The Morning After

Chapter 1  |  Part 2

The next morning, not too far from The Juliet hotel, Luca laid on his back naked in a fancy bed he had never slept in. A gentle breeze pushed back the chiffon curtains to reveal a glimpse of the rustic empire of New Orion . The curly haired brunette next to him rolled in her sleep while a bird pecked at the feeder attached to the awning outside. Luca’s golden eyes focused on the motion as it swung back and forth. The bird stopped eating with a sudden chirp and flew away.

Impatient to get away from the awkward moment that would soon arise, Luca swiftly snuck out of the Egyptian sheets, quietly gathering his clothes amongst the room. After putting on his pants, he remembered his belt was tied to the headboard, right above the brunette woman: what a crazy night.

He scrunched up his face and pulled back his greasy orange hair out of his eyes. Carrying the rest of his garments with a watchful eye, he reached for the belt tied to the ornate wooden headboard, imbedded with scratch marks from the night before. The belt was almost free when another bird sounded outside. Distracted, Luca knocked the buckle against the headboard and let go.

Her eyes flew open from the noise as she sat up with the soft sheets held against her chest. Looking around the room and the empty bed beside her, all that remained of the mystery man was the pile of clothes on the floor. She gasped as a ginger cat popped out from under the bed, rubbing itself against the bedframe.

She reached for something on her end table, “Shoo! Get out of here!” Throwing a bracelet at the cat, it departed through the curtains.

The ginger cat eagerly escaped off the balcony, hopping form ledge to ledge, roof to roof until we would reach his destination.

At the same time, Riley was still fast asleep, the sun warming his body inside the robe he slept in. The phone rang on the end-table causing him to sit up. He began to doubt it ever happened since it only rang once. It was almost nine as he quickly got dressed.

Quietly he cracked open the door, only to find the cleaning cart blocking the entrance. The apposing room was wide open as the maid could be seen changing the sheets, talking to a man outside Riley’s visibility.  It wasn’t safe enough. Closing the door ever so gently, he headed for the window. Being on the third floor with no awning or balconies, Riley knew he only had one option left besides a suicide jump.

Starting with his belt, he began to strip down to nothing. Meticulously folding his clothes around his shoes and wrapping the belt around the bundle, he raised the parcel out the window and aimed for a dumpster in the alley. It landed quietly among a low amount of trash, safe for the time being. Returning to the front door, he twisted the knob so it just left a sliver of an opening. The man’s voice could still be heard as Riley shrunk down to the floor.

The man in the hall paid no attention to the shaggy brown cat that slipped quietly out from room 306. Staying close to the wall Riley looked back at the man. He appeared to be of importance with his shiny blue vest, slick side-parted hair and perfectly shined shoes.

The hall and stairwell were empty until reaching the lobby that lead into the restaurant he tried to sneak out from the night previous. There were a couple of male employees in the lobby where he had met the blonde, but no women in sight.

From experience, Riley knew men were less kind to cats. Given his circumstances, he needed to coax a woman or sprint for an open door.

He decided to try the back way, keeping an eye out for open doors or windows. Passing through a sitting area and private dinning room, no one was around, not even a draft. Riley sat on the wooden floor, swishing his bushy tail like a broom, contemplating his escape.  His ears pinned back and his silver eyes widened as footsteps could be heard down the hall. Ducking under a coffee table, he could only see women’s heals. Taking a risk, he pranced after her, fallowed by a friendly chirp. Looking up, he saw the familiar face of the blonde from last night.

paw-print

Ascending the stucco buildings, Luca slipped inside a cracked window of an old bar, called The Barley Pub. Barstools and chairs were turned over on tables as the barmaid could be heard sweeping the floor some distance away. In the back of the building, a door was cracked open with his best friend’s unmistakable snoring from inside. The cat pushed his face through the door into the closet sized room and propped himself atop the cot.

Rubbing himself against Cassidy, he tickled the man’s nose with his tail. With a snort, he awoke in the darkness. Sitting up and planting his feet on the floor, he cursed his hangover and straightened his military beret while turning on the light. He made a half grin when he noticed he wasn’t alone.

“Well, laddy, look what we’ve got here,” he said to the ginger cat now sitting on the floor, swiping its tail back and forth. He crossed his arms to his chest. “Somebody lost their pants again and wouldn’t you know, I don’t have a spare pair to lend the poor fella.”

The ginger cat meowed with a low growl.

“Sorry, laddy. I’ve got to look after my own pants and I don’t owe you any favors for now.” Cassidy laughed while scratching his beard. “You should really find some help to control that nervous tick of yours, changing without any control and all.” He made a wild grin, “Such a shame to see you in this predicament.”

Luca continued to growl as he left the closet.

Cassidy hollered after him. “That’s the spirit, Luca! Never give up,”

Will Luca ever find a pair of pants?