Keith was going to kill Bruno. The next time that cat woke him up at the crack of dawn, yowling his butt off, begging for breakfast, Keith was going to put him in a sack and drop him in the East River. Then, quietly come back to bed. When Lesli asked where her beloved buddy went, he’d say, “Out for a walk.” Then, roll over back to sleep.
Bruno never knew how close he’d come to a watery grave.
Lesli woke up before the cat. She’d shrugged on her robe, went to the fridge, and tossed him a chicken leg. “That should shut you up for ten minutes,” she muttered, continuing into the bathroom.
The first time he saw her do that, Keith had asked, “Aren’t bones bad for pets?” Lesli’d looked at him like he wasn’t much smarter than Bruno. “You’re thinking about dogs. Cats can eat chicken bones fine. Especially my little piggie.”
She sure had that last part right. That little food-burner likely would eat anything didn’t eat him first. Keith dug Bruno and the whole nine. But, dug getting some sleep more. And asked, “You wanna tell me, please, why he picks an ungodly time of morning to get hungry?”
“Wish I knew. Been that way since he was a kitten. Probably be that way until he dies.”
Keith thought about that sack and the river. “Now,” he’d mumbled, “there’s a thought.”
He’d grinned at Bruno contentedly munching on the chicken leg. Lucky little so and so. “Nothing,” he’d said.
Gazing out the window, he’d watched the night sky and waited for her to come back to bed. Thank God she wasn’t in the habit of sleeping with that little rascal. Or Keith and Bruno might’ve seriously had to go war. Greedy-gut had finished off the chicken leg, licking his chops, grooming his fur, then nestled into the nice, roomy, comfortably cushioned catbed Lesli’d brought from home. Keith watched him doze.
Lesli came back, still barely awake. Shedding the robe, she got back under the covers, nestling close. Hugging. He hugged her back. Next thing, they were nibbling each other’s lips, hugging turned to caressing, nibbling turning to kissing. So much for going back to sleep.
Around mid-morning, he’d roused himself and put coffee on.
She’d stretched and yawned. “Got myself a busy day. Job interview.”
He’d given her a quizzical look. “That a fact?” He’d wondered why she hadn’t said anything before now. But, when he’d thought about it, wasn’t overly surprised. This, indeed, was one independent soul who, he’d figured, didn’t check in with anyone about anything.
“Yep,” she’d fairly chirped. Lesli was on vacation. Had timed her three-week live-in with Keith to coincide with appointments at the American Museum of Natural History, right here in town. Tomorrow, she was hopping a short flight to D.C. to meet with the Smithsonian Institution.
Both positions had been juicy. At the museum, she’d go from heading a department to taking over an entire operation. In D.C., she’d develop exhibits.
Lesli wasn’t all that particular about either one. Each offered more money, increased responsibility, and greater prestige than in L.A. “So?” she’d mused with an impatient frown. “Those are wonderful. But, you know what’s more fun? Getting away from L.A. I am so sick and tired of hearing about how fabulous the East Coast is supposed to be. I’d like to see for myself.”
With which, life had begun to look considerably more interesting for Keith. Lesli in the same city? Even down the seaboard? Either way, she would be a whole lot closer.
He’d poured their coffee. And caught a glint in her eye. It didn’t take a mind-reader to know she was waiting for him to tip his hand on how he felt about the possibility. Why do women do that? Constantly shift for leverage and second-guess? He didn’t know and, realizing he’d never find out, honestly didn’t care.
The closer Lesli came, the more it mattered just exactly how serious he and she were about one another.
Next week: Keith survives Lesli’s visit wanting more.
Dwight Hobbes welcomes reader responses to P.O. Box 50357, Mpls., 55403.
To read more Black & Single Blues by Dwight Hobbes click HERE