“You’re reading Harry Potter?”
Belle started, Max’s voice shocking her head up, her jaw open, her heart hammering. The only other time she’d been surprised by a human was the day Caroline grabbed her. Caroline had snuck in, but Max didn’t sneak anywhere. He always strode in boldly.
“Harry Potter is wonderful,” she said. “He had a bedroom in a room beneath the stairs. The Dursleys are mean to him.”
“You learned how to read that well already?” He frowned, and she wondered if he thought she was faking, like Annette on The Love Chronicles.
“I’m not faking anything.” She scowled at him. Yes, she was lying, but he should still believe her. He should believe everything she told him.
He remained standing over her, his expression hard instead of soft. She liked soft much better than hard. “Your memory could be coming back.”
“Or it could be that I’m very smart.” Or brilliant. She’d always suspected she was brilliant. Or perhaps she was tapping into the body’s brain cells. Though Sorcha had vacated the body, maybe some of her knowledge remained. Maybe that was why she was catching on so quickly.
She shifted in her chair, then shifted back. She wanted her own knowledge, not Sorcha’s.
He grinned and she sucked in her breath, feeling as if she’d been kicked in the heart.
His smile never made her feel this way when she’d been a cat.
Bending down, he grabbed one of the books she’d set apart. “Did you read this?” He showed her the cover, a cartoon cat in a hat, tall with stripes.
She made a face, though she was glad to talk instead of think. “It’s a silly book, the worst ever.”
His eyebrows climbed up his forehead and his body relaxed, an odd look on his face that she couldn’t place. A good one, not bad. “Sure it’s silly, but everyone loves The Cat in the Hat.”
She waved her hand in the air. She didn’t care what everyone liked. Everyone was human and didn’t know better. “Cats don’t wear hats,” she said.
He laughed harder than she’d ever heard him in all the years she’d lived with him. Looking at him, she felt the kick in her heart again. She swallowed a scream that said, No, no, no! I should not feel this way about him.
“What about a book about a dog?” he asked.
The horror made it easy for her to ignore the kick and remind her that Max was not perfect, though this stupid body seemed to disagree.
“I don’t like dogs.”
“You remember that too?”
She glared at him. She supposed it wouldn’t be appropriate to give him a warning nip. “I don’t remember anything.”
One corner of his mouth quirked up. “You look so offended.”
She wasn’t sure what he meant but she nodded. From his face, offended was a good thing to look like.
“If you change your mind, I saved one of my favorite dog books.” His mouth straightened, and his mood changed. “I wish I could forget I’d read it, so I could read it all over again.”
His eyes darkened, touching a spot within her heart, making her ache for him and want to say something that would warm his eyes and curl up his mouth again.
“Why?” Her voice sounded funny to her own ears, and she couldn’t think of one thing to say that would make him smile. “Why does it make you sad?”
He shook his head and backed up, his face closing. “Just thinking. It was a favorite of my dad’s. I’d better get back to work. I have a lot to do.” He gave a sharp nod and left.
She watched him turn into the hall, the ache still heavy in her chest. Frowning, she sat and returned back to reading Harry. It stopped her from thinking about what had just happened. It stopped her feeling sad because Max was sad. It stopped her from thinking of the kick in the heart because he laughed.
Most of all, it stopped her from thinking how un-catlike she felt when Max was around.
This was not good, not good at all.
I live in southeastern Wisconsin with my husband, two dogs, and the original Belle the cat. I started writing in the 1990’s, selling short stories in the mystery genre to National magazines and two Women Sleuth books. In addition to non-fiction articles, I wrote verses for greeting cards, and I possess a drawer filled with cards for any occasion. I’m co-founder of Write Attitude, an inspirational website for writers. I’ve won RWA writing contests with four different books (including CATTITUDE and her upcoming book, DEAD PEOPLE), and I was an American Title V finalist. You can read about my journey as an independent author on my blog. I also blog at Magical Musings, along with 8 amazing and brilliant writers.
you can find more of Edie at:
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