a story by
(c) 1998 by Chris Yost. All rights to story content reserved. Characters Sabrina the Skunkette, Amy the Squirrel, Tabitha, Carli, and Tammy Vixen (c) Eric W. Schwartz. Character Roxikat (c) John Barrett. Character Thomas Woolfe (c) Michael Higgs. Characters Chris Foxx, Susan Felin, Cindy Lapine, Amy Squirrel, Clarence Skunk, Dexter Collie, Angel Collie, and Wendy Vixxen (c) Chris Yost. Character Florence Ambrose (c) Mark Stanley. 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.
Chris stared at his monitor. Then his unkempt pile of diskettes. Then his monitor again. He drummed his fingers on the top of his table and vibrated a diskette onto the floor. A knock at the back door caught his attention and he got up to answer it.
>>Private message from Kitten> I'm ba-aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!
Chris walked through his kitchen to the back door. On the other side was a cute brown-haired lady wolf wearing a yellow V-neck jumpsuit with a large bag slung over her shoulder.
She smiled big. "Hi!" she said. "My name's Florence. I'm sorry to bother you, but our ship's landed about a half mile back in the forest and we can't take off again because of a faulty loopback generator. Would you happen to have one we could buy from you?"
"Just a minute." Chris walked over to the basement door and disappeared inside. In a moment he came up the steps with an opened cardboard box.
"Is the CA-3 model okay?" he asked. "It has the recirculating option."
"Oh, that's perfect!" she said. She pulled an electronic notepad from her satchel. "How much do you want for it?"
"Oh, please!" Chris said to her. "You're doing me the favor taking it! Now I can put a cupboard in that corner."
Florence's face brightened, and she held the screen door open while Chris placed it in her open arms. "That's really generous of you. Thanks a lot!"
"You're very welcome." Chris watched Florence walk down the stairs. "Nice doggy." He sprinted back to his PC and saw Sabrina was back. Quickly he paged her back in.
Chris> Hey! You left without permission! :)
Sabrina grinned. "Gee, 'bout time!" She typed:
Kitten> Not my fault, honest! My ping timed out
Chris> A pox on those timing-out pings! Fie!
Sabrina leaned her head back and giggled out loud. "I'm engaged to a nut!" she told herself. And she replied.
Kitten> I love you!
Chris> I love you too. And I love that other nick of yours, it's cute :)
Sabrina brought her paw to her mouth! "Oh geez ... " She typed fast:
Kitten> I don't use that one too much anymore. A few people still remember it, so I kept it
Chris> I like it, 'brina :)
Sabrina smiled an awkward smile, then trembled.
Kitten> Please kiss me?
Chris grinned. "Gladly."
*Chris takes Sabrina and holds her close*
Sabrina felt her shoulders relax.
*Chris gazes into Sabrina's big, beautiful blue eyes*
Sabrina began to melt.
*Chris parts his muzzle and covers Sabrina's mouth, kissing her passionately*
Sabrina reached behind her with her free hand and fiddled with her bra clasp.
Cindy took the wet and balled-up trousers and underwear Clarence had rinsed out in the bathroom sink and threw them into the dryer. She slowly shook her head and leaned over the top to set the timer. "That poor guy," she told herself. She lifted her head to the sound of water rushing through the pipes as Clarence turned on the shower upstairs. She pushed the start button and leaned her elbow on the dryer, her robe falling open some due to the loosely knotted sash.
"What if I did go with him, for the summer at least?" Cindy thought out loud. "The Clique ... well, they did apologize, after all ... and I think I really do kind of like him ..." And just as she thought further, the sound of a car engine in the driveway caught her attention -- "Oh no!" She ran upstairs in an undefinable flash of tawny blur ...
... just as the door opened. "Mom!" she yelled. "Hi!"
"Hello, Cindy." Her mother carried two grocery bags in. Cindy took them quickly from her.
"Ah, Mom," Cindy fought to keep from stammering. "I completely forgot to ask you to get me a pint of double chocolate fudge ice cream. Would you please go back and get me one?"
"Cynthia," Her mother took the bags back from her. "I am not going back for a pint of ice cream." She turned one ear toward the muffled sound of water running. "Who's ... "
"A pint? I meant a half-gallon! I'm sorry Mom!" Cindy took her mother's arm and turned her toward the door. "Let's go together. We never talk; let's sit outside on the porch, and talk. By the way, how's Grandma? We never talk anymore, we -- "
"Cindy!" Mom pulled her arm free just as Cindy reached for the doorknob. She looked Cindy in the eye. "Who is in the shower?"
Cindy looked away; the look-in-the-eyes always did it to her. "Just ... someone I invited to go swimming."
"Then why didn't you just say so?" Cindy followed her mom to the kitchen where she put the groceries on the table. "I wish everyone showered before they went into the pool."
"I'm sorry," Cindy said. "I just didn't know if it was okay for me to invite him in or not."
Mom stopped emptying the bags and raised her eyes again at her daughter. "'He'?" She looked over Cindy in her bikini with her robe half-tied in front. Neither one of them heard the sound of the shower no longer running.
"It's ... uhm ... not what you think."
Mom set the potato chips on the table. "And just what am I thinking, little one?" she asked. "You're a big girl, and your father and I trust you. Is he the boy who took you out Saturday night?"
Cindy nodded. "Mm-hm."
Her mom smiled, then pursed her lips, then pushed the bags toward Cindy. "You put the groceries away," she told her. "I think I'll go visit Grandma, it's been a few weeks since we've looked in on her."
A relieved smile crossed Cindy's face. "You're the best, Mom."
Mom nodded to Cindy. "And maybe later you and I can have that little talk we never had."
"What do you need to know, Mom?" Cindy grinned. Her mom raised one corner of her mouth.
"I'll see you in a few hours." She took her keys and purse and walked back out to the car.
Cindy watched her disappear out the front door. Following that was a heaving sigh! "Whew!" She caught her breath and put the cold stuff in the refrigerator, then ran upstairs for a pair of her father's swim trunks. She bounced back down the stairs to the bathroom and opened the door.
Cindy nearly threw the door shut! She spun around and landed her back against it. "Clarence, I'm sorry!" she shouted in. "I wasn't thinking!"
"It's okay!" She could almost make out Clarence's nervous panting on the other side.
Cindy's mind rebuilt the quick glimpse she caught in the bathroom ... "Uh, Clarence?" she called in, "what are you doing on your knees in there?"
"Cleaning out the tub!" he called back.
"Eh?" Cindy cleared her throat. "You don't have to do that, we have stuff to spritz that ... !"
Cindy's mind now rebuilt more of the quick glimpse she caught in the bathroom. Her eyebrows arched. Clarence?? Turning, she quietly and quickly opened the door and peeked in again.
Cindy pulled her head out, closed the door, turned, took two steps, and bent at her knees. "OmiGOD! And he's a nerd?? He could -- I mean -- he's so -- omiGOD!"
She turned and cracked the door, slid her arm in and dropped the swimsuit on the floor. "I'll be waiting!" Closing the door she walked to the dining room table and put out a hand to steady herself. Then, looking up at the door, "This could be an interesting summer."
In a couple minutes Clarence appeared from the bathroom in her father's trunks. Cindy looked up, and only giggled a little.
"I knew it!" Clarence said. "I look stupid." He started to turn back into the bathroom.
"No!" Cindy darted over and took his arm. "You look fine." She looked into his eyes and smiled at him, and led him through the kitchen and to the back door.
They walked down the three redwood steps and over to the edge of the middle of the pool. "Do you dive?" Cindy asked, extending her arm toward the diving board.
"Me? No way." Clarence dipped his foot into the water. "It's heated!"
"Surprise surprise!" Cindy said, placed her paw in the center of Clarence's back, and pushed! Clarence hit the water with a scream! Cindy took two steps toward the deeper end, put her arms out, and dived in, swam around his floundering body to the other side, and broke water.
"Stand up." Cindy held Clarence's arm while he gained his footing and shook the water from her hair, then she ducked her head when Clarence shook his head and sprayed water everywhere.
"Catch me!" Cindy pushed off in the water and toward the steps. Clarence came walking after her, and she darted across the pool in her own game of "Keep Away". When Clarence started laughing and came after her again she shot herself against the wall from the shallow end to the deep end and touched the wall at the far end. She watched. When Clarence came to the slope he threw his arms back and caught himself before he fell into the water.
Like a torpedo Cindy swam under the water and up to Clarence. "Like this," she said, taking his hands and putting her legs into motion. "Tread water, like this. Straighten your tail out and dip it just slightly."
Clarence held Cindy's hands tight.
"You can't sink, remember that."
Clarence lifted one leg, then the other, and by watching Cindy moved his legs in rhythm with hers. He straightened his tail as she suggested and moved it side to side. He grinned. "It works!" he said.
"You're doing fine," Cindy complimented him. She felt his grip starting to relax. "Now, watch me and do what I do. Remember, you're safer here than you are anywhere." She slipped her hands from his and rolled back just a bit, keeping her feet in motion and now her arms. Clarence watched, put his own arms out, rolled back just a bit, then rolled sideways.
"Your tail, Clarence! Don't move it unless you're swimming."
Clarence righted himself and straightened his tail, letting it drop to where it was before he'd moved it. Watching Cindy, he lifted his feet again and set them into the same motions that Cindy did, matching her move for move.
It only took a moment for him to realize. "I'm doing it!" he said excitedly.
"Told ya you could." Cindy altered herself and swam around Clarence a little. Clarence watched her and tried to copy her moves and suddenly felt himself begin to lose control of himself. Cindy saw. "Don't get too self-assured," she warned. "I'll have you diving and swimming around before the end of summer."
"Great!" Clarence stopped then, letting his feet touch bottom. "You ... you want to be with me all summer?" he asked.
Cindy stopped treading and swam up to Clarence. "If you'll let me be your girlfriend," she said to him. She let herself stand in front of him. "If you'd like that. If you don't have somebody else."
Clarence lost all capacity to speak intelligently for the moment.
Cindy took his hands again. "If you'd be my escort to the church social tomorrow evening."
"S -- sure!" Clarence managed to stammer. "Sure, I -- I'd love to!" He beamed. "I'd love to!!"
Cindy put out her paw and let Clarence take it, and she slid closer to him. "And you'll help me be more normal?" he asked.
"Oh, you're normal enough, Clarence." Way beyond normal! "You're plenty normal. But I'll still help you, and you don't have to wear anything you don't want to."
One thing settled in Clarence's mind first. "Will The Clique be there, too?" Is this some kind of bet with them?
Cindy didn't make the connection and shrugged. "Not that I know of. It's open to anyone, but it's probably just church members showing up."
"Cindy ... " He fought to say the words. " ... can I say I love you, too?"
Cindy blushed. "Third date, okay?"
Clarence balled his hand and thrust it into the air! "YES!" He brought his arm down. "I'd love that."
Cindy put her arms around Clarence's neck ... and you've all been waiting for this patiently … kissed him on the mouth.
Sabrina sat cross-legged on her bed and finished wrapping Tabitha's game with a final piece of tape. Her birthday was tomorrow, and it was much more than just a party to Sabrina. It was the fatal day all prospective bridegrooms must face!
Even with the fan running in the window she heard the familiar sound of the familiar car engine outside. She slid the present to the foot of her bed and darted to the window, bobbing her tail up and down and watching her fiancé slide into a spot behind her car.
Chris stepped out holding a gaily-wrapped package. He swung his tail wide of the door before he closed it.
"Hey there, handsome!" came from a window on the second floor.
Chris looked up and smiled. Sabrina had taken the fan out of the window and leaned her head outside, laying her folded arms on the sill. He waved! "Hey there!" he called back. "It's not every day I have pretty women calling out to me, I kinda like this."
"You better not have women calling out to you," Sabrina said. "I'm not sharing you with anybody!"
"No worries there." Chris looked up and down the street. "All I need is a guitar and I can serenade you."
Sabrina twitched her tail back and forth. "I've never been serenaded before."
"You were too!" Chris defended. "Just a few days ago I serenaded you on the phone."
Among other things! they thought together.
"I know," Sabrina said, "but somehow I don't think Jethro Tull works for love songs."
Chris raised an eyebrow. "Oh, love songs? That's why you were laughing when I was singing!"
Sabrina laughed. "Get up here, silly!" she yelled.
Chris blew her a kiss and trotted up the stairs. Sabrina zipped through the apartment and met him at the top outside the open door.
Chris swooped on her and held her close to him by her waist with one arm. "Y'know Kitten," he said, "pretty women calling out to passing men on the street have to be careful who they invite up these days."
Sabrina brought her arms the rest of the up and slinked them around Chris' neck. "If they're sexy and bearing gifts," she told him, "we're almost always safe." She gave Chris a quick kiss, then felt his arm tighten around her and gave him a much longer one. His kissing her and his hand snaking halfway up under her shirt began making her head swim.
When he released her, Sabrina's eyes opened slower, more adoring, much wider.
"Sabrina?" Chris looked into her eyes. "You okay?"
Sabrina faintly nodded. "Uh-huh."
Chris ran his hand gently over her hair. "You forgot your glasses." He ran his thumb lightly over her temple.
Slowly, Sabrina's wits found their way back. She blinked. "You noticed." She blinked faster. "I figured out how to make my contacts work."
"Really??" Chris looked closer and held her eyelids open, still unable to see 'em. "You're always thinking of me, aren't you?"
"Yep." She kissed him again. "But you should see how much saline solution it takes to maintain 'em!" She steered him to the apartment door, squirming when he started playing with her bra catch. "Not here!" And she closed the door behind them.