a story by
(c) 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 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. Characters Kevin and Kell Dewclaw (c) Bill Holbrook. Character Stacy (c) Jeffrey Darlington. Characters Chatin and Cilke (c) Tiffany Ross. Characters Jack Black and Cecil Stewart (c) Scott Kellogg. Character Packard Melan (c) S. Adam (I forget how to spell his last name). Character Ricky Boone (c) Ricky Boone. Eric Schwartz (c) Mr. and Mrs. Schwartz. 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, Amino Systems, or whoever the heck owns them now. "Cooking for Dummies" (c) 1999 IDG Books Worldwide
The crunching of gravel under the tires told Chris and Sabrina they were home.
Sabrina let that settle in. This is home now. She was taking her first major step in sharing the rest of her life with a man. She watched Chris pull up behind her car and undo his seatbelt, then he shut the engine down and pulled on the parking brake.
There it was again. That feeling in the pit of her stomach. Anxiety, anxiousness, love, nervousness, it was all there and mixing together.
Chris smiled at her and gave her thigh a gentle squeeze. She watched him get out of the car, swishing his bushy brown and white tail out of the way of the door before he closed it. She watched him trot around the front of the car, coming around to her side. She watched his black-gloved paw disappear from sight where it could pull the door handle up and open her door. He extended his left paw to her to help her out of the car. Sabrina started to get up and the seatbelt held and pulled her back.
“Oops!” Chris couldn’t help smiling. Which was good; Sabrina felt more at ease and smiled back, embarrassed at herself. She unlocked the seatbelt and placed her paw in his. Once Sabrina stepped out of the car Chris whooshed her into his arms!
“Yeow!” Sabrina said startled! “Put me down, you’ll hurt yourself!”
“Never, no never!” Chris exclaimed as he closed the door with his backside and laughed diabolically as he ran to the back door of their house. Sabrina bobbed up and down in his arms, giggling and holding on as he bounded up the steps, the tension inside her leaving as quickly as it had built within her.
“You nut! Be careful!” On the back porch, Chris turned sideways to open the screen door and held it open with Sabrina’s foot, then angling Sabrina he fiddled the key into the lock and twisted open the doorknob.
Sabrina laughed and pulled her head closer, just clearing the doorway and Chris plopped her down on her feet in the kitchen.
“Welcome home, Kitten.” Chris put his arms around her and pulled her close.
“Nice to be hrrrrrmmmmmmph ……… ” The rest of her sentence got lost in a deep kiss. Unconsciously, her arms slipped up Chris’ back and held onto him tightly.
They smiled. Their embrace slowly disappeared. Sabrina smiled. Yep, this is home, she told herself.
Chris gave her a swat on the fanny. “Brushes and soap are under the sink, bucket’s in the cellarway. Wake me in time for dinner.” He walked out of the door and disappeared around the corner.
Huh?? Sabrina’s muzzle fell open. She pulled her muzzle closed and a pursed scowl crossed over it. Surely he can’t be serious! she told herself. She felt her tail twitch. Tugging her blue tee-shirt down she stormed after him, turning the corner….
One arm spun her around and grabbed her! The paw of the other covered her muzzle. The reflex action of her tail caught between Chris’ legs and went no higher.
“Gotcha,” Chris said in her ear.
Sabrina began to giggle.
“Stop that,” Chris said, relaxing his hold.
Sabrina shook her head.
Chris pretended to sigh. “Look,” he explained, “I can’t say I captured you if you’re cooperative.”
Sabrina stopped giggling. She kissed the inside of his paw.
Chris heaved a bigger fake sigh. “What’s the use,” he said.
His hold on her loosened enough for Sabrina to turn completely around, grinning a big teasing grin. “So,” she asked, snuggling in, “what do we do now?”
She felt herself pulled closer; looking up into Chris’ big green eyes via his spectacles, he replied, “It’s not really a question of what, but where, and will furniture be involved.”
Sabrina shook here head. “All you ever think about,” she teased.
“With a fiancée that looks like you,” Chris said to her, “what else is there?” He kissed Sabrina … she parted her muzzle slightly, as did he, and as they kissed Chris backed her against the wall, pressing her against it, his paws slipping down to hers and holding them beside her, pinning them down. Just as Sabrina realized what he’d done his muzzle was nuzzling the fur on her neck.
“Uh ….. Chris …… honey ……. ”
Sabrina’s body desperately wanted to respond to Chris’; she turned her head upward, grinning and closing her eyes, trying to keep her mind on … “Honey, we need to … stop that! … we need to … ”
She blew a raspberry into Chris’ next kiss that distracted him long enough for her to pull her right paw free. “I hate to stop you believe me, but now that we’re living together, we have new responsibilities to take care of.”
Chris blinked his eyes. “What ‘new responsibilities’?” he asked.
Sabrina caught her breath. “Groceries, for one,” she said. “We need to eat.”
Chris waved his paw. “We’ll go out.”
“We can’t keep going out,” Sabrina explained, her pragmatism showing. “And your cupboards are about as bare as mine were when I was a starving art student.”
Vulpine eyebrows furrowed as Chris went over what Sabrina had said. I can’t fault her for her logic, he told himself. Her timing, yeah! “I have food in the house, kitten … ”
“Canned pasta isn’t food, from one who knows,” Sabrina explained, “and I swore I’d scream if I ever saw another ramen noodle.”
“Just take the noodles out of the package and schmear them with peanut butter, they’re pretty good.”
No!” Sabrina made a bleah expression with her tongue. “That’s as bad as your peanut butter and onion sandwich.”
“That’s my dad’s sandwich,” Chris corrected and pointed a finger, “and don’t knock it ‘till you try it.”
“Even if I liked onions, no way, no how. Plus we need stuff for breakfast.”
Chris raised an eyebrow. “Breakfast?” he asked. “I’ve heard of that … it’s a morning thing, right?”
Sabrina almost batted him in his arm. “It’s the most important meal of the day, and I need something when I get up. We can get bagels, you like those, and some orange juice, and how are you on coffee?”
Chris shook his head, trying to figure out how attempted necking turned in to building a grocery list. “Kitten,” he said to her, “from here, I can take you to any one of three 24-hour supermarkets. We’ve got plenty of time.”
“Except it’s going to be dark in a couple of hours,” Sabrina pointed out. “And we really don’t want to go shopping after dark if we don’t have to, do we? I mean, the evenings are for us to cuddle.”
She slipped her arms around Chris’ waist, her blue eyes looking into his green. “I can cook for you, you can tell me if I’m any good or not.”
“Wellllllll … ” Chris began, his plans torn asunder, “to quote the newlywed husband’s famous last words, ‘what have I got to lose?’.”
This brought another raspberry from Sabrina. Then, “Oh! I promised I’d Amy call and let her know I made it okay! I won’t be long!” She darted past Chris and ran through the bathroom into the bedroom followed by the eyes of a now-thoroughly-confused fox.
Thomas was putting the last of the dinner dishes away. Timothy lay sleeping beside his mother on the couch, who was reading the local features column. The ice cream and the girls, and Clarence, had all since parted. This gave Amy her first taste of actually being a family, with the apartment all to themselves.
“Ha, lookit this!” Amy laughed. She looked up, then remembered.
“Lookit what?” Thomas called from the kitchen.
Amy shook her head, even though Thomas couldn’t see her. “Nothing,” she answered back. “I found something in the paper I thought Sabrina might’ve been interested in.” She looked quickly at Timothy and saw he was sleeping still. “Gonna be hard to get used to it for a while.” She put the paper down on her lap. “I didn’t think it would happen this fast.”
Thomas made a half-understanding noise. Amy huffed and folded the paper over. “I guess you wouldn’t understand,” she said coldly. “For men, it’s not the same.”
“It’s not,” Thomas defended, walking out with a cola for himself and a diet non-cola for Amy. “It’s way different for males. Unless they’re breaking up with a girlfriend they don’t dwell on friends moving on.”
“I should’ve known better.” She accepted the can and set it unopened on a coaster.
Thomas shook his head and sat on her other side. “I’m sorry,” he said with a shrug, “I guess I’m just thick-furred.” He opened his can and looked at his wife. “I gotta admit, it’s kinda weird with Sabrina not being here.” He looked for a nod of assent from Amy, or something. With a sigh he picked up the remote control and turned on the television.
Amy carefully tore out the article she’d found and set it on the coffee table. Timothy caught her attention by making a giggling noise in his sleep. She opened her sodapop and leaned back, gently stroking his soft grey fur until he settled.
Thomas’ paw caught her attention. She looked at it, then the television.
“What do you see,” she asked, “in one-fifth of a second that tells you you don’t want to watch that channel?”
“It’s a guy-thing.” He took a drink of his lovely beverage and started his second cycle. “Fifty-seven channels and there’s nothing on,” he sighed.
“Why don’t you read a b -- ” Amy was interrupted by the ringing phone. She rose slowly so she wouldn’t disturb Timothy and walked across to answer it. “Hello? … ‘brina, hi! … ”
“I dunno,” Debbye said to Susan. “I think I ate too much.”
“Ate too much ice cream?” Susan asked with a smile. “You can never eat too much ice cream, girl!” She turned a corner and scarcely heard the sound of the screeching brakes of the minivan. “What you need is a shopping trip to the mall.”
Debbye shook her head. “Thanks anyway, Susan, but could we do it tomorrow? I’m really not feeling well.”
Susan nodded. “Sure, okay, no problem.” She drove to the intersection and made a right turn instead of a left.
“I’m sorry,” Debbye said.
“Oh, don’t be,” Susan laughed it off. “Like you said, we’ll go tomorrow. Maybe Cindy’ll be free to come with us.”
“Yeah, that’d be nice.”
Silence. Susan turned the radio on and started a Phil Collins CD.
“You seeing Josh tonight?” Debbye asked.
Susan shrugged. “Maybe. If he calls, I might.”
Debbye nodded and looked ahead.
“What about you and Lee?”
Debbye thought for a moment. “If I’m up to it. I hope I am.”
Four blocks later Susan pulled into Debbye’s parents’ driveway. “Thanks, Suse,” Debbye said as she got out. “Call me tomorrow?”
“Sure will!” With a wave she backed out and drove down the street.
Both girls felt the same thing inside, empty. A part of them had been taken away from them, out of state. To Susan, she felt angry; her best friend had been stolen from her. Earlier it was simple remorse, sadness, she was going to miss her … now she could feel the end of her tail batting the floor behind her seat. She blinked in surprise when she felt her clawtips press into her palms. Retracting her claws, she sighed; “Maybe seeing Josh wouldn’t be such a bad idea,” she thought aloud.
Debbye waved to her mother in the kitchen and went to the bathroom to take an antacid. She ran a sinkful of water and washed her face, fluffed her fur with the paw-held dryer and a towel, and as it was handy borrowed her mother’s brush kit to fix herself up. Staring at her reflection, Debbye let out a heavy sigh. “It’s gonna be a loooooooong three weeks.”
The knocking on the door broke her reverie. “Debbye!” her mother’s voice said from the other side, “your friend Sabrina in on the phone!”
Cindy … oh, click here to find out about Cindy!
“Okay, see you in three weeks … yeah … okay, bye-bye.” Sabrina hung up the cordless phone and centered herself in front of Chris’ dresser mirror. She removed one of his shirts hanging from the corner and laid it on top of the rumpled bed sheets. She brushed her hair in front of the mirror, and when she was satisfied with how she looked she walked out of the bedroom. She found Chris in the living room with his feet on the coffee table, surfing through television channels.
Chris lowered the remote control and looked up at Sabrina, then his watch, then at Sabrina again. “So soooooooooooon?” he teased.
“I promised The Clique and Amy I’d call when I got in, and you distracted me.” She walked the rest of the way into the room. “And we need to get going.” And she got an interesting look from Chris when she gathered her arms around his ankles, picked his feet up, removed them from the top of the coffee table and set them on the floor. “We need groceries, and you need to show me one of these 30-minutes-away-from-here supermarkets.”
Sabrina extended her paw. Chris slowly placed his within it, and she pulled to help him stand. “You’re really into this ‘shopping mode’, aren’t you?”
“Skunk and fox gotta eat.” She kissed Chris quickly and they walked through to the back door. “And it’s starting to get late,” she added, grabbing her handbag, “what if we grab a bite while we’re out?”
“Uh, sure, whatever you want.” He opened the door and let Sabrina precede him into the oncoming dusk of the evening.