animal-house

Animal House

“That’s the fifth time your ferret has broken into my condo.”

Thanks @supremeuppityone for another awesome prompt! I had this one half written so wanted to finish. You don’t know how much I adore ferrets! Hope you like this. For some reason it gave me ‘As Good as it Gets’ vibes.  Plus, in case you are wondering, there’s a whole website dedicated to ferret names. No joke!

10pm

“That’s the fifth time your ferret has broken into my condo,” he growled, handing over the wriggling, blonde, furry and extremely guilty party to her owner.

“She likes her freedom.”

“Obviously.”

“Well, maybe if you didn’t cook bacon like twenty-four seven then she wouldn’t feel the need to visit so often.”

“It’s not that often and anyway, how is that my fault exactly?” He baulked.

Caroline knew her neighbour was English and extremely uptight but standing in her doorway in a pair of brief, boxer shorts and a fitted grey henley his hair slightly rumpled, she was beginning to realise maybe there was more to him than she thought. And she wasn’t just talking about the generous package she could make out within the confines of his boxers. 

“I’m a vegetarian so Lola has a tendency to forage elsewhere,” she added by way of explanation. “Apparently tofu doesn’t really make the cut.”

“You don’t say,” he bristled. If Caroline was being honest she could see his nipples hardening through the thin fabric and was struggling to concentrate with that discovery as well as the generously endowed one below.  

“Um,” she stalled, trying to focus but the distraction was too great to ignore.  “It won’t happen again.”

“That’s what you said the last four times,” he argued, those crimson lips pursed unimpressively. 

“You make it sound like I did this on purpose,” she huffed. 

“Well, you said it.” 

“As much I enjoy shooting the breeze,” she drawled sarcastically. “I promise I’ll keep her under control.” Caroline gave him a curt nod and shut the door before he could berate her again. There was no way she was going to lose it in front of the uptight neighbour that may have been slightly attractive. 

“You know, a simple apology wouldn’t go astray, love,” he bellowed through the closed door. She leaned up against it, his words not upsetting her but causing a few tingles inside. Lola had since squirmed free and was slinking her way across the room. 

“You felt it too, you big flirt,” she chided at her runaway ferret.  Lola was far from innocent and Caroline had to make sure she kept her restrained and unable to escape. The last thing she needed was that smug idiot coming to her door again. 

5 hours later…

Caroline woke abruptly from a dream, or was it a nightmare? She wasn’t quite sure why she was wearing a Zorro costume and being chased by giant avocados but knew she’d need to hit up google in the morning to find out why. There was no way a dream like that didn’t have some powerful meaning. 

Her eyes slowly adjusted to the dim glow of the street lights creeping through the edge of her blind. She turned over, noticing that Lola wasn’t in her cage. She sat up abruptly thinking she should have named her Houdini instead. If she wasn’t there, Caroline knew exactly where and whom she’d be with and she suddenly felt full of dread. Not because he’d come over and deliver another lecture but because he’d probably be even less dressed given the time. 

She threw off the covers, busily making her way toward the front door without even bothering to check her attire. Hopefully Lola would only be roaming the hallway. Given it was middle of the night, Caroline couldn’t imagine she’d gotten any further. 

She crept into the hall, pulling her door to quietly. Luckily it was lit, so she could search the area. Unfortunately Lola was nowhere to be seen. Knowing her naughty pet, Caroline was fairly certain she’d be hiding around a corner, she always did love a game. Not wanting to disturb her, Caroline dropped onto her hands and knees. The fact her pale blue, skimpy nightie rode up mid-thigh the last thing on her mind. 

“Lola!” She hissed, her eyes flickering to the gold number 9 on his door and praying Klaus wouldn’t be roused. “Get your furry ass out here!”

“I’m kind of offended you think my ass is furry,” a familiar and extremely smug voice answered. Caroline didn’t even bother getting up, just knocked her head on the carpet a few times. “No witty come back, love?”

“Don’t call me love,” she growled, her forehead still firmly on the ground, her blonde waves fanned outward. 

“I thought it was kind of nice given your insult.” Caroline lifted her head slowly, dreading his knowing expression.  What she found wasn’t helping her bad mood. 

If she thought his appearance was brief earlier, his now bare chest and fitted bottoms were bordering on almost naked. She gulped, trying to compose herself but felt it returning slowly when she noticed the familiar blonde in his hands. If Caroline was being honest, Lola seemed to be enjoying herself given just relaxed she was. Traitor.    

She felt her nightie brush her panties and realised just how practically naked she must have looked. Caroline stood up shakily, her hands tugging at the nightie and willing it to go lower.   

“It wasn’t me,” she sighed, trying to ignore his blue eyes hovering on the lace hem. 

“Another excuse?” 

“I’m not a liar,” she scowled. “In fact my best friend Katherine says I’m probably the most unapologetically honest person she’s ever met.”

“Really?” His left eyebrow cocked curiously.

“Yeah apparently I’d suck at poker. I have this tendency to…”

“Ramble when you’re nervous?”

“At least I’m not a smug, know-it-all that delights in the misery of other people,” she accused, feeling her nipples spring to attention and crossing her arms over her chest to hide that particular fact. 

“Says the girl whose ferret keeps breaking into my house?” 

“All her,” she replied gruffly. “I’d be the worst burglar known to man. Now, if you would just relinquish my little thief, I’ll be on my way.”

“I would but between you and me, she doesn’t seem to want to go anywhere.” Caroline looked at her little Lolita ashamedly, resting in his arms happily. 

“Sell out,” Caroline shot back. “Anyway, since when did you like her so much?” It was the first time she realised just how much he seemed to be enjoying her company as she him. 

“I suppose you could say she’s growing on me,” he admitted, albeit a little sheepishly. 

“Oh really?”

“Okay, you caught me. I might have lied earlier when I said I was angry about her trespassing.”

“Meaning?”

“I might have also cooked a few things that she’d like,” he whispered, that handsome face unexpectedly blushing slightly. 

“Hey, she’s my pet,” Caroline baulked. “Even if Lola is shamelessly nuzzling into your thieving arms right now.” 

“At first I liked her but it wasn’t until I met her owner that I was really hooked.”

“If that’s a line…”

“On the contrary love, it’s anything but that,” he smiled. It was the first time she’d seen such a sincere expression from her neighbour. “Would you fancy a hot cocoa as a peace offering?” Caroline faltered. Yes, she found him attractive but wasn’t the kind of girl to succumb to his charms so quickly, even if Lola was easy. 

“I have marshmallows,” he offered. 

“What colour?”

“Pink…”

“In that case I can’t…”

“And white,” he interrupted hopefully. Damn him, it was like he could read her mind. “It’s just a drink, I promise.”

She smiled, nodding warmly and following him and her sell-out ferret inside. Five hours later she left with Lola in hand, extremely tired but after learning more about her neighbour, Caroline realised just how wrong she’d been. 

Three years later they were married. Even though the wedding planner had his reservations, Lola was ring bearer on the day. After all, she was the one who brought them together in the first place.