Cymaenie stared at a banded stack of twenty dollar bills. The band holding them together read “$500”. He scratched his head, assured with his decision and closed his safe door. He spun the lock, removed the key and turned in the small underground concrete room and ascended the steel ladder out into his closet. He closed the heavy steel hatchway and locked this with a second key, then closed the hinged carpeted floor over the top and slid his things back into the closet over it.
He stood up from his handwork and looked around the room. He grabbed his shoes, slid his feet into them and quickly laced them. He looked at the clock. It was nearly eight thirty at night. He had to hurry now.
He ripped the band off the twenties and stuffed the stack into his wallet and pocketed this. He exited his room and made his way out to his garage and ran his paw over the front fender of his new car and smiled. He opened the driver’s door and got in the car and closed the door.
He inserted his keys, and turned the ’38 over and pressed the garage door opener. He backed out of the garage and closed the garage up after he left. He shifted into first gear and roared off down the street on his date.
Cymaenie pulled up out front of a rather lavish condominium about twenty minutes later and stopped the car. He checked the address twice to make sure that it was right and scratched his head.
Why would the husky live in such a wealthy establishment but eat at a Checkerboard Pancakes? He shrugged, unable to answer his own question and pulled the car into a guest parking space and shut off the car.
He killed the headlights and opened the door. He looked around at the neatly trimmed lawn, impeccable landscaping and the four story condo standing before him, offset by the brilliant dark blue sky above, revealing the stars slowly as the sun continued its journey farther below the horizon.
He closed the door on the Chevy and looked at his watch. It was about two minutes after nine. He smoothed his shirt out and approached the building’s main door where a brass plated call box was mounted on the wall to the left of the glass door and the lobby which spilled light out into the entranceway.
He scanned over the name plates and found “Tundra Pirtuk” next to the 4B button.
“Tundra Pirtuk.” Cymaenie read aloud. He chuckled. “Good solid husky name.”
He pressed the button and a voice returned quickly. “Hello?”
“Tundra? It’s Cymaenie.”
“Oh! I’ll be right down!”
Cymaenie nodded at the box and nervously played with his key ring listening to them jingle as he twirled them on his finger.
He looked in the door as a pair of gray sneakers rounded the corner on the stairs and started coming down them quickly.
The shoes were followed by a pair of white furred legs, to black nylon basketball shorts and a gray shirt with a picture of a fire hydrant and the words, “When in doubt…” written above it, to his head which he was quickly petting down the fur on his head.
He opened the inside door where the mailboxes were located, then opened the exterior door and stepped out into the warm, humid Herdnan night.
Here he paused, both furs looking at each other.
“So… uh… hi.” Cymaenie said nervously smiling and now using both hands to play with his keys.
“Hi…” the husky said with the same level of shyness.
They looked at each other again and the raccoon got lost in the pretty blue eyes of the husky, then he lost himself in them and found himself with his arms wide open for a hug.
Tundra jumped at this slightly at first, but smiled and gave him a hug back. They held each other in a warm furry embrace for a long moment before breaking apart.
It seemed to be the ice breaker that they both needed. Cymaenie smiled. “So, what do you want to do?”
“I’m open to anything. So whatever you want to do is fine with me.”
Cymaenie had a hunch that they would be at this all night, so he asked, “I tell you what. How about we split up the decisions. I’ll pick where we go to eat, and you can pick the activity. Or visa versa.”
Tundra nodded smiling, clearly thinking that offering up each other the option to choose the night’s activities would go nowhere. “Well, if you’re up for it, there’s a miniature golf place about two miles from here.”
Cymaenie nodded. “Alright then. To the mini golf it is.”
And with that, they walked to his car, climbed in and closed the doors. As the raccoon stuck the key into the ignition, the dog said, “Wow. This is pretty neat. Are you a collector of old cars or something?”
Cymaenie chuckled pushing the clutch in and shifting out of gear to start the car. “No. I just decided to treat myself after my POS decided not to function anymore.” He lied. “I decided that I might as well treat myself to something nice. Plus, I got a great deal on it and I just couldn’t stand to pass it up.”
Tundra smiled pulling the lap belt across him and buckling it. “Fair enough.”
Cymaenie shifted to reverse and let the clutch out and backed out of the space, shifted to first and headed out of the condo’s parking lot on the way to the miniature golf park.
“This would have made life so much easier if it was just a human criminal.” Hugodrax said rubbing his eyes at the stack of paperwork in front of him.
Frevvor nodded. “You’re very right. When there are finger prints it makes these cases so much easier.”
Hugodrax nodded swigging down the last of his coffee in his mug. “Do we have anything to go by at all? Did any names or faces match up in our inquiries?”
Frevvor shook his head. “’Fraid not. No names, no leads, no anything. Not one dynamic fur stuck out and was like the rest. I’m not sure what we’re dealing with here. All the professionals always do reconnaissance. This one seems like he just randomly picks a place and robs it. I’ve never heard of such a bold move by such a seasoned thief.”
“Which is why he’s getting away with it and why we must stop him. It’s quite clear that he’s not your typical thief. Not if he’s breaking into places with security systems still in place and in check. But I still think that last night’s burglary was by the same fur.”
“How do you figure? The alarm was tripped and the getaway not as clean. And Meedim O’Bannam said that nothing was stolen. He had plenty to loot from his house. Not a thing was taken or moved. We only found the point of entry and exit.”
“Why…” Hugodrax said leaning back in his chair. “Why would someone break into a house if not to steal anything?”
“It could be some of the rich hoodlum kids looking for a good time to scare some people and maybe cause some vandalism.”
Hugodrax thought hard on this flipping through the police file from the other night. He tapped the papers on the desk and removed it from the file of other tied crimes and closed the thick folder. “I only wish that there was some way to figure this case out. We’ll just bide our time and see if any more clues spring up. Eventually, this criminal is going to make a mistake and that’s just when we’ll get him.”
“…and thirty seven from the first nine makes eight four.” Tundra said scribbling on the score card with the little pencil. “Sorry to say Cy, but it looks like I won.”
He looked up at Cymaenie who was leaning on the putter quietly checking out Tundra’s crotch in the shorts he was wearing. He snapped from his trance. “Oh, damn… well… I let you win. Next time I won’t be so nice.”
He wasn’t lying. He wasn’t bad at miniature golf at all, but having the husky wave his butt around and wagging his tail while he was gauging his shot was too much of a distraction to focus. There was just something about the tight ass in the silky black nylon reflecting and shining in the overhead lights on the course. Not to mention the bushy curling tail rolled up against his back while he concentrated on his shot revealing his whole backside.
“…so what do you say?”
“To what?” Cymaenie snapped again. Dammit. I have to pay attention to him and not his cute ass.
Tundra chuckled, he knew that Cymaenie had been checking him out. Which was okay because he had hit one stroke under the raccoon due to the same problem. “I asked if you wanted to head to dinner now or if you wanted to play another round.”
“I’m up for food if you are. Of course, I love mini golf if you’re up for another round if that’s what you want to do.”
“Actually, I’m kind of hungry and interested in what place you’ve picked out.”
“Well alright then.” Cymaenie said tossing his club over his shoulder.
They returned the clubs and the pencil, Tundra tucked the card into his pocket and they got into the car and motored off heading downtown.
Tundra found this interesting as he was expecting a local place to eat. They arrived in downtown Herdnan in about thirty minutes, which Cymaenie profusely apologized for driving that far.
Tundra shook his head and informed him that he had Saturday off.
Soon, the towering skyscrapers loomed before them. He turned off the expressway on the east side of the city and down a few side streets towards the oceanfront. He stopped the car outside of a large, lavish restaurant called, “Dale’s”.
“Dale’s?” Tundra asked as they rolled up the private drive for the place. “This is the most exclusive, most expensive restaurant in all of Herdnan… are you sure…”
“Don’t you worry about a thing.” Cymaenie said with a wink. He had done some digging in his free time on some things and was about to play out his cards.
They had been in a small line of about four cars, slowly moving to the front of the line where the velvet red canopy stretched over the drive to the main front doors.
He stopped the car and a valet opened the door for him. He stepped out of the car and slipped the human attendant a twenty. “Take care of it for me huh? It’s a classic.”
“Yes sir!” The attendant said stuffing the twenty in his pocket and getting in the car. Tundra was let out of the other side and the door closed for him.
“Are you sure about this Cymaenie?” Tundra asked as they walked up to the main doors.
“Of course. I wanted to treat you to something nice on our first date.”
Tundra smiled as the door was opened from them. They entered through a second door and were put into a warm atmosphere. Hand carved oak walls, ivy and marble were littered all over the place, with a large coy pond and fountain against the opposite wall of the doors.
They stopped where the maitradee’s podium was. He looked up at the two with a bit of a sneer. “Can I help you?” he asked.
“Yes. A table for two if you could my good man.” Cymaenie said while Tundra stepped behind him to avoid the snooty man’s glares.
He gave a little chuckle. “And you assume that you can just waltz in off the street and get a table? Sir, this is not a pancake house, you need a reservation which are placed months in advance. Not to mention this fine five star establishment is quite clearly out of your price range and apparent dress code.”
Tundra tugged his sleeve and whispered. “Really… we can go somewhere else it’s not that big of a deal.”
Cymaenie ignored him and leaned on the podium. “Tell me, is Mr. Tasrattliga dining this evening?”
“Sir, I’m not going to give out that information, and if you don’t leave I’m going to call the police.”
Cymaenie looked into the dining room and spotted the Don. He pointed. “I do believe that is him over there. Now, shall I tell him about the rude service that I am receiving or would you care to?”
“If you don’t leave…”
“I’m not going to leave this spot until you show me to a table!” Cymaenie exclaimed, his tail casually rolling in a wag behind him.
“Please keep your voice down. We have reservations like I told you and you have none I can see. Now, I ask you one last time…”
“George! What’s going on here?” They both looked over to see Don Tasrattliga standing there in a fine dinner suit and holding his cloth napkin in his hand.
“Mr. Tasrattliga! I’m sorry that this hoodlum interrupted your meal, he was just leaving…”
“Shut up you snooty suck up and seat them.” He said with a wink to Cymaenie and a gentle pat on the back.
Suddenly, George’s demeanor changed. “Oh yes sir!” he quickly snatched up two menus, a wine list and stepped out from behind his booth and waited a few yards from the three.
“Evening to you sir. I appreciate that.” Cymaenie said with a smile.
“Think nothing of it. I heard the shouting and looked up and saw you. I thought that I would clear up this issue.” He leaned in and whispered to him now. “Drop by tomorrow. I’ve got some business to clear up that I need your service for.” He leaned back and bellowed out to George. “…and a bottle of your finest wine to their table. Put it on my bill.”
“Yes sir!” George said.
The Don winked at Cymaenie again and patted his back and returned to his table while the maitradee led the dog and raccoon to the other end of the restaurant where they were seated in a half circle booth with a round table, quiet and apart from everyone else where a large plate glass window opened up a view of a gentle slope of low palm trees to the beach and ocean, lit by the moonlight.
George ran off and got a bottle of an old, fine vintage and placed it in a wine caddy next to the table. “Your server will be with you shortly. I just want to give you my sincerest apologies to you both for that minor mix up.”
Cymaenie waved him off. “Think nothing of it.”
He scuttled off and they were alone. He took a deep breath and uncorked the wine and poured some into each of their glasses.
Tundra smiled at him and slid over in the booth. Cymaenie did the same and they found themselves in the middle, with their thighs touching.
“Cymaenie… I’m not normally like this, but I’m feeling the urge to…”
Tundra fumbled for words and leaned in and kissed Cymaenie on the side of the cheek. He chirred at this small act of tenderness and turned his head to look into the husky’s eyes.
“Well you’re not alone in that. I feel the same.”
They both leaned in and connected lips, and for the first time in Cymaenie’s life, he felt warm, loved and passion. But, all that on a first date? No, he wouldn’t think of that now… he only enveloped his mind in the moment that was this.