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Puppies Galore

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“- and I swear, if Irving says one more thing about that paperwork I haven’t turned in yet I’m gonna go ballistic. He knows what we’re doing and how hard it is to stay alive. I barely have time to eat, le – Crane?”

Upon realizing her complaints were falling on deaf ears, Abbie spun on her heel and clenched her jaw, glancing up at the cloudy sky for strength, rather than turning her gaze on the infuriating man bent over beside a store front twelve feet behind her.

She stormed over to Ichabod, eyes narrowed in annoyance. “Were you even listening to a word I said?” If he said no she was going to consider throttling him. He was bent low enough that she wouldn’t have to reach up to grab his skinny neck. She took a deep breath and forced ‘murder’ off of her list of options so that she could actually register what Ichabod was doing.

“Lieutenant, I apologize, but I was quite distracted by these small dogs. Why are they behind a glass like this?”

Raising an eyebrow, Abbie directed her gaze up to the sign above the store. One that very clearly read ‘Pet Shop’. Ichabod’s eyes followed and he straightened up, head tilting slightly to the side. “Interesting,” he murmured. “Miss Mills, would you mind terribly if we went inside for a moment? I am very curious about this ‘pet shop’.”

Abbie sighed, gesturing to the door. “Go on.” She couldn’t deny that she was charmed by the way Ichabod bounced into the store, one long arm held out to keep the door open until she followed him in.

“Welcome to the pet store. Can I help you two find anything?” A bored looking teenager came to greet them and Abbie forced a smile and shook her head. “No thanks. He just wants to look at the puppies.”

“Actually, I –“ Abbie placed her hands at the center of Ichabod’s back and pushed, shoving him past the employee and over to the fluffy, yipping puppies in the windowsill. “Miss Mills, that was very rude. I have several questions for that young man. Now if you would kindly –“ He cut off in surprise when Abbie plucked a puppy out of the pen and dropped her into his arms. “Oh.”

Abbie had never seen Ichabod so distracted. “You have seen a dog before, right? I know they existed 250 years ago.”

Ichabod fixed her with his driest expression and held the tiny dog aloft, his large hands cradling her small body. “Of course. But never one quite so…adorable.”

“Adorable?” Ichabod nodded and a smile spread over his face when the puppy offered a tiny bark and started licking at his cheeks.

Abbie’s expression softened a little bit, annoyance bleeding out of her as her arms uncrossed. Ichabod held the little animal against his face and let her lick at his smiling mouth, his fingers buried in her thick fur.

“Lieutenant.”

“Hmm?”

“May we keep her?”