**Because I can’t let them go, this week’s fic features Matt and Alex. Books tab at the top has the links to their flash fics in order, if you missed any**
I walked into the house and stopped dead at the sight before me. I’d just finished a long, particularly grueling swing shift. This had to be a hallucination because I was beyond tired. I blinked, then rubbed my eyes hard. Nope. It was real.
“Matthew Edward Carter-Sullivan!”
Matt’s entire body jerked, and then he cringed, before he turned wide, mockingly innocent eyes to me. “Oh, hey, baby. You’re home.”
“Hi.” I squinted at him. “Seriously, Matt, what the fuck?”
He held up his hands in surrender. “It’s Carrie’s fault!”
I blew out a breath, and then pinched the bridge of my nose. I should have guessed that my wonderful but meddlesome best friend was somehow involved. They’d always been friendly, and Carrie was married to Matt’s brother. But ever since she and my husband had planned our wedding together they’d been thick as thieves. I thought that it was great that they go along so well–they were the two most important people in my life–but they somehow always managed to get into trouble.
Matt took my silence as an invitation to explain. “See, she decided that she was going to get Luke a fish tank for his birthday. And she recruited me along to do the heavy lifting.” Matt curled an arm to show off his bicep. I continued to glare, not amused. He shook his head and continued. “And then she wanted to look, just look, at the kittens. But then we saw this one and I couldn’t leave her there, Alex. I just couldn’t!”
The overly dramatic tone did nothing to sway me. Matt knew better than to think it would. Which is why he picked up the tiny kitten in his lap, cradled it in his hands, and turned so that the little face was looking straight at me. “Look, though. Isn’t she just so sweet?”
The kitten ever so slowly blinked at me. And then she started to purr. Despite the eight or so feet that separated us, I could still hear it. Okay, yeah, if I was being honest, she was absolutely adorable. She was all black except for the small patch of white on one paw, and her eyes were a startling and sort of eerie shade of green. She gave a somewhat pitiful meow. My heart nearly melted right on the spot. But no. I couldn’t let the kitty get to me. I was pissed. Matt had brought home a pet without even talking to me first.
“Matt,” I said, my voice low and full of warning. I had to tear my gaze from the kitten and force myself to focus on my beloved husband’s face. And I did love him. Which was why I wasn’t throwing a tantrum of epic proportions and insisting he get the cat the fuck out of our house. “You can’t just–”
“But I need something to cuddle with when you’re on nights,” he interrupted quickly. “I get so lonely, and I miss you so badly. Having the cat in the house will make me feel better.”
Shit. He jumped straight to the trump card. He knew I hated leaving him alone at night. I deflated, my anger disappearing. “Matty, I told you I’d get another job. There are other things I can do. If it’s really that bad, I can–”
“No,” he cut me off again. He set the kitten inside a towel lined basket and practically leapt to his feet, crossing the distance between us quickly. He took my face in his hands and tilted it down until I had no choice but to look at him. “You love being a paramedic, and I know you’d be unhappy doing anything else. I don’t want you to do that. I knew what I was getting into when I fell in love with you. We’ve been making it work for almost two years. We’ll keep making it work. Don’t even think about quitting your job.”
I nodded. “But you just said–.” His kiss shut me up this time, but I was perfectly fine with that. I wrapped my arms around him and pulled him in close, fitting our bodies together perfectly. He always felt so good in my arms.
“I hate being away from you on nights that you work, but I can deal,” he said softly, his lips brushing against mine. “But Alex, I want the kitten.”
Like I would deny him anything. “Fine,” I grumbled, just for form. “Keep the damn kitten. But don’t expect me to clean the littler box or brush her. Or feed or pet her or anything. This one is all on you, buddy.”
His grin was brilliantly bright, and I was rewarded with another kiss. “Thank you, baby.” He squeezed me tightly, then pulled out of the embrace to sit by the basket again. I walked closer so that I could see too. The kitten had curled up and fallen asleep, her tiny body contorted in what had to be an uncomfortable position. Apparently, she didn’t think so.
“I think I’m going to call her Uhura,” Matt announced in a whisper.
“Like hell you are!” I exploded.
My glare was real. “I will not have that name spoken in my house.”
Matt’s smile was indulgent, and I thought I heard him mutter “ridiculous” before he shook his head. He reached out and stroked a hand down that tiny spine, his fingers ruffling the fur along the kitten’s back. “All right, then. What shall we call her?”
I was ridiculously pleased that he’d said “we” though there was no way I was going to let him know that. I thought hard for a moment before suggesting, “Cersei?”
Matt shook his head vehemently. “No. She’s an evil bitch. I’m not going to let my sweet, beautiful kitten be called that!”
Now he was the one being ridiculous. I had to laugh. Lowering myself to the floor beside him, I wracked my brain. If Star Trek and Game of Thrones were out, we needed something else. Matt settled back into my chest, and I slid my arms around his stomach. What else did we both watch and love?
“Oh!” I said, the idea hitting like a lightning bolt. “I got it. We’ll call her…” I paused for dramatic effect. I felt Matt suck in a breath and hold it. When I let the silence stretch long enough, I announced with relish, “Buffy!”
Matt released a happy sigh. “Perfect.”
I was lying on the couch, watching TV when Matt got home from work a few days later. I was off, and I’d spent the day doing laundry and tidying up some. I gave him a grin when he walked into the living room. His smile turned wicked. I licked my lips.
“Caught you,” he mumured, his voice low.
He gestured with a hand toward my chest. I looked down at the little black ball of fur that had taken up residence on my left pectoral. “Um, well, you see. She just kind of climbed up there, and I didn’t have the heart to dump her off.”
“Uh huh.” Matt’s face was full of amusement. “Suuuuure.”
I scowled. “Shut up. I’m not going to be mean to a cat.”
“Admit it,” he said as he dropped his messenger bag on the floor. I pulled up my knees so that he could sit on the other end of the couch, then plopped my feet in his lap. “You love Buffy as much as I do.”
I would do no such thing. It was true that the cat was a sweetheart. And there was something comforting about having that warm ball of purring fur cuddled up against me. But there was no way I was going to tell Matt that I adored the cat. He would be insufferable. I shook my head, then slowly sat up, placing Buffy in her basket that was conveniently by the couch.
“The cat’s nice,” I allowed, then let my voice drop. “But it’s day light, we’re both home, and I’d rather be cuddled up with you.”
Matt’s pupils dilated with lust, and his mouth popped open to pant out little breaths. “Want me to take you to bed and fuck you hard?”
I groaned, then lunged, sealing my lips to his in a hungry kiss. This never got old. I didn’t think it ever would. “God, yes.”
“Admit that you love our cat,” Matt said, the lust in his voice making it deeper than usual, “and I will fuck you so good, you won’t walk right for days.”
I growled, and Matt just laughed. He pulled away from me, and started backing down the hallway. He tugged off his shirt, taunting me. “Admit it, Alex.”
I stalked after him, knowing I could have him whether I said it or not. But underneath the playful banter, I could see this was important to him. I wasn’t sure why, but if it mattered to him, I’d say anything. Besides, it was a little bit true. “I love the cat.”
He grabbed me and yanked me hard behind him into the bedroom. The passion on his face was enough to set fire to my body. I started yanking off my clothes, loving the lust radiating from him.
“There’s my man,” Matt all but purred, shoving me down on the bed beneath him. “Gruff on the outside, soft gooey center. Christ, I fucking love you.”
I grinned, submitting easily. I knew I was in for the ride of my life. I’d have to remember this trick. If it got him that fired up to see my softer side, I’d use that to my advantage. Who knew that cat would turn out to be a blessing?