I don’t know what’s up with my girl and the way that she sleeps. She’s like a rock when she hits the living room. Now, of course, I think it’s very cute and everything, but I don’t see how she can sleep so hard. But, then again, I don’t see how she can do a lot of things.
Kim was laid out on the living room floor of her home like a drown victim in a pool. She had rolled off of the sofa and failed to wake up after the crash onto the mint green carpet. She had had a rough few days with her missions, her work (as ambiguous as that was when it came to the slim scholar), and pet-related things. She needed a bit of rest and it seemed as if she was going to get just what she required until she heard that familiar beeping noise. She groaned.
“Come on, Wade. Cut me a little break. I’m only human too,” the tired hero begged the air as she stirred from her sleep.
The redhead reached into her pocket, noting the cushion underneath her felt nothing like leather. She glanced to her side and finally noticed that she had fallen off of the couch; she decided that she did not care where she was as long as she was still in the apartment. She shook her head as she grabbed her Kimmunicator.
“What’s the sitch?” Kim answered the device while trying her best to hold in a yawn; it would be very rude to yawn in the middle of a communication.
“Hey, Kimbo,” Josh greeted the adventurer.
“Oh, hey, Josh. What’s up?” she inquired.
“Nothing much. I just need your help as usual,” he informed her.
“You only call me when you need help,” Kim pretended to whine. She actually did not care that he only called her when he wanted something from her. She doubted that she would lose sleep if he never called her again and she did not mean that in a harsh way. He was friend and everything, but she hardly ever thought about him now. There was no need to think about him.
Josh laughed. “You’re right,” he admitted. Sometimes, it just did not occur to him to hang out with Kim because they were friends. It did not connect in his brain to hang out with a girl that was not looking to sleep with him much of the time and even though he tried to change Kim’s mind, he knew that the trim scholar was not interested in sleeping with him.
“What can I help you with?” the redhead inquired, not bothering to sit up, even though she was laid out on the floor. She did not feel like moving unless it was absolutely necessary, so the apartment would have to be on fire to make her move from where she was.
“School as usual,” he answered. It came in very handy to know a genius, he quietly noted. He wondered how other people coped with classes without a genius a phone call away.
“What do you mean? Didn’t you graduate?” she asked. Ron, Yori, and Monique had all graduated, so she assumed that Josh had also. Well, she reminded herself to stop assuming things.
“No, not yet. I still need to take a math class,” he reported to her.
“And you need me to tutor you?” she guessed. He would not be talking about school if he did not require her assistance in the course.
“Well, if not just do the whole class for me,” he joked. Well, it was not really a joke, but since he knew that she would not go through with it, he made it sound like he was trying to be funny.
“Let’s start with tutoring,” she commented. She might be a classified genius, but she was not addicted to school to the point where she wanted to do other people’s work along with her own.
“All right. Sounds doable,” he remarked.
“And you can’t use the word ‘doable’ while we do it,” she said.
“As long as we do it,” he teased her.
“Keep it up and you’ll be handling yourself,” she shot back in a calm tone.
“Come on, Kimbo. Don’t be so cruel when you know you love me,” he quipped and she knew that he was smiling, even though they were on the phone. She could just tell from his tone and he was, in fact, smiling.
“Anyway, what kind of math are you doing?” she inquired to get back on track. She would like to get back to her nap sometime soon.
“I don’t know. The hard kind,” he replied.
“Real descriptive there, Josh. Did you have to buy a book?” she asked while making sure not to yawn on him because that would be rude, even though it was rude of him to keep her from her precious and well deserved nap.
“Yes,” he answered.
“Well, did you buy it yet?” she asked.
“I usually wait for the semester to start before buying the books for classes,” he explained.
“Well, I can’t help you much if I don’t know what you’re doing. Buy the book and then get back to me,” Kim instructed him. While he was buying the book, she would get back to her nap.
“Fine, but I don’t make it a point to buy the book before needing it,” the artist argued.
“Well, you need it if you want my help,” she pointed out. Did he think that she was going to get an idea of the math that he was doing through telepathy?
“Ah, and that would be why you’re the genius and I’m not,” he stated.
“You don’t apply yourself. Buy the book and then call me back,” she told him.
“And stop calling me Kimbo.”
“I’ve been watching Yojimbo all day, so my brain is just screwing everything up lately and your name fits that so well,” he explained with a bit of a laugh.
“Well, take a break from all of Akira Kurosawa then,” the hero ordered him in a teasing tone.
“I can’t. I’m caught up. It’s inspiring some work too.”
“What are you, painting samurai portraits or something?” she teased.
Josh laughed. “It would be a change from painting you naked,” he countered.
“You wish that you ever painted me naked,” she replied with a scoff.
“You’re right, I do wish.” Once again, she knew that he was smiling as he spoke and he was doing just that.
“Just go back to work. I’ve got something to take care of too,” Kim said.
The friends bid each other farewell and Kim easily went back to sleep right on the floor. Shego came in later and found her pet knocked out on the living room floor. The emerald-eyed female sighed and shook her head while wondering if things would always be as they were. Would she always come into either a hug or just a tired redhead sleeping peacefully in the living room? At the moment, she hoped so. She wondered if other pet owners were like that as she gathered her munchkin in her arms and put her on the sofa. She kissed Kim on the forehead before going to get comfortable around the house.
“Come on, Leo!” Betty called through her house for her dog.
Leonardo trotted out to his master with his leash in his mouth and that earned him a big hug when he was next to his master. Betty scratched his neck too and he licked her in the face to show his affection; she allowed him to do such things. She muttered that he was a good boy as she took the leash from him and attached it to his collar.
“Come on, boy. Let’s go for our morning run,” the one-eyed woman commented and he barked in agreement it seemed.
Betty did a morning run with her large dog every day to keep them both in shape. Leonardo always seemed happy just being with Betty, begging for her attention in some way or another most of the time when she was around. She tended to oblige him, cuddling him and things such as that. Hey, he was loyal, loving, faithful companion; by that definition, he was a very good pet, which was why Betty felt guilty that she could not take him out more often. Aside for their morning run, the best that she could usually do was let him roam around the backyard. But, every now and then, she did get a spare moment to take him to the park to just run around like a big, crazy dog, which he was. His favorite activity, ironically enough, was playing Frisbee.
“Go get it, boy,” Betty said as she flung the plastic disc into an open area of Run Park.
Leonardo dashed off after the toy with zeal like always. He seemed very happy to be out of the house with his mistress. He returned the Frisbee quickly, almost as hastily as a certain other pet would. Leonardo waited for Betty to take the toy from him and then he rolled around in front of her as a way to inform his master that he wanted her to throw the disc again. She obliged him and he shot after the Frisbee again.
Betty actually detested playing Frisbee. It was an annoying, pointless activity as far as she was concerned. She only did it because Leo liked it so much and he needed the exercise. He was a big dog and very energetic to make matters worse. She did not want him to become overweight, but she could not keep up with him sometimes. He trotted back with the Frisbee and went into his routine all over again to get her to throw the toy again. The one-eyed woman did not disappoint and she flung the disc for him.
The brunette female liked seeing Leonardo so hyped up and joyful. She wished that she could take him out more often than she did so that she could see him so peppy more often. The best that she could do was play with him when they were in the house and sometimes she was too tired to be an active participant in that. Much of the time, Leonardo did not seem to mind when she was tired. He could entertain himself by trying to get her off of the couch or out of the bed. She usually could muster enough energy to throw a ball for him a few times, which he seemed to appreciate. He was not a hard dog to keep cheerful.
“Leonardo!” Betty called when she felt that her dog had been gone for too long. It should not take him more than a couple of minutes to bring back a Frisbee.
Leonardo was an odd dog, though. He liked to wander off. She typically kept him on a leash because he had a problem with following strange things, like bags blowing in the wind or butterflies. He generally stopped when she ordered him to, but if he was off the leash and roaming free, it was harder to get him to heel. She decided to go look for him, even though he always came back on his own once his was done being a weird dog.
“Leonardo!” she beckoned her pet again.
Betty began scanning the area for her canine. She wondered where he could have gotten to. He was such a loopy dog, she thought. And then she spotted Leonardo; the big, fat traitor had the nerve to be allowing some man to pet him. Betty frowned; how dare some guy just pet her dog? No way that she was going to just let that happen.
“Leonardo!” Betty barked and the dog recognized that tone.
The large beast returned to his mistress’ side and he rolled over onto his back, showing her his belly, to avoid getting in trouble. Betty rolled her eye; Leonardo was such a pitiful creature. He was always looking to get out of trouble by acting like a submissive puppy. She pretended to ignore the dog to punish him and she turned her attention to the man that had been petting her dog, noticing that he had two dogs of his own.
The man was a charming looking fellow, not outstandingly handsome, but good-looking nonetheless. He was dressed in some rather dashing clothing with a slick little mustache on his face. His complexion was a rich, milk chocolate. His ebony hair was combed back and he was half-smiling.
“Are you the owner of this chappi?” he asked Betty in a surprisingly high-pitched voice. She was shocked by the sound of his voice for a second.
“Chappi?” she echoed in a puzzled tone. She was not sure what he was talking about.
“The dog,” he replied while nodding toward Leonardo, who was trying his best to put the Frisbee in his master’s hand, so she could throw it again undoubtedly. The dog was unaware that he was being punished and that was why she was not taking the toy.
“Oh,” Betty nodded. “A chappi?” she repeated still. She was confused and her face showed it.
“It’s his breed name. They’re very rare. Much more rare than my Lithuanian wolf hounds,” he explained while rubbing the heads of his two dogs.
“Wait, he has a breed?” she asked. The vet kept swearing to the moon that Leonardo was just some freak mix. What was the world coming to when a dog owner could not even trust the vet to know what was going on with her dog?
“Yes, the breed is called chappi. I know someone looking to breed more of them. Do you think that you could be of some assistance?” he requested.
“What?” Betty inquired because the conversation was getting very weird very quickly.
“Oh, I’m sorry. That had to seem awkward. We’ve only just met and I’m proposing breeding. Sorry again. I’m Falsetto Jones. I’ve just got a deep love for dogs and I run a dog show once a year. Only a handful of people have ever entered the chappi breed, but I do know someone hoping to breed his dog. Your dog looks like he would make a fine partner. What’s his name? What’s your name for that matter?” he asked with a small smile, appearing rather non-threatening.
“Elizabeth Director. My friends call me Betty. He’s Leonardo,” she replied.
“Lovely names for both of you. One named for a great genius and the other a great queen. He is a beautiful dog. I’m sure you take the utmost care of him. He is rather large, even for a chappi,” Falsetto commented. He was willing to bet that she took great care of her dog because he was so large, yet obviously healthy.
“You seem to know a lot about Leo,” Betty noted.
“Well, I’m something of a dog expert. You’ve probably taken him to the vet and even the vet didn’t know what he was,” he remarked. He was aware that such a thing had happened to his friend.
“That’s true,” she admitted.
“Yes, most people assume that his breed died out or they just don’t even know about them because of how rare they are. They do have a fascinating history. They were first bred to hunt dragons, which is why they grow so large and have such big paws,” he said and the information might have bored some people, but Betty was interested. She was now a dog lover thanks to her pet.
“Big body and paws to hold dragons?” she asked with a tiny laugh. It was funny to hear and she pictured Leonardo holding a mythical dragon in his grip.
“They’re a very ancient breed and people thought there were dragons about back then. Their nickname is the dragon hound. They were mostly used for work, though since it was hard to find a dragon for them to hunt. They were used to pull carts and that sort of thing,” he explained.
Betty found herself fascinated with the dog expert and continued to speak with Falsetto. She worked past his very unusual voice and walked around the park with him as they continued to hold a conversation, which did move away from dogs after a while. As they traveled through the park, Betty happened to glance upon a familiar pair on a bench. She spotted Kim and Josh, looking rather cozy in her opinion.
Kim groaned; Josh could not be as stupid as he was playing at the moment. He had gone out and purchased the book that he required for his class, so she was tutoring him. He did not seem to be getting anything out of it and the work seemed so simple to Kim. He argued that it seemed simple to her because she was a math whiz while he was nothing of the sort. He might have had a point or he might have been messing around; she was not sure which, but she was leaning toward the latter because she knew Josh fairly well.
“It’s such a nice day, Kim. We should go do some blading,” the artist suggested, dropping his arm around her bare shoulders; things like that were what made her consider that he was just messing around.
She was wearing a tank-top, so it was easy for him to touch her and to annoy her; it just had to be hot that day to make her throw on that shirt, she thought with a sigh. She should have known better than to wear a tank-top while hanging around Josh. She might as well show up nude to his house while she was at it, she silently berated herself.
“Josh, do you want my help?” the redhead inquired while moving his arm from resting on her.
“You know I do,” Josh answered.
“Then act like it,” she stated.
Josh sighed and allowed Kim to go into explaining the first page of the math book. He was not really listening to her; he was mostly staring at her chest. A bead of sweat caused by the heat of the day ran down her neck right into the valley of her breasts. It was like he could not help staring at her; things were going on down there and catching his attention. He just had to look.
The artist remembered when he used to be with her and having his arm hooked around her slender, little waist. He recalled holding, touching the flesh that he was eyeing at the moment. She had been just enough, a handful. A handful was all he needed and her size fit her perfectly.
“Josh,” Kim sighed because she could see that she did not have his attention, at least not in the manner that she wanted it.
“Hmm?” he asked.
“Staring at my chest?” she finished her inquiry.
“Uh-huh,” he answered in a dazed tone.
“Damn it, Josh!” she huffed and that brought him back to reality. She would have hit him with the math book if only she were not so certain that she would not be able to stop hitting him once she started.
“Sorry,” he apologized.
“Are you going to take this seriously or what?” she inquired.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. Totally,” he promised.
“Really?” she pressed because if he was just going to sit there and stare at her breasts, she was going to go home into some air condition and sleep on the sofa. It was just too hot to be fooling around with him.
“Yeah,” he answered.
“Then pay attention,” she commanded.
Josh nodded. He could not believe that he was being bossed around by a woman wearing a collar that dubbed her “Pumpkin.” He also could not believe how much of a turn-on it was. Man, it was so sexy to be bossed around by a woman in a collar and he really would have liked to have a little romp with her in the bushes behind them at that very moment. He doubted that she would go for that, though.
“Josh, are you paying attention?” Kim asked with another sigh. Ah, she should just go home, her mind urged her.
“Yeah, totally,” he lied. He had no idea what she was going on about. He barely had a clue that they were even supposed to be discussing math.
“We’re going to stop if you don’t actually pay attention,” she informed him.
“Gotcha. I’m totally here,” he vowed and he finally began paying attention to Kim because he really did need her help in the math, if only a little bit.
As Josh listened to Kim explain things, he seemed to just realize how intelligent she was. She tackled everything that he did not want to bother with trying with her usual confidence, but she went through it so easily that it seemed like it was nothing to her. Most of the time, he assumed that school work was nothing for her. And then a very brand new thought hit him as he realized her intelligence, it was extremely sexy. He could not believe it, but brains were sexy. It had taken many women for him to get to that conclusion. He was then hit by an old thought; Kim was sexy.
“Hey, Kim, let’s go get some lunch,” Josh suggested after a half-hour session of tutoring that he hardly soaked up because he was just thinking about his tutor.
“Already?” she asked.
“Yeah, I get this pretty well and you know if we go too long, you lose me anyway,” he replied. He did get it enough to bear through it, so there was no need to sit there anymore in his opinion. They needed to get some place with some air condition.
The redhead laughed a little. “You make a good point, but I don’t have any money,” she admitted with a sheepish smile. Her mistress had left her some money, but she had forgotten it on the nightstand. She did not think that she needed it anyway since there was food at the apartment. She figured that she could just eat when she got home.
“You never have any money. I’m actually a bit broke myself. But, I’ve got enough to get us some pizza. Good enough?” he inquired.
“Pizza is always good,” she answered.
The pair got up from the park bench and Josh put his math book away into his dark blue messenger bag. They walked off toward a pizza shop while discussing when their next tutoring session would be. They also talked about where they should do the tutoring next time. They opted on the park again because it was neutral ground and he was less likely to goof off outside. As they made their way to the pizza parlor, they walked by a pair; Kim failed to notice that one of the people in the duo was Doctor Director. She was still with Falsetto Jones.
“Leo is very well-trained,” Falsetto commented as he and Betty watched Leonardo wrestle with his dogs over the Frisbee. Leonardo was doing fairly well against two dogs since the pair of them equaled about one of him.
“Not really,” Betty replied. Leonardo was just a big baby that was always whining for something or another, she thought. She was willing to bet that the only reason the dog listened was because he was so dependent on her for food, water, and he needed someone with thumbs to throw that stupid Frisbee.
“Well, he responds well to you,” Falsetto amended is statement. So far, he liked hanging around Betty because of the things that she said about Leonardo. She had a good sense of humor as far as he was concerned and he would not mind spending some more time with her, without the dogs.
“He’d better,” she remarked; it was things like that he thought were amusing. She did feed that furry monster and give him everything else that he needed, so he had better listen to her. The medical bills alone were enough for the huge beast to better listen to everything that she said to him.
Falsetto chuckled a bit. “You seem like such a stern person, which is good for a dog. So, would it be forward of me to request that you join me for dinner?” he asked. He would not mind being in her company for a while longer that day, maybe even more days.
“Dinner?” she echoed in a surprised tone. She really had not seen that request coming.
“We could discuss the possibility of you breeding Leonardo with my friend’s dog,” he added, thinking that she would not accept unless he offered up some excuse for her to join him.
“I suppose,” she considered.
“I know a few places around here. I’m sure that we could find something to talk about and occupy our time,” he commented. The places that he had in mind were not really places to discuss dog breeding, but if that was what she wanted to converse about, he would oblige her.
Betty thought on the offer. She was having an all right time with Falsetto, but she considered that could be because of the dogs. She did think that she could use some human company that was not pale green and snippy. She needed to take a chance and do something different.
“Where would you like to go?” the one-eyed woman asked.
Falsetto smiled. “For a moment, I thought you were going to make me beg and I doubt I could do it as well as Leonardo,” he remarked. She could not help smiling in return.
Next time: Shego finds out about Falsetto and Josh.