She wanted to forget. She thought she had, but in the back of her mind, Justin was still there. She'd named the little white kitten after him.
Justin the kitten was a handful, but Sasha had done her best to keep him a secret in her room. He'd been charming and funny. His claws were excruciating. But somehow she'd kept the creature from her father, from Calvin, even Sonny. That was before the new family got there. That was before Sonny had had enough and moved away.
It was she and little Justin. And he had kept her from thinking about the real one. She knew they could never go back. Never have a second chance.
He wasn't even the same Justin, either. The blond one who was mixed up with Warren now. He'd had his chance to come back. But he hadn't taken it. So now all she had left was the little kitten she had found out back of the Loft.
Only, she didn't know how long she could keep him a secret. The little townhouse was full now. And someone had mentioned smells and allergies. It would be impossible to keep the kitten. She'd have to give him up. But who would take him.
The McQueens weren't exactly animal lovers. This would be difficult. How could she give up something so gorgeous and understanding. He loved nursing her neck and sleeping there at night. He chewed up most of her socks, ripped her stockings and made toys out of whatever was under her bed.
Amy wouldn't take a cat in. Of course. Maybe Fletch. Possibly. But she doubted this too. It wouldn't be easy giving up Justin.
She gathered him up in her arms and put him in her coat and headed out the door. She'd let him go, maybe by the Loft. He'd find his family.
What kind of person would do that? He was her baby. And nobody had given her love like that kitten. Tears streamed down her face as she began to walk through the village. Silly, to be so emotional about a cat. But it was a cruel world. Either here or at home. The kitten would have to go.
Just then at the fountain she saw someone, sort of familiar. Josh's brother. They never talked. He looked serious, as if he was in another world. Well, she wanted to be in one, too.
She sat down on the bench and stroked her Justin under his chin. He began to purr.
Sasha noticed Rhys looking then.
"Is that legal?" His impish smile still charmed most, but she was wise of him. She knew how he fancyed the birds.
"What?" Couldn't she be left alone.
"Dogs are so much more mates." He told her with a shrug.
"Dogs are trouble." She looked away.
"Cats are rather therapeutic." She snubbed.
"And why is that?" He came near then and sat with her.
"As if you would listen." She stroked her kitten, and he let out a small cry.
"You're big brother's still a copper, isn't he?"
She shook her head, yes.
"Dad, still playing his games?"
Again, she nodded.
"What are you doing here with that creature?" He touched the furry head then.
"I..I can't keep him."
"What's his name?"
"Don't laugh," she said. "Its Justin."
Rhys chuckled, petted the animal again, this time the kitten clung to the sleeve of his leather jacket. "I can't think of a bird to ever name a pet after me."
"I don't know why I did it. I'm over him. Really. He looks like a Justin to me." She shrugged then and let Rhys take the cat.
"He is rather strong."
"Teeth like a cougar."
"Completely." The cat wouldn't let go of his fingers. His claws dug in.
"Could you take him for bit?"
Rhys sighed with a smile. Sasha knew it was love at first sight. Who would have thought it?
"I don't know."
"Come on, he loves you." She assured him. Her kitten needed a home.
"What would me, Mum say? A kitty." He shook his head, no. "Can't do it."
"Please." She was desperate.
"Just for a bit." He rubbed the kittens tummy now.
"It'll be our little secret."