And she didn’t think she’d ever forget what they’d found in the crockpot. Glory shuddered. At least now they knew why it had been duct taped shut. She was pretty sure the fuzzy stuff inside had tried to smack the shit out of her.
The carpet, which they’d thought was a speckled brown and beige, was actually pale beige once they vacuumed it.
And who the fuck didn’t own a vacuum? Seriously? They’d had to pick one up and put it together, sitting on the sofa because none of them wanted to risk the floor. Bunny had actually snarled at Tabby when she started to lower herself onto the carpet.
The kitchen counters were sticky, the sink full of dishes, and worst of all, the entire place smelled like man-socks.
The place was filthy. No wonder Bunny didn’t want Tabby here. The good news was, with a little elbow grease, it would be just fine. Ryan, for the most part, put things back in their places. He just didn’t bother to clean the surfaces.
Glory peered warily into the corner of the tub where she’d put the experiment in creating a new form of life. That crockpot was going straight to the apartment building’s Dumpster. There was no way in hell she was risking unsealing the beast again. And Ryan was the one who was going to carry it there. The Grizzly might be safe from the rampaging fungus.
And she was never, ever watching John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness ever again. The scene where the cylinder opened and spewed liquid Satan all over the place kept replaying in her mind every time she thought of opening the Crockpot of Hell.
“What is that?” Cyn tapped a sad, brown piece of foliage sitting on Ryan’s toilet tank. It broke apart with an audible crunch, drifting down in a sad, brown powder.
Glory stared at it in disbelief. “Don’t they live on nothing but air?”
Tabby nodded, obviously too horrified to even speak.
Cyn lifted the toilet seat with the air of someone who was about to find a dead body in their freezer. When it was up they reared back.
“Dear God, please let it be dead.”
“I didn’t realize Bears shed so much.” Cyn tilted her head. “Either that or Ryan has a thing for fuzzy toilet seats.”
Tabby was a little green around the gills. “That’s not Bear hairs. That’s…” She slapped her hand back over her mouth.
“Ugh.” Cyn stomped out in disgust, muttering profanities in Spanish.
“That’s revolting.” Glory took a step back, ready to bolt after Cyn. The man was simply not that cute.
“Not my mate, pregnant, see ya!” Tabby slammed out of the bathroom. “Free! I’m free!”
“Bitches.” Glory stared at the travesty of a bathroom and gritted her teeth. Ryan was so dead when he got back.
It took the three of them hours to get the apartment ready for Ryan’s family, but it sparkled when they were done. The rug had to be not only vacuumed but shampooed before Glory was satisfied she’d gotten everything out of it. The toilet, tub and tile in the bathroom gleamed like new, and the kitchen, while dated, was as clean as beige laminate could ever look. Hell, they hadn’t even realized the place had a dishwasher until Tabby went to take care of the dishes Ryan had left in the sink. The leather sofa and recliner no longer stank of Cheetos and feet, and Ryan’s bedroom was neat as a pin, with fresh sheets. By the time they were done, even picky Cyn was satisfied with the place.
Glory sighed as she stared around the apartment, realizing something she should have been willing to acknowledge a long time ago.
It had to be love. No one cleaned a toilet that furry without adoring the man who’d fuzzed it. But that didn’t mean she wasn’t going to kick his ass when he came home.
It was nearly midnight before the men got back. Alex, Julian and Ryan slipped into the apartment, looking guilty as hell.
Ryan, his expression wary, held out a bag of what smelled like her favorite tacos. “Glory? We’re back. I brought you—”
Glory went on the attack, swinging a roll of paper towels like a ninja sword. She proceeded to beat him to within an inch of his quilted, two-ply life, while Alex and Julian just stood there and laughed.
When she was panting, sweating and ready to collapse, Cyn stepped forward. She held up her own fresh roll of paper towels. “My turn.”
She then proceeded to attack Julian, hitting much harder than Glory could. “Ow! What did I do?”
“You left me. You left me here. Do you know what was in that crockpot? Do you?” Cyn got in an especially good hit, half of the roll unraveling to pool on the newly cleaned carpet.
Alex was laughing so hard he started crying. Tabby tapped her roll against her palm. “You’re next, sugar.”
Suddenly Alex wasn’t laughing so hard. He held out his own bag, the scent of cinnamon pastries strong. “I love you.”
Tabby bopped him over the head, then stole the bag. “Forgiven.”
“Hey, I get some of those too.” Glory grabbed for the cinnamon goodness, only to come up short when Tabby dashed into the kitchenette. “You’re pretty fast for a whale.”
Tabby poked her head around the corner. “I may be a whale, but I’m a whale with a bag full of fresh churros, bitch.”
“Gimme.” Cyn grabbed the bag of tacos and led the way to Ryan’s small dinette set. “I’m starving. Let’s eat.”
Glory collapsed onto one of the dining chairs and grabbed her share of tacos and nachos. “Star. Ving.”
“Mm-hmm.” Cyn already had a mouth full of taco, an expression of bliss on her face. “So good.”
Ryan placed a glass of soda in front of Glory, pressing a kiss to her head. “Thank you, by the way.” She growled at him, and he laughed. “Only SG could have gotten this place to look this good so quickly.”
Glory sniffed. “You’re taking the crockpot out to the Dumpster.”
He stared at her, looking confused. “Why? It still works, doesn’t it?” When she threatened him with the beat-up roll of paper towels again he held up his hands. “Okay, okay! I’ll toss it after dinner. But you’re helping me pick a new one.”
“Only if you promise not to duct tape it shut again.”
Bunny choked. “Geez, you still have that? How long ago did we make that chili?”