[Vfw-times] Cassie story :-) "Surprise, Surprise!" pt 2 of 2

Rufinoform at aol.com Rufinoform at aol.com
Sun Apr 14 20:26:48 CDT 2002

(continued from part 1)

“What about this one, Laretta?” Rachel asked, glancing at a third 
illustration of the
she-wolf, “You sure look like you’re taking it easy in this one!”  Indeed 
that was true,
as the color pencil illustration showed Laretta sitting in a director’s chair 
smiling, with her arms crossed behind her head and her legs crossed, with one 
of her
pumps dangling on her foot from her toes.  Laretta nodded, “That one was by 
Jon Kemerer.
When we last stopped in Pittsburgh, I asked him to drop by backstage after 
the show to draw
me like that.”  Alex grinned, “Very clever of you!  Pretty soon, you’ll even 
out rank
Cassie for the most fan drawings!”  Vixina laughed, “Are yew kiddin’?  That 
lil’ ol’ vixen
‘s got so many drawin’s o’ her, she needs ta rent space jest t’ store ‘em 

Cindy had apparently lost interest in this discussion, so she turned her 
attention to
her mail.  She shuffled through the envelopes, finding nothing particularly 
until she stopped at the last one.  “Wha’cha got thar, Cindy?”  asked 
Vixina.  Cindy tore
open the envelope with one of her claws, “I’m not sure, but the scent on it 
vaguely familiar.”  She blinked again and sat upright as she glanced at the 
it contained, “Hey, it’s from Victor!”  Laretta smiled and sat upright when 
she heard
this, causing her other pump to slip off and fall to the floor with its mate. 
 “Oh yeah,
I remember him!  He was the tiger guy you met that night we went out, right 

The snow leopardess nodded, “Yeah, that’s him.”  Everyone seemed drawn 
towards her now,
which made Cindy feel slightly uncomfortable.  “What did he say, huh?  Tell 
us, Cindy!”
Alex pleaded.  Cindy folded the letter into her lap and glared around her, “
Let me read it
to myself first, please!”  Laretta nodded, “Yeah, let her.  It sounds like
something personal.”  Cindy just shrugged and gave one last glance around 
before reading
her letter.

‘Dear Cindy,

  It’s been quite a while since we last saw each other, hasn’t it?  Don’t 
think for a
minute that I’ve stopped thinking about you and that night we met.  You have 
no idea how
many times I’ve wished I could see your smile and hear your gentle purring 
voice again.

  I heard you went on a motorcycle trip down the California coast with 
several other
women over the holidays.  That must have been quite an adventure!  Myself, I 
got an offer
from a couple anthro folk musicians, a Welsh corgi and a Pinto ‘morph, to 
join them on a
tour of the British Isles.  Needless to say, I’m very excited!

  I also saw you and your band mates win the Morphy award on television.
Congratulations!  I’m very proud of you, Cindy.  When I saw you on stage, I 
just couldn’t
get over how beautiful and elegant you looked!  I’m even impressed that you 
decided to
not even bother with shoes.  That shows me someone with refreshing honesty 
individuality.  I admire that in a woman.

  My heart aches that we can’t see each other more often, but you should know 
that I think
of you every time I play a melody.

  Eternally carrying a flame for you,

-- Victor’

Cindy smiled and felt warm all over from reading Victor’s heartfelt letter.  
If one
looked closely at the white fur on her face and in her ears, one could see it 
the palest shade of pink.  “Hello?  Earth to Cindy?  You okay?”  Alex asked, 
waving her
hand in front of the snow leopardess’s face.  Cindy snapped back to 
attention, “Huh?
Look, it’s none of your business, okay?”  she snapped.  “We’re not trying 
to pry,
Cindy,” Rachel implored, “We just think he sounds like a nice guy for you, 
all.”  Laretta grinned and nodded, shifting her posture, “Yeah, he sounds 
interested in
you, Cindy.  Why not get in touch with him, and see how he’s doing?”  Cindy 
kept the
letter hidden in her lap, though she sighed and relented, “Well, I guess that 
would be a
nice thing to do.  In fact, I’ll give him a call right now.”  She glanced 
around again,
still suspicious, “In private!”  she finished with emphasis, hiding the 
letter from
prying eyes.

Soon after Cindy left the room, Alex shut the door and gestured towards her
companions.  “Okay!  Now that they’re gone, we can get everything set up!”  
she told
the others with a huge grin on her face.  “Um, what are you talking about 
Alex?”  Rachel
asked doubtfully.  Laretta sat upright in the chair, giving Alex an equally 
look.  “I’m not sure I like the sound of this, Alex.  You know how we all 
feel about
your playing pranks!”

Alex just smiled nicely and continued, “Aw, it’s nothing like that!  
Honestly!  It’s
nothing mean spirited or anything like that,” she said, rocking one of her 
stiletto sandals slightly, “I didn’t think Cassie or Cindy would go for it, 
but I really
think the rest of us will have a lot fun!”  The others gave each other 
confused glances,
but Alex’s cheerful demeanor was too strong to deny.  “Awright Alex,” 
replied Vixina,
“we’re listenin’!”

Alex brought them all together into a huddle as they whispered amongst 
themselves.  There
was an occasional surprised look and hushed snickering, as they all got drawn 
into her
mystery plan.  Meanwhile, outside, business went on as usual.

When she was sure she would not be disturbed in her private space, Cindy 
rummaged through
old papers and notes for any trace of Victor’s phone number.  The search 
fruitless, until she discovered a scrap of old newspaper with ‘V. Hernandez’ 
and a
phone number scribbled in ink on it.  She must have used it as scratch paper 
in haste, but
it was as sure a sign as any of a number she could use.

She hesitated with reluctance for a moment.  How could she even begin to 
think of what to
say to him?  That awkward moment passed, however, when she thought back to 
his letter and
how much of his heart he must have poured into it.  Her fingers trembling, 
she dialed
the number.  The phone rang for a few times with no answer.

Cindy bowed her head, thinking that she had the wrong number.  Just when she 
was about to
hang up, a voice responded.  “Hello?”  Cindy’s heart raced as she trembled 
to get the
words out, “Is...is this Victor Hernandez?”

“Cindy?!”  the voice responded incredulously, “That’s really you, isn’t it? 
 What a
great surprise!”  Cindy released her tension and laughed in relief, “Victor, 
I’m so glad
it’s you!  I got your letter today, and it was so sweet!  Thank you so much, 
it really means
a lot to me!”  The white tiger on the other end of the line laughed, “That’s 
to hear!  I, uh, hope you’re not too upset with me for staying out of touch 
for so long?”

Cindy laughed again, “Oh please, I was even worse.  I didn’t call or write 
you at all!
That’s the price you’ve got to pay for being successful, I guess.”  She 
smiled as she
looked over the letter once again, “I’m still getting over what I read.  You 
really meant
all that, Victor?”  He replied in a gentle voice, “Cindy, I meant every last 
word.  I
wanted so badly to be by your side that night.  Just seeing you happy, 
though, is enough
to lift my spirits.”

Cindy was simply struck beyond words.  No man had ever treated her so kindly 
respectfully before, and she found herself loving every minute of her 
with Victor.  They made small talk about their musical lives and reassured 
each other
that they were still clean and sober.  “I so badly hope for the day we can 
see each
other again, Cindy,” Victor sighed.

Cindy sadly nodded her head.  “I feel the same way,” she said as she twirled 
the cord
around her fingers.  “Oh, I’ve got to ask you something,” she said, “Would 
it bother you if
I just called you Vic?”  The tiger laughed, “Of course not!  I like it, 
actually.  I
really like your style, Cindy.”  Cindy smiled and almost purred right into 
the phone,
“Thank you, Vic.  I promise you’ll be hearing from me much more often!  Have 
a nice time
in Merry Old England!”  Victor smiled and replied, “Thank you, my darling.  
You take
care too!”

Cindy sighed and hung up the phone with a tinge of regret.  She knew she 
could no longer
deny her feelings about Victor.  How could she even begin to express what she 
was feeling
to her friends?  She didn’t even know how to tell her best friend Cassie 
about what she
was feeling.  Entirely by coincidence, she nearly ran right into Cassie as 
she wandered
back into the hall.

The vixen had Foxonian by her side, who needed some help to stand upright 
He apparently had recovered enough from his back injury to get around, but 
his walk was
still slow and stiff.  Cindy had just avoided walking right into their path.  
hey there, Cass!”  she said, trying to recompose herself, “The meeting’s 
already?”  Cassie nodded, giving her friend a somewhat odd look, “Yeah, it 
went very
well.  Zetag says there’s already a huge buzz in Europe about the album’s 
release, and
thanks to the hype of our Morphy award, there’s even a good chance we’ll do 
well in
American markets, too!”

Cindy smiled and nodded, trying not to look to flustered from the unexpected
encounter.  Cassie gave Cindy a concerned look, “Are you all right, Cindy?  
You look a
little, I don’t know, distracted.”  Cindy stammered, “Huh?  Oh, I’m fine, 
Cass!  I was
just, you know, thinking about tomorrow’s show and stuff like that.”  She 
quickly thought of
a way to change the subject, “So, Foxonian, how’s your back?”  The human 
male shifted
his posture, getting some support from Cassie, “Oh, all things considered, I’
m doing
all right.”  He smiled as Cassie nuzzled his neck, “Especially since I have 
such a
helpful ‘nurse’!”  Cassie giggled, even as she warned him, “I still think 
pushing yourself too hard!  If you hurt yourself again, you know how upset 
that will make me!”

Foxonian laughed slightly, “We wouldn’t want that now?  I’ll tell you what, I
’ll just take
it easy around here today, and then I’ll head right home to bed.”  Cassie 
frowned and
shook her head, “No, I think I should take you home to bed right now!”  
Cindy couldn’t
help but giggle at hearing this, “Go easy on him, Cass!  You want him to get 
don’t you?”  Cassie shook her head and laughed, “Oh, you know exactly what I 

Cindy just smiled innocently, “Sorry, I’m just in a really good mood!”  
Suddenly, they
all heard loud laughter and other noises coming from the break room where the 
band members were.  The others had perplexed looks on their faces.  “What’s 
going on
in there?”  Cassie asked in bewilderment.  Cindy blinked and shook her head, “
dunno.  Something tells me I’d rather not find out!”  Foxonian just shrugged 
shoulders.  “At any rate, I need to get Foxonian home,” Cassie smiled to her 
lover, “He
needs his rest!”  Foxonian laughed, “If you insist!”  Cindy chuckled and 
waved, “Catch you
two later!”  She sighed as she watched them leave, wondering if she would 
ever be as lucky
as them.

“Hey everyone, and welcome to the WPGT promo concert for Cassie’s Band’s 
album, ‘Renaissance’!  It’s a gorgeous afternoon, and those gorgeous, 
furry ladies are ready to drive you wild with some of their hottest tunes!”  
cheered as the radio announcer blared his message through the speaker system. 
of fans milled about the open-air amphitheater, grabbing drinks and seeking 
out shade from
the hot sun.  The stage itself was empty, except for the equipment and 
instruments set up
for the concert.  Soon, Cassie and her band would be up on stage doing what 
they did best.

Cassie was backstage making last minute preparations.  She had autographed 
her name on
the soles of each of her light blue pumps, ready to send them flying into the
expectant audience.  Grabbing one of her purple guitars, she met Cindy, who 
was dressed in
her black T-shirt upon which was printed “You Got A Problem With That?” in 
bold white
letters, as well as her black leather miniskirt and black biker boots.

“Hey Cindy, have you seen the others?” Cassie asked.  Cindy shook her head, “
They must
still be getting ready, but it usually doesn’t take them this long.  I wonder 
taking them?”  Cassie frowned, “I think we’d better go find them.  It isn’t 
like them to
be this late.”  As they went to the backstage changing rooms, Cassie asked, “
Hey Cindy,
I heard the others talking about some guy you met, Victor, right?”  Cindy 
gave her friend
a distrusting look, “Yeah, what about him?”  Cassie smiled, “You know I don’
t mean to pry.
I just think it would be nice if you had that special someone in your life, 
you know what
I mean?”

Cindy nodded, “Yeah, I know you mean well, Cass.  I’d rather let things go 
between us for now, if it’s all the same to you.  If things really do get 
serious between
me and him, you’ll be the first to know, okay?”  Cassie smiled and patted 
her feline friend
on the shoulder, “Not a problem, Cind!”  They reached the backstage changing 
rooms, where
the others were still biding their time.  “Okay, gals!” Cassie called out, “
We need to be
out on stage pronto, so shake a leg!”  A chorus of giggles came as a 
response, followed
by their reply, “Yes Cassie, we’re ready!”

Cassie was not at all prepared for what she saw.  She stood there dumbstruck, 
while Cindy
just shook her head and rolled her eyes with an “Oh Brother!” type of 

The remaining band members were an absolute sight.  Laretta, holding her 
favorite curved guitar, was sporting straight shoulder-length black hair and 
heavier black eyeshadow and eyeliner than she normally applied.  She was 
missing her standard black metal studded collar and wrist cuffs and 
fingerless gloves.  Instead she had on a long flowing and slightly revealing 
black dress with a frilled hem that ended just at her ankles.  Over this, a 
lacy white corset hugged her torso.  To complete the look, she had painted 
her claws black and sported black lace-up army style boots on her feet.

What did Rachel think of this stunt?  Nothing much, apparently, since she had 
her attire, too.  She had restyled her black hair into two long braids that 
hung down
behind her back.  She still wore a black rose pendant around her neck, but 
her attire
was otherwise dramatically different.  She wore a short-sleeved button down 
black shirt with
a white skull-and-crossbones symbol just above her left breast.  The bottom 
edges were
tied together into a knot just below her breasts, which exposed her midriff.  
She also
wore short black hot pants that revealed much of her long thin legs, and she 
put her
own ‘accent’ on this particular attire style with black high-top sneakers on 
her feet.

Did this bother Vixina at all?  Evidently not, since she had also altered her 
She carried her electric fiddle by her side and naturally still had on her 
glasses and
cross necklace pendant, but her hair was radically restyled into a frizzy 
perm.  She also
wore a red leather sleeveless minidress cropped to mid-thigh length.  On each 
of her
different colored furred feet she sported strappy red open-toed sandals with 
stiletto heels and slight platform soles.  Around her white furred ankle she 
still sported
her jeweled anklet charm engraved with both her and her lover’s initials.

How did Alex feel about all this?  She had a huge grin on her muzzle and 
her monogrammed drumsticks as she showed off her “brand new” look.  She had 
colored her
short curly blond tresses such that the right half of her hair was electric 
orange, the left half was bluish-silver, and a few strands in the middle were 
bright pink.
In addition to her snowflake pendant, she sported a metal studded black 
leather collar
around her neck, fingerless black gloves on her hands, and metal studded 
black wrist
bands around her wrists.  A red bustier embraced her torso, a black leather
thigh-length miniskirt covered her curvaceous hips and thighs, and her feet 
white ankle socks with frilly cuffs and glittery sparkles, finishing with 
stiletto pumps.

“Well,” said Cassie with a hint of uneasiness in her voice as she looked 
over her
grinning companions, “this is new!”  The others were just barely keeping 
their composure
under control when Slim suddenly came onto the scene.  “Is everything all 
right here with
you lad -- BWAH???”  he said with a shocked expression on his face.

This was just too much for the group.  Alex was the first to go, but then one 
by one,
they broke down into howls and fits of hysterical laughter.  Even Cassie had 
to laugh at
this sight, while Cindy just covered the smirk on her face.  “I swear,” 
Cassie managed
to reply between chuckles, “Sometimes I feel more like a baby-sitter than a 
band leader to
you gals!”  Laretta was the first to manage to catch her breath and respond, “
You don’t
mind if we do this just this once, do you Cassie?”  Cassie smiled, “Of 
course I don’t
mind!  Just as long as you get out and play as well as you always do, I can’t 
Alex smiled back, brushing the multicolored tresses from her eyes, “Thanks, 
Cass!  We
always wondered what it would be like to be in each other’s shoes!”

“Thet’s one way o’ puttin’ thet!” Vixina remarked as she tottered slightly 
on her sandals
and self-consciously tried pulling her dress’s hemline a little lower.  “Ah 
still feel
kinda funny in this git-up,” she said as she stood up straight in front of a 
brushed back her hair, adjusted her glasses, and smiled, “but et shore don’ 
look bad!
Ah wondah whut mah beau Cloud would say if he saw me lahke this?”

Slim, meanwhile, had finally started to regain his coherence, “Whew, for a 
second there I
was beginning to think that those grilled-cheese-and-baloney sandwiches and
chocolate milkshakes were messing with my head!”  The others just laughed and 
ribbed him
as they headed out towards the stage.  “Slim, you deserve a raise for putting 
up with
us!” Cindy laughed.  The otter cleared his throat and nodded, “I’m glad at 
someone thinks so!”

The band members laughed and chided each other as they went on stage, eager 
to see
the audience’s reaction.  Meanwhile, Cindy winked and whispered to Cassie, “
If Vic is as
good to me even half as much as Foxonian is to you, then he’s a keeper!”  
Cassie just
smiled and nodded, reflecting on the fun and excitement each day brought, “
Life can just be
so full of great surprises!”

LAST REVISION:  April 14, 2002

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