743. - Lucien
It's just one more day before I get thrown back into the hectic life that is law school. That means I have one day left to sleep in as late as my heart desires, and one day that isn't filled with essays, research and other homework. One day, a mere twenty-four hours, of bliss.
I haven't been to campus much after what happened with Piper - only the absolutely required hours, in agreement with the dean. A preferential treatment, I'm well aware, but one I shouldn't push too far. That means I'm back full-time tomorrow, with every risk of running into her.
I groan into my pillow. It's still early, which makes it all the more annoying that the thought of her creeped into my brain, because now it's keeping me up. The spot next to me is already empty and cold, indicating that Emma is already up. If I concentrate, I can hear her rumbling around in the kitchen. Every now and then I hear her voice in a high pitched tone whenever she's talking to Frank. I can just imagine him circling around her feet, begging for breakfast. With that peaceful image in my mind, I drift back to sleep.
It can't have been more than a few minutes when I hear the door creak open. Figuring it's just Emma to check if I'm still sleeping, I keep my eyes closed since I'm still half asleep anyway. I hear her footsteps come into the room, and she places something on my ankle. I freeze, scared to throw it off. Emma, I realise, is trying - and kind of failing - to hold back laughter.
The thing on my leg starts wiggling and metallic music fills the room. The combination of the two things startles the last sleep out of me; in a reflex I kick the thing off and sit up, all the while cursing loudly. Panting, I watch how Emma can no longer contain her laughter; she's crouched down on the floor, struggling for air. In the corner, whatever it was is still playing a familiar tune.
"I'm sorry!" Emma hiccups, crawling over to it. "It must have gotten delivered while we were in France, after being delayed a gazillion times…" She puts the little pig back on the foot of the bed, where it cheerfully wiggles on and sings The Addam's Family theme song. I glare at it.
"I hate that. So, so much."
Emma, still laughing, picks it up and switches it off. "I don't. It's my new favourite toy."
"Couldn't you have waited for a more reasonable hour than…" I look at the alarm clock. "Ten past seven?"
"No." She grins, and then she gets up to peck my lips. "I'm really sorry. You go back to sleep. I'll make sure there's breakfast ready for when you get out."
She manages to do it twice more. Each time I'm fast asleep, making my reaction even more frantic: the third time the pig lands against the edge of the closet, giving it a permanent limp to the left. Each time Emma absolutely loses it with laughter.
Finally I have trouble getting back to sleep, and the clock is nearing ten. Just when I'm about to give up, I hear the door click open once more.
"Emma, I swear to fucking God," I groan, clutching my pillow. "If I hear that pig one more time, I'm moving in with Brie."
Nothing but the shuffle of her feet.
"Emma…" I warn in a lower tone this time, knowing that it sometimes inflicts exactly what I need it to.
"I'm sorry." She says gently. "No pig. But I'm here to make it up to you."
A weight on the end of the bed. Too light to be her, and it moves carefully over the bed. "Frank can't fix this for you." I mutter, squeezing my eyes shut a little tighter as if I might still fall back asleep.
Frank moves deliberately along my body and it almost sounds like he's sniffing me. Up and up he comes, to where he's near my shoulders.
"I don't have any food, Frank."
Frank barks - a short, high-pitched sound that just about hurts my ears.
I realise the error of my thought only when I feel a wet nose in my ear, and then a rough tongue against my neck and jaw. My eyes fly open and I roll over, nearly crushing the poor guy in the process - he jumps aside with impressive agility, and then jumps back on top of me. I barely process what's happening, but finally realise that this is, in fact, not Frank, but a dog. A very excitable one, too.
"Hey buddy," I chime, trying to get him to calm down. He shows no signs of complying. "Some alarm clock you are. No - no, my watch isn't food!" I look at Emma, feeling nothing but confusion. "What's happening?"
She's beaming, eyes locked on the dog on my chest. I barely manage to sit up, just when Emma sits on the side of the bed. "Merry Christmas."
"Merry…" I frown, not catching on. Meanwhile, the dog jumps all around the bed but always returns to attacking my bare chest with surprising force. I finally catch its paws, and manage to keep it a distance away from me. When I stare at Emma in search for an answer, it finally dawns on me. "My present is a dog?!"
She somehow beams even brighter, and nods. "It's why I couldn't get it to you on the day off… We had to wait just a little longer."
I stare down at the little creature. "He doesn't look like a pup."
"He isn't. He's just shy of ten months old. I figured that with our lives, raising a puppy would be impossible, so I found a breeder that kept them a little longer. He's potty trained, crate trained and knows the basic commands."
The dog has finally calmed down, now happily succumbed to the belly scratches I'm offering. I fall silent, trying to process the information I was just given.
The dog is unmistakably an Alaskan klee kai, just like that one Instagram account I regularly showed Emma. I stare at her in utter disbelief. She smiles small.
"I figured that after everything that happened this year… You kept saying how you'd love a dog, and you kept showing me those pictures…" She looks almost a little shy.
"C'mhere." I beckon her over, since I can't really move with the little guy in my lap. She moves closer to me, and when I can reach her I pull her into me. "You are the absolute best girlfriend I could ever wish for. This goes beyond anything I'd expect… Thank you so much."
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