“I’m going nuts!” Sean yelled, banging on the window. “This is the twenty-fifth day of rain in a row.” Throwing his head back, he howled.
I calmly tapped the Kindle to move to the next page in my book. “So? It’s not like you’ll melt.” I looked up. “Unless you’re descended from the Wicked Witch of the East? Which would be cool, just sayin’. Think of the fun we’d have sending the flying monkeys after the neighbors.”
Scowling, he dropped to the couch and bent to retrieve his shoes. “My sneaks haven’t been dry in weeks.”
“Wear your cowboy boots then.”
“You know I can’t. He likes to lick them.” He tied one set of laces, then the other. “I swear he has a leather fetish.” He popped to his feet, resigned to getting wet. “Coming?”
I glanced out the window, one eyebrow raised. It was still pouring, and if anything, it had gotten worse. “In this? Not likely.”
“Come on,” he pleaded. “I need you to hold the fire extinguisher.”
“You have never once needed to use it.” I settled more comfortably in my deep, overstuffed, exceedingly comfortable chair, holding the Kindle closer. “I’m just getting to the good part.”
“Please? I’ll run you a nice bath after and open a bottle of wine. The good one we’ve been saving.”
“Throw in a massage, and you’ve got a deal.”
He smiled. “Done.” He snatched our hoodies off the hooks by the door and tossed me mine. “I’ll get his dinner from the fridge.”
Petey was waiting for us in the garage, gazing anxiously at the door we always used to enter, wings slightly spread for balance. He wasn’t all that large yet–about two feet high at the shoulder–and I often wondered just how big he’d get. Already, he was eating us out of house and home, but I doubted Sean would give him up.
Petey bounced up and down in excitement, making happy noises. Sean threw back his hood, spraying water drops, and knelt in front of Petey’s cage. The dragon was going to outgrow it soon, and then what? This was already the largest container we could find.
Taking the wrapper off Petey’s food, Sean opened the cage door and held out the whole chicken. It was raw; we’d discovered almost immediately Petey didn’t like anything cooked.
Petey was careful; Sean didn’t lose any fingers or even suffer so much as a scratch from the dragon’s long, sharp teeth.
“We’re going to have to find a home for him,” I said again, as I had so many times already.
“I know, but let’s talk about it tomorrow.” That was always his response. Sean patted Petey’s head as he tore into the meat. That Petey allowed him to do it was a good sign.
I’d put it off long enough. Time to talk to my uncle, who lived on a large, rambling farm, about taking on a new pet. I touched the top of Sean’s head. I never could disappoint him.
Word count: 502
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