A Bet

Chapter 2  |  Part 2

A clean-shaven man with long brown wavy hair addressed Sassy. “Um, excuse me, miss?” he looked at her large canvas bag. He cringed, “Are you Sassy?”

“Yes,” she said blankly.

He made a heavy sigh and looked behind his shoulder as if someone was watching him. Half-heartedly he started, “Well then maybe you should get an…” he threw his hands up, “Nope, can’t do it! Luca told me to say ‘you should get an attitude adjustment’.”

Jimmy stood up and leaned across the table with a stern look. Riley stepped back.

Sassy gently set her hand on Jimmy’s chest. “Down, Jimmy-boy. It’s just a prank of Luca’s.”

He straightened up and sat back down. “Joke or no joke, Sassy should be treated with respect. I’m getting tired of this Luca kid.” He returned to his newspaper and pretended he was never interrupted.

“I’m assuming he needs something.” Sassy raised up while grapping her bag.

“Yah, some new clothes,” Riley said lightly.

Sassy shot him a warning look.

“Again?” Jimmy said bitterly. He gazed up at Sassy. “What is this guy’s problem.”

“He’s too ashamed to talk about it, sweety,” she bent over and lowered her voice, “Luca has a bowel condition. The poor thing needs my help.”

Jimmy grimaced even further and decided to drop it. “Well, I guess I’ll see you tonight.”

“Now that I don’t work tonight, definitely.” With one last smile, she leaned in closer and held a kiss on his lips.

Riley looked toward the window away from Jimmy and Sassys’ moment. Outside he saw Luca perched on some strangers lap, being petted while grooming himself.

Sassy let go of the kiss and started to move away. Jimmy quickly slipped out a spread of the newspaper and handed it to her. “If you have the time while your out.”

She looked at the content before folding it. “Oh, fun, job listings.”

Jimmy waved goodbye and glared at Riley as they exited the café.

Luca perked up and pounced off the stranger’s lap as the doorbells chimed.

Sassy spoke, “So how did you get roped into this? You must be one of Luca’s new friends?”

“Yah, I’m new in town. I caught Luca stealing my pants. I’m Riley.”

The three walked together, on the cobble street with a small crowd around them while Luca pranced between the two.

“Ah, he saw a stash and took it. Luca is devious like that.” Luca jumped and swatted at her bag. “By the way, that guy I was with, Jimmy, he doesn’t know about my deal with Luca, so next time don’t mention the clothes.”

“Sorry, I wasn’t really sure what I was getting myself into.” He stuck his hands in his pockets.

Riley was curious. “So you’re…one of us?”

She crossed her arms and sighed. “Yes, I am like you and Luca.”

She didn’t seem too happy about it. “I’ve never met anyone before today.”

“Well, welcome to the family, Riley,” she smiled and placed a hand on his back.

“Thanks.” Riley smiled shyly as she slipped her hand away. “So, you made a deal with Luca about giving him clothes?”

She laughed before answering. “I made a bet and I lost.”

“What was the bet?” Sassy turned a corner and Riley fallowed.

“Over a year ago, when I wasn’t so responsible and well behaved, I was a fake prostitute.”

Riley raised his eyebrows. “A fake prostitute?”

“Yah, we didn’t live very decent lives back in the day,” she looked down at Luca. “We would butter up a target, a woman for Luca and a man for me, told them we were prostitutes, stake out their houses when they invited us over, escape as cats, and return to steal some of their stuff. Luca and I where a tag team most nights. Now he just flies solo when he chooses. Half the time, he didn’t fake it though; made more money that way. I never slept with anyone.”

Riley pondered about Luca’s past. “How many women would you guess he’s slept with?”

Sassy yawned quietly. “Wouldn’t surprise me if it was hundreds.”

The orange tabby hissed while Riley wished he hadn’t shook hands with Luca. They lost the crowds while getting farther away from the Cobble District. Sassy stopped at a gap between two apartment complexes with no windows between them.

“We’ll stand guard while Luca changes.” She slipped some clothes out of her big canvas bag and set them a couple paces away from the street. Luca ran after and sat by the pile of clothes. When she returned, her and Riley turned their back on him. “So one night,” she continued, “we found a high profile target for me. It was a huge risk and we wanted to take it.”

“Who was it?”

“The chief of police, Armen Baskel.”

“I don’t really see the bigger risk?”

“He lives in a skyscraper, we assumed he had a security system, and wasn’t likely to warm up to the idea of a prostitute.”

They could hear Luca scoffing behind them in his human form while dressing himself.

“So how did you do it?”

“We knew once I got in, we wouldn’t be able to come back. So I had to convince him I left without leaving.”

“You hid as a cat?”

She nodded. “The key was getting him drunk enough to not be suspicious. It worked.”

Luca came up behind them and put his arms around each of them. “But she still lost the bet.”

“So what was the bet?” Riley asked while slipping out from under Luca to face both of them.

“To get his police hat,” Luca said a matter-of-factly. “If she couldn’t do it, she had to carry backup clothes for me for basically the rest of her life.”

Just noticing what Luca was wearing, Riley had to ask. “What’s with the shirt?” he started to chuckle.

“Oh, what’s it say today,” Luca held out his purple shirt and tried to read the big bubble letters upside down, “Worlds…best…grandma, nice, Sassy.”

Sassy didn’t chuckle. “He’s used to it. He never said they had be stylish clothes. Its my way of getting back at him.”

Riley burst out laughing and that caused Sassy to join in.

“Yah-yah, poor me, I have to wear embarrassing clothes. I can get a girl to buy me a drink in this shirt.”

“That sounds like a bet,” Riley said with confidence.

“You sure about that, buddy,” he poked Riley in the chest. “I have a pretty good winning streak. What are you willing to loose?”

“I’ll take that bet.” Sassy said, pulling back her hair. “Maybe not something that will affect my daily routine.” She gestured to her canvas bag.

Riley grinned. “We can think of something.”

They started walking back toward the Cobble District.

Can you rock the World's Best Grandma t-shirt?