This week’s words are: publish, loss, dragon, result, and pest.
Giving Andrej and Zayne a week off. Meet Ethan and Travis. Five bonus points to whomever can figure out where I got the cats’ names from.
Ethan let himself into the house, yawning as he kicked off his shoes. You’d think he’d be used to working the night shift at this point. He’d been in White Pine for years now and it was the schedule that Travis’ crazy self naturally ran on. And yet, here he was, dead on his feet.
He went into the kitchen, looking for his insulated cup so he could have cold water by the bedside. Ethan stopped a few steps into the kitchen, surveying the mountain of snacks piled on the counter. Travis was on a deadline it seemed. The junk food only appeared when he was due to send something to his publisher and he wasn’t ready. How that boy ever became a best-selling author was a miracle.
Spying a pack of powdered sugar donuts on the periphery of the pile, Ethan snagged them, hoping Travis wouldn’t notice the loss of one item. There was enough there to feed several people for several days, so it wasn’t likely.
He filled his cup and carried the donuts over to the table where he was quickly joined by one half of Travis’ feline companions. Scratching Brennan under her chin, he sighed. “So, what’s your human been doing tonight besides filling himself full of sugar?”
“I’ve been writing, thank you very much,” Travis said, giving him a look of fake hurt.
“Are you going to make your deadline,” Ethan asked before taking a bite of donut. Brennan put her white front paws on his knee, looking up at him with her big, green eyes. “No donuts for kitties,” he said. “This cat of yours is a pest.”
“She’s ours, E,” he said. “She and Ryan both.”
Ethan laughed. “You never asked, remember? You just went out and came home with not one but two giant cats?’
“They were itty bitty back then though,” Travis baby-talked at the calico that sat at his feet. She was huge now though.
“Yeah, now they’re the size of small horses.” He watched Travis pull out a chair and sit down. “You never answered my question, Murphy.”
Travis glared at him. “I’ll make it,” he said. “Barely, but I’ll make it.”
“You coming to bed?”
He shook his head. “I’ve actually hit a good streak, I only stopped because I heard you talking to Miss Munch Mouth here. I probably should get back at it before I lose my mojo.”
“We can’t have that now,” Ethan teased. “Travis without his mojo is like a dragon without his flame breath.”
Travis rolled his eyes. “I love you, but sometimes I want to clobber you.”
“According to my sister, that’s what happens once you get to know me. It results in wanting to pummel me on a regular basis.”
“While your sister isn’t wrong,” Travis said, standing up and kissing the top of Ethan’s head, “she’s not right for that. Hope you’re enjoying my donuts, too.”
“They’re great,” Ethan said, stuffing the last bite into his mouth. “I’ll buy you more when I hit the store tomorrow. For now, I need to go to bed. Don’t force yourself to stay up longer than you can, okay?”
“Okay,” Travis agreed. “Sleep good. I’ll see you whenever I manage to wake up.”
Ethan sat at the table for a few more minutes, waiting until he heard the door to Travis’ office open and close again behind him. When he didn’t immediately reemerge – a classic Murphy delay tactic – Ethan was hopeful that he had indeed hit a writing wave and would ride it out until he finished the darn novel.
“Well, what do you say, Bren? Bedtime?” She mewed loudly, making him laugh. “Okay then, let’s go while your bed hog of a brother is distracted by your human.”