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Story Notes:
Disclaimer: Scarecrow and Mrs. King and its characters belong to WB and Shoot the Moon Productions. No infringement is intended. This is written for entertainment purposes only. Please do not redistribute or reproduce this story without my permission.

Note: This story is in answer to the “You gorgeous thing, you!” challenge line. It is set in the world of Francine and Tony and takes place during their first month of dating.

Thanks: Jan for your beta and brainstorming help. Jan has also written a companion piece, ‘Home is Love.’ It chronicles the story from a different POV.
A New Life

Small puddles dotted the sidewalk and there was a damp chill to the night air. But Francine didn’t feel it. She basked in the warmth of love of the man next to her. She trembled as a breeze hit her or maybe it was the closeness of the man walking beside her. His arm firmly planted at her waist guiding her around the puddles.

“Chilly.” He rubbed her arm and pulled her tighter to him.

“Not any more.”

If they were any closer they’d trip over each other’s feet. No complaints from her though as she leaned her head on his shoulder.

As they neared the bushes next to the entrance to her building, Francine noticed something move deep within the branches. She stopped abruptly and pulled Tony back a few steps.

“What . . .?”

Francine put her fingertip to his lips. “There’s someone in the bushes watching us.” She mouthed as she pretended to search for something in her purse.

“I don’t see anything.”

Francine smacked his arm. “I know I saw something.”

“Frannie those bushes aren’t large enough for anyone to hide in or behind.”

Tony was right. Then she saw a branch move. There was something definitely in there. If he said it was the wind, she’d smack him harder this time. “Did you see that?”

“Yeah.” He knelt down and peered into the bushes.

Francine leaned over his shoulder to look. She didn’t want some wild animal rushing out at her.

“Well I’ll be damned!” Tony exclaimed.

“What? What is it?”

Tony rose and turned around. “Looks like someone is lost, wet and cold.”

Francine stared at the little kitten mewing and trembling in his arms. “Where’s the mother?”

“I didn’t see anything else, just this one scared little kitty. Someone probably abandoned it. People do that all the time with unwanted animals.”

“How can anyone be so cruel?” She pulled the scarf from her around her neck. “Put her in here.”

Tony laid the kitten in the scarf and Francine wrapped it around her in attempt to dry her fur.

Francine couldn’t fathom how anyone could just abandon an innocent animal to the elements. She noticed after a few minutes the kitten had stopped trembling.

“What are we going to do with this little fur ball?” Tony asked as he rubbed the kitten’s ears.

Francine looked down at the little bundle. Now that she was almost dry she could her see her coloring in the light over the entryway. Her belly was snow white, orange and black wove a colorful pattern over her back down to her swishing tail. “Isn’t she sweet.”

A calico if she remembered correctly. One of her college roommates had snuck a cat just like this one into their dorm and had told her it was a calico. They’d managed to keep her hidden for the entire semester in their room.

She held the kitten with legs up in both hands and rubbed noses with it. “You gorgeous thing, you!”

“I guess I know what we’ll be doing with her.”

Francine cradled the kitten in her arms. She felt it begin to purr. “I can’t keep her here. The landlord won’t allow pets.” She sighed.

Tony petted its head. “Well, looks like you’re coming home to live with me little one. And how do we know it’s a her?”

“We women just know, don’t we,” Francine said to the kitten. The purring became louder. It was almost like the kitten knew she’d found a home. Francine kissed the tip of her nose. “What do you say kitty. Do you want to come live with Tony? I promise to see you every day.”

The cat mewed.

“I think that’s a yes.” She laughed as Tony engulfed her in a hug. The kitten squirmed between them.

His lips touched hers in a light kiss. “Well come on mama we need to get to the pet store. I don’t think she’ll eat left over pizza and Chinese food.”

They walked to the truck, the kitten once again shrouded in her scarf to keep her from being chilled.

“You know we’re gonna have to think of a name for her.” Tony opened the truck door for them.

“She’ll let us know what it is. Won’t you girl?” Francine cuddled the kitten in her arms. When Tony opened the driver’s side door illuminating the interior, Francine glanced down at the kitten to make sure she was comfortable. Was that a smile? It sure looked like one to Francine.

The End
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