"You sneaky little ninja," I blurted. Varick retrieved the black furball, detaching claws from my jeans. The vampire handed me the miowing kitten, smiling cheerfully. "Good thing I'm not allergic."
Baby blue eyes stared at me as I held my present, and the cat immediately purred. Loudly. Anything else I might have been about to think was banished as psychic senses responded to him.
I didn't spend a lot of time around animals, and had never had a pet. We moved around too much to keep them. The powers had never really been used, but I could feel animals, even talk to them to a degree.
Those tertiary skills were in full effect right now. Young as he was, the kitten already had a strong personality. He was big and in charge, and wasn't scared of anything. And he was falling in love with me.
"You like him, then?" Varick leaned against a different counter, crossing his arms.
I was still rather speechless. This wasn't the kind of reaction I had very often. "He's adorable." The kitten mewed, then leaned down to nuzzle my hand. "He has little sideburns," I cooed.
"He is a pure bred Maine Coon. The only pure black one in several generations. I thought he might make you smile."
Cradling him against my chest, I began scratching his ears and back. Impossibly, his purrs grew louder. "I don't know what to say. Thanks doesn't seem like enough."
"A kiss would be sufficient," he teased.
Still petting my kitten, I moved to Varick and kissed his cheek. "Thank you."
He smiled, entire face lit with happiness. The moment lengthened and we were lost in each other. I didn't consciously decide to, but I leaned in to kiss him again.
The instant our lips met, something occurred to me. "I have nothing to feed him. No toys or dishes or anything."
Varick laughed, then grabbed the back of my head to kiss me soundly. "Do you really think I would give you an incomplete gift?"
"I don't know. I don't exactly get a lot of gifts." The kitten butted his head into my chest for attention.
The vampire caressed my face, trailing fingers over my lips. "I shall see about correcting that." Then he left in a blur.
Cold air gusted through the open door, and I went to the entryway. Varick was back before I could close it, bearing a box full of cat items. "One more," he said, then sped away. Rubbing Kitten's ears, I was slightly jealous of that ability.
He returned with a deluxe cat tree, and my eyes widened. "How did you fit that in the Charger?"
"Practice," he replied, giving me a crooked grin. He closed the door with his foot, and carried the cat furniture into the living room.
"I'm not ready for smart-alec Varick." I followed him into the room, still stroking my baby. My kitten.
Would anyone have guessed I'd have taken to pethood so quicklu?