Short story: Strays (Fanfiction written by Ruthie!)

(I'm so excited about this! Ruthie [my muse/writing partner in crime] gifted me with a fanfic! This is so adorable and I love it so much! She set it a little bit ahead in the timeline from where I'm currently writing and she definitely knows these characters well. You can find her original post with the story here.)

STRAYS

Adair burst through the front door with a big grin on his face and a wriggling bundle in his arms, “Guys! I found a puppy! Just wait till you get a look at his cute face. I was walking down Sunrise Lane and saw him stealing a pie and… well I couldn’t just leave the poor thing there, he was obviously meant for us.”

Etri and Blythe both stifled groans. They both loved that Adair was so caring, but neither of them was quite sure why the three of them getting their first house together had lead to Adair suddenly bringing home every stray he came across.

Their very first morning he came in from doing who knows what outside, holding a duck that looked like it had recently wrestled with a raccoon. Blythe had nursed the duck back to health and they had tried to set it free but, to Adair’s delight, it had stubbornly refused to leave. It also seemed to think that Blythe was its Mama. She acted grumpy about it but no one really believed her.

Next had been a whole bag of kittens that Adair had seen some heartless bastard toss in the river. There were nine of them and they’d managed to find homes for most of them, but they had ended up keeping three of them. The runt, a pure white girl that had already developed a penchant for getting into Adairs paint, and two little grey boys that were constantly wrestling and knocking things over.

After that Adair had brought home an orphan boy he had found begging. That had almost caused a big fight, kittens and ducks were one thing, a human child was another. Besides, children were very precious to the Artists, surely there was a family who would take him that was more ready to have children, as it was the three of them didn’t even have all their stuff unpacked! However, the sight of his face lighting up when the kittens started climbing all over him was enough to melt anyone’s heart, and it had been decided that he could stay.

Knowing that he probably wasn’t going to be able to talk Adair out of this stray either Etri said, “Alright, let us have a look then.”

Adair struggled for a minute to get a better hold on the wriggling bundle and then held him up in triumph. “Look at that face and tell me you aren’t in love.”

Blythe grunted a bit skeptically at this but Etri was still with shock. He didn’t know where Adair had found it, but the black fur, red eyes, and the slight smokey aura around the puppy that Etri was pretty sure no one else could see, all added up to one thing. It wasn’t just a puppy, it was a hellhound puppy.

Awed, Etri just reached out his arms for the bundle of fur and then pulled the suddenly quiet puppy close. Looking into its eyes he said, “This one is mine. His name is Smokey.”

As if it understood his words the puppy got excited and started licking Etri’s face.

Blythe just shook her head and left the room muttering about living in a zoo.
Adair ignored her cheerfully, and Etri? Etri had only eyes for the hellhound puppy.

He settled down on the floor with the puppy in his lap and started looking it over to make sure it was healthy. While he did, Etri’s mind was racing, trying to remember everything he’d ever learned about hellhounds. It wasn’t much because most people had no clue that hellhounds were anything more than a myth.

Etri was a bit worried about what the others would think when he informed them it was a hellhound, and a bit surprised that neither of them had commented immediately on the bright red eyes. Still, Adair was bringing home strays with relative frequency, the likelihood of him and Blythe wanting to kick out the hellhound puppy was pretty low right? Eventually Etri decided he’d wait to say anything until the other two commented on the eyes, or speculated on what type of dog it was.

After all, it would be at least a year before they had to worry about the puppy randomly setting things on fire.

CONVERSATION

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