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.
"There it is." Sabrina pointed across the street to the park in the middle of town. Chris found a parking spot across the street and slid neatly into it. Jumping out of the car he ran around to the other side, then stopped and put his hands on his hips, staring over the tops of his glasses at Sabrina as she stepped out. "I told you, I'm not used to guys holding doors for me!"
Chris took the door and closed it. "If you're gonna be with me, lady, you better get used to it." He extended his elbow. Sabrina slid her arm through it, and they walked across the street and through the park.
The park was typical for late winter; the grass was green, the trees weren't. Chris looked past them at the buildings, then at the empty fountain, then at Sabrina on his arm and smiled to himself. "It's a very nice place," was all he could think to say.
"I like it here." Sabrina pointed across from the fountain as they walked. "Over there they plant that area with all kinds of big, colorful plants and flowers, really pretty. I bring a cushion and some books and I sit next to them and read, or study. I'm there for hours sometimes."
They walked around to the other side of the park where there were some benches and a wide pond as the centerpiece of a large open area. "Still some ducks hanging around," Chris noticed.
"Yeah." Sabrina had unconsciously pulled herself closer to Chris' arm. "Mom tells me when she brings Tabitha here, the ducks go crazy and run the other way. She has no idea why."
"My baby sister. Cute little girl, I love her, but so annoying sometimes!"
Chris laughed. "Annoying to her big sister in college, eh?"
Sabrina smiled and nodded. "Yeah. But I've gotta call her a brat or no one'll know we're sisters." They stopped walking a moment, and their eyes met, and stayed there, for several long moments. Sabrina had no idea her tail was bobbing up and down. Shortly they realized what they were doing, and they both knew each other's thoughts. Sabrina squeezed her eyes closed and open.
Chris cleared his throat. "So, ::ahem::, they run away, huh?"
Sabrina swallowed and they walked toward the pond again. "Yeah, no one seems to know why; they never run away from anybody else. Not in a dead heat, anyway. Amy watched her for me once, maybe I should ask her if they ran then."
"Is she still angry with Thomas?"
"Nah, he finally proposed. Gave her a nice ring, too. He's in the process of moving in with us."
"Sounds like a dream come true."
"Yeah, for Amy. Thomas proposing finally made her let up on me, and now I get to watch the two of them together every day of my life. But at one-third rent, there's no way I'm moving out." She hugged Chris' arm. "You don't know how bearable you've made this week for me."
Chris touched his head against Sabrina's. Then, "She asked you to move out?!"
"Not directly," Sabrina said. "It was like 'Sabrina, what do you think if Thomas moves in?', then 'Sabrina, would you feel comfortable with Thomas being here?', then 'Sabrina, what would you think about moving out?' ... "
They continued their walk toward the pond. Chris looked at Sabrina wide-eyed. "Luckily," she went on, "my name's on the lease too. And I can use the extra money."
Three different ways of telling Sabrina she could have another place to live went through Chris' mind all at once! If only this wasn't a first date! "I can't believe she'd ask you that."
"Hey, I should've been expecting it. As much as Thomas is there I'm surprised it took this long."
Why Chris decided to be this bold, he couldn't even answer. "I know we've only been friends for a week, but if there's ever any way I can help, ... well, you know where I am."
Sabrina looked up at Chris as they walked along. "You really are a sweet guy."
Chris smiled at her. "I do my best."
"And you're awfully generous."
"I like that one."
"And you're walking in mud."
It took a moment. Chris looked down. As they walked they'd migrated close to the pond where Chris found himself two dozen steps and up to his ankles in mud and duck droppings. Somehow Sabrina had managed to stay in the grass, but Chris had walked right through it all. "Ack!!" He leapt out of it in front of Sabrina, who began laughing uncontrollably.
"I'm sorry! *snort!* " Chris wiped his feet over and over in the grass. Sabrina tried to hide herself behind her hand. "I'm really sorry! *giggle*" Chris bent his ankles and tried wiping the tops of his feet. "I -- ::pant:: -- never had that -- ::pant-snort-giggle:: -- that kind of effect on a man before!"
Now Chris was understandably upset, as you can imagine. He looked around quickly to see how many others had seen what had happened, realized it didn't matter since nobody else there knew him anyway, then looked up at Sabrina, and she got him laughing too. "I guess it shows where my priorities are." And he smiled big at her. There was no way he was going to let anything spoil this weekend!
Sabrina took his arm again. "Maaaay-be we should go back to my place so you can wash your feet, huh?" giggle!
Chris nodded, trying to hide his reaction at Sabrina's suggestion - back to her place! "Uhm, is that such a good idea? Your neighbors see you walking in to your building with a strange man ... "
Sabrina laughed. "It's okay! Remember, Amy goes in with a man constantly these days. If the neighbors see, they see."
"Well heck then," Chris said, "if it's okay ... "
Her arm went in his again. "Come on," Sabrina said with a smile. She led Chris back to his car, with him dragging and wiping the bottoms of his feet all the way.
... and twenty minutes later ...
Sabrina led the way up the steps and unlocked the door to the apartment. Opening the door she extended an arm. Chris wiped his feet again and led the way in.
Chris couldn't believe it. I'm here in her apartment! "Very nice little place you have here. Cozy."
"Thanks. Here, bathroom's this way." She led Chris through the living room and up the hall. En route he saw an open door and peeked in as nonchalantly as he could. Could be her room ...
Chris snapped his head back in time. "Thank you." And he kissed Sabrina on the cheek on the way in.
Sabrina's eyes grew. And Chris, he stopped dead and spun around. "I'm sorry!" He saw her eyes and swallowed.
"Hey," said Sabrina, "don't be." She scritched Chris behind the ear and ran her paw down the fur on his neck to his shirt collar, giggling to herself as his tail twitched a little faster.
"I just don't want you to think I'm this forward normally. It was all subconscious."
"Tells me I'm being thought of ... I like that." Deciding to be a little forward herself, she kissed Chris on the cheek. His tail beat against the doorframe, and less embarrassed than he was, he went in and turned on the bathtub faucet.
Sabrina took two steps, then dashed into the living room, twirled on one foot, dropped to one knee and drove her elbow toward the floor. "Yes!"
She took a quick peek to see if Debbye brought her car by yet, zipped back up the hall to peek in at Chris, and back into the living room. "I like him!" she yelled quietly. "He likes me! This is like the last novel I read! This is great!"
It wasn't long before Chris came back to her. "Clean as a whistle. Thanks."
"Sure thing." Sabrina sauntered over to Chris and ran a hand up and down his arm. "Tell me something: why is someone like you not married yet?"
Chris raised his eyebrows in thought. "I dunno. I was sort of serious with someone once, a long time ago. A vixen named Wendy; I nicknamed her 'Windy' because we were in a windstorm once and it picked up her tail and it fluttered beside her like a flag beating. Was never sure if she liked that or not."
A shrug. "She had her plans, I had mine. She moved on and when I graduated I got hired and buried myself in my work. Until now I never made time for a relationship with anybody."
Sabrina couldn't suppress a grin. She moved closer to him. "I'm even more flattered now. I'm your first serious interest since then?"
Chris nodded. "I should've taken chemistry instead of computers." He stepped up against Sabrina and put his arms around her. And Sabrina did the same to him. "I think there's a lot of it here."
Their eyes locked again. Sabrina felt herself hugging him back; their mouths only inches apart.
This guy writes like one of my romance novels!
But all she could manage was "Uh-huh."
Inches became centimeters.
"I could fall for you if I wasn't careful."
Sabrina felt herself hug tighter. "Uh-huh."
Chris pressed his fingertips against Sabrina's shoulder blades. "You feel so tense."
Sabrina finally found herself able to blink. "I'm not surprised. The excitement of finally getting to meet you, wondering if you'd like me, wondering if I'd like you, ... "
Chris brushed his vulpine nose against Sabrina's. "C'mere," he said, unwrapping his arms and taking her hand gently in his. "Lay down on the couch."
Thomas found a parking space around the corner and backed into it. He and Amy walked up the steps to their apartment building, Amy carrying a container of chocolate fudge ice cream.
"I can't believe how the street's so parked up today," Thomas said. "It is Saturday, right?"
"Someone must be having a party. Be nice if they'd invited us!" Amy kidded.
A loud female "OH!" went only half noticed as they ascended the steps to the second floor.
"Some people just don't believe in the Good Neighbor Policy." They rounded the turn from the top of the stairs as another "Oh WOW!" came across the air. This time, they both heard it. Walking over to the door of their apartment they stopped short.
"Gawd yes. Oh YES! Mmmmmm, OoooOOooo!"
Amy's mouth dropped open. In a hoarse whisper, "That's Sabrina!"
Thomas put an ear against the door. "I think we found the party."
Amy smacked Thomas on the shoulder. "Don't listen in!" she whispered. "You can't do that!"
In just as hoarse a whisper, "Neither can you!"
Amy looked at Thomas and took her ear away too. She pointed a thumb toward the door. "Do y'think ... ?"
"OH YES! OH GAWD CHRIS YES!"
Thomas nodded. "Yup."
Amy stared at the door dumbfounded. The door stared back normally.
"OH Chris are you ever GOOD!"
"We better leave."
Thomas turned to go as Amy grabbed his arm. "What about the ice cream?" she almost whispered.
"Bring it. We can buy spoons."
"It's a half gallon, Thomas! It has to go in the freezer!"
Thomas hopefully nodded his head toward the stairway. "We'll put it in mine."
"You sold your refrigerator, remember?"
"Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo .......... "
They both looked at the apartment door. "There's only one thing to do, Thomas." Amy's voice was approaching her normal volume. "We've got to zip in there and put it in the freezer and zip right back out again!"
Thomas turned his head to one side. "'We'?"
Amy fished her keys out of her purse. "Okay then, me!"
"Amy," Thomas hoped to reason, "you can't."
"Chris, you're so good at this!"
"Look," said Amy, "they're both probably just in her bedroom, right? I'll be quick, and quiet, and they'll never even know we were ever here, okay?"
"But what if they're not in the bedroom?"
Amy never heard him. She slid the key as quietly into the lock as she could and slowly opened the door. "No matter what happens, wait here!" She slid inside, leaving the door widely ajar.
One step, two steps inside ...
"Like this?" said a male voice.
"Yes! Those hands are magic!" Sabrina's voice was full of pleasure.
... and ducked in through the living room toward the kitchen!
"Oh, Amy, hi."
"Eep!" Amy stopped dead in her tracks, blushed beyond compare. She was frozen dead in her tracks. They're not in her bedroom!
Slowly Amy turned, inch by inch, step by step. Chris leaned up from over Sabrina, putting his other foot on the floor, sliding his hands down over the back of Sabrina's sweater as she rolled over from her tummy to her side. Pointing to each in turn, Sabrina said "Chris, this is my roommate Amy. Amy, the good-looking guy with the great hands is Chris Foxx."
Chris stood up and walked over to Amy. Amy just stood for a moment. "Uhm ... "
"Hi Amy," Chris said, offering her his hand. "I've heard a lot about you."
Amy held out her free hand and shook Chris'. "Hi. Uh, I've heard a lot about you, too. Nice to meet you."
As she withdrew her hand Chris pointed to her. "Wait a minute. Amy Squirrel, right?"
"The same Amy Squirrel who did a Japanese anime movie some time back called Warriors from Venus?"
Sabrina looked up from the couch, watching amusedly.
"You wore this silver bikini outfit, with this sword that was almost as big as you ... "
Amy put her hand to her open mouth. "You didn't see that!" Then, "Did you?"
Amy still had the embarrassed blush from before. She ran her hand through her blonde hair. "There aren't supposed to be any more copies of that film around!"
"Well, someone found one," Chris said. "Of course, I saw it on that show where the guy and the two robots watch bad movies and make fun of them, but I liked it anyway."
"Uh, thank you." Amy laughed to break her own tension. "I hated it. It was fun working there, but the limited animation over there really was stifling to work in."
"Well, I still liked it." Chris noticed the container Amy was carrying. "Your ice cream is melting."
"Wha -- ?" She remembered quickly why she was there. "Oh! Thomas and I were just, ah, wanting to put this in the freezer."
Sabrina smiled up at Amy. "Thomas?" she asked.
"Yes. Oh! Thomas! He's outside the door." Amy leaned over toward the door. "Thomas! Don't just stand outside the door, come on in!"
Everyone turned to look at the open door. A head poked in, then the rest of the person stepped inside.
"Thomas! Come on over, silly man!"
Thomas came in, trying not to feel like a stranger in the apartment he spends most of his time in. Amy guided him over to Chris. "Thomas, this is Sabrina's new boyfriend Chris, who was giving her a back massage on the couch. Chris, this is my fiancÚ Thomas."
The men shook hands. "Good to finally meet you," Thomas said awkwardly.
"We were just putting this ice cream in the freezer," Amy announced. "Thomas, why don't you come help me put this ice cream in the freezer." She looked at Chris. "Would you excuse us please? We're just going to put this ice cream in the freezer and we'll be going on our way." She took Thomas' hand and started darting them both to the kitchen.
Sabrina stood up and walked over to Chris. "I wonder what's up with her?" she asked. Chris only shrugged as Sabrina put an arm around his back. "Must be the pregnancy."
Chris watched them go into the kitchen, then turned Sabrina to him with both hands. "You know, your roommate now called me your 'boyfriend'". He drew a nervous breath. "I know it's only a first serious date, but if everyone's going to think that, what do you think about making it official?"
Sabrina felt her heart melt ... again. She smiled big. "I would love to be your girlfriend!"
Now they embraced.
"It'd mean I'd have to kiss you on the mouth on purpose," Chris said, his big green eyes staring into her blue. "Would that be a problem?"
"I don't see a problem with it." Their mouths went from centimeters to millimeters apart. "I don't see a problem with it at all, Mister Boyfriend." And Sabrina completely closed any gap between them. Standing on her tiptoes she pressed her mouth against his and as they kissed her head swam and her body completely relied on Chris' arms to keep her upright.
Amy pulled her head back into the kitchen and hugged Thomas. "Looks like the start of a beautiful friendship in our living room."
And she lifted one leg as she kissed Thomas with the same passion as Sabrina kissed Chris.