Marley strode to the front door. “We don’t open for another ten minutes. I don’t understand why whoever it is couldn’t wait. Nobody needs coffee that badly.” She pushed it open, glanced around, and looked down. “Oh.” “What is it?” He couldn’t see past her, but something in her voice made him want to drag her back, get out front, and protect her.
She opened the door wider, moving with it so he could see.
He looked down at a cardboard box filled with wriggling fur. “Kittens?”
Marley crouched, propping the door open with her hip. “Five of them. oh, they’re adorable.”
Adam went down on one knee beside her. One kitten was black, another black and white. One was white with specks of tan. The fourth had a brown pattern, while the fifth had orange and white swirls.
Adam scanned the area for any people. A couple of cars drove down the street. Someone from another business brought out the trash. Whoever had left the box had disappeared. In a car, they could be blocks away
“They’re gone,” he said. “I guess they figured leaving kittens at a cat café was like leaving a baby on the doorstep of an orphanage.”
Marley stroked her finger over one tiny head. “But it’s not. We can’t even take them inside. All the cats here have had their vaccinations, but we don’t know anything about these. They’re so tiny, surely they shouldn’t be away from their mother yet.”
Marley looked up at him, her brown eyes luminous. “What are we going to do? I’m supposed to open in a few minutes. We can’t bring them inside. We can’t leave them here. They’re so young.”
When he was 13, he’d imagined slaying dragons for her. At 15, he’d pictured himself defending her from a gang of muggers. By 17, the daydreams had gotten slightly more realistic. He might pull her back before she stepped in the path of a speeding car. He might rescue Brian from drowning or choking, or find him in the woods when he’d wandered off. It didn’t matter that they didn’t have a forest within two miles. Adam simply wanted to be Marley’s hero. He’d been waiting for the chance. He could certainly take care of this little problem.
“I’ll deal with it.”
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