Insistent, continuous ringing in his head.
Stifling a groan Sebastian reached across and thumped the alarm clock before realising the sound was the doorbell.
Who the heck thought it had been a good idea to have a party the night before his birthday, therefore consigning the anniversary of his birth to hangover territory?
Oh yes, that would be his brothers. The moment he laid eyes on them again they were toast.
“Coming,” he growled and staggered downstairs.
“What?” he yanked open the door. Bright sunlight burned his retinas with stunning accuracy but haloed within it was a kitten. Or more accurately a woman dressed as a kitten, with a black leotard clinging to killer curves, furry ears pinned to light blond curls and whiskers drawn on porcelain pale cheeks. Bright blue eyes looked at him startled for a few seconds and blinked rapidly.
To add to the surreal image, she started singing.
“I’m a tiger, I’m a tiger…”
The voice was throaty and low, a sexy hum of sound that tingled along his spine. Intrigued but confused Sebastian held up his hand. “I think you have the wrong house.”
“No I don’t,” she took a deep breath, “I’m a tiger, I’m a…”
She paused when his hand rose again.
“I’m sorry, either I am still asleep or…?” he left the question open.
A soft but stubborn chin kicked upwards,“I’m a singing telegram.”
“Who on earth…?” He didn’t even finish the sentence. His damn brothers were definitely toast.
“Alright, I’ll play along, why a cat?”
“You love cats.”
Sebastian would have argued but at that precise moment Tubby, one of his feline housemates curled around his ankles, demanding attention. He picked her up and she purred like a freight train against his face.
The other kitten, the human one, raised a brow. “May I continue?”
Inclining his head he encouraged her.
“I’m a tiger…”
This time when his hand rose she huffed out a breath and looked at him with exasperation. “What now?”
“Tigers have stripes.”
Small dainty hands settled on her hips, “your point?”
“You,” he gestured to her outfit,“don’t.”
When she spoke it was through gritted teeth, “They didn’t have a striped leotard costume at the office.”
His little kitten had claws, Sebastian resisted the urge to smile. “Then why are you singing about a tiger?”
“I-did-not-choose-the-song,” each word was succinct.
“Aah it’s because I like cats.”
“You love cats,” she corrected.
“And you know this how?”
“It’s written all over your face,” her tone was sugar sweet with a cheeky edge.
Something about it alerted him and he glanced at the hallway mirror. The words, ‘I Love Cats’ were written in marker across his forehead, and if he knew his matchmaking brothers, it was permanent marker.
He nodded ruefully, “It seems you have me at a disadvantage, I’m Seb, and you are?”
She grinned, “Kat.”
Sebastian grinned back, “Hi Kat, tell me, do you happen to know a couple of mischief making young university students called Jason and Adam?”
She nodded, “The twins? They come into the coffee shop where I work part time on campus.”
“And do these matchmaking do-gooders happen to know about your singing work?”
Giving him a wary look she nodded, “We got talking one day. Do you think that…?”
“Oh yes, I definitely think that. My brothers have a romantic soul and a strong desire to find me someone special.”
A flush of pink highlighted her cheeks.“Do you want me to just go?”
No he didn’t, he really didn’t.
“It’s my birthday Kat, would you like to join me in a coffee?”
Her lips tilted in a half smile, “Do I get to finish my song?”
“Then yes, I would like a coffee. Oh by the way, this singing telegram is COD.”
Sebastian threw back his head and burst out laughing before realising that did nothing for his hangover and winced.
Her laughter echoed his. “Are you alright?”
“I will be after coffee.” He stepped aside to allow her entry. “Come in and sing for me Kat, tell me all about yourself and then we will plan revenge on my brothers, what do you think?”
“I think that’s an excellent idea.” The moment she crossed his threshold, bending to pick up a second feline housemate, something inside Sebastian clicked into place.
Like the beginning of something special.
The song that insipired this piece can be found at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgCnywMOY9I