a story by
(c) 1998 by Chris Yost. All rights to story content reserved. Characters Sabrina the Skunkette, Amy the Squirrel, 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, and Wendy Vixxen (c) Chris Yost. All rights to additional characters reserved by their respective owners. Story based on characters and situations created by Eric W. Schwartz.
Sabrina unconsciously bounced in her seat. "Calm down, Sabrina, whatever it is he wrote it's not going to be anything elaborate, probably just a 'Hi, how are you' kind of message." And she opened the electronic message up and read it.
I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed chatting with you last night.
He enjoyed chatting with me last night! "Yesssss!"
I hope talking helped you. You seemed down when we started, and by the end you really seemed to perk up.
Sabrina's eyes widened. "He could tell that??"
If you enjoyed it too, please e-mail me and let me know when we can meet again.
Sabrina's hand slid off of the mouse and she leaned contently back. Every ounce of tension drained out of her. Her shoulders relaxed, and she sighed deeply; the body's own way of relaxing itself. She closed her eyes for a moment, then opened them, sat up, and clicked on REPLY TO AUTHOR
She cursored down below ... let me know when we can meet again.
I can't wait!!
And just before she sent it off on its merry way, she looked at it. "Hmm, maybe not so bold right now." She clicked next to 'Love' and erased that.
And she sent it.
"She can't wait! All right!" Chris' ears stood straight up as he replied back.
"She liked that last night. Let's do it again." And the message was on its way back.
Chris leaned back. "Now, how to kill two hours?"
Somehow, Sabrina made it through pizza. Seeing the e-note help settle some of her anxiety so she was better company with Thomas and Amy at the pizza house. And of course, when they came within about four blocks of their apartment building the anxiety started returning. When Thomas pulled up and parked Sabrina did everything she could to contain herself and walk calmly up the steps, not to mention to avoid pushing past Amy to get into the apartment and not to run into their study.
Thomas watched her disappear and the door close. "Sabrina's found a friend," he said.
"Yeah," said Amy. She put a hand on her shoulder and rubbed at a stiff muscle. "I don't know what he's said to her to get her worked up like this. Honestly Thomas, I've never seen her like this."
"It's good for her. Since she learned how to fend off all the unwanted advances maybe she's finally found somebody worth talking to." He slid his hands onto her shoulders, dislodging her hand, and began massaging.
Amy watched the scenery change as her eyes rolled skyward. "Oh, Thomas, what that does to me." She felt layers of tension (largely because of Thomas) find their ways out of her, and she led him to the couch and lay down so he could continue properly.
And in the study, Sabrina made herself comfortable too. Firing up her computer she first went into her e-mailbox.
TWO MESSAGES WAITING
Sabrina's smile formed a bridge from her left ear to her right.
She opened the first message, left over from earlier.
TI-99, COMMODORE AMIGA
Her smile dropped like a brick from the ceiling. "I hate spam!" And as fond of her Amiga as she was, she quickly deleted it. Oh, the reply she had for them would've insured she never heard back from them again, but she decided the lady-like thing to do would be to quietly kill it from her mailbox.
... and she smiled. Boy, did she smile.
Checking her watch she decided to go into IRC. She scanned through the chat room list.
"Where is it?"
The room she met Chris in wasn't there.
Sabrina ran her hand through her hair in a small panic. She saw a room with the name OPEN CHAT, so she let herself in.
GuideMW> Welcome, Sabrina1 :)
Sabrina looked at the on-line list. Then checked her watch.
Sabrina1> Hi everybody! Does anybody know if Chris was in here?
>>Private message from Lucky: Wanna go talk in private?
Raspy> Nope, sorry
LiteBrite> Sorry, haven't seen him/her :(
GuideMW> Haven't seen him, Sabrina1, sorry.
>>Private message from Lucky: Go private with me! I'll make you forget him!
As Thomas had said, Sabrina knew how to handle people like this. And it didn't involve private messages either.
Sabrina1> No Lucky, I'm *NOT* going to go private with you, leave me alone!
It never failed.
LiteBrite> WTG girl!
GuideMW> Lucky, please stop harassing people or I'm going to have to bump you.
Spanker> Yeah Lucky, quit hitting on every girl that comes in here!
TobyW> Wanna hit? I like to hit.
Lucky didn't have much to say before his name disappeared from the list.
Sabrina snickered to herself.
Sabrina1> Thanks everybody :)
LiteBrite> Don't feel too bad, Sabrina. He's a total jerk.
Sabrina1> Guess I've gotta get used to them if I'm going to be in IRC, huh? :)
There were replies, but nothing she saw right away. She brought down her email program and sent a quick note:
I'm in one called 'Open Chat'
I hope you get this in time!
Sabrina1> Sorry everyone, went into e-mail mode :)
Guide MW> No problem, Sabrina1. We're all friendly folks here :)
Snoopie> NP Sab
And chat went along very friendly from that point on. And then, about twenty-five minutes later ...
>>Chris has just joined OPEN CHAT
Sabrina grinned wide and melted completely.
GuideMW> Welcome, Chris :)
"Yes," said Sabrina, "welcome!"
Hi Chris! Then, in a private message, I'm glad you got my e-mail!
Unconsciously, her tail twitched from side to side.
On the other end, so was Chris'. "What is it about this girl," he asked himself out loud, "that's got me so intrigued in her?" He typed back for public viewing "Thanx everybody, nice to be here :)"
Chris> Thanx everybody, nice to be here :)
LiteBrite> Hey Sabrina1, Chris is here!
Snoopie> Nice to see you, Chris. Sabrina's been here looking for you!
Chris leaned in closer. "Do tell!"
Chris> Oh, really? She has, has she?" :)
GuideMW> Yes she has, Chris. She must really like you ::wink::
Chris couldn't see Sabrina's embarrassed reaction. "Why did he tell him that!?" She looked back at her monitor.
>>Private message from Chris: Where you really looking around for me, Sabrina? I'm flattered! :)
And Sabrina typed back:
>>Private message from Sabrina1: Well, yeah, I was :) How are you?
The conversation in the chat area, as it did the night before, went on around them. Chris clicked on Sabrina's screen name again and sent back to her:
>>Private message from Chris: I'm doing fine, thanx. Say listen, would you like to continue this in a private room?
"That'd make more sense than doing it this way." And she told him so.
Next, she saw on her screen a new room open. Sabrina smiled, and connected to it.
>>Sabrina1 has just joined SABRINA'S ROOM -- PRIVATE CHAT
Now she was totally alone with him. No other distractions at all.
Chris> Now, isn't this much easier? :)
Sabrina1> Yes it sure is!
Chris> And how are you this fine evening?
Sabrina1> You have no idea! I haven't stopped thinking about you all day!
Sabrina looked at that last line she'd transmitted. "Jeepers, I wonder if I should've said that."
Chris, however, felt his eyes widen to the size of dinner plates. He typed back to her:
Chris> You too?
Sabrina felt her eyes do the same thing.
Sabrina1> You don't mean you thought of me too! Did you?
It seemed crazy, but it was true. "Now, how to phrase it so she doesn't think I'm coming on to her!"
Chris> It's silly, isn't it? I mean, we only just met last night. And I got very little work done because I was thinking of you all day!
Sabrina's mouth opened. The little girl in her made her open mouth turn up at the corners. "That's too hard to believe!"
"Everything okay, Sabrina?"
Sabrina's head spun around. Amy stuck her head through the door. "I heard you talking, I just wanted to check."
Sabrina felt embarrassed as she looked back at Amy. She both felt and saw the suppressed amusement Amy fought to hide. What she'd meant to say was 'I heard you talking to yourself', and Sabrina knew it. "No, I'm okay," she told Amy, smiling, wondering if Amy could read what she'd meant to say.
"I'll be out here if you need me," Amy said, closing the door, trying to hide a smirk as the door clicked shut. Sabrina turned back, mumbling "If I need you I'll call you!" She turned back and read where she'd been interrupted. She typed:
Sabrina1> No, I don't think it's silly at all. In fact, I *know* it's not silly! If you knew what *my* day was like, you'd know it wasn't silly!
Chris pondered what Sabrina wrote. She couldn't have spent her day thinking about me too! "Could she?" He decided to find out.
Chris> Tell me about it
And she did, too! From being waken in front of her computer to The Clique's teasing to taking 3/4 of an hour to type a letter because her mind kept wandering ...
Sabrina1> still think it's silly? ;)
Chris sat back in stunned amazement. "I swear to God, she is talking about me! How can this happen after only one chat session?!"
Chris> Not anymore! You sure you weren't next door watching me and saying it happened to you?
"I wonder if I'd like to." Sabrina smiled as her mind's eye formed a picture of Chris, and oboy was it something!
Sabrina1> Nope, I promise! Now, tell me about your day
She read every word ...
Chris> Well, after our first meeting you made me late for work ;)
Chris> I told a guy in my department about you, he wanted to know if you made up your name from that 'teenage witch' show on TV
Sabrina1> Nope, it's my real name. I get that a lot, though.
Chris> I'm not surprised :)
Sabrina1> Please go on
Chris> I got lost in thought for about 10 minutes in my cubical, then brought a new PC up from downstairs, rode the elevator past my level and had to take it back down, took it back to my cube where it sat while I daydreamed, which I don't normally do, honest!
... and absorbed them. He kept writing, and the more Sabrina read, the more flattered she felt.
Sabrina1> I never affected anybody that way before.
"I never thought I could."
Chris> You did today, kiddo!
Chris> And apparently I did too, or was it the late night chat? ;)
Sabrina1> You keep winking, it's cute :) It might've been both, I dunno
Chris> Wanna do it again? ::wink wink::
Sabrina1> Yeah, I do.
And again, they did. For over two hours they became intimate with each other's peeves, problems, interests, likes, dislikes, and anything else they could think of.
Sabrina1> I can't get over how much we've been sharing. I never opened up to anybody like this before!
Chris> Then you'll excuse me if I try something?
Sabrina's yawn stopped midway, the time of night starting to creep up on her. She raised an eyebrow.
Sabrina1> Sure, what?
Chris smiled. He entered an action command, allowing the computer to describe an action being taken. It came out like this:
*Chris kisses Sabrina1 on the cheek*
"Awwww!" Sabrina smiled, her heart thumping just a bit faster.
Chris, however, waited to see if he'd taken one step too far.
Sabrina1> Thank you. You're very sweet. :*
Sabrina received and gave her first online kiss.
Chris sighed. His heart also beat an extra beat.
Sabrina1> I hope you make through work tomorrow okay! :)
Chris> I will if I know you'll be there at the end of it
Sabrina melted again.
Sabrina1> I promise. Same time?
Chris> Sure. Look for this very room; I'll be waiting.
Sabrina1> Okay. Goodnight, Chris
Sabrina tried an action command herself.
*Sabrina1 hugs Chris*
Chris> Oh, that felt GOOD! :)
Sabrina1> I'm glad.
If he could only see my smile!
Chris> nite, Sabrina
Sabrina1> nite, Chris :*
She watched her screen for several moments, not knowing that Chris was doing the exact same thing. Until she saw:
>>Chris has logged off
Sabrina ran her hands through her white hair and down across her face, again yawning, and yawning big. Looking at her watch she realized why. Walking out quietly into the empty living room she faced the dark night beyond the window of the apartment she shared with her best friend Amy.
"Good morning, World."
"Good morning, Sabrina."
A groggy "Hmmf?" made its way to Amy's ears. Sabrina rolled over on her back, feeling the covers roll under her. She managed to open her eyes, while the sleepers made sure she knew they were there. "I overslept, huh?"
"Not by much," Amy told her. She was already dressed in her knee-length jeans and a flowery blouse. "You still have time to take a quick shower and we can grab bagels on the way in to work."
"Okay." Sabrina yanked the blankets out from under her and made her way to the bathroom. Amy watched her walk past and said "You slept in your clothes again."
Sabrina stopped and looked at her shirt. "Yeah, I guess I did." And before Amy said another word she went on. "And yes, I stayed on IRC late, and yes, I spent almost all of it talking to Chris. He's a really nice guy, he's fun to talk to, and he listens to me. And I'll probably be talking to him again tonight."
Amy was taken aback. "Wow." She followed Sabrina out of her bedroom and watched her go into the bathroom and close the door. Her "Wow" wasn't for Sabrina's description of Chris, it was for the way she'd reacted. She put her paw on the bathroom doorknob, and withdrew it when she heard the shower turn on. Retrieving her morning tea from the coffee table, she sat, still dumbfounded. Best to wait a while before I ask her anything more about it, she thought. She sipped her tea and waited.
Chris opened the electronic lock to the door of the Data Processing section with his coffee in hand and took his seat. Dexter's timing was perfect, catching Chris in the middle of a yawn.
Dexter couldn't hide the smile spreading across his mouth. "I see we had another late night in IRC last night, didn't we?"
Two thoughts crossed Chris' mind at this point, Go away was one of them. "Not late this time," he said, opting for the second. "I was off before midnight." Then, adding "And her real name is Sabrina." After he swallowed a large muzzle-full of coffee he went on. "She gave me an idea of what she looks like. Dex, she sounds gorgeous!"
"'Gorgeous'? Sounds like a man obsessed." Dexter smiled. "Why don't you ask her for a picture? See what she really looks like."
Chris widened his eyes and nodded toward Dexter. "I considered doing that. The timing has to be right though. I don't want to give her the impression I'm one of those Internet sex-hounds who goes out looking for girls and tries to get them to send pictures of themselves."
Now Dexter leaned against Chris' desk. "I don't know Chris. From what you've told me over these past two days, she shouldn't think that. You ask her tonight, I bet you get one before the week's out."
"She does have me curious! Okay, I might do it." His phone rang just then; Chris and Dexter made the dull trip back to real life.
Actually, Chris made it about a third of the way there. "Obsessed" was a word well-chosen these past two days.
Wednesday morning, and Sabrina made it on time to her writing class. The Clique was true to Cindy's promise, too. Before the final bell Sabrina managed to back their teasing off with slightly more intimate details of last night's conference in 'Sabrina's Room'. There was nothing short of fascination in the eyes of these three girlfriends as Sabrina told them details of her second and third nights online with Chris.
" ... whole trouble is," Sabrina told them, "is I'm afraid of running out of stuff to tell him."
"Can't happen, girl," said Susan. "We'll give you all kinds of things to tell him." And she grinned big.
Sabrina laughed as the bell rang. "That's what I'm afraid of! And he asked me for a picture of me, too."
Mr. Canis' mouth opened just as the sea of "Oooo!"'s came from the only direction it could have come from. With a sigh he began "Ladies, if I may be allowed to be in charge for the next 50 minutes or so, I'd like to take roll."
Cindy was a hairsbreadth from saying "Okay, no problem, go ahead," and managed to stop herself before she did. As roll progressed Debbye turned herself a bit in her seat. "Are you going to send him one?" she whispered.
Leaning forward, Sabrina whispered back "I didn't know at first, but I told him I would if he sends me one of him."
"Yes!!" came from Susan, quietly but excited. "We get to see what he looks like!"
Canis turned an eye in their direction.
"You have one to send him?" asked Cindy
Sabrina shrugged. "Nothing recent."
Canis cleared his throat.
"I've got a camera in the car," said Susan, her voice slightly louder than a whisper. "After class we can take one!"
"Susan! No!" Sabrina's voice was almost as loud.
"Yes! You're stuck, we'll take it!"
The entire Clique jumped as a unit, facing Mr. Canis. "I'm asking you four to stay after class for a few minutes this morning."
This time it was the rest of the class who "Ooooo!"'ed. The four girls sat up a little straighter. Phased only slightly, but they knew it wouldn't last long.
... and it didn't. Homework was passed up, handouts were passed out. And Mr. Canis enjoyed almost one half of the class time with peace, and managed to follow his lesson plan on time for a change.