phone cord nervously as she talked. Clarence sat in the living room around the corner, part of him trying not to listen in, though it seemed that the harder he tried not to listen, the more of Cindy's half of the conversation came in crystal clear.

            " … Okay … uh-huh, water Mom's flowers … I will … Yes, Daddy … okay, love you too … 'night." Cindy set the receiver in its cradle and as she turned to return to her guest, an evil thought just popped into her mind. For only a second, less if you timed it. It was just the thought a girl at Cindy's age would have with her boyfriend in the house … the big empty house … empty as in "no parents!"

            In the next second, she felt ashamed of herself. Trying not to lower her head for how she felt now, she walked around the corner and sat down on the couch next to Clarence. She took his paw, interlacing her fingers within his.

            "Is everything all right?" he asked.

            Cindy sighed and nodded as she lay back in the couch, as her arm extended she ended up pulling Clarence along with her. "Uh-huh," she answered. "The car blew a tire and the spare's flat. Mom and Dad are staying at a hotel and they'll be home around lunchtime."

            "Oh, I see … " Clarence gave his doe's paw a gentle squeeze and she returned it in kind.

            Cindy turned her head to her boyfriend and smiled. "I love you, Clare," she said quietly and snuggled up against him.

            His reply was almost lost on her. Her eyes turned dreamy, that evil thought she had somehow seemed less evil, now bordering on just naughty. After all, she thought, it's okay if we'd just sleep … isn't it? I know I read somewhere sleeping together is okay, provided that's all you do.

            Taking her cue, Clarence nestled into the couch and enjoyed the feel of her head upon his shoulder, never letting go of the dainty paw in his. He squeezed it again, he enjoyed doing that. It showed her he cared for her.

            Slowly, Cindy became aware of the quiet. She blinked, clearing her reverie. Her female hormones were kick-starting themselves; after all, everything was in the right place for her, for them. Together, her parents away, the house empty … her evil thought had downgraded itself over the past ten minutes from naughty to not really so bad when you think about it, but don't think about it or it'll never happen.

            Clarence became aware of the quiet too, when his stomach growled.

            Cindy looked down at his belly and giggled. "Hungry?" she asked teasingly.

            "Ah-er-ah-uh … " Clarence's embarrassment was making Cindy giggle harder. He cleared his throat. "I-I guess I am … w-we did eat a l-little earlier than usual."

            She was unaware of her subconscious telling her how timely this was, how another piece of her puzzle had graciously fallen into place for her. Cindy scooted to the edge of the couch and pulled on Clarence's arm. "C'mon, I'll fix us something to eat."

            "Awww," Clarence started to protest when he realized she'd pulled him to his feet. He looked at his watch. "It's t-too late for that," he told her.

            That's the idea. "Says who?" she asked, and gave him a come-hither smile and nodded toward the kitchen via the dining room. "C'mon, I'm a little hungry too." She slid forward and tugged on his arm, and Clarence followed her out.

            In the dining room, Cindy stopped and said, "Wait a minute." She finally released Clarence's paw and walked down the short hallway to the door to the garage.

            Cindy walked into the garage and turned on the lights. She stood still for several moments.

            "Come out, come out, wherever you are!" she called out. Shaking a little she stood for a bit and listened hard, her lop ears searching for any sound. She walked carefully to the doors and checked to be sure they were locked, quickly as she could darting over to look around her car and in the back seat before scampering to the door to the house and turning out the lights. As she closed and locked the door she noticed Clarence standing two feet away from her and she felt her insides jump!

            "W-what was that all about?" Clarence asked.

            If Cindy's ears weren't already drooped, they would've certainly flattened against her head. "Uh …… it's silly ….. but whenever I'm in the house alone I go into the garage and the basement and make sure nobody's there." She swallowed in embarrassment. "I used to do it whenever Daddy wasn't home when I was little, I was chasing away monsters. I, uh, I guess I never outgrew it." She laughed. "It's dumb, I know."

            "N-no it isn't … " Clarence placed his paws on Cindy's shoulders. "Not if it makes you feel better." He grinned. "Do you look under your bed, too?"

            Lowering her head, Cindy nodded.

            "I'm sorry." Clarence could see he embarrassed her.

            Cindy raised herself on her tiptoes and kissed him quick on the cheek. "W-Wanna do the basement with me?"

            "Sure," Clarence answered without thinking. Again Cindy took him by the paw and they went downstairs to chase away anyone, fur or foul, who shouldn't be there and to check all of the locks.

            Cindy took a couple of burger patties out of the freezer. "These okay?" she asked.

            "Of course," Clarence said. He looked at his watch. "It's getting a little late now … are you sure you w-want to cook?"

            Cindy nodded quickly! "Like I said, I'm hungry too. C'mon, race you upstairs!" and she darted past him and dashed up.

            "No fair!" Clarence called after her and ran up after her. "You're a bunny, you run faster!"

            "All's fair in love and war!" Cindy yelled from the kitchen. She threw the burgers into the microwave to thaw and checked the refrigerator as her boyfriend walked in. "Aw, shoot, no cold sodas," she said and closed the door. "Looks like it's tea or coffee, which do you want?" she asked.

            Before Clarence could complain about the time of night again, Cindy opened the counter and held up a teabag and a jar of freeze-dried coffee.

            "Oh!" Clarence wasn't keen on the idea of Cindy going to the trouble of making a pot of coffee. Instant was fine, and as the night was getting on … and it looks as if I'm going to be here a while longer, and I need to make sure I'm awake for the drive home …

            "C-Coffee, thank you."

            Cindy nodded and took the jar of coffee and a raspberry-flavored teabag and placed them on the stove, and took the teakettle to fill it. Clarence, he took a seat and waited for Cindy to give him something to do.

            But she didn't. Cindy heated the griddle and when the burgers were thawed, on they went with an angry sizzle. She looked at Clarence and winked, and imagined her mother doing this for her dad. "Almost like we're married, huh?" she said with a nervous giggle, and hiding the fact that she couldn't believe she'd just said that to him. Her Initial Evil Thought was now a romantic idea.

            Clarence laughed, equally nervous.

            But their snack smelled awfully good. Clarence noticed the time on the wall clock over the stove. He smiled. "It's been a l-long time since I had a m-midnight snack," he said to make conversation.

            Cindy fiddled with the burgers with a spatula. "Not much of a snacker?" she asked.

            "Oh, I like to snack," Clarence admitted. "Just that M-Mom doesn't think it's a good i-idea to eat anything after n-nine o'clock. It's not good for you … plus it gives you b-bad dreams."

            Cindy almost laughed out loud. Then she realized what Clarence was living under, and it burned her. She remembered her Thanksgiving almost being taken away from her by his mother, and it made the short hairs on the back of her neck stand up. I'm sure she's a very nice person, but … "Have you thought about what she'd say if you wanted a place of your own?" she asked. She didn't want to ask, she was trying to learn more about him and her, and if she was lucky she could get something she could use.

            Girls are like that, guys, watch yourselves.

            "I-It's cr-crossed my mind … a f-few t-times … "

            That surprised Cindy. She turned to him.

            " … b-but I d-dunno … b-besides, I couldn't a-afford a place of my own … it's r-rent-free at home." He smiled sheepishly and shrugged his shoulders.

            Cindy's eyes widened. "I know!" she said excitedly, "I'll move in with you and we'll rent-split!"

            Clarence felt his heart pound as anxiety raced through him! Share?? Living together ... that wouldn't be right!!

            Cindy didn't notice anything from Clarence but a wan smile she misinterpreted to mean he liked the idea. She laughed it off though. "Could you imagine? Daddy'd kill me!" She turned back to turn the burgers, giving Clarence a chance to sigh heavily. She pushed the burgers around on the griddle, then pointed to the cupboard as she heard the water start to boil. "Clare, would you get us a couple of mugs?"

            As he rose she turned the heat up full under the teakettle. She flipped the burgers and the kettle finally started to whistle. Clarence fixed the cups on the table and leaned past her to take the kettle. Cindy leaned in and let him brush her arm as he reached in, and gave him a wink.

#

            Cindy laid the burgers on lettuce leaves on the toasted buns and set one plate in front of each of them. She topped hers with a slice of tomato, then made a face as Clarence smeared mayonnaise on the top half of his bun.

            "Ewwww!" Cindy said, wrinkling her nose. "Mayonnaise on a burger?"

            "Uh,huh, I learned it from a cooking show," Clarence explained. "Just a thin coating, it provides a moisture barrier so the bun doesn't get soggy."

            "Oh?" Cindy had to admit, it made sense. But … "But mayonnaise, just doesn't sound … ewww." She shuddered as she bit into her burger. "That's like … I dunno, eggs and ketchup."

            Clarence snickered and topped his burger with a slice of tomato and the bun top. "When I was little," he said, "I had an aunt that put ketchup on her eggs. It made me think of them as being all bloody and I wouldn't touch another egg for ages after that."

            Cindy laughed and took a sip of her tea, carefully; Clarence had filled their mugs close to the brim.

            Clarence sniffed the air, catching the aroma of Cindy's flavored tea. He leaned in close to her cup. "That smells good."

            Playfully Cindy slid her cup away. "You drink your coffee," she said in her best brat voice. Then, she carefully picked up her cup, extending her pinkie. "And I sip my tea, it's breeding you know." And she sipped so carefully that she slurped the tea, causing Clarence to laugh out loud!

            There was one thing Clarence loved about Cindy, it was so easy for her to blush. It sometimes showed through the smaller hairs of her fur, if you parted her ruffs you could see it easily. He grinned a wide grin and took another bite.

            Cindy loved that smile. Her once-naughty idea was holding as a romantic idea, promoting itself to a very romantic idea. And we're sitting here playing so cool.

            "I feel safe with you," she said to Clarence. When he raised his eyebrows she explained. "I know the house is safe, security system and everything. But with you here, I feel safer."

            Now, she was thinking, what will be, will be.

            Clarence chewed slower before he swallowed his bite. "Really?" he asked.

            "Mm-hmm. I feel like you could take care of me if someone did manage to break in, or if something bad happened."

            The skunk's chest began to swell. No one ever relied on me before …, he was thinking.

            "And I would too … if I could."

            "But it's getting kind of late now." Cindy picked up her cup as Clarence took another bite of his burger. "Please stay with me tonight." And she took a sip and watched Clarence, the anxiety of finally bringing the subject up lifted, now replaced with the anxiety of his saying 'no'.

            Instead, Clarence was stuck in mid-chew.

            Cindy watched him in mid-sip.

            Oh I wonder if you'll stay now.

            Clarence forced the bite in his mouth down his throat. "S-Stay now?"

            *nod*

            Cindy lowered her eyes. "I'd … like I said, I'd feel safer if you did stay now." She spoke quietly, giving only half of her reason to him.

            Shifting uneasily in his chair, Clarence set his burger down and picked up his coffee cup. He'd never thought of … sleeping with Cindy. Maybe under other circumstances, but marriage is the only one that would allow … he inadvertently took a loud sip of his coffee. What would Mom think if I were to stay now, she'd have a fit if I did …

            "Or will you just politely say goodnight?"

            That put Clarence on the spot. The out his girlfriend just gave him had now wedged him nicely into a tight uncomfortable spot. He froze for a moment, a deer in someone's headlights. It's not right … we're not married … what would Mom say tomorrow … what's the harm … nothing will happen …all we'll do is sleep … is it okay? … what will she think of me if I say "No"? …will she be mad at me? … will she want to see me again? …would it hurt anything if I said "yes"? …

            Clarence set down his cup and look at Cindy, she'd only blinked once since she'd asked.

            I know, I'm kind of putting Clare on the spot …I don't mean to, not really … when would we have this chance again? …don't look so scared … it's not like I'm asking him to make love to me … I wish we could, but that's not right when you're not married … I love you so much … will you? …

            "Like you said, just like we were married," Clarence said with a sheepish smile as he played back on what Cindy had said when she was cooking their snack.

            Cindy gave a shy smile back. "I guess so." How do I move this guy, geez!

            She moved her chair a little closer to him. "You don't have to if you don't want to," she assured him, using her best demure voice and brushing the bottom of her foot over the top of his and riffling the fur when she stroked it backwards.

            Clarence quickly ate into the last half of his burger, not knowing quite what to do anymore. He brushed his other foot beside hers and slid his toes up her ankle. That little bit of attention made Cindy's breathing deepen, and she lost her concentration and the tomato started to slide out of her sandwich. She eeped and tried to catch it as it slid all of the way out, she saved the burger as she gripped the bun tighter and quickly turned it all to keep the tomato from splattering her top when it hit the plate.

            And now Cindy had to admit to herself, she was feeling nervous about her suggesting Clarence sleep with her.

            "Aw, I'm feeling all fingers and thumbs!" She rebuilt her sandwich and the back of her paw bumped her mug, her eyes widened as she watched it slosh up toward the rim. "Oh, if I spill my tea … !"

            Clarence remembered what his mother had done in similar circumstances with him, and reached across to move her mug back away toward the center of the table and out of harms way.

            And he followed with something Wanda had told him once. "I-It's nice to know I have that effect on you."

            That made Cindy giggle. "You do! You really do … oh silly me … " She rebuilt what was left of her burger and turned it sideways to attack it in faux-anger with a "Rowr!".

            Clarence smiled and tried to ignore the clock on the wall showing the time as well near quarter of one in the morning. But it's getting kind of late now … He couldn't remember the last time he was up at this hour! Well, not out and about anyway.

            "I wonder what kind of a predator you'd be if you can make sounds like that," Clarence kidded.

            With a giggle she swallowed and raised her left paw as if she were showing off razor-sharp claws. "Ooooooh, best not mess with me!" she exclaimed, "I'm dangerous when it comes to my food!" As they laughed she put her paw back down, then brought it back up and smacked herself in the forehead. "Pickles! I can't believe I forgot the pickles!"

            "We don't need pickles," Clarence told her. "Unless you want some?"

            Cindy nodded and started to push her chair back, then Clarence stood up and held out his paw to signal her to stay put. "I'll get them for you," he said. "After your burger you'll drop them." Now Cindy made her paws into fists and put them on her hips in mock-outrage. "Stay now, I'll find 'em."

            Now Cindy brought her paws together into her lap and clasped them. "Okay," she said in her best little-girl voice, then lifted her head to eye Clarence's backside as he leaned into the refrigerator. She'd probably regret the pickles later, but it was a way to get him to stand up and bend over.

            "Stay now," she said in a barely audible whisper.

#

            Outside a small flurry of snowflakes were spinning around in an air current near the side of the house. It went unnoticed, as did the time as it approached the one-o'clock hour of the morning. Cindy rinsed off their plates and cups and put them in the dishwasher with Clarence by her side. And while his stomach wasn't growling anymore, it was reminding him he had her offer to consider.

            Now he looked at the clock, a minute 'till one. It would almost make sense if I would stay now.

            Cindy closed up the dishwasher and turned to her skunk. She pressed herself up against him, knowing the effect it had on him, and it was an effect she benefited from too … she stood on tip-toe and ran her fingers through his hair as she kissed him. Clarence hugged her close to him, pulling her close she squealed into their kiss as she rubbed against him, softening in his arms as his open paws ran up and down her back … and brushed past her ears. "Oooooooohhhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm………" disappeared into Clarence's mouth. That was the one thing that turned Cindy to jelly, having her lop ears stroked. Stroke them, Clare… She wanted his paws on them so badly now … please stroke them …

            They both had to stop for air. Clarence looked down at his doe. Cindy was on the verge of losing her self-control again, and the last thing she wanted now was a repetition of what had happened a mere few months ago, and chance being left alone.

            "So," she said, still in his hug, her right paw playing with his shirt buttons, " … will you stay now … or will you just politely say goodnight?

            Now it's unsure to this day if that was a sneak-attack or not, Clarence in his naiveté wouldn't have thought it if it were, and Cindy in her passion may not have meant it to be. Nevertheless here they were with Clarence again on the spot.

            "You r-really w-w-want me to … " He was grasping for non-answers as much as he could. And Clarence wanted to, he really did want to … How do I tell her … how do I explain it's not right …

            A torrent of female hormones had to be fought back for Cindy to say what she said next. After a tiny swallow, she said, "I know better Clare, you know I do … I made sure nothing happened in the back seat of Daddy's car on Thanksgiving."

            Clarence smiled, the shell he lived in showing a crack. "Well, not nothing … "

            Cindy pursed her lips in a big smile. Clarence wasn't her first boyfriend, and certainly not the first she'd ever necked with, but he was the first she'd have been willing to give up her virtue to. I wish I knew how Susan can be so carefree about that. "And like then, I'll make sure we're careful." She hugged him and snuggled up to him. I know, we touch much too much … but this moment has been waiting for a long, long time."

            Cindy wasn't realizing she was hugging Clarence as if he'd vanish if she let go. Only the little bit of sleepiness kept her from squeezing him to the point of popping his eyes from their sockets. He makes me shiver, does he know he does that to me?

            "Y-You're trembling."

            "Uh-huh." She slid her arms down and off from around him. "I know, you probably think I'm silly … it really isn't important."

            "S-Sure it is." Clarence quickly stepped in behind her and really wasn't sure what to do. He thought to gently grip her shoulders, but for some reason he began stroking her soft silken hair. And her ears, paying attention to them. He lifted one in one paw and stroked it with the other. Now Cindy was trembling, her mind a complete jumble.

            He makes me quiver … oh God, now this moment I'm so unsure … She turned around and took his paw and led him back to the table, turning him so he would sit down, and she straddled his lap. She snuggled up to him, her reflection clear in his glasses. "This moment I've waited for … is it something … something you've been waiting for … waiting for too?"

            Clarence needed to clear his throat, he did it as quietly as he could. "I've … th-thought about it … a lot, sure … "

            Cindy gripped the sides of Clarence's glasses. "Take off your eyes," she said as she lifted them from his nose and set them on the table beside them. "Bare your soul."

            As Cindy snuggled herself closer, and showed she was not disappointed with Clarence's reaction in the slightest, Clarence found himself nodding. "O-Okay … " He honestly wasn't sure what he should say at this point.

            Taking both of his paws in hers, Cindy closed her eyes to narrow slits and raised them up and behind her head. Leaning in to his ear, she whispered, "Stroke my ears?"

            This was something Clarence absolutely loved to do, even though he was tired he stroked Cindy's ears, from their narrow tops to their wider bottoms, then lifting his paws he raised them to the top of her head and started again, and he'd raise his paws and do it again …

            Cindy churred happily, not lustily but it wouldn't have taken much more … she wanted more … considering the circumstances, she felt stroking her ears was safest for both of them. She squirmed on Clarence's lap, side to side, back and forth, sliding up to him and crossing her arms behind his neck. "Gather me to you and make me whole."

            Clarence continued stroking Cindy's ears, no longer interested in the clock on the wall. "S-Sorry?"

            "Oh Clare … tell me your secrets … sing me the song … "

            That's what Clarence thought he'd heard, he was lost in the world of sensations and passions and love for his Cindy. For Cindy's part, all she could see were clouds. Her eyes were wide, all she could see, all she could hear or sense, was Clarence. She was flying, out of contact with the world around her save her Clarence, her only connection with reality.

            "Sing me the song … sing it to me in the silent tongue … "

            "S-Sing?" He slid one paw back and stoked Cindy's cheekruff. "Cindy … Cindy?"

            "Hmm?" Cindy's consciousness was returning to her as he spoke to her. She kissed Clarence and held her open mouth against his for several minutes as she slowly calmed.

            "I'm in love with you, Cindy," Clarence said when he was finally able.

            "And I you, my wonderful Clare … " Then, she sighed. "And I know: 'But it's getting kind of late now'."

            Clarence said not a word.

            Cindy kissed Clarence's cheek. "Still, I wonder if you'll stay now." She kissed his cheek again, closer to his mouth. "Stay now … kiss … stay now … kiss … stay now … "

            "C … Cindy … "

            Cindy pressed her lips to his one time more.

            "Or will you just politely say goodnight?"

#

            "Goodnight," Clarence said to Cindy.

            Cindy nodded and kissed his cheek. "Goodnight, Clarence."

            She reached over and turned off the bedside lamp and cuddled up to him, and they slowly fell asleep.

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