Sequel to 9 Willow Street
Hannes and Mattis have been happily married and heartbound for two years when a tiny, one-eared rabbit shifter kit hops into their lives and seems reluctant to leave ...
This free story is a short glimpse into Hannes and bunny shifter Mattis' happily ever after.
A twitch of the little rabbit's body catches my attention.
At first, Vidar ran and hid underneath a bush whenever either of us spoke to him, as though he expected to be chastised, or maybe worse. But gradually he's gotten used to us, and maybe learned to trust us a little, so these days we can talk to him without scaring him.
But I still gentle my voice and try to make myself smaller when I turn to him. "Hey there, kiddo. You know he's not actually mad at you, right?" I point my thumb at Mattis, give Vidar a warm smile, and waggle my eyebrows. When Vidar's nose twitches and his ear rises from his body the tiniest bit, my heart leaps in my chest. "He may be big and sound strict, but he's just a big ole softie who wants to show you the tastiest carrots."
Mattis pinches my butt hard, but out of the corner of my eye, I can see his encouraging smile.
Vidar's body relaxes a little.
"I would tell him to turn into a rabbit and show you where to find the best carrots, but he'd probably eat them all, and we don't want that, do we?"
The kit's chin raises a little until it's no longer plastered to the ground.
"But do you want to know a secret?" I loud-whisper.
The little nose stops, as though Vidar holds his breath, waiting for what I'm about to say.
"We grow enough carrots for both of you."
Vidar's ear springs up to full attention.
"Look over there." I lean forward and point to a random carrot. "That one's the best. I promise. Go on. Dig it up."
We both tense with anticipation as Vidar hops once and then pauses, eyes on me, waiting to see if I'm going to change my mind. When I don't, he sets off toward the vegetable I pointed out, hopping faster than I've ever seen him do before, and starts digging with abandon. Now and then he stops and looks in my direction, but when I nod and smile, he continues.
Mattis sighs. "And you call me a softie. You hardly let me touch your beloved carrots, and I'm your husband."
"What can I say, honey? I have a thing for cute, one-eared kits."