Chapter 10 - Limitless Pets
"Now, Oreo, you climb on top of them! You can do it!"
At the bottom of the pyramid, there was Asha, Meeka, and Accalia, on their knees and paws. On top of them were Misti and Trixi, trying to keep their balance. And Oreo was now climbing to the top for the third time, and, hopefully, she wouldn't make everybody fall again.
"Oreo... Don't put your foot on Accalia's head... Nooo!"
Well, it didn't take long... Accalia gave up and let herself fall flat on her belly, not wanting to play anymore, and causing all the other pets to lose balance and fall on each other like a crumbling house of cards. I now had another pile of entwined pets before me in the middle of the lounge.
Yesterday was my pet sitting day. Lucy took a well-needed day off, and put me in charge of her pets until her return this morning. Sleeping with them all in the capsule last night was great, but it took me a while to retrieve all my clothes this morning. Those little creatures hid them here and there in the café.
Lucy was supposed to show up soon, so I was just playing with my friends to kill time. I thought it would be fun to make them climb on each other to build a pet pyramid, take a picture and stick it on Lucy's fridge. But it didn't work too well. The pets were tiny and not very strong. We would have to try again later... maybe with some practice.
Trixie extracted herself from the pile first and crawled to me while the others used the opportunity of being all together to cuddle on the floor.
I went to my favorite booth with Trixie and made her straddle me. I pinched her little bunny rubber whiskers and gazed in her deep black eyes. Since I saw Trixie out of her suit, it never happened again. I barely remembered what she looked like as a human. I remembered her being a cute short-haired blonde with blue eyes, but her visage had mostly faded away from my memory.
Actually, since the time I wore Accalia's suit, I didn't see any of the girls out of their costumes. I couldn't be sure, but I think Lucy had asked them to give me some breathing room because of how much I struggled to keep up with all those new experiences.
She must have been right because it has been three weeks already, and everything has gone perfectly since then. I was amazed at how comfortable I became around my latex pet girls, to the point where I started to feel ready to interact with them as humans again... Or at least try. I remembered all the fun Meeka, Misti, and Asha seemed to have at the mall, and I thought it would be a good thing to walk toward that goal slowly. It looked fun to have friends.
Trixie was familiar to me since I got to sleep with her out of costume, and she was super friendly too. I also remembered that she was interested in going on a date with me or something, but she didn't push me at all when I told her I was not ready just yet. It made me trust her.
But maybe now, I could talk to her and see if she would like to do something after her pet shift. Perhaps not a date per se, but just something casual to see if I could deepen our relationship and get to the next level of human interaction. Could I have a relationship like that too?
"Trixie...? When... is your... shift over?"
The bunny cocked her head and brought a paw to her chin, possibly trying to find a way to answer. She then grabbed my hand and opened my fingers before folding a couple of them.
"Would... Would you like... To do something... with me? When you are done?"
Trixie slammed her two paws to her chest to simulate a heart attack and pretend to be shocked.
"Aaah! Trixie... Don't tease me! I just... would like to do something with you... Outside the café."
Trixie nodded and gave me a big hug. She seemed thrilled. Our personalities were undeniably clashing; I was always reserved and never really expressed myself, not smiling often. Trixie was the opposite; the bunny was always so expressive, happy, and energetic, always looking forward to every activity and opportunity to have fun. I could learn a lot from her.
Out of the blue, the lounge door opened, and Lucy walked in.
"Hey, girls! How did it go?"
It only took a fraction of a second for all the pets, including Trixie, to rush to Lucy to grab her legs, torso, and arms. It was always so cute to see them do that. They loved her beyond reason as an owner and caretaker. But her reaction was always priceless.
"Aaaah! Stop it! You'll make me fall. Meeka? What are you doing? Stop tugging on my bag. It's not a surprise. It's just food. Trixie! Don't you have anything better to do? If you break my bracelet again, I'll be mad! Yes! Yes! I'm happy to see you all! Go sit now! Let me go talk to Clara for a sec. I need a break."
It took some effort, but Lucy managed to peel off the rubber girls from her body and come sit with me. As usual, she was extremely grateful for my willingness to take care of the pets during her day off.
"That was so amazing, Clara! I went shopping with my sis, and we went to the restaurant, and then we watched movies together. What you are doing for me is priceless for my mental health. I will have to find a way to repay all your hard work. How were the pets while I was away. Did they behave?"
"Yes. They were nice."
"I know they are, but they can be troublemakers too!"
"No. They were just nice."
"You must have a magic touch then. Or they like you better than they like me..."
I didn't think she meant that, but it still shocked me that she could have said such a thing about her beloved pets. It was probably sarcasm, something I was not too good at grasping.
"So, Clara? Are you working today?"
"Awww! Too bad. We never get to spend a lot of time together."
"Can... Can I do... something... with Trixie?"
"You mean sex? Sure!"
My face turned beet red. It was not at all what I meant. Why would she come up with something so raw?
"Haha! Sorry, I was just teasing you. What do you mean? You want to bring her home tonight?"
"No... After her shift."
"Oh? Trixie the girl, not Trixie the pet? Sure... I told you, I'm not their mother. But after the little incident with Asha and Vix, I thought you preferred just to do things with them as pet girls. I mean, if you think you are ready to try again, I have no problem with it. "
"I'm good now. I'm ready... I think."
"Well, Trixie will finish her shift in two days. You have time to think about it."
"Oh, you know what? Why don't you go visit Vix with her? Did I tell you? Vix just got a bad cold. Probably from a client or something. She had to skip her shift. I'm sure that in a couple of days, she would be happy to see you."
"Where... Where is she?"
That was one of the questions I wanted to ask for a very long time, but I never got a good opportunity. The pets were very mysterious, and one of the missing elements was where they went when they were not working at the café? I had absolutely no idea.
I think Lucy realized that too.
"Ooooh! That's right. We never told you about their home?"
"Yes, my pet girls all live in the same apartment. Because they are often here, they don't need their own place as you do. So they share one. It's a pretty nice place. You should go for a visit. I'm sure Trixie would be thrilled to show you. It's not far from here either."
Sharing a place seemed like a good idea considering that only two or three of the pets were out of their suit at a time, and they seemed to be only off for a couple of days in a row. It was not easy to find something affordable in a bigger city like ours, where even a tiny apartment could be challenging to find; I barely managed to pay my rent with my low salary. There was no way I could save anything at the end of the month.
Because of my communication disorder, I never put many thoughts in sharing a bigger place with someone else. In my head, I was born to be alone, so living with others was kind of emotionally prohibited.
There were eight pets that I knew of; Vix, Trixie, Asha, Oreo, Misti, Meeka, Accalia, and the doggy that I haven't seen around too often. Generally, five or six of them were working, so it meant that only three of them were sleeping at home every night; they didn't need something that big.
I was quite excited about this opportunity to learn more about my friends.
As soon as I opened my apartment door, Trixie jumped in my arms for a hug. The small blonde girl was clearly excited to spend the day with me as a human.
"I just finished working, and I came here right away. It's much easier to get out of a suit when you are going on a date!"
"Aaaah! Well... I call it a date... It just makes me happy! Don't worry about it. So, Lucy told me you wanted to visit our place? Vix is doing better, but she would be super happy to see you since she hasn't been able to go to the café all week."
"Does... she knows... I'm coming?"
"No! It's going to be a surprise!"
"Come. Let's go now! I can't wait to show you our place!"
"O... okay! But wait... I have something... for Vix."
I walked to my kitchen and grabbed a plastic box that contained a special treat for the mending fox girl. Last night, knowing I'd probably visit her, I baked some chocolate chip cookies. I was about to put the box in my backpack when a chin landed on my shoulder.
"Oooh... Cookies! Give me one!"
"No... They are a gift for Vix."
"Aww! Really? She won't mind if I eat one or two. I'm sure."
Trixie tried to take the box away from my hand, but I tugged back.
"Ah! Come on! I'm sure you ate one already! I'm sure if I kiss you, I'll be able to taste it!"
"Trix... Stop! Stop! Haha! Stooop!"
I was turning my head away from the cute girl who tried to playfully kiss me at the same time as she was trying to steal my cookie box. She pushed me in a corner and wrapped her arms around me.
"Mmm! You are so warm, Clara... I want to cuddle with you forever!"
"I... I like cuddling you too."
"When I'm a pet or when I'm a human?"
"You have to say when I'm a pet..."
"...When you are a pet?"
"YAY! I love being a pet so much more! Alright. Let's go see Vix. She must be miserable. But, I'll do all I can to steal a cookie from her, though."
We have been walking for the past half hour, heading deeper downtown. Trixie hung to my arm the same way she did when she wore her costume, probably out of habit. I guess we can't take the rabbit out of the bunny. She said we were close, but I found it quite strange that she led us to the business area where only big lawyers firms and such surrounded us. I was not aware of any apartment buildings in this area.
"Alright, it's here. Let's go in."
"Uh? What's wrong?"
"Trixie... This is... an office building."
"Yes? It's an insurance company... but it's okay. Just follow me. We are in the right place."
No, we were not. It made no sense. That building was an office building about twenty floors high, not an apartment building.
Trixie grabbed my wrist and tugged me inside anyway. She was small and barely strong enough to pull the heavy glass door open. As soon as we stepped in, I became so embarrassed. There was so much luxe around me that I felt as out of place as an apple core on a castle floor.
Talking about floors, this one was all made of big white glossy marble tiles. Everything around here seemed so expensive, something I didn't see often. This company probably made more money in a day than I would make in my entire life. I felt so oppressed.
My friend didn't seem intimidated whatsoever, though. Still holding my wrist, Trixie made us pass in front of the security desk without even looking at them. Then we walked next to a couple of clients wearing business suits who looked at us with prejudice. Finally, we arrived at the elevators.
I couldn't do anything else but tremble. My conviction was that we would get arrested for trespassing and end up in jail where they would shave our heads... or something like that.
"Relax, Clara... oh, this one is coming."
One of the elevators arrived, and we got in it. Trixie slid a magnetic card out of her pocket and swiped it on the reader before pressing the P button at the very top of the panel.
"P? ... What does P... stands for?"
"Haha... P for Pets."
"...Pets? Trixie... It doesn't mean pets!"
"Well, I don't care. To me, it means Pets. We are going to the pet floor."
She had a big grin on her face while she kept joking, but I wasn't sure why she would hide the truth from me. The pets couldn't possibly live in this building. What was this about?
As I tried to figure out what was going on, Trixie took advantage of our long elevator ride to get closer to me and nuzzle my neck as if she was still wearing her bunny suit. It was not tickling as much without her whiskers, but it still made me smile to see her unable to behave in a different manner than her rabbit persona.
"Maybe we should stop the elevator and cuddle for a while."
"Haha! I won't do that to you. But I really want to!"
Her incessant teasing had the benefit of keeping us entertained until we reached our destination. On the ringing of a bell, the doors parted, and as soon as we got out, there was another giant wooden double door. Trixie swiped her card once more on a reader which granted us access to the place.
"Aaah! Come on in, Clara! Welcome to our home."
I passed the door, and my jaw dropped. It couldn't be... It was a giant luxury apartment, the biggest I have ever seen. That was impossible. How could a bunch of small pet girls afford something like this? An entire wall made of large windows and a big staircase that followed another betrayed a second floor's presence. Something didn’t add up.
"Trixie... This is... too big."
"What do you mean too big? Pets need room to play and run around, you know."
"But... How... How can you pay for this?"
"We sell a lot of cheesecake, haha!"
She just wouldn't stop teasing me. I knew it was not true. No amount of cheesecakes would be sufficient to afford this. The kitchen area alone was bigger than my apartment.
"Come! Let's go see if Vix is awake."
The excited rabbit girl grabbed my arm again and pulled me up the staircase. I swear, ten people would be able to go up and down at the same time without bumping into each other... maybe fifteen pets. I was just a baffled body that Trixie dragged around like a doll, knowing very well that I was beyond confused.
The soft carpet absorbed every sound that our feet would have made, and even the air we were breathing tasted expensive. Some lights turned on as we progressed in the upper floor hallway until we reached one of the bedroom doors.
"Sshhh... Let me check if she is awake first."
Trixie cracked the door open just enough to squeeze her head inside the dark room.
"Pssst... Vix? Are you awake? You have a visitor."
"Mmm... I don't want a visitor... I just want to feel better!"
"Clara is here... That should make you feel better, foxy!"
"AAAH? CLARA? But... Why did you bring her here."
"Because she is our friend... So, I'll let her in. You aren't naked, are you?"
"N... No... but..."
Trixie closed the door and turned to me.
"Yeah... Lucy told you about Vix's face, right? She is embarrassed by her scars, but she is making too much of a fuss about it. She is still a cutie. Come on. While you go see her, give me your cookies, I'll put them in the kitchen."
"Trixie! No...! It's for Vix!"
"Aaah. Give me just one... I will give you some time alone with Vix because I have to go take a well-needed shower. Just one... Pleaaase! They smell so good!"
"...Mmm... Okay... But only one..."
"Sure! Only one!"
I placed my backpack on the ground and pulled out the cookie box. I bent the lid open and presented the sugary treat to the drooling girl.
"TRIXIE! NO! You said only one!"
"Byyyye! I'll come back in thirty minutes!"
I grumbled while the happy rabbit bounced away with a handful of cookies that she stole without any shame. I placed the lid back on as I was shaking my head, then I slowly opened the bedroom door again.
It was so dark in there. I could see Vix's shape on the large king bed, her lower body covered by a blanket, and her back resting on too many pillows. I walked to the window as I wanted to open the curtains, so I could see her better.
"No! Leave the curtains closed, please. I... I have... a headache."
"...Oh... Okay... How... How are you doing?"
It was so awkward. Usually, Vix was the one rushing to my arms to get a hug, but her human form was not as much in a hurry to do the same. Her voice was timid and unconfident, pretty much like mine. I tried to look at her face through the darkness, but she was wearing an animal pajama with a hoodie covering almost her entire face... Her lips and chin were pretty much all I could see. I thought it was adorable that she was dressing up like a fox, even at home, even thought this wasn’t latex.
"I... I brought you cookies, Vix. Do you want one?"
"Yes. I made them myself. For you. To make you feel better."
"I... I love cookies..."
I extended my arm and gave her her gift. Silently, she peeled the lid off and slid it under the box. Then she used her two hands to grab one cookie and bring it up to her mouth for a nibble.
"Mmm... Chocolate chip... They are good. Thanks so much!"
"I'm glad you like them... Can... Can I sit with you?"
"...Yes. NO! Sorry... Can you sit on the other side?"
I took a long walk around the large bed, knowing very well why she didn't want me to sit on her left. Her scars were probably on that side, and she didn't want me to see them. I wasn't going to argue because I was relating to her discomfort so much. My communication disorder wasn't a physical injury, but it was a scar nonetheless. I knew the fear of being discovered and judged by others, even if they were close to me. There was nothing to be offended about. Vix reaction was normal under the circumstances.
I climbed on the bed, sinking in the soft mattress, and slid under the blanket to sit shoulder to shoulder with my fox friend. She tried to pull her hoodie a bit lower, but she had reached its range limit.
"I... I like your voice, Vix. It's very cute."
"T...Thanks. This is so weird."
"Yes... It was the same thing when I saw Trixie... and Asha..."
"Yeah... but those two are pretty."
"They are... But everybody told me you were pretty too."
"Mmm... I'm not so sure about that..."
"I know... what you mean. It's okay. I thought the same of myself... before I met you. It’s better now."
As if my words struck a sensitive chord, Vix turned her head to me. The fluffy fox ears attached to her hoodie laid flat on the sides. A faint smile appeared on her lips, and for a moment, she tried to resist the urge to get some affection. But her will was not strong enough, and when she was done hesitating, she wrapped her arms around my waist, without asking, and rested her head on my chest.
"I want to cuddle... so badly. I was so lonely this week."
"Aww. I know."
"I’m so happy you came."
I squeezed the small fox girl in my arms, and we stayed like this for a while, murmuring funny things to each other and making fun of Trixie, who stole nearly half of the cookies. Latex costume or not, she was still the little Vix that I loved so much. We shared some more sugary treats and then laid down deeper in the comfy bed. Doing this with her was very special, even though it was quite strange to feel her tiny fingers crawling on me.
Unfortunately, Vix was still recovering from her cold and quickly fell asleep on my shoulder. She must have been exhausted. This could be a good opportunity to...
I dared to pull her hoodie out a little bit using my fingertip, just enough to uncover her tiny nose and closed eyes. They were right... she was so cute... so peaceful. It made me wonder if natural cuteness was a mandatory trait to be hired by the animal café or if being pets transformed them after the fact.
I was curious about her scars, though... How could such a thing cause so much shame to such an adorable girl? It was just not right... not fair.
I pulled the hoodie a bit more to the side until I noticed the beginning of a mark, carved in her soft skin. It was beginning there, right in the middle of her cheek. It would be easily noticeable in broad daylight, and for sure, people were probably drilling with the same questions over and over when she was not a latex fox; how did this happen? Does it hurt? Can't it be surgically removed? Or the pitiful encouragement; poor girl. I've seen worse. It's nothing. You make a big deal out of nothing.
I pulled the hoodie back over her cheek, not desiring to see more of what was not for me to see. I bet the small fox girl much preferred to hear more pleasant words.
"Can I get a hug...? Can we cuddle...? Do you want to come to my place...? Do you want to be my friend...? Can I kiss you?"