Yesterday Berni Stevens set the scene with a heavily pregnant cat and a (potentially) handsome vet. Today Sarah Waights picks up the baton for the second part of our Mother’s Day Round Robin!
Make sure you read Berni’s extract first HERE and follow the story right until the end to find out about our competition
They settled the little cat into the box where she industriously kneaded the thick layer of towels until they were to her liking before throwing herself onto her side with another plaintive miaow. The two girls were watching her anxiously when they jumped in unison at the sound of the doorbell.
‘You go,’ said Jo. ‘He’s going to be cross at being called out and it’s your fault.’
Lily was already on her way. She could see him through the frosted glass panel in the front door. She had a general impression of dark, wavy hair, a black jacket and jeans. Goodness he was tall.
‘Thanks so much for coming,’ she said breathlessly, as she opened the door. He ignored her, bending down to pick up his bag. ‘Does anyone ever tell you you’re really, really tall,’ she added, nervously.
‘Yes,’ he said, not bothering to meet her eye. ‘Often. Now, where’s this medical emergency of yours.’ He didn’t wait for a reply, but brushed past her in the narrow hallway, before striding towards the open door of the sitting room.
‘Did I interrupt something when I called?’ she added, trotting after him, keen to find out what she was supposed to be apologising for – it was obviously something quite bad.
‘Yes,’ he said again. ‘She’ll get over it.’
‘I’m Lily, by the way.’
‘Rob,’ he replied. ‘And who’s she?’ He cocked a thumb at Jo, who was skulking in the kitchen area, pretending to wash up.
‘The cat’s mother,’ quipped Lily, rather wittily she thought.
‘So she’s paying my bill then?’
‘Erm, well, no …’ stuttered Lily, glancing at Jo apologetically, ‘that would probably be me.’
Rob raised his eyes to heaven, and shook his head. ‘Right, let’s take a look,’ he said hunkering down to the box on the floor and shrugging off his jacket.
Strong thighs, noted Lily, inconsequentially, and broad-chested too – like a rugby player. She wondered who the woman was who would ‘get over it’. A glamorous girlfriend, no doubt.
Despite his obvious exasperation at the girls he examined the little cat gently and efficiently, running his hands over her ribs and peering into her ears.
‘Well, she’s a stray for sure,’ he said. ‘And you’re right about the kittens. Not long now, by the looks of it. She’s a bit underweight,’ he added, ‘and I doubt she’s even a year old. Too young to be a mother.’
‘A teenage mum,’ observed Lily. ‘Poor little scrap. She’s so tiny.’
‘Not fully grown,’ explained Rob. ‘This’ll stunt her growth, she’ll always be small now.’
‘Aaah,’ said Jo, coming out of the kitchen and looking at the cat more sympathetically before going to give her a stroke.
‘She’s got fleas, by the way,’ added Rob.
‘Urgh!’ Jo recoiled. ‘She’s not staying,’ she told Lily.
‘I’ll add a flea treatment to my bill,’ said Rob.
‘In for a penny, in for a pound,’ agreed Lily, getting a bit worried about the preoccupation with money. She was a bit broke at the moment.
‘Would you like a coffee?’ she asked. He looked like he needed something and perhaps she could soften his heart with a chocolate biscuit or two if they had any left.
Well, Rob certainly sounds gorgeous – but also a bit grumpy! Will those chocolate biscuits work to soften his heart? And who was it on the end of that phone? Find out tomorrow when Annemarie Brear takes over.
If you’d like the chance to win a mystery prize in celebration of Mother’s Day, make sure you come back every day until Sunday so you can answer all five questions. You will need to read right until the end of each part to answer. We will give contact details of where to send your answers to on the final day of the Round Robin. Please wait until the end of the story to send in your answers.
The second question is: As well as being heavily pregnant, what else is the poor cat suffering from?
If you enjoyed Sarah’s writing, why not check out her debut novel, Never Marry a Politician, which is out in paperback on 7th March. Pre-order HERE.