It was late when Sam finally headed off to bed, the kitten having the time of her life nestled among his dirty laundry. He had no clue how he was gonna drop the news onto his other siblings, but he would have to figure out something. Soon, too. The kitten could not live among his dirty laundry forever.
He had finally started to drift off, when he was startled wide awake by his brother Chase’s - whom he just so happened to share a room with - yelling.
“AHHHH! ALIENS ARE INVADING!!!!” Sam bolted out of bed and flipped on the light, suspicious as to what had woken his brother up to begin with.
The sight before him was almost comical.
Chase was sitting up, staring wild-eyed at a ball of fur sitting on its haunches on his stomach. The kitten was also equally started, staring at Chase with big saucer eyes as she tilted her head to study him.
Chase looked from the kitten, to Sam, then back to the kitten.
“Are you not telling me something, bro?”
Umm, Sam wracked his brain to think of an explanation, before deciding on the truth.
“The (she) wath (was) abandoned in an alleyway, in a box left to die”.
Chase looked at the kitten, who had just decided Chase poised no major threat and had curled up on his stomach, purring in contentment. He smiled.
“Who would leave someone as precious as you to die?” Chase crooned, reaching out to stroke her fur. The kitten perked up, and begin licking Chase’s hand with its tiny tongue.
“I don’t know how to tell the others. You know Ben and Nate hate cath”.
Chase thought about this for a long moment. “Does she have a name?”
Sam shook his head. “That’th been a problem too”.
Chase looked to Sam. “Look, I will help ya think of something to introduce her to the others. In the meantime we will keep her in our room and come up with a name”.
Sam smiled, grateful Chase was as easygoing as he was. “Thorry the woke you,”.
“Aww, don’t worry about it,” Chase brushed him off. “Her and I are buds now. She just startled me at first”.
Chase settled down into his covers, with the kitten still purring on his stomach, as Sam flipped off the lights and prepared to get a good night’s sleep, but not before saying a prayer of thanks for everything that had happened today.
That same night, downstairs Ben was laying wide awake, staring at the ceiling. He had rolled his eyes when he heard his fraternal twin, Chase’s yells coming from directly above him. Obviously someone had watched a little bit too much UFO Hunters tonight.
He glanced over at Chloe, wondering how his pretty, petite wife could have slept through it. She was out like a light though, her back facing him as her short blond curls were scattered all over her face.
Austin had not waken him up though. Was what keeping him awake was a problem much more pressing.
He had only just gotten home from the hospital shortly after thanksgiving. Due to the fact he had barely survived a bullet to the chest, he was a little bit behind on his Christmas shopping.
Chloe in particular was a tough cookie to crack.
She had told him she did not want anything. That fact that he was home for Christmas, and was going to be okay, was plenty for her, she had claimed.
The problem was that it also happened to be their first Christmas together as husband and wife, and Tim thought he needed to get her something special.
What could he get her, though.
He slid out of bed, being careful not to disturb Chloe, then retrieved their shared Mac book from the top of the dresser, heading out to their downstairs living room.
She loved penguins, was obsessed with them in fact. Ben pondered this to himself as he booted up the computer.
Could he get her something heartfelt that was still penguin related? Something unique and quirky that could have only come from him. Something that reminded her of him every time she looked at it or used it.
Ben glanced down next to him and noticed at a black book had been discarded on the sofa. He picked it up, curious.
Flipping through it, he smiled as he saw several sketches of him done in various poses and angles. The sketchbook was filled with page after page of them in fact. They could not have possibly come from Chloe, could they?
“Oh, you have it,” his wife’s sleepy voice came from behind, starting him.
Ben glanced from the laptop, to the book, and back again, wondering what she could possibly be referring to.
"The laptop," Chloe said, smiling sleepily.
"Oh, ern, I was just," he looked down at the sketchbook sheepishly, which is when she recognized what was in his hands, her eyes widening in surprise.
"Umm, yeah," she said. Ben could see that in the computer light her cheeks were flushed with embarrassment.
"Come here," he said softly, holding his arm out to her.
Chloe did as he bid, settling down on his knee and studying the black book in his hands, laying her head down on his shoulder.
"Well, I got tired of designing shirts for our spring tour one day. I decided to see if I could draw people".
"Or, one person in particular?" Ben asked rhetorically, his eyebrow going up in amusement.
Chloe snuggled into her husband's form, "They aren't very good," she said, blinking once, then twice.
"Chloe..." Ben was taken aback as he opened the book and began flipping through the drawings of him again. His wife still had the ability to totally underestimate herself and sell herself short, even after all this time they had been together.
"I think these are really good. You have a real talent," her arms snaked around his neck in a hug.
"As a matter of fact," he said, looking to her. "I would really like a drawing of you".
Chloe's head shot up, somewhat surprised. "Really?" she asked softly, almost mouse-like.
Ben nodded, his chocolate locks that fell almost to his shoulders bobbing.
"I want a picture of you, maybe even wallet sized, so that way I can take it with me and look at you whenever I am feeling lonely when we are apart".
Chloe giggled. "There are cell phone pictures, silly," she brushed his chocolate hair back so that he could kiss him on the cheek.
"True," Ben said with a smile, kissing her back. "But I don't think a cell phone picture can do your pretty face justice the way a self portrait from you can".
Chloe sighed, relenting. "Okay," she said, getting up from his lap. "I think I am gonna go back to bed now".
"Don't you need to use the laptop?" he asked, smiling.
'Ern," Chloe glanced around guiltily. "No thanks, you can use it," she retreated back to their bedroom door. "I love you," she called over her shoulder before disappearing inside.
"Love you too, darlin'," he called after her as she disappeared inside.
As she left, Ben clicked the Internet icon on the computer and typed in a browsing search, becoming inspired after his late-night conversation with his wife
Christmas eve had finally arrived. Chase and Sam were no close to finding their new roommate a name, much less finding a way to introduce her to the rest of their family.
Chase was sitting on Sam’s bed, stroking her as Sam scrounged his closet for an acceptable shirt to wear onstage tonight at their Christmas Eve candlelight concert.
“I don’t know, bro. Nate and Ben may not buy it. I don’t wanna give her up though”.
“The (she) could be out tour mathcot,” Sam said, pulling out a green plaid shirt from his closet, which Chance nodded upon his holding it up for inspection.
“That could be fun, having a tour mascot for the bus”, Chase smiled.
“We don’t have time to think about it,” Sam said as he pulled on his plaid shirt over his thermal undershirt. “Nate ith gonna kill uth if we are late for thound check”.
“That is the understatement of the century,” Chase murmured to himself more than Sam as he stood. “We will see you later, little girl,” he gave the kitten one last pat. Sam followed suit, smiling as she purred beneath his touch. That little kitten had stolen his heart in more ways than one. He just hoped that they could find a way to keep her.
Later that night, Sam lay awake staring at the ceiling. He had to find a way to tell the others about his kitten in a way which they would all accept it. He looked over and smiled at the tiny shadow darting to and fro against the wall, no doubt working off some energy by chasing one of the toys Sam had bought for her.
Chase was sleeping soundly on his stomach, snoring softly in the next bed. Sam did not want to wake him. They had tossed around plenty of ideas in the few days leading up to Christmas since she had found her. All of them had been shot down as they had reasoned that none of them would work effectively like they had been wanting. Unless….
Struck with an idea, Sam slid out of bed and padded softly to where the shadow was, scooping the ball of fur up into his arms. The kitten, having had her playtime taken away from her, stated chewing of a stray strand of Sam’s straight blond locks as compensation.
Sam smiled as he quietly shirked down into the basement where Ben and Chloe were currently dwelling, and where we also knew that his sisters had been stashing the wrapping paper as they worked busily as Santa’s elves.
Finding what he was searching for, Sam placed the kitten down on the laundry room table as he cut off a length of silver ribbon, thinking it would look quite fetching against her orange fur. Selecting a gift tag, Sam quickly scrawled something on it before threading the gift tag onto the ribbon, and then somehow managing to hold the kitten down long enough so that he could tie it in a bow around her neck.
Scooping her back up, he headed upstairs, smiling at the thought of the surprise his siblings would have when they woke up in a few short hours.
Hope you enjoyed everyone. Again, feel free to comment, and thanks to those who commented yesterday. Part three comes tomorrow!