A soft summer breeze floats through the bedroom as we lay entwined on the bed. My hand lazily plays with the hair on your chest as I try to fight off sleep.
“It’s getting late” you mumble.
“I know,” I reply, “just five more minutes.”
Kissing my hair you pull away from me.
“We don’t have five minutes, Red. The moon’s almost up.”
Rolling over onto my side I watch you prepare, pulling the collar out of a drawer and snapping it around your neck.
“Come on, Red, please, get dressed. It’s almost time.”
I groan, leaving our bed, dressing, cursing under my breath.
“I hate this,” I growl as I come up to you, throwing my arms around you in a bear hug. “Why do I have to leave?”
You return my hug, once again planting a kiss on the top of my head.
“Because it’s time. I don’t want you to see me like this.”
I stamp my foot petulantly on the ground.
“I hate this time of the month”.
Laughing, you turn me towards the door, affectionately swatting my ass.
“Now you know how I feel each month when you’re on the rag.’’
Pushed out of the bedroom, I wander to the window overlooking the street. A large harvest moon appears above the building across the street, illuminating the apartment, bathing me in a bright glow. Suddenly a low guttural moan emanates from the behind the door; I hold my breath, listening to the sounds of the room being ransacked. I hope the bedspread doesn’t get ripped, I think, it’s brand new. I sit down in the pool of moonlight, waiting for the noises to subside. After half an hour I venture towards the door, my hand trembling slightly as I grasp the door knob. Opening the door, I search the darkened room for you. A small whimper catches my attention; walking over to the other side of the bed I find you lying on the floor, panting, your tongue hanging out between your canines. I sit down next to you, pulling your head into my lap, scratching your ears and petting you as your tail begins to wag.
“Poor boy,” I whisper, putting my face next to your snout, “do you feel up for a walk?”
You stagger to your feet, following me out to the living room where I grab your leash. Leaving the house, we walk to the dog park, deserted at this hour. We spend hours playing fetch, chasing each other. I’m reminded of that phrase from the story Call of the Wild; “but especially he loved to run in the dim twilight of the summer midnights.” It’s nearly one o’clock in the morning when we return, exhausted, falling into bed. You run and cry in your sleep; the first night is always the hardest.
I awake the next morning to the sound of the shower running. The smell of fresh coffee lures me out of bed; pulling on my robe I stretch and yawn on my way to the kitchen. I pour two cups and head back towards the bedroom when there’s a knock at the door.
“Who is it?”
“It’s the landlord, Mrs. London.”
Opening the door I find a small, nervous man standing there. Definitely not a dog person.
“Morning Mr. Talbot, how are you?”
“I’m fine, thank you, ma’am. I was wondering, see last night, I was coming home late from being out, and I thought I saw you out at the park, last night, with a dog. You don’t have a dog in here, do you Mrs. London? Because that would be against the rules.”
I try to remember where I put your leash.
“No, we don’t have a dog, Mr. Talbot. Do you want to come in and look?”
I step aside to let him in when you appear from the bathroom, clad only in a towel.
“Honey, the landlord thinks we have a dog. I told him we don’t, but he can come in and look if he wants to.”
Your eyes darken slightly at this minor threat.
“Sure, come in and look.”
I hand you your coffee and fetch your robe from the bedroom as the landlord starts his search. The two of us stand in the hall, sipping our drinks; you casually throw you arm around me and pull me closer, kissing my ear. The landlord finishes his search, sheepishly grinning, muttering something about our apartment smelling like a wet dog. Closing the door behind him I realize how tense you are.
I kiss your cheek and whisper, “Down boy, he’s gone.”
You take another sip of your coffee, walk into the bedroom and announce, “That’s it, time to get our own house.”
Following you into the room, I tease “With a big backyard?”
Ripping off your robe, you push me onto the bed, spilling my coffee in the process. Mounting me from behind, I hear you mutter, “If you put a dog house in the back, I’ll never forgive you.”