Welcome to 'Gregory's Life Sucks'... err, I mean, "Cat's-Eye PI: Remnant". This story is a sequel to Cat's-Eye Private Investigators. While I do try and summarize what happened in the last book, I would highly recommend reading that one first. To those of you have already Cat's-Eye Private Investigators, welcome back and I hope you enjoy this story as much as you enjoyed the first one. So, without further ado, on with the story.
'Cookies' was the first thing Gregory thought when the elevators doors opened to the floor of his apartment and the unmistakable aroma hit him. Since there were only four rooms on the floor and Gregory knew everyone who lived there, he immediately began trying to figure out which of his friends could be baking cookies.
Darshana seemed like the obvious choice, but then he remembered that she was on an out of town mission with Kris, who was the next obvious choice. Doyle and Lee would never just bake cookies without the girls badgering them into it, which left one person.
As he moved closer to his apartment, the aroma became stronger. The door was open, which wasn't a surprise. If Säde was anywhere on the floor, the apartment door would be open. She was probably in the room, though. Lee and Doyle had their doors shut, which made it more difficult for Säde to terrorize them (but not impossible since she could teleport).
His deduction proved correct as he stepped into the apartment. Säde was standing by the kitchen counter. She had changed since the last time he saw her, early that morning. She had on a large white sweater and a pair of fleece pants. Her blonde hair was tied back haphazardly. She was reading a magazine and nursing a mug of something. Probably cocoa or cider. Säde only drank coffee in the morning and the little traitor didn't like tea. The cookies weren't in sight, but Gregory was certain that they were still in the apartment.
"Hey," he said, dropping his bags onto the floor.
"Hi," she said cheerfully, looking up to give him a bright smile. "There are cookies in the oven and cider on the stove."
"Cookies," Gregory repeated. He knelt down next to the oven and peaked inside. Sure enough there was a pan of warm cookies in there.
"My kids are doing a project on family recipes," she explained. "The ingenious part of this project is that I get all the recipes at the end of the day, and those cookies sounded too good to pass up."
"Hm," he agreed, closing the oven and standing up. He grabbed a mug out of one of the cabinets and started to fill it with water.
"You don't want any?" she asked.
"Maybe later," he replied.
"Grump," she said idly.
Gregory rolled his eyes as he turned off the water and lifted his mug into the microwave. The stove would have been preferred, but their tea-pot had been commandeered by Säde's cider.
He had just finished setting the microwave when he felt a pair of arms encircle his waist and Säde lean against his back. "Yes?"
"Here's what I think we should do," she murmured into his ear. "We should put some of the cookies on a plate and bring them and the cider over to the living room. Then we'll snuggle on the couch, eat some cookies and maybe watch a movie. Or…" She stepped back and pushed him a little until he turned to face her. "We can dim the lights, put on some romantic music and just enjoy each others company."
Gregory frowned. "By 'dimming the lights' do you mean we turn them off and let your glow handle the rest?"
"Hey!" she cried, hitting his arm playfully. "My glow…"
"Is completely useless and rather annoying," Gregory finished.
Säde grinned. "But it's the only thing that you'll tease me about, which makes it worth it."
Gregory blinked, unsure of how to respond to that. He didn't have to think long, as Säde leaned forward and kissed him. Behind his sunglasses, Gregory closed his eyes and enjoyed the feeling of her lips against his.
Gregory gasped as a jolt of pain pulled him back to consciousness. He shifted, trying to find a more comfortable position. Not that there were many options in his shadow realm, but he was too tired and in too much pain to care.
The White Serpent had come far too close to killing him. The past few days (weeks? he wasn't sure anymore) had proven that. Something was wrong, though. Despite his severe injuries, he was healing far too slowly. The shadow realm should have sped the healing up so that it shouldn't hurt this much anymore. He couldn't figure out why it wasn't working, but on some level he was too tired to care.
Eventually the pain became a dull throb in the back of his mind. He began to doze off to sleep again, which was a welcome relief. He wanted to return to his dreams, where Säde was still alive and safe. It was a reality he wanted to hold onto for as long as he could before he returned to the real world and lost her forever.