38 // From Bat to Bowel: A Love Story

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     When the sound of the doorknob jiggling broke the quiet I had been steeping in, I smirked, my fingers threading through the soft cat fur. I heard a sigh from Chris behind me, tired from what I could not say (the trip from the basement to upstairs wasn't Mount Everest by any means), and drop something to the floor, before he paused.

     "Goddamnit, Stella, how do you keep breaking into my room? This isn't normal sibling behaviour!" he complained, groaning. "And I bought the damn heavy-duty doorknob this time!"

     The smirk toying on my lips only deepened as I swivelled around in the office chair, which I had strategically placed in the middle of the room, with all the notes of an age-old mafia boss. I continued lacing my fingers in the fur. "We've been waiting for you."

     Chris threw his hands up in frustration with furrowed brows, frowning. "Stella! Goddamn! You have to stop stealing Mrs. Townsend's cat! You can't keep doing this!"

    I blatantly ignored him. "I have recently come across some interesting information," I hummed, narrowing my eyes on him. "Dare I say, fascinating."

     "She's going to call the cops on you. Seriously. You have a problem. Cat-napping is not okay. Also, are you bleeding?" 

      I ignored the poignant sting up my arms from when Snickers, my trusted sidekick for the entire operation, had taken a little convincing to sit so nicely in my arms. Fifteen minutes of convincing. And Snickers was not declawed.

     "Let the cat go," he demanded, crossing his arms over his chest.

     I frowned. "But he's important. For the operation."

     "Snickers has to go home now."

     "Snickers is having fun here!" I insisted, but Chris looked less than convinced. "The fuck you know Snickers wants. Snickers is an independent cat that doesn't need no man to make its decisions," I mumbled, looking away.

     I looked down at Snickers. Snickers didn't care. 

     Chris shot me a dry look. "Let go of the cat."

     There was a moment where both of our glares sparked in the air, but then I threw my hands up in surrender, only to watch with heartbroken eyes as Snickers wasted no time in bolting out the door behind Chris.

     "Traitor!" I called out after the cat, but it fell on deaf ears. Damn you, Snickers.

     Chris' arms remained crossed, a tired, arched brow directed at me. "Cool. Now leave."

     I sighed, reaching down next to me for the baseball bat I had strategically placed there before, the sunlight glinting against the polished wood. "That's all right, I felt the cat would help with the intimidation factor, but this will do fine," I mused, palming the ege of the wood with a grin.

     Chris opened his mouth, as if to say something, but then immediately closed it again. His eyes narrowed, and he took a cautious step back. "What do you know?"

     "Me?" I asked, light and airy, the manic grin never faltering as I rose to my feet. "I mean, what could I possibly know that would upset me, Chris? What could it possibly be?"

     I blinked, dragging the bat against the carpet floor as I took a step forward. Chris took another step back, running into the door.

     "I haven't touched her, she's turning eighteen in January, this has all been very legal." He lifted in hands in innocence. "Super, super legal."

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