a story by
(c) 1998, 1999, 2000 by Chris Yost. 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, 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. Characters Kittiara and Katja (c) "Kittiara". Character Mark the "cheetaur" (c) Mark White. Character Tyler Leone (c) Michael Mullig. 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
By the third ring Chris had pulled his paw free of the blankets and, with his eyes still closed, smacked around the bookcase headboard until he found the cordless handset. He pulled it under the blanket and fumbled in the dark with his thumb for the TALK key. When his ears picked up the chirp meaning he'd connected with the other end, he mumbled into the mouthpiece "Hellomph?"
"It's a boy!"
"Hmf?" The voice jarred Chris as he recognized it. "Sabrina?" He threw his covers off and sat bolt upright. "Kitten, is that you?"
"Yeah! Amy and Thomas had the baby!" Sabrina was bouncing all over as she gave Chris the news. "He's adorable, too!" She began the story of everything they went through to get her to the hospital, and just barely in time, too! "They named him Timothy," she finished.
"Good name." Sabrina's excitement was contagious; Chris wasn't even cracking a yawn. "How's mother and baby doing?"
"Just fine." Sabrina pulled a seat closer and tried to sit on the arm due to the very short length of the payphone cord. "He's 21 and a half inches, seven pounds, fourteen ounces."
"Seven pounds fourteen ounces!?" Chris exclaimed. "That's not a baby, that's a Marine!"
Sabrina giggled. "Amy's sleeping. Thomas fell asleep holding her hand. It's really sweet to see."
"I can imagine." Then Chris remembered. "Uhm, did they manage to -- uh -- y'know -- get married or anything?"
Sabrina shook her head, turning herself away from a passing lioness nurse who gave her a look saying she had no business being there at that hour. "There wasn't anyone in the chapel, and I was too flustered from the drive to think of anything else. But never fear, Sabrina's here! I'll pull something together for them."
Right then Chris started to laugh. "I was waiting for you to tell me you'd found a rabbi who got them married just as the head came out."
"Oh, please!" Sabrina laughed with him. "That's been done!"
"What could've been better?" Chris asked her. "Thomas and Amy are married, baby's born, nurse can pick the shards of glass from Thomas' foot, and the rabbi can announce he's going to move right into Stage Two with the new baby boy."
Sabrina couldn't contain herself. She started to moan, then laugh, then combined the two and caught the attention of the nurses' station up further up the hall.
"She let me hold him," Sabrina went on. "Oh, what 'till you see him. He's so tiny, his fur is so soft, you'd absolutely love him."
Now the light went on in the back of Chris' vulpine brain and now he was wide awake. "Uh, Kitten you're not thinking what I think you're thinking, are you?"
"Oh " Sabrina made a guilty smile. " well, maybe not right away, but it's something to think about isn't it?"
Chris nodded, relaxing some now.
"I mean," Sabrina went on, "we can talk about, right?"
"Oh, absolutely," Chris told her. Just so long as I keep you talking!
Sabrina yawned, and realized the time it must be! She looked at her watch and gasped. "Oh Chris, I'm sorry! I didn't realize it was so late!"
Chris smiled, sinking back into his bed. "You have carte blanche with me, Kitten, remember that. Anytime you wanna call, you call."
Sabrina smiled, and spoke quieter. "I love you."
"I love you, Sabrina. Deeply."
And they made that annoying kissing noise at each other again.
Sabrina hung the pay phone up and stood up again, and spun her head in the direction of the paw that planted itself on her shoulder. "Visiting hours are over," the lioness told her sternly, holding her own watch in front of Sabrina.
Meekly, Sabrina nodded. She left the floor under the scrutinous eye of the nurse.
"Wow," Amy remarked from the couch, "I can't believe I've been home over a week already."
"Chris' idea," Sabrina explained, looking up from her sketchbook at the dinette table. "We're running behind on the chapter updates, so we've gotta move things along."
Sabrina turned to her book, then back. "How's Thomas taking to fatherhood?" she asked.
Amy ran her paw gently over the head of her sleeping baby beside her. Looking up at Sabrina she gave a tiny shrug. "Not too bad," she admitted. "He's starting to get the hang of getting the poo out of his fur when he changes him."
With a snicker, Sabrina asked "Timothy's fur, or Thomas'?"
"Mostly Thomas'. It's funny seeing him trying to use one of those little wipes to clean Timothy's bottom." Amy adjusted herself, still trying to get herself used to the weight of the milk she now carried. "I think he's figured out that the weight they put on the side of the diaper box means the weight of the baby, not how much it'll hold."
"Yuch." Sabrina tried to go back to work but couldn't, not until she got the mental picture from her head. She turned herself around in her chair. "Where is he now?" she asked.
Amy nodded toward the door. "Out playing basketball."
"He's in great shape," Sabrina remarked. "He's been playing a lot lately."
"Well," Amy explained, "we're in that twelve-week period."
Sabrina turned her head to one side. "'Twelve-week period'?"
"Six weeks before the birth, and six weeks after. Sex isn't an option for us. And we're in week seven"
A nod. "That explains everything."
"I'm sorry, Thomas," Tyler told him, "I have to go."
"C'mon, one more game!" Thomas pleaded.
Tyler looked at his watch. "It's one in the afternoon," the liger told him. "I'm hungry."
"Just to twenty. I'll spot you 10."
"We've played three games already!" He picked up his bottled water. "Tomorrow, okay?"
Thomas tried to hide the desparation in his voice. "Eighteen! You just have to make one basket!"
Tyler stopped. He turned, spying Thomas' smile as he came closer. Snatching the ball, Tyler shot and the ball rolled around the rim and fell straight through the net.
He tapped Thomas on the arm. "Tomorrow, bud. Try a couple cold showers."
Thomas watched Tyler leave and mumbled to himself. Turning back to the hoop, he began taking practice shots, trying to keep his urge subliminated as much as he could
"Hey, mister! When can we play?"
Thomas caught himself before he set the next shot and turned on one foot. A small group of the local kids were behind him. "We need the whole court," the young opossum told him.
"Uh, sure!" He took a step to the side. "Uh can I play?"
The nice thing about kids is that they don't pick up on a grown-up's frustration on certain things. "But that'd make us one over," he told Thomas.
Thomas did a quick head count eight! Nuts, even number. As the kids started to set up, Thomas took a jump closer. "I can ref!"
They all looked at Thomas, then each other. "But we never played with a ref before," a fox kit said.
"He's a grown-up," the cougar said. "Grown-ups always want to enforce the rules."
A chorus of "Yeah"s brought the boys to center court.
"But I hate rules too!"
The game started. After a few minutes of watching and hoping for an invite, Thomas took his ball and went home.
Sabrina returned to her sketchbook and began shading Wanda's outline for the new Christmas video box. Then, something she'd been thinking about came to mind. "Say Amy how fond are you of the A1200?"
Amy looked up. "Our Amiga? Why do you ask?"
"Well " Sabrina never looked up from her work. " it's just that when I move, you're going to have -- "
"Wait just a minute here!" Timothy stirred from the sharpness in Amy's voice, so she shifted a bit to her right and got up. "You don't mean you're planning on taking it with you!"
"Well?" Sabrina asked, her hackles raised. "Let's be fair, you hardly ever use it."
"Who can get close enough these days?" Amy countered. "If you're not hot-chatting with your fiancι you're working on that porn site, or playing games, or you've got the thing torn apart because you're upgrading something "
"And I paid for all of those upgrades! I've put in a bigger hard drive, more memory, and a newer, faster video board. And all out of my money."
"So take them out!"
"Not to mention," Sabrina went on, "that all of my projects are on the hard drive, and a lot of them won't fit onto floppies."
Amy folded her arms, comfortably for the first time in months, which psychologically took some of her edge away from her. "You're going to work as a technical writer for a telecommunications company," she said. "Surely they'll give you a computer."
Sabrina slumped into her chair. "Yeah," she said dejectedly. "A PC."
Amy's shoulders lowered. "Oh."
shrug "That's the standard, what can I do?"
Amy thought for a second, then smiled. "Learn fast that the diskette doesn't go into the side of the keyboard."
Sabrina set her pencil down and started giggling. "Sacrifice my Guru Meditation for the Blue Screen of Death."
Amy stopped laughing. "That sounds awful," she said.
"I've seen it," Sabrina replied, "it is. It's no wonder Chris is studying Linux." She sighed. "I suppose I can budget in a newer one; I'm sorry, but I have to have my Amiga."
Amy crossed her arms and smiled. Sabrina gave up easier than I thought she would, she thought.
"But I'm taking my upgrades with me."
Amy waved it off as she turned back to her son. "I won't miss 'em," she said and walked over to pick up Timothy.
The front door opened and closed, and a grey blur went between them. "Hi Thomas," Amy said, managing to stop him at the corner to the hall. "How was the game?"
"Crummy," Thomas said. "No one wanted to play with me."
Amy looked over Thomas' soaked sweatsuit and the clock on the VCR, and kept her comment to herself.
"I'm going to take a cold sh -- a shower," he finished and he disappeared down the hallway to the bathroom.
Sabrina exchanged a glance with Amy and they grinned. "The poor guy," Sabrina said.
"Yeah," Amy agreed. "But I'll make it up to him."
Sabrina cocked her head, and Amy finished, smiling, " in five weeks."
Cindy sat at the dining room table, fork turning and making patterns in her spaghetti. Rodney watched her as long as he could.
Cindy's head jumped up. "Huh?"
Ellen sneaked herself in front of Rodney. "Cindy dear," she started, "is something wrong with your dinner?"
"No, Mom," Cindy said quickly. She took her tablespoon and used it as a backstop for her fork to twirl on some of her spaghetti, which she ate and chewed slowly.
Ellen watched her daughter, swallowed and took a drink of her wine. "Is anything bothering you, honey?" she asked.
Cindy shook her head. "Nah."
Ellen and Rodney exchanged a glance. And in true form, Rodney kept himself as far away from whatever it was as he could; he loved his daughter, but some things were best left to Mom, and this seemed to be one of those times.
Cindy washed her food down with her diet cola. "If you love someone, should it matter where he works?"
Rodney's fork hit his plate.
Ellen stopped cold. What do you mean, dear?" she asked.
Cindy shook her head. "Nothing," she murmurred. She ate at her dinner quietly.
Here is where Rodney would normally have jumped in and quizzed Cindy as to what she meant. Instead, he picked up his glass and forced himself to sip his wine, then picked up his fork and focused himself on eating.
"I mean," Cindy went on, "Clarence is really special to me right now. But I don't know what to think about his job."
"Working at the adult film studio?" Ellen asked.
Rodney felt the heat rise from beneath his fur.
"Yeah." She pulled a bit of garlic bread away with her fingers. "I mean, it shouldn't matter, right?"
A peripheral glance at Rodney; he didn't offer anything as he seemed oblivious to them now." Then, "I wouldn't think it should, Cindy. A job's a job, that's all."
Cindy nodded and gave her mother a distant "Yeah " as she went back to her dinner.
Rodney chewed his food quietly.
"I still think it's overblown," Dexter said.
Chris ate his sandwich. "I dunno Dex," he said. "If Y2K hits, a lot of folks are going to be in bad shape."
Dexter stirred his fruit cocktail with his plastic fork. "And if it doesn't," he countered, "a lot of folks are going to have a full carton of egg on their face running down their shirt fronts. Not to mention all of that grocery shopping all for nothing."
"If so," Chris said, fiddling in his potato chip bag, "Then they won't have to go shopping for at least six months."
"Which is less than we have to install all of those furshlunginer software patches on over 150 PC's. Thank God we contracted out the AS/400 work."
The female vulpine came into The Bistro and up behind Dexter. "Hi guys," Wendy said with a smile. "Mind if I join you?"
"Always welcome here," Chris told her, indicating an empty chair with his free paw.
Dexter watched Wendy unzip her lunchbag. "You seem to be in a good mood today," he said to her.
"Had a fun date last night." Wendy pulled her yoghurt and a spoon out, and popped the lid off.
Chris and Dexter waited patiently.
Wendy offered nothing else. She was supressing a grin tho as she caught a glimpse of Chris.
" and?" Chris asked.
Wendy fluttered her eyelids. "And?"
Chris was refusing to give in. The best that he could.
And Wendy knew it.
"Okay," Dexter interjected. "He's your new wolf friend, isn't he?"
Wendy never lifted her muzzle when she smiled. "Yes."
Chris felt his stomach tighten for a moment.
"And you guys had a good time?" Chris asked.
"Oh, yes," Wendy smiled. "Everyone calls him 'Blue'; his fur is black with some blue highlights in the right lighting, and he has the nicest white tummy. I like his real name better " As she talked her grin was enhanced by her memories of last night, his paws had felt soooo right on her body ...
"I felt like a damn moron, Dex."
"Write it off," Dexter advised and leaned against the doorway of Chris' cubicle wall. "She was your first serious love, right? It's only natural for you to feel like that."
Chris shook his head. "I wish I could agree with you," he said. "I love Sabrina! I loved Windy Wendy. Why did I feel " Chris couldn't make himself say the word.
Dexter could. "Jealous?"
Ashamedly, Chris nodded. "I had a clear mental picture of another guy with my ex-girlfriend, and I'm embarrassed to admit I felt the way I felt."
Walking closer, Dexter placed his right hand on Chris' desktop and leaned closer. "Good!"
"Serves you right. And if you're embarrassed, that proves it's over with her, and you love Sabrina."
Chris stared at Dexter, taken slightly aback at his friend. He watched as Dexter cuffed his ear and finished. "So quit feeling sorry for yourself."
Dexter stood upright again. Chris felt the blood rise to the surface of his skin. He felt his tail sag and lay over one of the wheeled supports of his chair. With a nod of approval, Dexter told Chris "Sometimes it takes tough love."
"I suppose so." Chris turned in his chair, looking away from Dexter for a moment. "Stupid, huh?"
"Maybe." Dexter admitted. "I can see your reasoning. But who are planning on spending your life with?"
Chris looked back up. "Sabrina."
Dexter put his arms out. "No more problem."
"You da man," Chris said. "Thanks."
Dexter shrugged and smiled. "It's what I do." And he threw Chris the new equipment purchase orders he'd been carrying.
The dinner dishes done, Sabrina took the last of her medication and folded the small white envelope in her right hand. She carried her glass of orange juice out of the kitchen and to her bedroom, and slid the empty envelope with the note she also kept folded in her top dresser drawer.
Sabrina heard a fussing sound from her old bedroom. Setting her glass on top of the dresser she slipped herself down the hall and into the nursery.
Timothy was stirring in his bassonette, his pacifier laying beside him on the sheet. He was just starting to realize he didn't have it anymore.
"Hey, you." Sabrina reached in and picked the little squirming guy and his pacifier up and gave it back to him. Timothy started sucking on it and hushed as Sabrina cradled him in her arm.
Sabrina smiled down at him. "That's better. Dat's better, huh?" She tickled her finger under his chin. "Dat's better." She started walking around her former bedroom, past the colorful decorations on the wall and the small bureau, back to his bassonette, and made a second circuit, humming quietly to her godson.
"I still can't believe how tiny you are," Sabrina smiled and told Timothy. "I don't think Tabitha was ever this tiny." All the while Timothy slept, his breath moving in and out audibly through his nose. Sabrina held him closer to her bosom, and brushed a finger of her free paw over the side of his head. The ear-to-ear grin she sported coupled with a stinging to her blue eyes.
"You look like a natural," Amy said from the doorway.
Sabrina kept smiling. "Comes with being a woman, I guess," she said in a low voice so as not to disturb Timothy. She turned and walked back to Amy, and only gave him up to her because Amy held her hands out to take him from her.
Amy saw the look on Sabrina's face and the moisture behind her prescription lenses. "I didn't realize how attached you are to him," she said, cooing at her sleeping son.
"Yeah," Sabrina said, trying not to say anything further, but at the same time wanting to badly. "It's good practice I guess," she finished.
With a wry grin, Amy kidded her roommate. "What, something we oughta know about you and Chris?" she asked.
With a barely noticible nod, Sabrina managed the word " maybe "
And Amy froze in her tracks.
Sabrina shook a little.
Amy put a paw on Sabrina's arm. "Sabrina?"
"I ah uhm " Sabrina's words choked in her throat. She shook her head, and the tears started right then.
ZigZag sat in her office, taking a break from one of the few films she was directing. Every so often a script came her way that she felt required her own personal touch. Still in her costume for her upcoming walk-on, which was little more than a very tight custom-made dress with a mere flounce of a skirt, she sat in her office chair with a large towel still around the back of her neck.
She clicked her mouse, looking at the next picture on the second of the two diskettes she'd copied from her camera several chapters before. She clicked the mouse and the next picture of the cute skunkette in the leather teddy appeared.
ZigZag smiled, and she leaned in to study the picture closer. "There was no way she got free by herself," she said aloud. Leaning back in her chair, she sipped her bottled water. "When she finally gets married," she mused, "I should do something special for her with those pictures."
Through the open door of her office, she saw the figure of a woman she never saw before. Quickly powering off her monitor she got up from her desk and walked briskly to the hallway.
"Can I help you?" she asked.
Cindy spun around. "Oh, uh " She cringed. This must be her, she thought. "There, uh, there was no one out at the front counter, and "
"Look honey," ZigZag scolded her, "I can't have people wandering in here unannounced. I can give you an application kit, but where's your portfolio?"
"My -- my what?" Cindy asked.
ZigZag put her paws on her hips. "Boy, you are new to this, aren't you?" She gave Cindy a once-over. "You've got a good body, looks like you keep yourself fit. But I'm going to need to see pictures, and I have a doctor's approval form you need to have filled out, you'll need photo identification and a notarized statement of age."
Cindy blushed. "No, you d -- "
ZigZag looked at her wrist, forgetting her watch was in her desk drawer. "Look, I've only got a minute. Come in and show me what you look like with your clothes off, and I'll decide if the potential's there for you. I'm sure it is, but there's certain th -- "
She looked at Cindy. Her face was beet red, and she was shaking and stepping backwards, her eyes wide with fear.
"Hey," ZigZag said, her voice softer now. "You're you're not here for an acting job, are you?"
Cindy shook her head quickly, her lop ears swinging from side to side.
"Oh, hey, I'm sorry!" She stepped closer to the young woman who nearly retreated herself against the wall behind her. She put a comforting arm around her. "I had no idea." She felt her trembling. "Are you okay?" she asked.
Cindy's head began nodding now.
"Here, come into my office, sit down."
Cindy's severe apprehension wasn't enough to prevent herself from being guided by this woman into the next room. ZigZag guided her to the chair in front of her desk, and she sat, not daring to look up!
"Can I get you something? Water, juice, a soda?" Cindy just sat and trembled, wanting to be anywhere but here right now.
ZigZag reached across her desk and snagged her own bottle, unscrewing the cap and taking a very big drink before recapping it. "So I'm ZigZag. And you're ?"
Finally Cindy was able to at least say her name. "Cindy Cindy Lapine."
"Lapine, Lapine, where have I heard that name before?" ZigZag tapped the bottle thoughtfully against her chin, then the light came on. Rodney's daughter?
"My boyfriend, Clarence, works for you." Cindy's eyes were still fixed on the floor between ZigZag's feet and her own.
"Okay, you're Cindy!" Now Cindy looked up. "Clare talks about you a lot."
Cindy was almost able to meet ZigZag's eyes. "He does?"
ZigZag nodded. "Not constantly," she said, "but enough to let everyone know he's crazy about you."
As courage began to slip back into Cindy's being, she finally brought herself into a better sitting posture and did what she set out to accomplish. "Why did you hire him?" she asked.
"Eh?" ZigZag looked at Cindy quizzically. "Why did I hire him?"
"Yes. I'm sorry, I just have to know."
ZigZag put her water back on her desk. "You mean he never told you?"
Cindy simply shook her head. "Clarence had a job lined up for his internship with a big engineering firm, and -- "
ZigZag barely heard her. "He never told you? Wow, there's something! A male who doesn't brag about himself!"
"Brag?" Cindy asked. "I'm talking about Clarence Skunk."
"So am I!" ZigZag changed her position. "Cindy, your boyfriend saved my company a small fortune."
Cindy put a finger in one ear and wiggled it around. "Clarence did?"
"Clarence saved me close to ten thousand dollars! Granted, most of it was in checks, but almost two thousand of it was in cash."
And she proceeded to tell Cindy about the broad daylight mugging outside her studio, and Clarence's fortunate happenstance that allowed them to meet.
"I don't believe it." Cindy's eyes found ZigZag's now. "Clarence never said a word about it."
"That kid is too modest for his own good." ZigZag crossed her arms. "I offered him the job out of gratitude."
Cindy slid back and sat up. "I never would've guessed." Then, "is all he does go-fer'ing?" she asked. She had to know.
ZigZag nodded. "Pretty much. He keeps the coffee pots full, and occasionally helps out in the video editing suite or with one of the photographers, sets up the sets for shoots, and no, he doesn't pose or act. I think if he did, all we'd get would be pictures of him fainting dead away."
Cindy giggled. And sighed.
"Girl to girl." ZigZag leaned closer to Cindy. "Don't lose that guy! You've got a real find there."
As her shoulders dropped back to their original position, ZigZag extended her right paw. "And it was nice to meet you. Forgive me for earlier?"
"I guess I can see where you'd make that mistake, being in this business." She stood up. "Thanks, Ma'am. I'm grateful to you."
ZigZag slid off of her desktop. "Then don't ever call me 'Ma'am' again. Just plain old ZigZag."
Cindy nodded, afraid she'd upset her again. "I'm sorry!"
A striped arm went around her shoulders and guided her to the door. "Don't worry about it. I'm vain, but even I have my limits."
They both almost bumped into him as he stopped suddenly in the doorway, shooting schedule copies leaving his paw and landing everywhere.
Cindy leaped back a full foot! "Uh, hi, Clarence."
Clarence scrambled to his paws and knees and scooped up the papers and handed them in a shaking mass to his boss.
ZigZag smiled and placed an understanding hand on his shoulder. "Just put 'em on my desk, Clare." She looked at Cindy. "And close the door when you guys are through, huh?" She gave Cindy a wink, took the towel from her neck, and returned to the studio.
Clarence came the rest of the way into the office. "W-w-w-wh-wh-what're y-you d-d-doing here?" he asked as well as he could.
Cindy shook away some of her shyness. She put an arm around Clarence and kissed his full and hard on the mouth.
Papers went everywhere.
In the darkness of the wee hours of Saturday morning, Chris groped for the cordless phone. He found it with the back of his paw, sending it to the floor between the bed and the wall. Mumbling something very much not nice into his pillow, he found the twiddling pest and snuffed out the next ring tone with the press of the TALK button.
The line was silent for a moment.
Chris forced himself over. "Kitten?"
"Hi. Uh, are you busy?
Chris scanned the darkened room before he propped himself up on one elbow. "Not much. Just chasing you through a garden of heather before the phone rang."
Sabrina sat in the darkness of her bedroom, in her nightshirt but unable to sleep a wink. "Chris "
"Kitten," Chris sat up in his bed. "What's wrong."
Forming the words were the hardest part.
" I'm late."
Chris pulled his tail from beneath him.
"Late for what, at this hour?"
Sabrina shook her head. "No Chris I'm late."
Chris let the very-early-morning cobwebs clear themselves from his brain. "Late you mean late late?"
Sabrina sniffled and wiped her finger under her nose. "Very late late."
"How late late?"
Running the figures in the back of her head, "Almost three weeks late late," she surmised.
Chris' felt his entire body sag.
"Yeah, that's kinda what I thought." Sabrina tried to laugh, but it just wasn't possible. "Chris, I'm scared." She shifted herself around. "There's something else I need to tell you."
Chris threw the covers aside. "Tell me when I get there, Kitten." He looked at the clock. "I should be there not long after daybreak."
Sabrina sat up. "No, Chris. It's way too late "
"Sabrina, you think I could sleep now? I'll be there before you know it."
"Chris, please." Guilt snuck in on our Sabrina. "I can't ask you to do that."
Chris was pulling his pajamas off and holding the phone between his shoulder and his ear. "Good thing I offered then. I'll be there with you in four and a half or thereabouts."
Sabrina pulled her knees up to her chest. "Please," she begged, knowing she wasn't going to be able to talk him out of it. And not too sure she really wanted to, either. "Be careful."
"Nothing but, 'brina."
"I love you, Kitten. Don't ever forget that."
Sabrina smiled, the fur of her face very wet.
"I love you."
And Chris was on his way.