a story by
(c) 1998 by Chris Yost. All rights to story content reserved. Characters Sabrina the Skunkette, Amy the Squirrel, Tabitha, Carli, Tammy Vixen, Sheila Vixen, Carisse, 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, Wendy Vixxen, Sarge and Endora Mustelidae, and Wanda (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 and Marvin Badger (c) James Bruner. 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. "Cooking for Dummies" (c) 1999 IDG Books Worldwide
"Hey, I got 'lint'!"
"Got that one first," Tammy told her sister.
Debbye yelled "Den! Got 'den'!"
Cindy laughed. "Foxx den? Hey Sabrina, is that what you're gonna call home?"
Sabrina looked up from her list for the anagram game they were playing, with everyone trying to make as many words as they could from both her and Amy's first and last names. "I never heard Chris call it that," she answered. "Waddaya think, do we call it that?"
Everyone exchanged a momentary glance at each other, than answered with a collective "Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!" and returned to their lists.
"Are proper names okay?" Susan asked. "I found Russ, Milt, Tim "
"Sure, why not?" Amy said as she aimlessly wrote lust as one of the words she could make out of Sabrina's name.
"Stern," Sheila wrote down. "I love listening to him."
"It's not very fair, is it Mom?" Amy asked. "There aren't that many words you can make out of my name; either they should let us use 'Woolfe' or make Sabrina use 'Foxx'."
Sabrina stuck her tongue out at Amy, then, wrote squirmy under her name. She looked at it again, counted letters, looked at Amy, laughed to herself, and changed it to real squirmy.
Debbye saw Tabitha flip her paper over, busily scribbling away. Guessing Tabitha was probably feeling left out being the youngest, she scooted over to see if she could help her out.
"What've you got so far?" she asked her.
Tabitha finished the word elm under Amy's name and handed her the paper. Debbye glanced at the obvious stuff like baa, nut, sit, then
"Where did you learn a big word like quarry?"
Tabitha shrugged. "I dunno."
Cindy spoke up. "Did anybody else come up with interlude?"
Everyone looked at Debbye and Tabitha, and one by one shook their heads. Except for Amy's mother, she had it. But she's on the other side of the circle, Debbye thought. She looked back at Tabitha; she just smiled and shrugged again. "I dunno!"
Debbye looked at demise and linseed under Sabrina's name, and query and squire under Amy's, shook her head and handed Tabitha her list back, resuming her place and looking over her own selections of sir, yam, slimy, suit,
"Jeepers, who's left to come?" Tammy asked.
Everybody looked at everybody else before Sabrina got up and went over to open the door.
In the hallway was a young marmot in a delivery uniform holding a clipboard. He looked up and said "I have a delivery for a 'Sabrina Mus-ti-li-day'." He looked up hopefully.
"Who ordered a stripper?" someone behind Sabrina asked. She snickered and watched the delivery guy swallow, unsure of himself.
Sheila shook her head. "That's not him."
"I'm Sabrina Mustelidae," Sabrina offered. "What do you have for me?"
"Sorry, I can't say. I just get the deliveries, not the details," he replied, handing her a clipboard to sign. "Bottom line," he prompted.
Sabrina scribbled her name and handed the clipboard back to him, her curiosity growing inside.
The marmot wheeled a dolly loaded with four large boxes towards the doorway and set them inside where Sabrina indicated, then left quietly.
Sabrina closed the door behind him. The ladies got up and gathered around Sabrina as she lifted one of the small boxes partially covering an envelope with her name across the front. She opened it and found a handwritten note inside.
"I can't believe she actually did it," Sabrina mused, tapping the note against her chin thoughtfully.
"What is it Sabrina?" Cindy asked as she and the others watched.
Sabrina turned, and an enthusiastic smile broke across her face. "It's a fur dryer!" she said happily. "Only the greatest invention ever!"
"You're kidding!" Sheila said. "A fur dryer?"
"Yes," Sabrina answered, smiling. "My boss got it for me. No more damp fur in the wintertime for me!"
"Wow," Tammy said, the thought entering her head making her grin. "Maybe I should let John know what I want for Christmas now."
Sabrina cocked her head to the side. "How did ZigZag know about this party though?" she asked.
Endora looked guiltily at her daughter. "I told her," she admitted.
"Mom!" Sabrina yelled. "You talked to my boss?"
"Sabrina, she is your boss, it's only polite. I called her a few weeks ago when we planned this and invited her. She said that her schedule was fixed but she would send you a gift. She's a nice lady."
"I'm surprised she didn't ask you if you wanted a job," Sabrina teased.
"Who says she didn't?"
Sabrina's eyes were as large as dinner plates and getting larger until her mother let her off the hook and started laughing.
Sabrina folded her arms and stared at her mother.
"Oh, that reminds me," Endora continued, "ZigZag sent this to the house a few days ago for you, Amy." She fished through her purse.
"Me?" Amy asked, startled.
"Yes, you. Now where is it?" Endora fussed. "Ah, here it is." She retrieved an envelope from the depths of her purse and handed it to Amy.
Amy took the envelope nervously. She opened it gingerly and pulled out two pieces of paper.
"Well, I'll be," she stated, reading the top page and looking at the second.
"What is it Amy?" Debbye asked, looking over her cousin's shoulder to see what the documents were.
"It's a very generous gift certificate to the Baby Emporium," Amy breathed. "This will keep the baby in clothes for the first year of her life!"
Amy handed the gift certificates to Debbye. She looked at them and whistled. "Who-wee! That is what I call a GIFT certificate!"
Amy sat down and looked at Sabrina. "Sabrina, this is too much. I can't accept that kind of money from your boss!"
Sabrina looked at Amy and shook her head. "There's no fighting it Amy," Sabrina advised. "ZigZag told me that she enjoys her money and spends it on whatever makes her happy. She won't take it back and if you try she might be offended. Accept it and send her a thank-you note Monday."
"She's not what you would expect from a 'blue movie actress', is she?" Clarisse asked Sabrina.
"No, she isn't," Sabrina agreed.
"Hey Sabrina," Cindy began, "didn't you say she was dating someone?"
"Yeah, Sabrina. What's he like?" Susan asked. "Is he an 'actor'?"
Sabrina shook her head. "She is seeing someone and no, he's not an actor, but she seems really happy with him." They all started walking back to the shower; as Debbye read off some of the words from Tabitha's list, it appeared she was the winner. "She doesn't tell me many details of her personal life," Sabrina went on, "but she seems to be enjoying herself with him. It's kind of sweet."
"Who would've thought?" Sheila asked. Then, "Maybe I should apply for a job there."
Sabrina and Amy, her sister and a few others, looked at Sheila.
"What?" she defended herself. "She sounds like she'd be nice to work for. And since I'm between jobs now "
"You're not serious!" Sabrina said.
"Why not?" Sheila asked. "Don't worry Sabrina, if she hires me I'll pretend I don't know you."
Everybody started laughing; no one was taking her seriously.
"What about that, Sabrina?" Tammy asked. "When you move to Pennsylvania, you're going to have a serious commute!"
Sabrina shrugged. "Well, I telecommute. I'll just go cross-country every so often to meet with her. ZigZag's idea."
Tammy smiled. "Forever and ever and ever !"
Women started to reform a party. Sabrina stood rock still, her smile waning.
Forever and ever and ever was ringing in her head.
"This would be a good time to start opening presents," Susan said.
An uneasy feeling began in the pit of Sabrina's stomach.
Sabrina blinked and winced.
"C'mon, you got stuff to open too!" Tammy called.
That feeling wouldn't go away. Sabrina forced a smile. "Okay, gimme a minute, I'll be right there!" She jogged up toward the bathroom, and when she saw no one was looking in her direction she darted into her bedroom and closed the door, leaving it ajar.
Sabrina took a deep breath, exhaled, took another, exhaled slower. She placed her open paw over her left chest; her heart was beating faster. Her breathing picked up too, not hyperventilating, but she had to hold her next breath to try to bring it under control.
This is forever!
"This is forever!" Sabrina repeated aloud. "Forever and ever." She shivered, feeling her heart make a thump against her chest wall. She held her arms over her stomach. "Oh God, am I ready for this???"
Sabrina looked around her room, short of taking a mental inventory. "I'll have to pack all this stuff." She tried to calm herself. "We'll have three incomes between us, so we'll be alright." Then reality snuck back in. "I'll be changing my last name, moving away from everyone I know, moving away from my family." A stray butterfly alit in her stomach again. "'Til death do us part', oh God, I don't think I'm ready for this !"
Chris sat back down at the table. "Trouble with beverages is you only rent them."
Thomas pushed his second plate back. "I know I'm going to regret this later," he said, stifling a burp.
"That's half the fun," Chris assured him. "It'll really test how strong your relationship is. It's when the dragon comes by that the regret sets in."
"Dragon?" Thomas looked at Chris cockeyed.
Chris smiled. "You'll find out!"
"How long have we been here?" Thomas asked, looking around for a clock.
Chris checked his watch. "Two and a half hours. Think the shower's over?"
"Sure hope so," Thomas said. "This sweatshirt's developing a personality all its own."
The waitress came by and set Chris' change next to him. Chris pointed to Thomas' empty glass. "Another?" he asked.
Thomas shook his head. "Nah, I better not. Thanks for lunch though."
"Glad we could do it." Chris leaned back, attempting to stifle some gas of his own. "Need a Guy's Day Out once in a while. We'll probably come to appreciate it more after we're married."
Thomas nodded, then grinned. "Not thinking twice about it, are you?" he asked.
"No way," Chris told him with a head shake. He pushed his glasses back up his nose. "No way, no how, huh-uh."
Sabrina looked up. Susan was peeking her head in through the door. "There you are," she said, letting herself into her bedroom. "Everyone thought you were in the bathroom. You were taking so long, your mom thought you might need the scissors."
The laugh helped. Susan came in and sat next to Sabrina on the edge of the bed. "What's the matter, 'brina?" she asked, putting an arm around her. "You're trembling, girl!"
"I-I can't stop it!" Sabrina explained. "I'm I just can't explain it."
"Susan, I'm scared!" Sabrina laid her glasses on the blanket; she hugged her friend and held on. "I can't stop it!"
Susan held on to her. "Wow, Sabrina. You're not getting cold feet, are you?"
"I don't know."
This was the last thing Susan expected, especially at Sabrina's bridal shower! She kept her muzzle shut and listened.
"I just started thinking," Sabrina rambled, "about getting married, and leaving all of you, and I'm going to be married, and half the marriages don't last and I don't think I'm ready for this "
Oh, no! Susan thought what do you say to that??
Uh "Do you want to call it off?"
She felt Sabrina shake her head in her shoulder. Finally she lifted it. Her fur around her face was mussed, but not damp or matted at all. She sniffled before she spoke. "I want this more than anything in the world." She placed a hand on Susan's thigh. "It just kinda hit me all of a sudden and I don't know why."
Susan discarded two possible replies and reworded the third. "It's new, Sabrina! It's new and exciting for you, and I guess a little scary. There's still time to change your mind, no one'll say anything if you do."
"No." Sabrina answered quickly as she shook her head. She laughed. "Just one of those things that brides get, huh?"
"I guess." Susan thought for a second. "What date did you two set?"
"May 20th," Sabrina said. "We wanted the 13th, but somebody else had the reception hall for that day."
Susan looked into her best friend's eyes. She was trying to calm herself, but she didn't look calmer at all. She tried another idea. "You know," she suggested, "you could postpone the wedding. That way you still have the time to think about it, and "
Sabrina was shaking her head before Susan was finished. But she persevered. "You could get married in 2001, then everyone could call you -- "
" -- a Twenty-First Century Foxx." Sabrina laughed; now she was calming down. "You and Chris!" she said. "He said the same thing."
The two friends smiled at each other. "Thanks, Susan," Sabrina said, laying a hand on Susan's thigh.
"Hey," Susan said smiling, "we're always here for each other."
Sabrina nodded. She brought her hand up to her face and felt her fur. "Guess I better fix my face before I go out."
Susan watched Sabrina get up and go to her dresser and pick up her coarse brush. "I'll tell you the truth girl I'm a little jealous of ya."
Sabrina turned to Susan and laughed. "You? The most popular girl on campus?"
"Yep." Susan talked while Sabrina brushed her cheeks. "Okay, I go out a lot, I date a lot, I have no serious commitments and I'm trying to set the record for the greater Columbus area for men dated. But you have a steady boyfriend who you're going to marry, and I don't. And I'm jealous."
Sabrina changed her coarse brush for her fine. "Wow. Where have I heard that before?" Her mind went back to how she used to feel, seeing Amy and Thomas together in love when she had no one now she began to wonder: how much of my life did I waste on that stupid computer? She finished blending the white with the black and walked back to the bed. Susan handed her her glasses.
"I don't know what to say, Susan," Sabrina admitted. She cleaned her lenses on her tee shirt and slid them on.
Susan didn't want to talk about it. Actually she did, but not now, not on Sabrina's day. "Don't say anything, girl," she said to her. "I'll get over it before my date tonight." And she grinned ear-to-ear.
Sabrina laughed, and Susan laughed, and they hugged. "No wonder we're best friends," Sabrina said.
Susan looked at Sabrina's mirror and straightened her hair. "Hey girl, we got a party to get back to! C'mon!"
Clarence was working on his hands and knees in the empty production studio, gathering loose cables and assorted wires and fastening them to the floor using gaffer's tape. The klieg lights were off and only the incandescent bulbs lit his work. Dimly, but enough for him to finish the taping job so he could go home. That was the trouble with being the go-fer, he'd kept to himself, you're the one who does all the little stuff while everyone else can enjoy their weekend. Of course he'd never say anything, he was much to -- okay, too shy -- to say anything. He had worked his way to the doors that led to the office part of the studio.
Two doors down, Wanda was finishing her promotional photo shoot in the photography studio. Her long hair was tousled and the seductive look she gave as she leaned forward with her shoulders raised were going to stop hearts everywhere; they were gorgeous.
Wanda stepped down from the Grecian setting and slipped her robe over her shoulders, wiggling them until it settled on either side of her tail.
"Good shoot, Wanda," Mark said as he started taking his camera assembly down.
"Thanks, Mark." Wanda found herself letting out a sigh. "I still feel a little off though," she said without conviction.
"I couldn't tell from my side of the camera," he reassured her. "You looked fantastic! The pictures will be terrific, wait and see."
Mark was wonderful, always knew what to say. Wanda smiled. "I guess it helps to have a pro photographer," she told him happily.
"Absolutely," he answered, giving her a wink.
Wanda walked over to Mark and began massaging his shoulders. With a contented moan Mark began loosening and lowered his camera, holding it by its strap, turning toward Wanda.
"You never get tense," Wanda told him. "What's your secret?"
"I'm a professional," Mark told her as Wanda lowered her arms. "You're my favorite model, but I keep my mind on my work. And believe me, that is hard to do sometimes!" He turned around and looked down at Wanda. "Big plans for this evening?"
"Just clubbing." Wanda tried to think, but nothing was coming to her. "Wanna come along?"
Mark put his hand up. "Nope. Thanks, but some other time." He knew Wanda knew he never socialized with the models, and she was different than a lot of the other models he worked with, she never pushed herself on him. But on the odd occasion they ran into each other, she was fun to be with.
"Well, maybe next time. See you later Mark." She turned and waved over her shoulder at him.
Wanda thought as she walked. Why wasn't I into my photo shoot today? She was so lost in thought that she almost passed the video studio when she remembered her purse and clothes were in the dressing room there. She made an abrupt turn and flung open the door. Not pausing, she went directly into the dim studio.
Clarence looked up and turned on his knees to face the door when he heard it open. It nearly caught his tail underneath as it swung open. He had time only to see a backlighted figure enter the studio.
"Look out -- !" he said before the oncoming figure bumped into him and they lost their balance, the stranger falling forward on top of him.
Wanda heard the voice just as her legs encountered the obstructing body. She lost her balance and started to fall. She threw both of her paws out in front of her to brace herself but found only empty air.
Both of them fell to the floor with Wanda on top of Clarence. He was laying on his tail and it was pulling the fur painfully in places. The person laying on top of him was not heavy enough to cause him any serious discomfort but he became acutely aware that he was having problems breathing nonetheless.
Wanda was momentarily stunned and did not realize who she was on top of. She blinked several times as she lay there, resuming her bearings. She took a deep breath to clear her head and that's when she discovered that someone was underneath her.
She looked down but could only see the white fur on top of Clarence's head if she looked underneath her chest.
Clarence knew why he couldn't breathe: his muzzle was caught in Wanda's cleavage! He was absolutely petrified; he couldn't open his mouth to say anything and he couldn't turn his head to breathe, either. He placed his paws on her hips to try and help her up, but Wanda showed no signs of wanting to move.
When Wanda realized that it was Clarence she was atop, she had to debate whether to keep him there until his body responded to hers or let him up. She grinned wide, a sudden feeling of power washing over her.
He feels really good! Wanda thought. She felt him tremble; knowing how shy he was it aroused her more. But with a regretful sigh she rolled onto her side and then sat up.
Relieved of her weight, Clarence sat up and freed his tail from beneath him. He looked at Wanda and quickly looked away. Her robe was completely open and she was unaware of how much she was showing.
"Are you all right?" she asked gingerly, noting how he had looked away.
"I-I-I'm okay. Y-Y-You're robe is open," he stammered.
"Sorry." Wanda looked down and realized that she was showing everything. She pulled her robe together and held it with her paw.
"Clarence, I didn't see you there," she apologized. "I didn't mean to run you down." But I sure wouldn't mind doing it again! Wanda was starting to let her mind wander, now understanding why she couldn't get into her work earlier.
So to speak.
"A-A-Are you okay?" he asked shakily.
"I'm fine," she reassured him. "Care to help me up?" she asked, extending her free paw towards him.
Clarence turned his head just enough to see her from the corner of his eye and saw that her robe was closed. He turned his head completely around and stood, took her paw and helped her off the floor.
Once standing, he cast his eyes downward, unable to look her in the eyes.
"Clarence, what's wrong? Are you mad at me?" she asked in a low voice.
Clarence shook his head no.
"What is it then?"
He didn't make any reply and began to look uncomfortable. Wanda realized that he was embarrassed. She looked at him in the dim lighting -- God, he's so shy and cute!
Clarence, I'm glad you're okay," she said gently. "I promise to look where I'm going from now on."
"I-i-i-it's not your fault," he said quietly. "I sh-sh-should have t-turned on the lights." He was still looking down.
"You had no reason to expect anybody in here," she corrected him. She lifted her other hand and massaged the other side of his neck. "Filming was cancelled before our scenes today and since I had a photo shoot, I decided to save time and not get dressed."
He looked up a little after her explanation.
"Are you sure that you're all right?" she asked again.
He looked up a bit more and glanced at her. "I'm f-f-fine. I'm just glad it wasn't Marvin that fell on me," he added with a nervous giggle.
Wanda laughed at the mental image. "I wouldn't think that two hundred pounds of irate badger would be as nice as half that of vixen," she said with a sly grin that caused him to blush. I love it when he does that!
Clarence's head began to shake nervously. "W-w-w-wanda "
"I know, you have a girlfriend."
Clarence felt the air in the room was increasingly harder to inhale. "Uh, W-w-w-w-wa-wa-wanda," he forced out, "I-I-I-I rr-r-r-r-rreally have to g-g-get this done." He was sweating like mad; grabbing the tape from the floor he felt the fur on his palms drenched.
Wanda looked at him and smiled. "I suppose I should get my clothes and get dressed," she said, then added "want to help?"
Clarence looked at the floor again and shook his head no very quickly.
Wanda smiled and went to the dressing room behind the wall and removed her robe.
Clarence glanced back at her and decided to leave the rest of the cables untaped. They were out of the way behind some crates and would cause no trip hazards. He took his roll of tape and left the studio.
He went to the break room and was glad that it was empty. He filled a paper cup from the water cooler and sat in a chair, unable to think about anything but what had just happened.
Clarence cursed his luck. Why did it have to be Wanda that fell on me? he thought. The one performer I'm trying to avoid! He was almost to the bottom of his cup when he realized that he had enjoyed the intimate contact with Wanda. She had perfume in wonderful places.
"What am I thinking!" he exclaimed, then realized how loud he was in the small room. He closed his eyes and started doing math problems in his head to clear his mind.
Several minutes later, he was calmer and able to picture Cindy in his mind. Clarence was finally able to smile, and looked forward to their date this evening.
He crumpled the cup in his paw and placed it in the trash bin and went back to work but not before checking the hall for signs of Wanda.
Chris and Thomas walked up the outside steps and passed Clarisse carrying a couple of favors from the party. They exchanged pleasantries and climbed the stairs two at a time to the apartment where they met a very tall wolf; not quite grey, his fur was nearly blue with a striking contrast against the bright white of his lower jaw, hands and feet.
He saw the fox and wolf approaching. "Hi," he greeted them. "You two looking for the shower too?"
For a tall wolf, Thomas found himself having to look up to speak to him. "Sort of," he said. "I live there too; it's our girls they're having it for."
Just then the door opened and Tammy came out, her eyes lighting when she saw the taller wolf. "Hi John!" She almost danced over and stood on tiptoe to kiss him, shifting the plant she'd won to her left hand.
"Hi, Tammy!" He looked at the stuff she was carrying. "What've you got, a plant?"
Tammy nodded. "It's my prize, I won it playing 'Spice of Life'."
Chris raised an eyebrow. "Just what kind of a shower was this?" he asked.
"That was one of our games," Tammy explained. "It was Mrs. Squirrel's idea; she's a neat lady too. We pass around baggies with different spices in them, and whoever guesses the most wins." She touched Chris' arm with her fingertips. "I'm sorry Chris, but Sabrina wasn't very good at it. You may want to hire a cook when you two get married." She was giggling before she finished talking.
While the others shared the joke, Chris politely smiled and said "Well, Sabrina promised to cook dinner for me. We'll wait and see."
"Okay, as long as you're sure!" Tammy continued to tease. She slipped her paw under the back of John's shirt and was scratching what Chris and Thomas could see was a patch of silver fur between his shoulder blades, which apparently John liked as they saw his eyes roll toward the ceiling and a happy sigh slipped out that told Thomas and Chris it was time to return to the apartment.
The party had wound down. Guests were leaving or helping with the clean-up, and Sabrina and Amy were forbidden to lift a finger to help. So while Sabrina was finishing a glass of diet cola she walked into the kitchen; here her mother was getting some ice from the freezer for her drink.
Endora put a hand on Sabrina's arm. "Did you have a good time, Sabrina?" she asked.
Sabrina nodded her head. "Yes I did," she answered. "You know, I think this is the first time you've been in the apartment with Tabitha."
Endora laughed and took a drink. "I'm sorry for that, Sabrina, but sometimes a mother just has to get away for an hour by herself."
Sabrina looked at her mom. The back of her mind itched to ask her a question she took a drink and set her cup down.
Mom," Sabrina started hesitantly.
"Did you and ZigZag talk about anything else when you invited her to the shower?"
"Yes, we did," her mother answered, not venturing any more information than that.
Sabrina tensed. "I'm almost afraid to ask about what," she said weakly.
Endora looked at her daughter. It wouldn't be nice to tease her, she knew. She walked up to Sabrina and pulled her close. "Your boss is a nice lady. She was very courteous to me and she was positively glowing in her praise for you."
"Whew, that's a relief." Sabrina didn't realized how loudly she'd sighed. "I was afraid she would ask you to lunch or something."
"She did." Endora replied.
Sabrina looked at her mother, wide-eyed, unable to form words and sentences.
Really, Sabrina," Endora asked with mock-irritation, "why are you so surprised?"
"You do know what she does, right?" Sabrina asked.
Endora nodded as she took another drink. "I don't have a problem with it if she doesn't. Besides, it might be interesting."
"Oh, I bet it'll be that, alright."
The sounds of the remaining women rose in pitch, and two familiar male voices wafted in from the living room.
"Looks like the boys are home," Endora said, motioning toward the door. She handed Sabrina her cup. "If it'll make you feel more comfortable, I won't go."
Sabrina shook her head. "Nah. Besides, you might enjoy it. And who knows, maybe you will end up with a job; she seems to doing a lot of hiring lately."
Endora grinned. "I don't know. I think I've taken very good care of my body after having two children "
"Mom, you wouldn't dare!"
Chris stuck his head in through the kitchen door, munching a cookie from the remains on the table. He came up to Sabrina and kissed her on the cheek. "Hi, Mrs. Mustelidae."
"Didn't I tell you to call me 'Endora' yet?" She exchanged a smile with him. "It's good to see you again, Chris." She slipped between them and out of the door in search of Tabitha.
Sabrina kissed Chris. "Have a good time?" she asked.
"Uh-huh. Thomas and I went out and had some chicken wings."
"But you already had lunch," Sabrina said, then "that's why you ate so light!"
"Stranger in a strange land had to kill three hours somehow." And he ate the last bite of his cookie.
"You're a sneak, and I love you." Sabrina kissed him on the mouth. "Wait'll you see what ZigZag gave us!"
Chris stole a drink of Sabrina's pop, then made a face at the diet after-taste. "ZigZag gave you a present?" he asked.
"Gave us a present. Come see!" She took Chris' hand and walked him past the few guests left and showed him the pile of boxes.
Chris looked at the pile, turned his head left, then right, then up and down "Nice of her," he said, "but it won't go with the dιcor."
"Screwball." Sabrina showed him the bill of lading.
Chris read it and almost dropped the paperwork. "You've gotta be kidding me!"
Sabrina's hair shook back and forth with her head.
"You " Chris was stammering. " you know how much these things cost??"
"I've got a pretty good idea," Sabrina replied.
Chris looked the boxes over and shook his head. "Gonna be murder to put this all in my car trunk." He handed the paperwork back to Sabrina. "I'm going to have fun installing this."
Sabrina cringed. "Uh, Chris?" she said, "maybe we should consider having a contractor install this, don't you think that'd be a good idea?
"A contractor?" Chris echoed. "Oh Kitten, they're expensive, and there's certainly got to be a set of installation instructions with this beast."
Thinking quickly, Sabrina ran her hand over Chris' arm. "I know, but you're always so busy, and when we're busy spending our first year together, you don't want to be working so hard and everything "
The "Yeow!" that came from Chris was the result of Tabitha tackling his legs from behind! "Hi Kiss!" she yelled.
Chris caught himself on the middle carton containing the blower unit. "I'm guessing it's Tabitha, isn't it?" He pushed himself up, turned around, grabbed her under her arms, and spun her once overhead.
Sabrina leaned in close. "Uh, she's had a lot to eat," she warned him in a low voice.
Chris lowered her to eye level and held her at arms' length. "Hey, how're you doing, kiddo?"
"Fine! You still gonna marry Sa-beena?"
Chris pulled her closer, unaware of Endora watching them and smiling. She gave Amy a hug and congratulated her.
"You bet I am!" Chris told Tabitha, bumping her nose with his. When she erpped, he held her out again and set her down.
Endora came over and took Tabitha's hand. "Time to go, Tabitha."
"Miz Cindy called me 'Tabby'," she told Chris. "We're Sabby and Tabby!"
Sabrina smiled and patted Tabitha on the head, wishing Mom would take her home now.
Endora hugged Sabrina. "Congratulations, dear."
"Thanks, Mom." Sabrina said and hugged her back.
"Would you allow me to escort you?" Chris offered, extending his elbow toward her.
"What a gentleman," Endora said, taking his proffered arm. Sabrina took his other arm and they all four went out the door together.