The dancing dildo wasn’t the only thing scattered across the floor. He’d upended Cute Neighbor Guy’s porn stash and impressively extensive and diverse “toy” collection. Kevin made a false start reaching for the wayward dildo that had turned on but stilled, because what the hell was the proper etiquette in such a situation? It wasn’t his stuff. Did he turn it off? Pretend it wasn’t there rattling loudly enough to wake the neighbors. Although, he supposed that effing tea kettle would already have done that. He grimaced and nodded toward the offending kettle. “Would you mind?”
Cute Neighbor Guy bit his lip and glanced nervously at the crack at the bottom of the closed closet door. Kevin suppressed an eye roll. Corky wasn’t coming out anytime soon, and even if she did, there was no need to act like Godzilla was on the loose.
Apparently common sense made it through the guy’s irrational fear, and he gingerly stepped down from his loveseat stronghold. He turned off the burner, flipped open the spout cover to stop the infernal noise, and moved the kettle to a hot pad. Then he set his jaw and marched into the bedroom area, and unceremoniously scooped up the porn and toy stash into the shoebox, turning off the frolicking dildo in the process.
Should Kevin apologize for upending the shoebox during his foray under the bed, or would that embarrass the guy by calling attention to something that should maybe be left unaddressed? Cute Neighbor Guy kept his chin up as he skated the box across the floor and under the bed.
Out of sight, but not likely to ever be completely out of Kevin’s mind. Oh hell no. Whatever did or didn’t happen friendship-or-otherwise between them, imagining Cute Neighbor Guy using that intriguing bit of silicone was going to bring Kevin delicious inspiration for years to “come.”
The guy squared his shoulders and turned to face Kevin and reach for his cat. “Thank you for your help, but I can sort it out from here.”
Wait. What? Sort what out? No way would Corky willingly come to a total stranger after a fright like that. Was he really trying to boot Kevin out of the apartment while his pet was still cowering in the closet? Cute Neighbor Guy could suck it up and deal if he wanted Kevin gone. Kevin was not leaving without Corky.
Probably best not to take an indignant approach, though. The law would probably be on Cute Neighbor Guy’s side. “Um, I need to get my mouse, first. Sorry.”
“Your…you mean that’s a pet?”
“Right.” Had the guy really thought she was a stray rat? “Corky’s a domestic white mouse. They’re very tame.”
“Sure.” Cute Neighbor Guy’s tone was dubious.
“You’ll hold onto your cat—Pandy, is it?—while I rescue Corky?”
“Yeah, okay.” Now the guy’s tone was reluctant, and he actually quaked before stepping back, clutching Pandy to his chest. Maybe once he saw how sweet and gentle Corky was he’d change his opinion on pet mice. Because it didn’t matter how cute the guy was, hating Kevin’s pets would be a deal breaker.
Kevin opened the closet door and froze. The floor was covered in lacy underwear. Not women’s panties. These were clearly designed to accommodate a man’s package. He swallowed. More imagery to provide inspiration on lonely nights? Or—he gulped and licked his lips—dare he aspire to see Cute Neighbor Guy modeling a pair?
He delicately lifted a pair and shivered at the musky scent that wafted with the disruption and deposited them on the floor behind him. He similarly removed a couple more pairs before Corky peeked out and scrambled toward the closet opening.
“No!” Kevin blocked and tried to grab her, but she was too stressed and was quick to escape his grasp. She dove back into the pile of undies, and he closed the door. Leaning against it, he turned apologetic eyes on Cute Neighbor Guy. “So…um…Corky’s a bit agitated at the mo’. Liable to make another dash for it if I keep trying to get her right away.”
With impeccable timing, the phone alarm he’d set for his breakfast casserole went off in his jeans’ pocket. He quickly pulled it out and silenced the noise before turning back to Cute Neighbor Guy. Or rather to Cute Neighbor Guy’s exposed abdomen where his T-shirt was hiked up over provocatively low pajama pants.
He blinked, shook his head, and closed his slack jaw before lifting his gaze to meet his neighbor’s questioning—and thankfully not affronted—gaze, complete with hiked eyebrow.
Kevin swallowed. “Um…” He lifted the now silent smart phone. “That alarm was for my breakfast casserole. It’s in my oven.” He inclined his head in the direction of his apartment.
“I can make no guarantees as to the ra…mouse’s safety if you abandon it here.”
Kevin’s eyes widened. He put up a hand. “No, no…I don’t want to abandon her. I just need to get that out of the oven, so it doesn’t burn.” His gaze strayed to the kitchen where a sad looking box of Shredded Wheat sat on the counter and couldn’t censor his wince. He turned on his best puppy dog eyes. Maybe… “I could bring it over and share if you’d like. I mean…I don’t want to intrude and I feel really bad about inviting myself over, but…you know.” He gestured toward the closet.
That’s All Folks! It’s just a short story, so I can’t really go further than this with alternate POV scenes. But you know how to find out what happens next, right? 😉