Food, Cats, and Being in Love

I don't want to think about it
I don't want to talk about it
When I kiss your lips
I want to sink down to the bottom
Of the sea


36. Chapter Thirty-Six

Vincent’s kitchen was way smaller than mine. He admitted that he rarely cooked and when he actually did it was stuff like ramen noodles. Though since he’d been hanging out with me, I’d been giving him so many leftovers that he rarely had to cook anymore anyway. In fact, to make room in his fridge, I had to clean out a whole bunch of leftovers I’d given him. Then I got back to work on my pastries.

Thankfully Vincent got home just an hour later. I heard him come through the door and then heard the unmistakable sound of Reggie growling from his little cat bed that doubled as a carrier. He hated that thing. Duchess had been sitting on the chair in the kitchen watching me as she hoped for scraps and immediately panicked when she heard Reggie. Her white fur stood on end, and her eyes bugged out of her head.

“Hey, it’s okay,” I told her as I gave her a pat on the head. I was worried she would try to claw me, but she was focused on Reggie.

Since Vincent’s apartment was pretty open, I could see him from the kitchen. He stepped into the living room area and set Reggie’s carrier on the couch.

“I’ve never seen this cat so pissed in my life,” he told me.

“He hates that thing, and I should have warned you that that’s part of the reason I didn’t bring him.” He set his camera bag down on the coffee table and then examined his hands. “Did he get you?”

“Just a bit.” I wiped my hands off on a towel and went to examine the scratches on his fingers.

“Dang. My favorite fingers too,” I remarked. He smiled.

“Pervert,” he said. I gasped.

“I was talking about your camera trigger thingy finger. You’re the pervert.”

“Mm-hmm. I’m sure.” He reached down to kiss me on the lips and then stepped back. “When do you think we should take him out?” he asked as he went to find Duchess. She was standing in the middle of the living room now, looking ready to pounce. There were now two low growls.

“We should let them get accustomed to each other first.”

“You’d think they’d be used to the smell of each other by now.”

“Smells don’t usually come with claws and fangs. They’ll get over it.” He walked into the kitchen to get something to drink, and I followed so I could get back to work on dinner. I watched him pull a beer out of the fridge and twist it open. Then he leaned against the counter and looked at me.

“So um—what exactly happened?” he asked. I shrugged.

“Went to see my mom this morning. She made a lot of accusations. Blamed me for everything. I’m the monster that’s trying to ruin her perfect family. Had the nerve to imply that I’m not good enough for you.”

“What? I thought they hated me.”

“They hate you because of what happened with Paige. Not because you deserved it.”

“They hated me before then too, but what makes you believe they think I’m too good for you?”

“Just the way my mom talks. She said the only reason you’re with me is because of Paige and that it will always be about Paige. Basically implying that you could never like me for anything else.”

“It’s never been about Paige. The only time I ever think about her is when you bring her up.”

“I know. It just—hurts to hear your mom say things like that. And like she’s making these threats and expects me to just do whatever she wants. I’m not allowed to be happy because Paige doesn’t want it. All of this—this show of power that she’s doing—it’s all because Paige doesn’t want us to be together.”

“Have you talked to her?”

“No, I’ve been avoiding her too.”

“So what are you going to do?” I shrugged again and focused on slicing strips of chicken.

“I don’t know, honestly. She’s not going to help me with my rent anymore, cut off my power. I’m on her phone plan too, so I’ll probably lose that as well. I won’t have enough money to pay my rent by the first. So I’ll probably get maybe another two months before I get evicted. Unless I can find a job that pays me enough to keep everything.”

“Come stay with me. I told you that you could.” I shook my head slowly. “Why not?”

“I didn’t want it to happen like this. I wanted there to be more time. I wanted us to move in together because we wanted it. Not because I have no place else to go.”

“It can be temporary. Until you find another place.” I shook my head again and hid behind my hair.

“I don’t know.”

I think I hurt his feelings. He tapped the beer bottle on the counter a few times before heading out toward the living room. I could hear his feet on the floor, and he stopped right where the linoleum met with the carpet.

“I just—I’m terrified that you’re going to go back with your parents and I’ll never see you again,” he said quietly. I sighed.

“I know,” I replied. “Just—give me time to think about things.” He didn’t say anything else. I heard him set his beer down on the coffee table. The cats weren’t growling anymore.

“Should we let him out?” I heard him ask.

“If you want to. Get a towel though just in case one of them goes nuts.”

“Alright. Good idea. Want to help?”

“Yeah, give me a sec.”

When I was done cutting the chicken, I washed my hands and joined him in the living room. He gave me a towel, got ready himself, and then stood back as he unlatched the cage on Reggie’s carrier. Duchess had gone from looking frightened to looking curious. Reggie stayed in the cage with his hair up as she stepped forward and sniffed the air around him. He growled lowly again.

“Shush,” I told him, and he stopped.

She moved around the side of the cage to sniff the other end, and he finally stepped out. They approached each other slowly, and the both of us got ready to leap into action. But it never came to that. After sniffing each other for a few minutes, Reggie plopped his fat body down on the couch, and Duchess began licking his ears as he switched his tail back and forth. Vincent lowered the towel.

“Huh,” he said. “I guess they like each other.”

“Who knew?” I replied.


Going back to updating once a week, but whenever I can. Scheduled updates were kinda hard for me to keep up with.

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