Scott actually had enough income coming in that he didn’t have to take out a loan to begin building out his basement apartment; he was able to pay for it in installments as the workmen finished sections.
Jim Rutherford was very accommodating—especially considering the fact that the workmen were sawing and hammering all day while he and the other tenants in the building were trying to work. When Scott made his fourth or fifth apology, Jim just laughed it off.
“Don’t worry about it,” he said, patting Scott on the shoulder. “After all, I’m the one who’ll end up benefiting from it.”
Which was true enough. Scott had agreed that if he moved out, he would leave all the improvements in place and not seek any reimbursement for them. So Jim was getting an unused space turned into a rentable space for free. And Scott had a place to live rent-free. It was a mutually-beneficial arrangement—even if the construction was a temporary annoyance.
When the workmen were there—on Mondays and Wednesdays—Scott went home with Josie and spent the day sleeping (and doing other things). Then on Tuesday and Thursday evenings he had Clarice. After having such a lonely existence since his divorce, he was tickled pink to have people to spend time with—although it did make his weekends seem extra lonely in comparison.
But Josie—in all her thoughtfulness—fixed that for him.
When Scott arrived at her house Monday morning at 4:00 AM, he heard a strange noise on the other side of the door.
“Just a minute, Scott,” she said.
Curious, he waited. A moment later she opened the door. Tucked under one arm was a frantic gold ball of fluff that was trying to lick her, jump down, and run all at the same time.
“You got a dog?” Scott asked.
She held the puppy out to him. “I got you a dog.”
Scott stared at her, not moving. But when the puppy began to wriggle and whine, he reached for it automatically.
“Me?” he asked in disbelief.
“I thought you might like to have a dog again. You were so upset about losing your other one….”
Scott’s ex-wife had kept his dog in the divorce. And when Blondie had to be put down, she didn’t even tell Scott. He still got teary-eyed when he looked at the picture of him, Clarice, and Blondie on the beach together.
“He’s a Golden Retriever,” Josie said. “I would have gotten you a girl, too, but he was free.”
The puppy kept trying to jump up and lick Scott’s face. “Free?” Scott asked, while trying to dodge the well-intentioned attacks on his face.
“One of my best friends breeds Golden Retrievers, and he was the runt. It’s hard to sell a runt, and she was worried that he might die if he stayed in the litter and had to compete against the others, so she said I could have him—for a good cause,” she added with a smile.
Scott hesitated—even as he cuddled the puppy against his chest. He missed not having a dog, but at the same time, he didn’t have a place to keep a dog. He hated the idea of keeping a dog inside all day—especially a dog bred to be outside.
Josie seemed to read his mind. “My backyard is fenced in, so if you want to let him lose to run and be outside, you can just put him back there. There’s a gate on the side; use it any time.
Scott felt himself getting teary-eyed. What kind of vampire was he if he cried constantly over dogs?
“Thanks,” he told Josie.
She smiled at him. “No problem.”
Their beautiful moment was interrupted, however, when Scott felt something warm and wet spread across his shirt. He held the puppy out, away from himself, and it continued to pee a little trickle onto Josie’s doormat.
Josie laughed at the wet spot on the front of his shirt. “He marked you good.”
“I’ve had puppies before—and a kid. It’s certainly not my first time to be pissed on.”
“And you’re a lawyer, so it certainly won’t be your last time,” she added with a teasing grin.
Read the entire series–The Bloodsuckers: Vampire Lawyers of Middle Tennessee