Music was trickling in his ear. No. That was silly. Why would there be music in an ancient temple? He was almost to the lost treasure of… No, there WAS music. Where was it coming from? Puzzled, he scratched his head. Even more puzzling about it was the fact that he knew he was in the middle of nowhere. But, there was distinctive Highway to Hell. And it was getting louder. What the hell?
He snorted and opened an eye looking around. He wasn’t in a temple. He was in bed. And the music was his cell phone going insane on his bedside table. His paw blindly smacked around for it. He grabbed it up and flipped it open.
“Hello?” he said into it.
“Well, well. Good evening sleepy head. Did I wake you?” It was Feirya.
“No, no. Of course not.” He said squinting at the clock on his table. Shortly before nine at night. He had been asleep for ten hours.
“Nice try. How are things with you? Everybody is talking about your freak out at the office.”
Cymaenie snickered. “I bet they are. I am fine though. I think I can sustain just fine.” He sat up slightly and saw the pile of billfolds that had fallen out of his back pack where he dropped it.
“Why don’t you come over? I’m at my parent’s house and we’re having a late barbeque, watching movies and such.”
Did he really want to go? He thought of his options. Free food or sit around in an empty house. “I suppose so. I’ll be right over.”
He closed the phone and got up. He adjusted himself in his tight underwear and dug around in his closet. He donned a pair of black loose shorts, and a black sleeveless tee. He mashed his feet into his shoes, and went into the bathroom.
He grabbed up his brush and quickly smoothed out his soft fur, looked his appearance over and headed to the garage. He got in his car, started it and opened the garage door. He clicked on the headlights and backed down his driveway.
He was at Feirya’s parent’s house a short fifteen minutes later. He parked on the street, and got out of the car. As he closed the door and turned to the lit house, his mind changed. Dealing with her folks was one thing, but apparently they were having quite a shindig. There was music playing from the back yard, and a couple of furs aimlessly milling about in the garage.
He turned to just go home, when he heard Feirya call, “Cymaenie! There you are!” he cringed. Damn, she spotted him. He turned and faked a smile.
She came running down the drive way and hugged him. “I’m still sorry about your job. That place was killing you anyway.”
“No reason to be sorry. I kinda went off the deep end. That’s all.”
“Get your paws off my daughter!” someone roared. Cymaenie broke from the hug and looked up to the garage. Feirya’s father, Vularis was glaring right at him.
“Daddy! Don’t embarrass me!”
“At least he hasn’t got a shovel… yet.” Cymaenie muttered.
Feirya snapped back to him. “Don’t you start either.”
Cymaenie rolled his eyes. Her father was giving them the death stare. He wished he had brought his gun. Feirya grabbed his wrist and drug him up the driveway.
‘I should’ve just stayed home. I’m almost asking for trouble.’ He thought to himself as she led him around the house to the back yard. He was already beginning to think of excuses of why he had to leave as he was not all that keen on meeting new strangers.
She opened the door on the large screened enclosure around the pool where quite a few furs were. Most of them were family, as the place was flooded with snow leopards.
“I’m going to grab something to eat. You want something?”
“Sure. To go home.”
She rolled her eyes. “Silly. I’ll bring you a hotdog.” She wandered off. Cymaenie wondered if he could slip out unnoticed when his eyes fell upon a husky sitting in a chair by the house.
The first thing that Cymaenie noticed was that he was simply gorgeous. His fur was smooth, soft and clean. His eyes were a calm, piercing blue and offsetting the white fur around them.
He was sitting alone, drinking a beer and watching the others wander around. Cymaenie’s heart was racing and he was unsure why. The husky took a sip of the beer he had and turned and looked right at the raccoon.
Cymaenie jumped and started floating his gaze around at the others at the party, trying to look casual.
He needed a drink himself. His throat had gone dry. He walked over to an open cooler and grabbed a malt beverage. He wasn’t one for beer. He opened it, tossing the cap into a nearby waste bin.
He turned and saw the husky looking right at him. “Oh shit.” Cymaenie thought. He drank heavily from the bottle, downing half in one sitting. He turned back to the cooler and grabbed a second for a back up. When he turned back, the husky smiled, and waved to him.
Cymaenie looked around, seeing who he was gesturing to. It was certainly him. He was pointed at. He downed the rest of the bottle, set it aside and gulped. He slowly made his way over, cracking the second bottle he had.
The husky leaned and drug a chair over and placed it at an angle to his. Cymaenie sipped his bottle and nodded to the husky as he approached.
“Hey.” He said taking a seat nervously. He didn’t make eye contact now. He was far too nervous.
“Hi there. Who are you with?” he asked.
Cymaenie’s head swirled. He was just waiting for the question of why he had been staring at him. “Um… I… Feirya. I’m with Feirya.” His mind had clammed up. ‘Real smooth. I can rob and keep my cool, why can’t I do it talking now?’
“Drug here I bet. I’m with her sister.” He said. “I hate these things. This time especially. This is one crazy family with some real messed up views. I feel like I’m at a pig roast and I’m the pig.”
Cymaenie sighed with relief. He only wanted another outsider to talk to. “Oh yea. Me too. Can’t be as bad as me. For some reason, this whole family despises raccoons.”
The husky chuckled. “Don’t worry friend. They’re not all that keen on huskies either. Or dogs at all for that matter. Her dad came after me with a shovel once.” He sipped his beer, then set the bottle down on the ground. “Where are my manners, I’m Sargaris.” He offered his paw out to shake.
“Cymaenie.” The raccoon clasped his paw in the husky’s and shook.
“Nice to meet you fellow refugee.” Sargaris said with a chuckle. He picked up his beer and took another drink. “I figure, if I keep at these, this won’t be so bad. I don’t even drink this much after a shitty day at work.”
“Oh I bet. What do you do?”
“Newspaper columnist for the Herdnan Chronicle. How about you?”
“Milkman. A fitting job for a raccoon. I know. I did have a desk job until earlier today.”
“Not quite. I put my two weeks in, and left early.” The husky looked at him with a bemused look. “Let’s just say, I put it in by throwing a computer monitor at my boss.”
The husky laughed. “Now that’s the way to go out. Kudos to you.” He said laughing and slapping Cymaenie on the back.
The conversation hit a dead point. Cymaenie didn’t want his time to end with the husky, but other than talking about the weather, he had nothing else. Talking about the weather was tacky. But, he had to use something. As he was about to open his mouth to say the typical, “How about this weather?” Sargaris asked, “So I noticed you staring at me.”
Cymaenie had a cold chill run through him. He had to think of an excuse. Any excuse.
“Oh here you are! Hiding from me are you?” Feirya asked him. He looked up. “No, I wasn’t hiding. I was just chatting with…”
“The hotdogs are not quite ready, otherwise I would have brought you one. We can get one in a minute, come with me.” She grabbed his arm and drug him out of the chair.
‘Saved by the bell.’ He sighed following her as she made her way to the other side of the enclosure where the patio furniture was. Her mother Pfeira was seated there, eating nachos and talking with an old leopard.
“Grandma, this is Cymaenie. The fur I was telling you I’m dating.”
Cymaenie waved out of instinct. Although, he couldn’t believe that she was telling others they were together. Grandma looked him over and growled.
“A RACCOON?” she exclaimed at Feirya. She turned to Pfeira, “Why are you letting your daughter run around with the likes of that? Don’t you know raccoons are oily scumbags that would much rather rob you than breathe air? Why, if grandpa were still around he’d have this smelly coon gutted and out to the cleaners before he could even think about taking your pocket book!”
Cymaenie broke free of Feirya’s grasp. Now he really wished he’d brought his gun. At least now he knew where her father got his wild allegations. “I’m going to go before SHE gets a shovel.” He said to her.
“Don’t be so silly. She’s old.”
“So? What difference does that make?”
“So do you have a job dead beat? And I don’t mean robbing little old ladies.” Grandma broke in
“Yes. He’s a milkman.” Feirya answered for him.
“A MILKMAN? Sounds like a shitty alibi for a petty thief!”
“Oh don’t be silly grandma!”
“I’m not being silly. Skuzzy raccoons can’t keep their filthy paws off of anything shiny. Only awake at night, they’re like vampire robbers. So, does he have a house? Or some shit filled wooden box that he calls an apartment?”
“I have a house.” Cymaenie answered. “Can I go now?” he hissed in Feirya’s ear.
“Alright a shit filled box you call a house. Living large! No wonder you’re here! Food you don’t have to find in a garbage can.” She grabbed a half eaten hotdog and threw it into a nearby waste can. “There, a present for you.”
Cymaenie almost couldn’t believe she asked that. “Because I can only take so much verbal abuse okay?”
“Don’t talk back to my granddaughter or I’ll string you up like the meat you are! Then I’ll bust your sleazy parents out of prison and tie them up next to you. One big happy criminal family.” her grandmother shrieked at him.
He was biting his tongue up to that point. He turned to the old fur and yelled, “Yea? I’d like to see you try old bag.”
“CYMAENIE!” Feirya exclaimed slapping his arm. “Apologize to her! That wasn’t nice at all!”
“Fuck no. I can only stand so much of this bullshit. And you…” he said pointing at grandma again. “You are so fucking backwards in your way of thinking, it’s a wonder they haven’t committed you to an insane asylum, or tried offing you in your sleep. I came here to be friendly, but all it’s turned into is a dammed hate fest. I’m not putting up with this bullshit any longer.”
Feirya was in tears, and sobbing on her mother’s shoulder.
“Alright coon. You’re about to learn a lesson in manners when addressing elders in my house!” Vularis said coming out of the house. He pushed up his sleeves and approached Cymaenie toting none other than his trusty shovel.
“And you support this slander?” Cymaenie exclaimed. He changed his tone and mannerisms when Vularis swung the shovel.
His instincts kicked in and he ducked it, sweeping a leg and knocking the leopard to the ground. The shovel clattered on the concrete.
“Someone call the police!” grandma yelled.
Vularis cursed and leaned over to grab the shovel again. However, a foot was put down on the handle. Sargaris was standing on it.
“Go ahead… someone call the police. I’m witness to an attempted attack on an innocent, unarmed man.”
“A HUSKY? Where the hell did HE come from?” grandma yelled.
“Oh don’t you start again.” Cymaenie snapped back at her.
“Oh, now you’re defending a faggot husky?”
“What is your problem? Get over your inflated ego and your incessant stereotyping!”
“The dog is a god damn flaming queer! What, are you one too? You’re claiming to date Feirya, but I bet you prefer some nice dog sausage huh? Faggots!”
Now it was getting personal. “You are all fucked in the head, and I’m don’t have to put up with this shit. Fuck this noise, I’m leaving.”
He didn’t have a chance to put his words into action as Vularis shoved Sargaris back and grabbed up his shovel. He was steaming. He swung the tool again, and connected the flat to the chest of Sargaris, laying him out on the concrete.
Cymaenie growled, and leaped after the shovel wielding maniac. Vularis swung next at Cymaenie who caught the handle, jumped and diverted the swing from hitting him.
He pushed him back, slamming him against the house, reached under his t shirt and pulled his eight inch buck knife and held it to Vularis’ neck. “Drop the fucking shovel asshole!”
The leopard’s eyes went quite large with fright. He dropped the shovel, which clattered on patio. “You stay right there. You move so much as an inch and so help me I’ll slice your tendons and leave you paralyzed.”
He backed up and helped the husky up. “Are you alright?” he asked. Sargaris nodded rubbing his chest and wheezing.
“I will be pressing charges on you raccoon!” grandma screeched at him. “You will go to jail! Along with that fucking husky! Then both of you faggots can be each other’s bitches in prison!”
“Go right ahead. Except that I’ve got the evidence against you.”
Cymaenie reached in his pocket and pulled out a small digital camera. He picked up a small camera transponder that had been affixed to his head, hidden to everyone in his fur. “I don’t bullshit unlike you. I figured someone would try something rash while I was here. Guess I figured right. You will not be seeing me again.”
“Flaming queers.” She muttered under her breath.
Keeping his knife handy, he stomped off, exiting out the screen door and across the lawn to his car. He dug the keys out of his pocket, sheathed his blade back under his shirt and unlocked the door. He opened it and got in, as he went to shut it, it was grabbed by someone.
He half expected it to be Feirya or her father. But, instead it was Sargaris.
“I wanted to thank you for standing up for me back there. It was very brave of you.”
“You would’ve done the same. Things got a little out of control, but hey… I have no further plans of dealing with these fucked up furs again. I’m getting out of here, you should probably do the same.”
Sargaris nodded. “Good idea.” He chuckled a little, wincing at the pain in his chest. “Well, I better hurry if I want to catch the last bus.”
“Oh, I didn’t know you didn’t have a car. Did you need a ride?”
“No, I’m fine. You’ve done more than enough for me.”
“Get in.” Cymaenie nodded to the passenger seat. Sargaris smiled and nodded. Cymaenie closed his door and leaned across the car to unlock the passenger side. Sargaris opened it and hopped in.
Cymaenie started the car and with squealing tires, lit out of there.
Sargaris directed him across town to his apartment building. Cymaenie rolled up outside and stopped the car again a short time later.
“Well, here we are. A tad faster than the bus. Will you be alright? You don’t need to go to the hospital or anything?”
“No. Its just a bruise. My pride is more hurt than me. But I thank you.”
“At least he didn’t have the rake.”
Sargaris chuckled. “Agreed. Again, thank you for standing up for me.”
“Don’t sweat it. I was getting aggravated with the whole circumstance.”
“Let me take you out for a beer or something to repay you. I’ve never had anyone be so kind and considerate.”
“Don’t sweat it. Really man. The whole family is warped if they think that…” Cymaenie started. He was cut off as Sargaris pressed his snout gently against Cymaenie’s and kissed him.
It surprised him at first. His thought drained as it was replaced by the new one of caring and love. He closed his eyes and returned the kiss. He put his paw behind Sargaris’ head and gently rubbed it. Was he dreaming? It didn’t matter. He didn’t want it to end. Sargaris put a paw on his shoulder and rubbed it.
The kiss was the most tender loving one Cymaenie had ever experienced. Perhaps it was because it felt so right. He wasn’t sure. But, he loved being locked to the muzzle of the gorgeous husky. He actually felt himself growing with excitement as he felt the warm tongue of the husky slip into his muzzle.
The kiss lasted only another twenty seconds or so, but it seemed so much wonderfully longer. They split opening their eyes and looked at each other.
“Wow. That was…” Cymaenie started.
“Yea…” the husky said scratching the back of his head. “I don’t know why I did that. It just… but, it felt right.”
Cymaenie nodded. He opened his center console of the car and dug out a pen and a napkin. He quickly scribbled his cell phone number down and handed it to him. He was unsure of why he did it. An excuse didn’t even pop into his head. Why did he do it?
Sargaris handed him half of the napkin with his number. He smiled. “If it’s any consolation- I think you are cute.”
“Naw, you’re the cute one.” Cymaenie said.
“Well, I will definitely give you a call. We’ll have to go out and catch a movie or something.”
Cymaenie nodded. “Sounds fun. I love movies.”
Sargaris nodded and opened the car door. “Thanks again for everything and the lift home.”
Cymaenie bowed and smiled. “See you later I hope.” Sargaris closed the door, waved and headed up to his building. He watched him to make sure he got inside alright, and headed off. The whole way home he pinched himself, trying to determine if the whole night was a dream or not.
But, when he got home, the napkin with the number was quite real.