Carry This Picture 3

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The scream had been Colleen and not someone in the house.

Lance quickly turned off the alarm system then turned back to look at her.  She wasn't normally one to completely over react, but their long journey and the fact that they hadn't been to this house in a long time really had set her on edge.  He held out a hand to her, but she didn't take it so he pulled it back again,  "You ok?"

With one hand up to her mouth and the other one over her heart she looked at Lance then let her eyes move towards the open door and the dark insides of the house.  More noise came out of the house, a pushing noise, as if someone was dragging something across the tiles in the front entry way.

"What the hell was that?" she finally said taking his hand.

There was a scratching noise then a slight yelp.

"Peaches?" he called out into the empty house.

"Peaches?" she said, "Who the hell is peaches?"

Moments later more scratching noises came towards them and a tiny dog appeared.

"Peaches," Lance said holding out his hands to swipe up the dog into his arms.  "Baby what are you doing here?"

Colleen looked at her husband sideways as he greeted the dog.  She knew that he was a dog lover.  He'd had dogs all his life up until a few years before and he'd often mentioned wanting to get another one.  Tonight other than the strange welcome home that the dog had given them, it was strange to see him welcoming this unknown dog as if he knew the little pup.

"This is Peaches," he said, "Our new dog."

"Our new dog?"

"Yeah," he said with a shrug, "Mom and dad got her about a month ago and have been training her.  I guess they let her over here tonight so we could meet her."

"Our new dog?" she asked again not believing that they'd gone behind her back to get the little thing.  She didn't hate the puppy, that wasn't it at all.  She wanted  a dog and was sure that this little pile of brown wiggling puppy would soon become a big part of their lives.  It was the fact that she wasn't given an opinion on the whole thing.  It was the principle of the whole thing.

"You like her?" Lance asked.

She forced a smile, "I'm sure I'll grow to love her, but for the moment my heart is still in my throat from her lovely introduction."

Lance pushed the puppy into her arms.  "Hold onto her and I'll bring everything in and we'll see what fell over in the house.  I have a feeling that it was one of the plants in the kitchen.  My mom said that she put some fresh potted things in the house for us the other day."

Colleen looked down at the puppy and smiled at the way that it rolled in her arms to get it's belly scratched.  "Where'd your parents get her?"  She looked at the puppy again, "What kind of dog is she?"

Lance pushed the door wide open, turned on the lights.  The sparsely decorated house didn't seem to have been shut up for a long time.  There was no stale smell to the place and it looked as if the carpet in the front living room had been revaccummed in anticipation of their return.  "She's a mix of Bassett hound and beagle.  She's from one of our neighbor's dogs actually."

"How'd they give her the name Peaches?" she asked moving out of the way as Lance pulled the bags into the entryway.

"Supposedly, according to my parents, Carl and Lena, her mom and dad's owners, have a peach tree in the back yard and her favorite place to sleep was next to the tree even though they had a dog house out in the yard."

"Oh," Colleen said then moved the puppy up to her face.  She now could see the coloring of the puppy and could tell that she was going to be cute, "That's cute."

Lance seemed worried all of a sudden.  "We can change her name if you want."

Colleen shook her head.  "No," she said, "We don't want her to be confused."

"Good then," he said.

"I'm ready for bed honey," she said, "Do you think that Peaches will sleep through the night?"

Peaches took that moment to yawn, making them both laugh.  "Yes," he said reaching a hand over to scratch the dog's ear, "I think so.  I think my mom said they took her on a walk around town today to get her tired out.  I thought they were going to keep her tonight, but it's ok.  If she gets too bad, we'll put her into the bathroom or something for the night."

"We can't do that!" Colleen said holding Peaches possessively.  "Not to the baby."

"A minute ago you seemed to hate her and now you girls are ganging up on me?"

"Yes," she said, "Finally the girls outnumber the guys in this family."

"They do?"

She held the puppy up to look over at Lance.  "Well you've got all the guys to gang up with when you get together so finally she and I will be a team."

Lance looked at her seriously.  "I thought we were a team?"  He turned away from her and shut the front door and locked it.

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Last updated: 08/20/2004.