Cut scene from Heart Journey, Celta Thursday
Could Raz become a travelling player? Del had heard of such troups but didn't think it was in his plan. Could she convince him to have it in his plan? She had enjoyed a few stories by the actors when she'd hit a town the same time they had.
That afternoon, she and the driver pulled up at Raz's apartment door. Beside her on the seat was a box with a big bow, the walls of the container were permeable to let the contents breathe. Cats grew up quickly, she reminded herself. This one would be hardy in six months, ready for road adventures.
Del was pretty sure she couldn't last in the city for more than another month.
Raz was on time, as usual, and stepped from the door looking mouth-watering. She wondered why she'd decided on a picnic in a park along with the rest of the holidayers instead of staying in and exploring each other.
He raised the door and slid in. Del pretended not to see how the fabric tightened over his long, lean thighs, but she didn't think she did a very good acting job since the smile hovering around Raz's lips was smugly satisfied.
She swallowed and handed him the gift. The kitten was under a simple sleep spell until the lid of the box was lifted.
Raz's eyes lit. "A present!" Then he cast a mock serious look on her. "You aren't expecting anything for this gift, are you?"
The kitten wasn't her HeartGift that she'd give him and expect to claim him, expect everything from him. She let her eyelids lower as they wanted to, feeling him near, the buzz of his energy rubbing up against hers. "Nothing more than the usual."
He laughed. "I'm expecting a whole lot more than the usual."
She laughed, too. "That would be good."
"It will be close to perfect."
He opened the lid, looked sincerely surprised. "A kitten!"
"A kitten Fam. I saw you with your sister's."
"Yes." He stared down at the curled kitten, which yawned and stretched and opened amber eyes, one of which was in a patch of black, the other set in orange fur. "A calico kitten Fam." He stroked the small head with his elegant forefinger. The kitten yawned and showed tiny pointed teeth and a pink tongue. It hopped from the box, kneaded Raz's thighs and said, Greetyou, FamMan It opened wide eyes to stare. You are a beautiful person, you will fit with Me.
Raz laughed again, picked up the kitten and cradled it in his hands. "You're going to be a big hit at the theater, but you'll have to stay in my room, FamKitten."
My name is **.
"He's a male calico. They are rare," Del said. She waved a hand. "You can look up the genetics factors or not."
I am special. The little cat grinned.
"You certainly are." Raz cocked an eyebrow at Del. "How much does he sleep?"
"Slightly more than other cats." She handed him a papyrus pamphlet and a recordsphere. "Instructions from D'Ash on how to care for your new FamKitten in two different formats."
"Looks like quite a lot of information."
D'Ash knows everything, the kitten said.
"It looks like it," Raz said. "I won't be memorizing this, however." Again he turned the kitten to meet its eyes. "You and I will make up our own rules, too. Like never going outside my dressing room."
The kitten glanced aside.
The glider stopped. Raz glanced out his window and his eyebrows climbed. "Landing Park? On a holiday? Looks like all of Druida is here."
"Those that aren't in the other parks," Del muttered. "Good for the kitten, D'Ash said. To be socialized."
Raz snorted. "As if it wasn't socialized by being in D'Ash's menagerie or will be in the theater."
Del shrugged. "Maybe I wanted to show you I could be socialized, too."
Raz tied a ribbon-leash around the kitten and let it gambol on the seat and the floor. He put his hand on Del's. "I like you just the way you are. Honest and straightforward."
She wanted him to love her, but straightened her shoulders and met his eyes. He should know.
He should always know. "I'm being straightforward as I can be under the circumstances."
Del picked up the kitten who was trying to bite her toes and handed the little cat to Raz. "Now take your gift and see it play in the grass. Wonder how many other Fams are here."
Raz opened the door and stepped out with the little Fam. "It's a wonderful gift, Del." He looped the end of the ribbon around his wrist, offered hand to ease Del from the glider. "A lifetime gift."
That wasn't the only lifetime gift she would be giving to him. She could only hope he'd accept her HeartGift with as much joy in his eyes as the kitten.
Note: The person who won the Brenda Novak auction that year chose to name the Fam in Heart Journey Rosemary (for remembrance of a lost friend), and Rosemary became female.
And, now that I think of it, I have a tiny thread with the other actor/secondary character and how he discovered his love...maybe an enovella.