[Vfw-times] Cassie story-"All In A Night's Work" part 1

Rufinoform at aol.com Rufinoform at aol.com
Tue Oct 15 21:35:10 CDT 2002

All In A Night's Work                                                         

Written by & copyright of Andre' Cotton Wolfie8808 at hotmail.com

Featuring Laretta (Cassie's rhythm guitarist) and Cindy (Cassie's bassist)

Cassie, the Rock & Roll Vixen

Please read the prequil, "Fortunes," Cassie, Rachel (Cassie's keyboardist) 
and Dominic & Xu (both created for the story)

All characters created by & copyright of Earl Bacon except Laretta and Bob, 
who are created by and copyright of
Andre' Cotton, Alex, who is created by and copyright of Donna Fritz, Ben 
Moss, who is copyright Rick Hobson,
Victor Hernandez, who  is copyright himself and Vixina & Cloudchaser, who is 
created by and copyright of
Cloudchaser Shaconage

Excitement and emotion resonated throughout the crowds of spectators as night 
set upon New York City.  Many felt it
was finally due time for the annual Grammy Awards to return to the city, 
especially now more than ever.
Tonight's awards show would be symbolic in more than one way.  For the first 
time, famous furry-morph musicians
would take part in the ceremony as entertainers and award presenters.

The mixed crowd of human and furry-morph attendees and spectators showed only 
a spirited feeling of good will
and camaraderie.  For one night, they looked behind appearances and joined 
one another in the spirit of the
festivities.  In a relatively quiet back alley behind the auditorium, one 
particular furry-morph individual had
bigger things on his mind besides all the excitement in the public eye.

The white furred tiger morph paced back and forth nervously, twitching his 
whiskers and black striped tail in
agitation.  His appearance was impeccable for the occasion, with his rugged 
frame clothed in a neatly pressed
pinstriped jet black Armani suit and his feet shod in highly polished black 
wing tips.  His long white hair was
slicked back and tied into a short ponytail, and even his black striped white 
fur was neatly trimmed and groomed.
What was he doing, loitering about nervously in musty back alley instead of 
mingling with the crowds up front?

"This had better not be someone's twisted idea of a joke," he muttered under 
his breath to no one in particular as
he glanced down at the bouquet of violets and poinsettias in his hands, a 
special gift for his special someone.
The tiger, Victor Hernandez, cared little for the glamour of the 'glitterati' 
scene, and would have normally
preferred sitting in a quiet cafe, practicing a new song on his acoustic 
guitar or mandolin.  He was here for a
very important reason, however, and the longer he waited, the more agitated 
he became.

After what seemed like an eternity, he was approached by a coyote dressed in 
inconspicuous dark clothing and
sunglasses.  He was carrying a black duffle bag in in one of his gloved 
hands.  "You're Hernandez, right?"  the
coyote asked in a straightforward manner.  Victor nodded, "That's correct.  
So, this isn't some sort of trick, is
it?"  He gave a strange look to the coyote's duffle bag.  "He's actually...in 
there?"  he asked in a very doubtful
tone in his voice.

The coyote grinned, "Well, I'll just let you see for yourself!"  He unzipped 
the front end of the duffle bag, "You're
A-OK to come out, buddy!"  He held out one of his hands in front of the 
opening, and out of the bag crawled a tiny
form.  Victor furrowed his brow, uncertain of what he was seeing.  "Um, you 
already had your dinner, didn't you?"
the coyote asked with a sly grin.  Victor slowly nodded as he got a better 
look at the small creature in front of him.

The creature was a small mouse with cream colored fur, large round ears and a 
long thin tail.  He was smartly dressed
in a white tuxedo jacket, black bow tie, and black trousers, all perfectly 
tailored for his tiny body.
"Interesting, like James Bond meets Stuart Little," Victor thought with an 
amused expression, "but by all means,
he should be terrified of me!  Why isn't he?"  The mouse just smiled politely 
and waved, "Hi there!  You must be
Victor.  My name's Ben, nice to meet you!"

Victor just shrugged and held up his index finger to Ben, the best he could 
do to offer a handshake to someone that
much smaller than him.  "Ahem, it's nice to make your acquaintance, Ben," he 
replied, "and don't worry, I prefer not
to eat live prey!"  he chuckled.  Ben laughed as he 'shook' Victor's hand, 
"Oh, I'm not worried!  I'm used to
dealing with large predators, and besides, if you even tried that, you'd have 
one angry wolfette to deal with!"

Victor chuckled and smiled, "Plus, I hear she's well on her way to earning a 
first degree black belt in karate!
You don't have a thing to worry about."  The coyote grinned and chimed in, 
"Glad to see you two hitting it off!  I
take it that you can take care of things from here?"  Victor nodded, "Yeah, 
I've got the front gate tickets, and
the pass to get us backstage."  He paused for a moment, "You seem somewhat 
familiar.  Haven't we met before?"

The coyote smiled and removed his sunglasses, "Sure!  You remember your 
charity album?  We helped with the
promo!"  Victor smiled and nodded, "Oh, of course!  Good to see you again!  I 
didn't recognize you with all those
black clothes,"  he laughed as he shook the coyote's hand.  "How on earth did 
you get this all planned out, though?"
he asked.  The coyote shook his head, "Hey, I'm just following directions.  
Ben needed a lift here, and I needed
an excuse to check out the festivities!"  Ben nodded and spoke up, "Bob and I 
are 'roomies'.  We still haven't
figured out who sent us the plane tickets and instructions about where to 
meet you, but the important thing is we
made it here!"

Bob the coyote nodded and slipped his sunglasses back on, "Listen, I'm gonna 
go check out the scene.  You two have
a great time inside!"  Victor and Ben both waved, "Okay, thanks again, Bob!"  
When he left, Victor looked down at
his free hand, where Ben was standing.  "So, I guess you're as in the dark 
about this as I am?"  Ben nodded
and shrugged, "Yeah, it looks like we have a mystery benefactor!  I admit it 
came as a bit of a surprise to be asked
to go to New York, just to attend the Grammys when I was in the middle of a 
big circuitry repair job in a
Cleveland office."  He smiled and straightened his jacket, "Still, if it 
means seeing my beautiful wolfette again,
I can't complain!"

Victor nodded and grinned.  Just days before, he received in the mail an 
authorized ticket and backstage pass for
the awards show and instructions to meet Ben before the show began.  The 
sender was anonymous, but the tickets and
pass were real.  Victor had his misgivings about the offer right from the 
start, but his desire to attend was
affirmed when he learned that someone special to him would be there as well.

"Someone very dear to me is here tonight, too," he smiled, thinking of his 
lover's silky ivory hair and
luminescent eyes.  "This must be one of the strangest things I've done in my 
life, but for her, I'd go anywhere!"
Ben nodded, "So you think you can get us in?"  Victor peered at the backstage 
pass, "Well, we'll find out very
soon!"  He whispered to Ben, "You should stay out of sight for now, just to 
be on the safe side."  The mouse nodded
and climbed into Victor's jacket pocket.

Victor just grinned and approached the front entrance.  He carefully made his 
way through the crowds to the
front entrance, looking after the bouquet to be certain the flowers would not 
get crushed.  He received a few
strange glances, but most people made way for him when they saw him carrying 
the bouquet.  He paused as he
approached the front entrance, where security was tight.

The human bouncers eyed him suspiciously.  They were rather muscular and 
armed with stun guns, so they would have
little trouble handling him if necessary.  "You have a ticket, I presume?"  
one of the guards asked with
suspicion, "Otherwise, we won't hesitate to show you the way out."  Victor 
cleared his throat, "Ah, of course,"
he politely replied as he handed the guards his pass.  The guards glanced 
over the pass, giving somewhat puzzled
looks to each other and to Victor.  "Well, it looks legit to me," said the 
other guard, giving the pass back to Victor.

Victor smiled and nodded politely, "Thank you, and good evening!"  Before he 
could get much further, though, the
first guard stopped him.  "Hold it, please.  We'll have to ask you to step 
through our security screening, like all
the other guests."  Victor blinked and frowned as he saw where the guard 
mentioned.  Several guests, both human
and furry-morph, were waiting in line and being scanned and searched one at a 
time by several more guards.  A
necessary precaution, since these events required especially close oversight. 
 Victor, however, hoped this wouldn't
put a crimp in their plans.

"Bad news, Ben," he whispered towards his coat pocket, "They're going to be 
searching me, and might find you out!" 
The mouse crawled out of the pocket and grinned, "I don't think that'll be a 
problem!  Besides, it was getting stuffy
in there!"  Victor blinked, "Huh?  What do you..."  Before he could finish 
his question, Ben leaped out of the
pocket, ran up his arm, and took cover in the bouquet.  Victor was startled, 
but before he could say anything, it
was his turn to be scanned.  "Please leave your belongings here, sir," the 
guard requested, "This will only take
a moment."  Victor nodded and set the bouquet down gently, as the guards 
proceeded to scan him with a metal detector
and frisked his pockets.  He frowned as he held his arms up and tail down, 
bearing the indignity of the process the
best he could.  Just as they finished, one guard sniffed the bouquet for 
anything suspicious.  "Hmm, nice," the
guard replied with a chuckle, "Someone's going to get a nice surprise 
tonight!"  Victor just nodded silently as he
took back the flowers.

With flowers in hand, Victor peered curiously as the flowers rustled and Ben 
crawled out from underneath a
large poinsettia.  He grinned and waved, "So how'd that go?"  Victor 
chuckled, twitching his whiskers, "Very well,
it would seem!"  They took a look around the crowded foyer.  Many performers 
were casually conversing, but no sign
of the two ladies could be seen.

Ben frowned and climbed out of the bouquet onto the table top where Victor 
had laid the bouquet.  "What do we do
now?"  Victor shrugged and picked up a newspaper as he took a seat, "We wait 
until they've presented the award.  We
must have just missed them, and besides, we shouldn't distract them when they 
have this important job to focus on."
Ben nodded and loosened his tie a little, kicking his foot idly on the table 
top, "Sounds fair, I guess."


Later on that same evening, the festivities were well under way.  Each of the 
furry-morph musicians received a
warm welcome and standing ovation from the mostly human audience as they came 
on stage to perform or present an award.

Jeffrey Wilcox, the Clydesdale stallion 'morph who was a big pop country 
star, had just finished his performance
and waved to a cheering audience.  This included two furry-morph ladies who 
were on their feet, cheering and
applauding loudly from their reserved balcony box seats.

It was largely expected that Cassie's Band would be asked to participate, and 
indeed, two members volunteered to
present the award for "Best New Artist", the same kind of award that Cassie 
and her band had themselves won.

Laretta, the band's rhythm guitarist and back-up vocalist, was very excited 
about the whole night since it began.
She could think of nothing besides the opportunity of representing the band.  
Still, watching the night's events
helped her to relax and enjoy herself.

"It's been some night, hasn't it Cindy?"  Laretta asked her companion as she 
sat back down, wagging her tail
happily.  Cindy, the band's snow leopardess bass player, was seated casually 
next to Laretta with her legs crossed.
She nodded, "Yeah, I can't argue with that!"  She shifted in her seat, trying 
to make herself more comfortable
without looking too unsophisticated.  "You know, I've had my doubts about 
being a part of all this, but so far
I'm having a pretty good time!"

Laretta nodded slightly, thinking over the night.  She and Cindy were given 
the star treatment, escorted to the
red carpet via limousine and flanked by many eager photographers as they 
approached the front door.  Once inside,
they mingled right into the pre-show party scene, first touching base with 
the other furry-morph musicians, and
then gradually breaking the ice with the human attendees.  Much to their 
annoyance, some guests tried touching
them "just to see what real fur felt like!"  They backed off when Laretta 
forcefully reminded them of her martial
arts skills.

There was plenty for them to enjoy, nonetheless.  For Laretta, the highlight 
of the evening was meeting
Alanis Morisette, as well as Steven Page and Jim Creeggan of the Barenaked 
Ladies.  Cindy got the thrill of her
life when she shook hands with Lenny Kravitz, and later had some fun when 
some Harley-Davidson enthusiasts convinced
her to have her picture taken while sitting on a vintage Harley Bad Boy!

Laretta cleared her throat and replied, "What do you mean you had 'doubts', 
Cindy?  Most people here have been
really nice to us, and our being here is really important for the band's 
reputation!"  Cindy sighed and nodded, "I
know, Laretta, I know!  Still, it's a pretty crummy deal when you think about 
it.  The industry and academy heads
wanted the perfect publicity stunt to make this show a success.  What gimmick 
could possibly get more attention
then cozying up to us furry-morphs?  All we have to do is look pretty, tell a 
few jokes, read from a card, and
that's it!  The academy gets to look like the 'good guys' for being 
inclusive, and we walk away with no better
chances of actually *getting* an award then before!"

She shifted in her seat, looking more annoyed, "Trust me, it was great of 
them to move the show back here to NYC
where it belongs, but I really don't like the idea of being glorified eye 

Laretta just stared at Cindy, and replied diplomatically, "Gee Cindy, how do 
you think Cassie would feel about
that?"  Cindy started to make a retort, but she just sighed and shrugged, 
thinking about her absent friend.
"Yeah, you've got a point there.  Cass was really excited about being able to 
do this.  I can't imagine how
disappointed she must be."

Laretta nodded sadly and thought about the dark haired vixen.  "Yeah, poor 
Cassie and Vixina.  What a major
league bummer for them to be out of action all of the sudden!"

Laretta thought of the unexpected turn of events that led to her and Cindy 
being there that night.  When the
academy sent the invitation to Cassie's Band weeks before to take part in the 
ceremony, the band very quickly
decided that Cassie and Vixina should be the ideal candidates for attending 
and handing out the award.  Everything
had been planned out perfectly, until just three days prior to the ceremony, 
when all the trouble began.

Cassie came down with a bad case of the flu.  With a high fever and a 
whooping cough, she was clearly in no shape
to attend the ceremony, and remained bedridden at her and Foxonian's lodge in 
the Berkshires.  As if things weren't
bad enough with that, Vixina ran into problems of her own.  She was in the 
middle of visiting her family in Alabama
and her boyfriend Cloudchaser in Tennessee, where they all wished her good 
luck.  On her drive back, though, in
the middle of the Appalachians, her custom-made vintage truck broke down and 
died.  She was able to get it towed to
a nearby garage, where the mechanic was very skilled and helpful.  
Unfortunately, the mechanic told her that her
truck needed a rare and expensive part for the engine starter, and it would 
take over a week for him to have
it delivered if he placed a special order for it.  She was left stranded, 
unable to make it back to New York in time.

Andy, the band's wolf manager, and Foxonian tried to recover from these 
disasters as quickly as possible.
They immediately convened with the remaining band members for an 'emergency 
meeting', to see if they could convince
two of the others to go in Cassie's and Vixina's places.

"We want to assure you all of this," Andy started as Foxonian and the four 
other band members sat in a
round-table manner, "I can't tell you enough how important this will be for 
the band's publicity, but what's even
more important is that we do not in any way want to make any of you 
participate against your will."  He looked
calmly over the attentive group, "If this means that we can't send anyone to 
present the award, then so be it."

The four ladies fell silent and thought to themselves for a few moments 
before anyone replied.  Alex, the young
arctic vixen drummer, was the first to speak up.  "Um, I know this is really 
important and all, Andy," she
started hesitantly, "but if it's all the same to you, I'd rather not 
volunteer myself."  Everyone turned their
attention towards her - without hostility - as she nervously continued.  "You 
see," she said, tugging nervously on
her tail, "This is just such a big responsibility, I'm too scared that I'd 
screw it all up!  All those people looking
at me, having to remember my lines...Oh boy, I'm getting goose bumps just 
thinking about it!"

Foxonian nodded and responded kindly, "That's quite all right, Alex.  No 
one's participating if it makes them
feel uncomfortable."  With that, Rachel sighed and spoke up, "Please allow me 
to withdraw too, then."  Laretta
blinked, "What's the matter, Rachel?  You're not afraid too, are you?"  The 
doe shook her head, "No, it's not that.
You see, the media has me nailed down as the 'oddball goth' of the group.  I 
don't really think that's the image
the band needs that night."

Cindy frowned and crossed her arms, "Rachel, you know that's a bunch of BS!"  
Rachel nodded, "Of course, I do.  Not
that it really bothers me, in any case.  Goth is exactly who I am!"  She 
sighed and continued, "Just the same, I
know how important it is for us to be shown in a positive light, and that 
wouldn't make me the best candidate.
I'd wouldn't even try to change my image, not even for that one night."

When Rachel finished her piece, everyone's attention turned towards Cindy and 
Laretta, the remaining two candidates.
No one said anything to pressure them, but nonetheless Laretta was very quick 
to respond.  "I'll do it!"  she
said enthusiastically rising to the occasion, "Don't you guys worry about a 
thing.  I know I can handle
the responsibility!"  Foxonian nodded, "Okay Laretta, but it's not settled 
yet."  All eyes then focused on Cindy,
who rested her chin on her hands and remained silent, twitching her tail in 
annoyance.  "No pressure now, Cindy!"
Andy reassured her, as the others smiled gently and nodded in agreement.  
"Yeah, right!"  Cindy thought silently
to herself with a scowl.  She literally wrestled with her conscience, torn 
between her loyalty to Cassie and the
others versus her inherent dislike for these 'glitzy, hyped-up shows' and the 
thought of her having to 'play her
part.'  After a short while of quietly hemming and hawing, her sense of duty 
won out.  She leaned back and gave
everyone a neutral stare, "What the hell.  Count me in!"  Everyone expressed 
joy (the bedridden Cassie included)
that they could finally go through with their plans.  Even Cindy did her best 
to make herself feel 'up to the
task' since then.

When the stage cleared for the next act, Cindy and Laretta knew that it would 
soon be time for them to do their
job.  Cindy shrugged herself out of her seat, stretched out her arms and let 
out a wide feline yawn.  "C'mon, time
to give this baby a home," she said almost nonchalantly as she held on to the 
award to be presented.

Laretta followed Cindy's prompting and rose from her chair, but then 
hesitated for a moment.  "Um, Cindy?"  she
asked cautiously.  "Yeah, what?"  Cindy replied.  Laretta simply gestured 
silently towards the floor at Cindy's
feet.  Cindy looked downwards, and returned a harsh glare to Laretta.  She 
crossed her arms and shook her head,
but Laretta just stood there with her own arms crossed and letting out a 
slight sigh.

Finally, Cindy snarled and relented as she sat back down and strapped a pair 
of black stiletto heeled sandals onto
her bare foot-paws.  She was dressed quite like the way she was at the Morphy 
awards show, in a beautiful black
satin blouse, gold hoop earrings in each ear, her black leather miniskirt, 
and of course the fancy sandals with
single straps holding them around her toes and ankles.

"How did I talk myself into wearing these things again?"  she grumbled.  "My 
feet are gonna hate me in the morning."

Laretta calmly replied, "Sorry, Cindy, but I don't think you can get away 
with walking onto the stage barefoot
this time.  We really should look our best.  At least, that's how I felt 
getting dressed up like this!"

Laretta had indeed replaced her traditional stage 'look' with something more 
appropriate for such a prestigious
and formal event.  She was wearing a very elegant red silk evening gown that 
clung to and emphasized her curves,
with thin spaghetti straps crossing her shoulders.  The gown flowed freely 
and gracefully its full length,
partially hiding her tail within its folds.  The hemline ended just above her 
ankles, revealing the dainty red
stiletto heeled sandals on her light gray furred feet.  They were similar to 
Cindy's, except that they also had
twin straps that criss-crossed her insteps and coiled around her ankles, tied 
into bows to keep them securely on
her feet.

Laretta had not only left her shoulder length hair its natural black color, 
but also had it specially styled for
the occasion.  She had her tresses permed into wavy curls, like gentle rapids 
on a river, that gracefully fringed
her face and muzzle.  A few tiny diamond stud earrings in each of her ears 
completed her look.

Cindy just sneered and rolled her eyes, "Yeah, whatever.  As I was saying, 
time for us to get the ball rolling."
She got to her feet again, adjusting her balance slightly, and asked, "You've 
got the envelope, right Laretta?"

Laretta's eyes went wide with shock as she looked frantically from side to 

"Laretta, what's wrong?"  Cindy asked suspiciously, "Where's the envelope?" 
The she-wolf's jaw dropped and she
started to hyperventilate as the snow leopardess kept her gaze fixed upon 
her.  She gulped and trembled as she
replied, "I...I don't know!!"

"WHAT?!!  Oh, brother!!"  Cindy half-shouted as she nearly dropped the award, 
"You have got to be kidding!
We're supposed to be on stage in ten minutes!  Why couldn't you be more 

Laretta whimpered and shrank back from her visibly angry companion.  "God, 
I'm so sorry, Cindy!"  she whimpered as
tears welled in her eyes, "I swear, I must be the world's biggest idiot!"

Cindy took a deep breath and forced herself to calm down when she saw Laretta 
start to cry.  "Look, it's okay.  We
all make mistakes," she told her sobbing friend.  "The important thing now is 
not to panic!  We still have some
time before we go on."  She rolled up the sleeves of her blouse and started 
to rummage around, "Maybe you just
dropped it somewhere!"

Laretta quickly stepped back as Cindy got down on her hands and knees.  
"Cindy, wait!"  she exclaimed, "I remember
where it is now!"  Cindy almost shot straight up upon hearing this, nearly 
bumping her head on her seat.  "Why
didn't you say so sooner?!"  she said, glaring at the she-wolf, "So, where is 

A sly grin crept across Laretta's muzzle as she snuck her hand down the front 
of her dress, reached into her
modest-sized cleavage, and pulled out the small sealed envelope.  "Gotcha!"  
the she-wolf giggled, as the
snow leopardess stared on dumbfounded.

Laretta smiled sweetly, hoping that Cindy wasn't too offended by her prank.  
Cindy just stood there slack-jawed, at
a loss for words.  With Laretta still smiling, though, she just shook her 
head and poked the she-wolf in the ribs.
"I swear, you're becoming almost as bad as Alex!" she said with an 
exasperated look.  Laretta grinned and shrugged,
"I just wanted to lighten up the mood a little, that's all!"

Cindy just shrugged and smirked, "Yeah, sure.  Well, you've had your fun, now 
let's get going!"  she said as
she straightened out her blouse sleeves.  Both ladies hurried down towards 
behind the main stage, where they
waited anxiously.

They glanced over the list of nominees one more time.  "You see these guys, 
Cindy?"  Laretta asked as she pointed to
the band named 'Drops of Bronze'.  "Yeah, aren't they the band from 
Winnipeg?"  Cindy asked.  Laretta smiled and
nodded, "I was reading about them the night we went out.  I hope they win!"  
Cindy nodded, "We heard them
perform earlier tonight.  They are really good."

The minutes seemed to stretch into hours as the announcer began to introduce 
the two ladies from Cassie's Band.
Laretta felt the anxiety creep over her, and she tightly gripped her own 
tail.  At least she thought it was her
tail, until she glanced down and saw that it was long, bushy, and had a 
pattern of black spots and circles on dark
gray and white.

An annoyed 'Ahem' drew Laretta's attention to her side, where the snow 
leopardess gave her a particularly annoyed
glare.  Laretta gasped and quickly released Cindy's tail, smiling sheepishly 
as she brushed it smooth.  For her
part, Cindy gave a sly grin and nudged Laretta's chin with her knuckles in a 
friendly gesture.  Laretta giggled
softly and responded by gently nudging Cindy on the shoulder.  Both were in 
fine spirits as the curtain began to rise...

Continued next part

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