Troy paused, standing stock still, watching in amazement as Cherie greeted Katerina with the enthusiasm of an old friend, her whole hind end wagging along with her plumed tail.
“Well, I’ll be darned.”
Katerina leaned down to pet the collie’s head. Cherie took advantage of the moment, and swiped at Katerina’s cheek with her tongue.
Oh, yuck! She’d swear Cherie was grinning at her. She was so going to get that dog.
“That’s amazing,” Troy told her. “I never saw Cherie take to someone so quickly.”
Katerina hid a smile, fondling the collie. “She knows an animal person when she sees one, don’t you, Cherie?”
Jacinth seemed to be having spasms in the background, and as Troy turned away to unlatch the door of the horse trailer, Katerina crossed her eyes and stuck her tongue out at the unrepentant Djinn.
Benny came bouncing up to them, wide-eyed with excitement.
“Hi, Miss Kat,” he said respectfully.
He then stood staring at her until she sighed, leaning down close to the boy's ear.
“Stop that,” she whispered. “Or I’ll sharpen my claws on your pool raft next time I’m at your house.”
His eyes rounded, impressed at the awesomeness of the threat. “Would you really?”
Katerina ruffled his hair. “No, but you have to be good and keep my secret, okay?”
“Yeah, I know. I won’t tell anyone, Miss Kat. I promise.”
“There’s a good boy. Now, Troy’s got the ramp down, why don’t you go help get Ladybug out of the trailer?”
“Oh, yeah!” He ran off.
A small hand slipped into Katerina’s. Surprised, she looked down to see Molly at her side.
“Well, hi, sweetie,” she said.
“I like you,” Molly announced, the innocent blue eyes solemn as she gazed at Katerina.
“Umm... thank you.” Katerina looked at the little girl helplessly. She’d never had anything to do with children before, except in her cat form. And then she’d never had to do anything but let them pet her, and purr.
“Up?” Molly lifted chubby little arms.
“Sure.” She bent down, and the arms wound themselves around her neck, and a somewhat wet kiss was placed on her cheek as she straightened, the little girl carefully balanced on one hip. “Shall we go see them put Firefly and Ladybug in their new home?”
“Uh-huh. I’m going to ride Ladybug.”
“Are you? How nice. Not today, I hope.”
“No. She’s too little,” Molly informed her. “I have to wait til she grows up.”
A former career medical transcriptionist and disabled Veteran, Allie McCormack is now writing from home full-time. Allie has traveled quite a bit and lived many places all over the U.S., and also a year in Cairo, Egypt as an exchange student, and a year in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia under contract to a hospital there, plus a short stint with NATO while she was in the Army. Allie now lives in the beautiful southern California with her family and her two rescue cats.
Allie says: "A writer is who and what I am... a romance writer. I write what I know, and what I know is romance. Dozens of story lines and literally hundreds of characters live and breathe within the not-so-narrow confines of my imagination, and it is my joy and privilege to bring them to life, to share them with others by writing their stories."