“You two are ridiculous.” Byron’s tone held a faint note of mingled annoyance and fondness.
“You love us.” Wade sat up and propped his hands on the concrete patio as he glanced up at his boyfriend. Bryon’s lanky good looks were set off by ripped jeans and a threadbare T-shirt. He was too damn good looking to be behind the camera, but he’d never liked having his picture taken. “Did you get a good shot?”
“Yes.” Byron settled the lens cap over the end of the zoom lens. “It’s adorable. And ridiculous.”
Wade turned to Owen and held out a fist. “We are adorable.” The cat head-butted his knuckles in agreement.
Byron chuckled. “I can’t get over how much that cat seems to understand. He’s so well-trained.”
The look Owen threw him was so disgusted Wade was grateful that Byron missed it. Shit, maybe he and Owen were going to have to be a bit more careful in the future.
“Cats are smart,” he said and held a hand out to Byron, who effortlessly pulled him to his feet.
“I know that.” Byron’s hands settled on his ass and squeezed, pulling their bodies closer together. “It’s just uncanny sometimes.”
Uncanny is right, Wade thought guiltily as Byron kissed him. If only he knew …
The kiss turned hot and needy and Wade’s thoughts were swept away in a haze of lust as Byron dragged him into the house and spread him out on the bed.
After, when they were spent and sweaty and sprawled on the bed in a post-sex haze that Byron brought up the subject again. “Look at that.” He pointed to Owen who sat on the dresser staring at them. “I would swear that cat is jealous. He’s always watching.”
Wade swallowed and tried to keep his voice light. “Come on, pets always do that. I had an ex whose cat used to lay on its belly and stare at us through the crack under the door when we had sex.”
“It’s weird.” Byron sounded vaguely disgruntled like he always did when they discussed this. “You know I like Owen, but the way he looks at me sometimes … I dunno. I would have sworn he was looking at my cock and licking his lips the other day.”
A snort escaped before Wade could stop it. “Seriously?”
“Yes!” Byron laughed. “It’s unnerving. I swear one of these days I’m going to find out he’s actually a shape-shifter or something.”
Wade flipped onto his stomach and stared at the wall. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.
“Hey, what is it? You went all tense on me.”Byron’s hand slid across his back. “If the jokes about Owen are making you uncomfortable I’ll lay off. I know you get touchy about that.”
Wade glanced over at Owen who was still perched on the dresser, watching them intently. Wade gazed into his eyes, needing the reassurance that Owen was okay with him finally confessing the truth to Byron. Owen squeezed his eyes together tightly and gave him a quick, almost imperceptible nod.
Wade took a deep breath and let out with a shudder before he turned to Byron. “It’s not the jokes. But uh, there’s something I haven’t been honest about.”
“Okay?” Byron sounded apprehensive, and who could blame him.
“You know how I talked about the guy I was dating before you?”
“Well, that wasn’t the whole truth. His last name was Tyler.” Byron blinked at him and a moment later the muffled thud of a cat hitting the bed. “His full name was Owen Tyler.”
Wade gently ran a hand down Owen’s soft back. “He disappeared one night and the police said Owen just vanished with a trace. For a while, they even thought I had something to do with it.A few days after the man disappeared, this beat-up tabby appeared at my doorstep. It took the cat a while to heal and even longer for me to accept the truth, but …”
Byron stared at him, open-mouthed.
“I know, it’s crazy,” Wade said weakly. “I can’t explain what happened. Owen—now that he’s a cat—and I found a way we could sort of communicate using those little magnetic refrigerator letters. He bats them around on the floor to make words when he really needs to tell me something. But the best we can figure is that he was cursed.”
“You’re telling me this whole time you’ve been in a relationship with me, you’ve still been living with your ex?” Byron gestured toward the cat. “Who is a fucking cat.”
“Yes?” Wade said. “I didn’t know how to tell you.”
Byron stared at Owen with an inscrutable expression. Wade could almost swear they were silently communicating like he and Owen did all the time.
“So,” Byron said, after what felt like hours, “Did you and Owen ever discuss polyamory? Because I think I may be able to help undo the curse, but I’m not losing the man I love in the process.”
This went over the usual word count, but it was difficult to set up and then conclude in 500 words. Big thanks to Helena for helping me figure out how to wrap it up.
Unfortunately, this has turned into another plot bunny for me. When am I ever going to get time to finish writing these stories??
Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics for this week!
I look forward to seeing you next Monday!