Lucky has a crush.

The next few days quietly went by and the gang couldn’t be any happier. They set up a base of operations under a small bridge near a cycling path. Occasionally, a cyclist would zip by them without a second glance (the fast speeds would often scare Lucky). The three animals as they often hid in tall grass and bushes during the day to avoid the occasional joggers.

Every early morning, to beat the rush by other animals, because Almond was far too small to carry anything, Felix and Lucky ventured out into a nearby neighborhood in search for food in garbage cans left by the residential humans.

“They threw away a practically good hamburger patty,” Lucky said sleepily one day on their way back to Almond. “Why?”

“Don’t know and I really don’t care,” Felix barked. “We made out like bandits today. The grub here could get us by the next two nights.”

Including the hamburger patty, in a knapsack Felix carried (with his mouth), the two found a half empty water bottle, a few slightly rotten apples, some pretzels lying around, and three slices of bread they won off a few birds in a fight. Lucky wasn’t keen on fighting them, but Felix told her it was something that needed to be done.

“Eventually, you will have to deal with the reality of our situation,” Felix said. “This is life.”

“It’s still a lot to take in,” Lucky whined.

A voice from far behind cried for them to stop in their tracks. Lucky swiftly looked back and spotted a chunky raccoon heading their way.

“Oi! Please stop!” the raccoon shouted.

“H-hey, Felix! I think it wants us to stop!” Lucky yelled.

“Don’t get involved,” Felix said as he casually kept walking.

Lucky couldn’t just ignore the fellow. His shouting sounded desperate to her ears, so she had to see exactly what the problem was. Leaving Felix’s side, she sprinted toward the raccoon. Felix shook his head disapprovingly and followed her.

“Oh! You stopped! I’m sooo, happy!” The racoon said as he rushed to give Lucky the tightest hug he could muster.

“Y-yeah, n-no problem,” Lucky squeezed out her reply.

Noticing Felix’s death stare, the raccoon let go of her with a twinkle in his eye. “Since the moment I saw ye from afar, I noticed just how stunning ye appeared as you pulled that piece of meat from deep within that large jug!”

“Aww, shucks. That was nothing!” Lucky beamed.

“Gimme a break,” Felix sighed.

“Where are me manners? Me name’s Cyrus the raccoon! And yer name?” Cyrus said.

Felix was totally prepared to cut off their conversation, but Lucky, liking this newfound attention, answered right away. “Lucky… err… Lucky the cat?” She said.

“Ah, yes! A beautiful name for such a beautiful feline. How’d ya get yer fur in such a way? It’s unreal what ye did to it!” Cyrus remarked as he observed every angle of Lucky.

“I used to have groom and pamper days by a friend named Amelia! She used to pat me down, give me a tickle and–”

“All right, we’re done,” Felix interrupted harshly. “Sorry, whatever you said your name was, but she’s with me and we have to get going now. The sun will be up and soon the human children will be out frolicking. We don’t have time for your advances. Let’s get going, Lucky.”

“Excuse me? Yer her father?” Cyrus questioned suspiciously.

Felix didn’t bother answering. He marched forward toward their original destination leaving an awkward Lucky.

“I, uh, well, um,” Lucky stammered bashfully.

“It is okay, me gorgeous rose. Shall I see ye again tomorrow? Same time?” Cyrus said elegantly.

Unable to look away from him, Lucky nodded five times before she raced after Felix.

Back under the bridge, Felix and Almond discussed their next move while Lucky observed the clouds in a longing daze. It would seem she had been like this since her and Felix got back from their food run.

“… what we need are marbles,” Felix said to Almond. “I would bet we can catch the Beetle train and head down south with the right amount.”

“You serious?” Almond asked brashly. “Marbles are scarce, at least where we are, and the only way we’re getting any is if we hunt someone down who possesses them and I don’t know about you, friend, but I prefer being safe over starting a frenzy. “But, the Beetle train? I don’t recall that being in the original plans…?”

Unsure why Lucky is so quiet, Felix called for her.

“W-what!?” Lucky said sheepishly.

“Why so silent over there?” Felix questioned boldly.

“Yeah, I noticed it too, dear. What seems to be the matter?”Almond joined in with the questioning.

Lucky wasn’t sure how to approach the guys with what has been bugging her. She had never experienced these sorts of feelings before and it was hard to put into words.

“T-that raccoon from earlier,” she said. “Cyrus, he said his name was.”

“What about him?” Felix wondered.

“He said so many nice things earlier and now I can’t stop thinking about him. He’s so… cool and… and… sooo cool…” she sighed longingly.

“Oh, dear Lucky,” Almond started. “I think you may have a crush on the ring-tailed mammal.”

“A crush? What is that?” Lucky asked bewilderingly.

“Well, when you meet one animal that makes you feel all tingly inside and you want to keep talking to them and get to know them. Maybe even commit to a relationship,” Almond said. “It can be a wonderful thing. Oh, I remember—”

“Something which you will not be doing,” Felix yapped irritably. “Don’t trust trash rats like that one, Lucky. It will only hurt you.”

But Lucky ignored Felix as she continued to think about Cyrus and Almond’s words from only a few moments ago. Cyrus had made her feel away she had never felt about anyone before and now all she wanted was for this day to hurry and end. She had to see him again.