(July 21, 2013, 0:25am: Mercy Medical Center, Springfield, MA)
Alex rushed into the emergency room as she looked for Susan. It was not often, if ever that the tables were turned like this. She had always had Susan to count on when they were together. The grey chinchilla had been her battle buddy since basic training. The past two years had shown her how much she really depended on Susan to keep her out of trouble. She was worried about her friend not being able to call her, and the thought of her actually fighting was more frightening. Susan was a medic, Alex was the fighter. Susan had always patched her up after a scuffle, and Alex had always been there to stand between the chinchilla and their attacker. Alex had failed her closest friend, and the young girl with her.
“Susan!” she yelled as she swung curtains open looking for the Chinchilla.
A nurse walked up to her, “Ma’am you can’t do that, Can I…”
“‘Jou ani’t gonna tell me wha’ ta do.” She nearly yelled at the young doe.
“Ma’am, yuo can’t barge in on people like that, The may..”
“I don’ care day ain’t got notin I ain’t seen.”
Darren walked up behind the eagle place his paw on her shoulder, “Calm down Alex, you've been working yourself up for the past three hours.” He looked over the young doe, “Excuse me Miss, She is a little worried about my sister, Susan Shelby. could you point us in the right direction.”
“Right this way sir, We are actually in the process of checking her out. She should be able to leave soon.” The doe led them to a corner where the curtain was open. In the space where the two chinchillas.
As sunn as the grey chinchilla came into view Alex pushed the young nurse to the side. “da fuced jou do, Susan, jou ain’t spose ta be da one in da hospital. She reached out and lifted the bandaged arm of her friend.
“AAHH! FUCK, Boomer. It’s sprained and three cracked ribs, hand fucking off.” Susan winced as she eagle let go of her, “The pain meds are good, but no that good.I don’t have your tolerance for pain.”
Darren knelt down by his daughter and looked her over, “You okay babe? are you hurt anywhere?”
Elise rolled her eyes at the older chinchilla, “Dad, I’m fine. I only got a few scrapes. Aunt Susy stopped them before they could do anything.”
He looked over had Susan and asked, “So, what exactly happened?”
The grey chinchilla looked back at the him and said, “Two guys tried to grab Elise. They hit me over the head, but the little fucker didn't hit me hard enough to do anything. I pulled a knife and got him in the thigh. He dropped his little bat thing and a whacked him one in the head with it.”
“How did you get a knife in the park? they have the metal detectors,” Darren asked concerned about what legal implications.
“They were ceramic throwing knifes. Alex usually leaves them in the jacket in her car.”
“Jou din’t. Not my knives. Where’d dey go?” Alex aske not truly concerned with the objects.
“Anyway. By the time I got them down the park security finally show up. They send the two off to the hospital and held Elise and I in the security office for about an hour doing reports. Sorry Boomer, the kept your knives.” She looked over at Darren, they called the cops, they’re going to hold me on aggravated assault charges, but Elise is free to go.”
“Wai’ aminit, jou got attacked and dey gonna hold ya fer it?” Alex Looked over at the colder chinchilla, “I got dis, jou go an’ tek mini-muffins ‘ome. I’ll brin’ Fluffy ‘ome wit’ me.”
“What do you think you’re doing, Boomer?” Susan asked, “I’ll just spend the night and be out tomorrow. There’s not much you can do, it’s sunday already.”
“I anit gon have you in jail when ‘ank get ‘ere.” Alex said, “‘esides, it’s my turn ta get jou outa trouble fer once.”
“Wait, what? Hank’s coming early?” the shock was evident in Susan’s eyes.
“Yea, I we needed ‘im to look ova da house, an’ when I called ta say jou was in da hopital, he came a runnin’”
Darren looked at the two as she asked, “It that the same hank that…”
“Yes it is,” Susan quickly snapped.
Elise’s eyes light up as she asked, “Hank the sniper?”
“Snipers spotter,” Alex corrected, “”ees da one dat keeps watch fer da sniper so dat she can do ‘er job wit’ out worryin’ about da little tings”
Darren looked at Alex, “Are you sure you want me to leave you here?”
“I ain’t goin’ nowhere wit’out Fluffy,” She looked the older white chinchilla in the eyes, “It’s my turn ta take care of ‘er fer a change. You go on an’ take Mini Muffings ‘ome. It chouldn’ take me but a few calls to figure tings out. I’ll ‘ave you’re siser ‘ome dis aftea noon fer sure.” She strode out of the little curtained division as she pulled the phone out of front of her pants and began tapping at the screen.
Darren watched as the eagles demeanor changed as she held the phone the her ear and started to speak, “Yes, Please connect me with Mr. Sukesun. I know he’s on vacation, Tell him it’s Alex.” She paused for a moment, “Herald, who do you still have in the Massachusetts area?” After a brief pause, “Pink me their number, I’m going to need a little help. Thank you Harry, I owe you one.”
Darren looked at Susan and aske, “Did… Did she just lose her Chicago accent?”
“She does that when it’s importan,” the grey chinchilla said with a smile, “If she’s talking like that I have nothing to worry about. You guys go ahead and go. We’ll be there when we can.”
He looked at Susan, concern etched into his face. “I’ll go but if you need anything call.” He looked down at Elise seated in the small plastic chair he said, “Come on elise, lets get you home. Julia’s worried about you.”
“I don’t wana go,” The young chinchilla protested, “I want to stay with Aunt Susy.”
Susan looked down at the girl from the exam table, “Look, Elise, apparently Hank is coming and the only address he knows is yours. I need you there for when he shows up. I want to to tell him I’m fine and we’ll be back as soon as we can. Can you do that for me?”
Elise looked down into her paws as she replied, the disappointment lased in every breath, “Okay, Aunt Susy, I’ll do it for you.”
She older chinchilla woman added, “And when his dumbass comes out here to get me anyway you can come as long as your dad and Julia are okay with it.” Susan smiled as she saw her nieces eyes light up. “No get out of here so you can meet Hank.”
With a little spring in her step, Elise joined her dad as they headed out of the Emergency room for the parking lot. As Susan watched them disappear through the swinging doors and said, “Okay Officer, I’ve done what I needed to, We can go.”
Alex stepped back into the stall sectioned off station as the two officers walked in from the adjoining area. “Excuse me, Officers, I am Miss. Shelby’s attorney. I will be riding with her to the department.”
“Ma’am, that is highly unusual.” One officer pointed out.
“Is is illegal?” the eagle countered.
“No, ma’am,” the young officer replied.
“Then that’s what I am going to do.” She looked over as susan as the second officer placed cuffs on her paws, “Excuse me, Are those necessary? She has no weapons and is injured. I would prefer not to aggravate my clients wounds.”
(July 21, 2013, 8:30am: Police Station, Springfield, MA)
Alex sat in a nearby chair as Susan filed all the several copies of statement reports and filed for assault charges against their attackers. Several hours had passed as they questioned her repeatedly on the incident. The officers had told her that her story did not match that of the two men involved or the security team at the park. With little prompting for Alex, susan had stuck with the details to her story. Finally the DA had arrived ready to file charges against the chinchilla. They were ushered into a small room with a single table and four chairs. Alex and Susan sat on one side while the slightly older, well dressed hedgehog woman as with the arresting officer on the other side.
The hedgehog reached across the table to Susan and said, “Hello I am Alyssa Craft, the assistant DA.”
Susan Reached back and took a hold of her paw and shook, “Am Susan Shelby,” she waved over to Alex and added, “This is my Lawyer Alexis Hawkins.”
Alyssa reached to shake Alex’s paw, “I wish we could have meat under better circumstances Miss. Hawkins”
Alex took a deep breath as she reached for the offered paw, “In our lines of work we hardly ever meet in under better circumstances.”
“True enough,” The hedgehog replied,” Now let’s get down to business so we can all get to church on time. What we have is Miss Shelby admits to attacking two unarmed men in the Six Flags amusement park, with a knife.”
Alex looked across the table as she said, “I would like to correct that statement. She defended her niece and herself for two attackers, one more than twice her size.”
“Well Miss. Hawkins. what we have on record is she knowingly snuck contraband items into a weapons free area. During an attack she use deadly force against two individuals, causing severe bodily harm to them both.”
“According to my clients sworn statement, she was attacked during an attempted abduction of her niece, who will corroborate the story…”
Susan interrupted Alex, “We’re going to leave her out of this.”
“Susan, you are both victims in this. If she can add strength to your side…”
The chinchilla interrupted the eagle again, “She did not see anything that I did. Her view was blocked by the bear. We are going to leave her out of this, do you understand what I am saying, Boomer?”
“Jou call me Booma again an’ ima slap da gery off ya fur.”
“You slipping boomer,’ Susan said with a little smile.
A smile also crossed the hedgehog’s muzzle, “Now that’s the Chicago lawyer I heard about.”
Alex sat back down in the chair and brushed down the front of her t-shirt, “Okay, ya go me Fluffy, we do dis jour way.”
Alyssa looked at the two women as she laid out the situation, “What we have is a media firestorm. there are two angle they are looking at this from. First we have the army vet defending her niece and self from two attackers. on the other paw we have those screaming about her taking knives into a weapons free zone.” She looking over at susan and asked, “How did you get knives past the metal detectors?”
“Solid ceramic knives. light weight good throwing knives. and immune to metal detectors.” Susan told the simple facts in a flat even tone.
“And why did you take them in?”
“I’m a soldier, old habits die hard. To tell the truth, I took them in because I was with Elise, my niece. We were traveling alone and I am well aware of the danger of solitary women in the world. I was not going anywhere without a method of defending us.”
“And why did you use the knives?” The hedgehog continued her questioning.
“The little fox pull a bat and hit me in the head with it. I retaliated with my own weapon. If had something less deadly I would have used it. Once he was disarmed an immobilized I left him to follow the bear who had taken my niece.” As she spoke Susan maintained her calm collected demeanor.
“In the statement for the men you continued to attack with the knife against an unarmed foe,” The hedgehog looked at Susan, “That could be considered asstal with a deadly weapon with intent to cause bodily harm.”
Susan leaned back in the chair as she said, “They were free to leave anytime they wanted. I was not going to leave without my niece. We did not see eye to eye on that matter so we had a little discussion. Once the park security finally showed up I thought we had come to a mutual agreement on the matter, as Elise was behind me and they were both in front.”
Alex looked across the table at the hedgehog and asked, “Wha’ can we do ta walk outa ‘ere taday?”
“I need something to feed the press,” Alyssa said, “I am not going to press charges against Susan at this time. But the DA may pressured me to by Monday if things don't cool down. What I do need is for you to file a complaint against your attackers. To do this properly I will need a statement from you niece as well.”
Alex leaned on the table, “I’ll take ‘er in to da station on Baston fer a statmen’. Will da work fer ya?”
“That’ll be fine. And Susan, We already have a restraining order from the park barring you from going there.”
Susan said,“Not my problem. if they don’t want my money I won't give it to them.”
Alyssa stood and offered her paw the the women again, “It was really interesting meeting the Crazy eagle that Harold told me about. I am a little surprised it’s your friend and not you in the hot seat with the stories he tells. When you’re back in Chicago slap him for me.”
Alex shook the hedgehog’s paw as she told her, “I’m not goin’ back we’re movin’ out ‘ere for personal reasons.”
“Well then I wish you luck in your relocation, and if you’re looking I know a few firms in the area that could use someone with your reputation.”
“We’re not staying in Massoftwoshits, we’re actualy going to be a bit south in Marblecliff,” Susan said as she returned a shake to the offer paw.
Susan’s rename of the state garnered a snicker from the office as Alyssa mentioned, “Well I am sorry the experience here was not as pleasant as it could have been. Please do leave relevant contact information with the reporting office so that we can contact you with updates about your alleged attackers.”
As the group left the small room Susan was ushered to a patrol desk to file a complaint against her attackers. After which the two friends called a cab to take them back to Alex’s car so they could head back to Boston.
(July 21, 2013, 1:45pm: the Escher house)
The yellow corvette pulled along the curb in front of the Escher house. Alex looked over at Susan for a moment then asked, “Ya gonna be okay, Fluffy?”
The chinchilla looked down at the three bottles of pills in her paws as she spoke, “They trusted me, Elise trusted me and I… I fucked up Alex. I fucked. She could have gotten really hurt, or worse.”
“Bu’ che didn’, she okay ‘cause you wounln’ let dat ‘appen to ‘er,” Alex said as her winf moved over to her friend’s shoulder, “ya toke da ‘its so she didn’ have ta. She in dere right now, un’ert ‘cause you wouldn’ let dem toucher., an’ dey know dat. Mini muffins in dere, she was lookin’ at you like a god er somtin’ at da hospital.”
Susan rolled her head back and closed her eyes, “You’re nuts, Boomer. I just need a second to ready myself for the lecture. Darren’s always been like an older brother to me.”
The eagle looked at her sternly, “Dey ain’t gonna burn ya at da stake. Dey’er ya family. Jou did evratin ya could. and dat girl is jus’ fine ‘cause of you. Da media and plice be damned.”
“I could have done more, She should have been in front of me going into the restroom. I shouldn’t have taken my eyes off her. None of this shit would have happened if I did things right to start with.” Susan sighed as she continued, “Now that poor girl had the trauma of being attacked and almost abducted,and I’m the one to blame.”
Alex reached across the car and slapped Susan across the muzzle, “Jou ain’t Lilly, an’ I ain’t gona le’ ya start talkin’ like ‘er. Che didn’ do notin’ wrong back denn, an’ ya didn’ do notin wrong yestaday. Ya did wha’ ya had ta ta keep dat girl from gettin’ ‘urt. Sure ya got ‘urt, jus’ like I got ‘urt whenI did it fer Squeaker. Bu’ dats wha’ ‘appens. Lilly got ‘uert saven us from dat missle and look wah’ blamin’ ‘erself ‘as done fer ‘er. Not a damn tin’/ Ya wana be anotha Lilly? Well ya ain’t gonna do it ova dis. I’ll let ya bitch abou’ fuckin’ up when lives are los’ Ya saved dat one, jus’ like Lilly saved us. No ge’ ya ass ouda my car and inta dat ‘ouse. If dey lay inta ya, just tell em like it is. Ya did wha’ ya needed ta. If dey don’ like it, fuck ‘em.”
“Yeah, I don’t think it works that way Alex, “Soosan took a deep breath as she reached for the handle to the door, “But we can’t stay out here all day.” She winced in pain as she twisted her body to get out of the car and head toward the house.
Alex hurred out of the care to follow her up the walk, “Fluffy, ya sure ya chould be movin’ da fas’. Ya chould take it easy, Dem ribs are cracked, ya know.”
The chinchilla winced in pain as she walked up the path and said, “Who’s the one with medical training here? I think I know what I’m doing.”
“An’ ‘ows da one on meds dat chould be litenin’ to me? Slow down befer ay ‘urt yarself.”
As susan place her paw in the knobe to open the door, she gasped as it was jerked inward from her. To her surprise the red squirrel burst from the house and throw her arms around the wounded chinchilla. Susan groaned as Julia collided with her and squeezed. “I don’t think you…’ she paused and winced as a new flush of pain ran through her body with a second squeeze from the squirrel, “need to worry about hurting myself.”
Alex pulled the pair apart as she said, “‘old up dere Reds, che ‘urtin’ pertty bad wit’ a few cracked ribs an’ stuff. Ya migh’ wan’a le’ ‘er lay down.”
“I’m sorry, it was just the way Elise talked you weren't hurt that bad,” Julia said as she stepped aside to let the chinchilla in, “We made up the couch in the living room with a few extra pillow so you can lay down.”
“Thanks, what I really need is a beer and to down some more Vicodin,” Susan said as she mildly staggered past the kitchen and held her side.
As she passed into the sunken living room the younger white mosaic chinchilla sprang from her hair and collided with Susan. She winced again as the small furry rocket hit her in the less wounded side and cried out, “Aunt Susy”
“Okay dere mighty mouse, le’s le’ Fluffy ‘ave a sea’, “Alex recommended as she gently tried to pry the chinchilla tween off her aunt.
Darren sat across the room as he watched the news coverage of the attack. “Well, Susy, I know you would be famous one day, but I didn’t expect this to be your highlight,” he said with a smile on his face. “The news makes it sound like you were carrying an arsenal of weapons with you. Fox is making it sound like you fended off a small army, while CNN is screaming to have you burned at the stake for attempted murder.”
Susan slowly lowered herself onto the couch as she said, “So the world keeps turning and we keep moving forward.”
Julia returned from the kitchen with a glass of tea in her paw, “We don’t have any beer but I brought you the next best thing.” She handed Susan the glass. “If you’re here it must not be as bad as the news makes it out to be. Their screaming for action. Some crazy knife wielding chinchilla was tararizing the park.”
Susan tossed a bottle of pills to the younger chinchilla as she said, “Can you give me a paw opening those, Mini-me.” She took a sip of the tea as she readied herself for the backlash of her next statement. “I only did what I thought I needed to to get Elise out of trouble.”
“I think the only reason it even made the news is how badly you hurt those guys,” Darren looked at her as she spoke, “I don’t know if I could have done that, even if I know how to get a knife into the park. What you did was amazing to me, Susy. We don’t know what would have happened to you or Elise if you didn’t.”
“Amazing doesn't cover it dad, she was all like ‘get away from her’,” Elise said trying to imitate the older chinchilla’s voice, “She was awesome. And when that bear hit her, she just kept getting up. It was like a fuckin’ action movie.” She shrank back into her chair as Darren gave her a stern look.
“Don’t praise me like that, I fucked up, and I fucked up good,” Susan looked at the young star struck girl, “I shouldn’t have let you out of my sight. You should have been in front of me going into the restroom. I should have been between you and the guys to start with. This shouldn’t have happened if I was doing the right thing to begin with.”
“Quit being hard on yourself, the news is doing a good enough job of that. You can’t plan for everything, and I don’t know how many times I’ve gone to the restrooms and went in before Elsie.” Julia looked over at her from the loveseat. “They were there to get someone, and if it wasn’t you it would have been someone else. You think anyone else would have been able to fight back?” She paused for a moment. “If it was me I don’t know what I would have done. Elise would have probably been taken off somewhere. You know how those sort of thing ends. I just don’t want to think of what would have happened if you weren't there.” The concern and fear in the squirrel’s eyes melted through the tough self blaming shell the chinchilla had been building for the past fifteen hours. “I know it might not mean much, but thank you.”
“Don’t, just don’t. Don’t thank me. My reaction was wrong, me even bringing the knives with me was wrong. Whether I saved Elise and I or not is really the point. I could have really hurt those. If it wasn’t for Alex I might be sitting in jail right now waiting on my court date for assault with a deadly weapon.” She leaned to one side and looked at the younger chinchilla. “Look, Elise, I was trained to do that sort of think. I spent years doing it. I should have seen them coming, I wasn’t paying attention. It’s more important to know what's going on around you so that you don’t have to fight. It’s better to run than to fight.”
Elise looked up at her with slight look of disappointment on her face, “But, what if they have you cornered and you can’t run?”
“You’re never really cornered. There is always a way out. If there is not a gap, go over them. Most people don’t know how to respond when the one they’re attacking runs at them. You can often run them over.” Susan reached her paw to Elise and asked, “Did you get that bottle open for me?”
Elise handed her the open bottle as she asked, “Why didn’t you run?”
“I didn’t run because they had something more important to me than my own life. They had you.” Susan tossed her head back as her pills rolled out of her paw into her muzzle. “You didn’t know how to run, so I needed to help. And I can promise you this, I would do it again in a heartbeat.”
Elise sat back in her chair, once again awestruck by her aunt proclamation and the sincerity in her eyes.
“Susan, We are behind you one hundred percent on this. I don’t know how many of those people interviewed on the news have kids, or can even imagine what I felt when Elsie called and said you were attacked and in the hospital.” Darren brushed a small tear from his eye as he thought through the events of the night. “I don’t care what anyone say, you did what you had to. Whether you had the knives of not, I know you would have done everything you could to bring Elise home safe. And that’s all that matters.”
As Darren finished his little speech the sound of the door chime rang through the house. He stood up and said, “I’ll get it. It’s probably that news craw again now that your car is here.”
As he opened the front door he was greeted by a bare foot otter dressed in only overalls and a straw hat. The younger otter, in his mid twenties asked, “Are you Mr. Escher?”
“Yes, I am,” Darren answered a bit puzzled by the question, “and you are?”
“I’m Hank,” the otter replied as he held out his paw, “I’m here to see Susan, is she back yet?”
Darren took hold of the offered paw in a firm grip, “So your Hank, I’ve read some about you in Susan’s letters. Those I get to see anyway. Come in, she’s in the living room, they just got back home.”
Hank wipe his paws on the mat as he stepped through the door. “Thank you sir. Is she doing ok?”
“She’s fine. And please call me Darren,” the white chinchilla replied as he closed the door.
Not used to the common floor plans of house’s Hank asked, “Which way is the living room?”
“Straightforward at the back of t house. Can I offer you a drink?” Darren offered his best hospitality to his new guest.
“No thank you sir, I just want to check on Susan,” the otter said as he nearly ran into the living room to be greeted by Alex.
“Stop righ’ dere Mr. Wiggls,” Alex held out her wing, “She done been ‘uged by nearly eveaone in da ‘ouse, I ain’t gonna let ya do it too.”
“Out of my way, Boomer,” The look in his eyes told her he was more concerned with the chinchilla than she expected. As he rounded the couch he dropped to his knees and looked at the grey chinchilla. “Susan, are you okay? What happened?”
Susan looked at him with a smile as she saw the look of concern in his eyes. “What are you going to propose?” she jested.
She swiftly stood and said, “No, I.. um… I was just worried.”
She smiled at him. “It’s okay Hank, I’m fine, just a few cracked ribs a sprain and some bruises.”
“Wha… What happened? I didn’t get many details.”
She slapped the couch next to her as said, “Well sit your a… sit down, we're not going anywhere. Let me make the rounds. You know Boomer. The gentleman over there is Darren, my niece’s father, by him is Julia, his wife. In the chair is Elise my niece. Everyone, this is Hank Heartken a good friend and battle buddy from the army.”
Elise bounced a little in her seat as she asked, “You’re a sniper, right?”
Hank rocked his head back and forth with a crooked grin.”Not really, I was the snipers back up. I did the target spotting and range finding. If i needed to I could fire if She wasn't able, But She was always better than me, even after the injury.”
“Injury? What happened?” Elise leaned forward eager to hear the war stories Susan refused to tell her in letters.
Hank leaned back and threw both his arms across the back of the couch, inadvertently tossing one over Susan’s shoulder. “Well, it was our last mission…Ouff.” He stopped as Susan elbowed him in the ribs. “What?”
“We don’t tell Elise the war stories,” Susan attempted to whisper.
“Why not? She’s what, twelve? She’s already learning about that stuff in school . And you said she is some sort of Gaming champion. Maybe injecting some reality into it all would be good.” Hank looked around the room for support.
“Your boyfriend had a point Susy,” Darren said with a smile and wink.
“He’s not my boyfriend,” the chinchilla protested.
Julia smiled as she joined in, “Denial, theres all the proof you need. So… when’s the wedding?”
Caught off guard by the jests hank stammered, “We… Um… She..”
“Shut up Hank,’ Susan said as she elbowed him in the ribs again.
Alex chimed in, “Dey’re whacha call frien’s wit’ benifits, but dey ain’t used dem benefits in a while”
Susan pulled the small throw pillow from behind her and launched the projectile at her eagle friend as she shouted, “Shut it, Boomer!” She winced as she drew back.
As he watched the group laugh at the outburst hank spoke up, “Give her a break, she’s been through a lot the past two days.”
“An’ da knight in shinin’ overalls come ta ‘er rescue.”
Julia leaned into Darren as he put his arm around her and asked, “Were we ever that cute?”
With a smile he answered, “You still are,” As he kissed her on the nose.
“Gah,” Elise rolled her eyes as she watched her dad and Julia, “If ya'll are going to sit down here and suck face, I’m going to my room.”
As the young chinchilla walked behind the couch toward the hall, Susan reached over Hank’s arm on the back of the couch as gently grabbed her shoulder. “Elise, If you need to talk about anything… I’m here for you.”
Elise looked back at her aunt and simply said, “okay,” as she continued to leave the room.
Susan looked over at the couple on the loveseat,and asked, “Is she okay? With all that happened I’m kinda worried.”
Darren looked replied, “I don’t think anyone would be okey this soon after something like that, especially a young girl like Elise. She seems to be holding up fine, but she hasn’t slept yet. Sh said you was going to wait till you got home.”
“I should go talk to her,” Susan said as she started to get up.
Hank dropped his arm off the back of the couch onto her shoulder and pulled her back down. “You need to take it easy Fluffy,” He said as she smiled at her, “You’re not in any condition to be too active.” He lanced over at Alex and nodded his head only moments before she left the room.
“For not being a couple he sure seems to be worried about you,” Julia commented as she watched Hank gently hold the chinchilla next to him.
“That’s because he’s a dumb fuck just following orders.” Susan scowled at the otter as she lifted his paw and tossed it off her shoulder.
“Yup, just following orders,” Hank said with a smile, “I think they went something like this, ‘Alex said she’s fine. Just wait till in the morning. You’re going to be there Monday to Look at the house anyway.’”
“Well it doesn’t matter why you're here,” Darren said as he looked at the otter and chinchilla pair that sat on the couch, “We need to figure out the sleeping arrangements all over again.”
Hank tossed his arms across the back of the couch again as she said, “That’s not an issue, sir. I'm all set to take up a spot at the campground and establish a command post incase Lilly gets her ‘I forgot how to slow down’ stuck again.”
“‘I forgot how to slow down’ stuck?” Julia asked as she scrunched her face in confusion.
“Lilly has this habit of setting a timetable to get stuff done in, then not following it,” Hank explained. Just last month she told us Susan she would be in Oregon at the end of the money then showed up two weeks early. If she follows that again she should be here by wednesday next week, because she said to close on the house by Friday. I don’t think she is going to stay in Chicago until a house is closed on. She gets restless with nothing to do.”
“Well, there is no need for you to do any of that just yet,” Darren said, “you can stay here for at least tonight, can’t you?”
“We have the pull out in here you can sleep on,” Julia offered.
Susan looked at the couple for a moment before she interjected, “Look at the way he’s dressed, I don’t think you want him sleeping in such a public area with Elise here. I doubt if he even has a change of clothes with him.”
“Okay, we put him in the guest room and Alex down here,” Darren offered.
“Not much better, Alex has the same sleep outfit he does, nothing.” Susan though for a moment, “I’ll stay down here, Alex stay in the guest room and Hank can rack out on the cot once it’s moved in with Alex.”
As they talked Alex returned and sat in the chair left vacant by the younger chinchilla, “She fine, plugged inta dat game ting of ‘ers. And I’ll sleep in da yaad befer I rack out in da same room wit’ ‘im. I go‘ some stuff I can pu’ on, so I’ll rackout down ‘ere, ‘ank can ‘ave the guest room, and jou stay wit’ da girl again ta night. I tink we don’ need ta leave ‘er alone jus’ yet.”
Hank glanced over at Alex and said, “You do know that a cupless corset and g-string don’t really count as modest night wear.”
Darren blushed slightly as Hank described the possible outfit for a moment before he was elbowed by Julia as she said, “I’m sure she meant something a little more decent than that. I have a night gown and house coat that you can borrow if you need.”
“No tank ya, I go’ some pajamas I like ta waea roun’ da apartment when I go’ guests, ” Alex said as she waved her talons at the red squirrel, ‘I been in dis since yestaday , I’ll jus’ go change now.”
Darren looked at Susan as Alex left the room again. “Is she really going to change into pajamas at three in the afternoon?”
Hank smiled and replied, “And she’d wear it to the store if you send her out to get something. The girl has no concept of modesty or common decency anymore, if she ever did.” As she joked about Alex and her fashion he felt Susan lean against him, As he looked down she saw that she had fallen asleep nearly falling into his lap. “I guess the pain meds still knock her out pretty quick.” She scooped her into his arms and lifted her from the couch as she stood up. “Where was she sleeping, I’ll just up here in the bed.”
“First room at the top of the stairs,” Darren directed as the otter carried Susan out of the room.
Julia leaned against her loving mate ad whispered, “She can deny it all she wants, but he’s likes her.”
“And she likes him. It reminds me of her high school crush,” Darren sad as she wrapped his arm tightly around his mate, “She did the same think back the, denying they were a couple right up until he dumped her before heading off to college.” He snickered as he thought about the way the otter acted from the time he arrived. “Maybe Hank is even more caught up on her than she is on him.”
A few moments later Alex returned to the living room in pink slick pajama set with winged hearts printed on it. “Well i’ looks like we’re da only ones lef’. ‘ank droped Fluffy off in Mini Muffin’s room and collapsed on da bed in the gues’ room. And da lill one is plugged inta dat shootin’ tin’ on her puter.” She sat on the couch with a kindle tablet as she diligently started reading, suddenly oblivious to the other couple in the room.
The couple took advantage the suddenly new peaceful moment since Susan and Alex had arrived. Darren pulled the Annals of Botany and continued to read the latest studies published as Julia settled into him as she turned the TV from the news to the science channel. The remaining trio, each immersed in their activities spent the remainder of the day in peaceful silence, interrupted only occasionally by a shouted outburst from the young gammer above their heads.