Healed With a Kiss
Brendan Redbird is a man of science and a medical professional. When this very uptight, predictable guy is adopted by a naughty talking cat (Tom) and his two brothers (Dick and Harry), Brendan's life makes an unpredictable turn.Tom smacks a girl on the butt and lets Brendan take the blame. The only problem is the girl Tom smacked is a water nymph, Myrotessa, or Tessa for short. She isn't about to let Brendan off with that ridiculous excuse. Tessa has healing waters and the gift of prophecy—but she did not see that coming.When the magical felines of Cat's Paw Cove begin succumbing to a mysterious malady, Tessa and Brendan are forced to work together to find a cure. Along the way to helping others, they fix the cracks in their hearts—and are healed with a kiss.
Tessa Crinos sat on the ledge of the fountain in Calico Court at sunrise and ran her fingers through the water. She asked the Potomoi, the gods of rivers and streams, to help her keep the waters of the fountain pure and to safeguard all the waters of Cat’s Paw Cove. When she finished her prayers and blessings, she rose and headed to Feline Fine Retirement Home, or FFRH. Today was a big delivery day, and as beverage manager, it was her job to make sure everything was in order. Goddess forbid that Agnes find something missing or that the wrong bottled waters had been delivered. The diminutive FFRH administrator would have Tessa’s head if anything was wrong. Who knew brownies could be so bossy? The Potomoi Assembly could have at least warned her before they assigned her to Cat’s Paw Cove and FFRH. She entered the spacious kitchen, said good morning to Malik, the executive chef, donned a jacket bearing her name—and stopped.
“Malik, where is that loud music coming from? It’s five in the morning.”
“I think it’s coming from the dining room. I arrived a few seconds before you.”
Tessa grimaced. “Wait until Agnes hears it!”
As if conjured by her name, a tiny woman dressed in a matching brown skirt and top with her name—Agnes—sewn on the blouse pocket, flung the dining room door open. Her bun was quivering; never a good sign. With a British accent that could either soothe or slice, she pointed at Tessa and said, “I need to speak with the two of you immediately.”
Turning, the diminutive administrator motioned for Tessa and Malik to follow her.
Later, the dining room would be filled with Supernaturals clustered at their preferred tables and talking and laughing. Right at the moment, rock and roll music drowned out any chance of a normal conversation.
Agnes led Tessa to a long table beneath a large window. The table bore an assortment of Valentine’s Day decorations in miniature, along with a doll’s house. The house, a made to scale model of the Victorian style retirement home, had been decked out for a party—complete with tiny heart-shaped balloons, red and pink lights that blinked on and off, and a tiny jukebox.
Tessa yelled to be heard over the foot-tapping song. “How do we turn this thing off?”
Agnes shook her head. “We can’t until we agree to hold a Valentine’s Day party. The Decorators insist. Normally, we have special food and a festive dinner, but this year they want to go big with a rock and roll party from the fifties.”
“That only gives us two weeks to prepare,” Malik yelled. “I may be a jinni, but even some things are beyond my abilities.”
Tessa recalled an Under the Sea Ball she’d worked on with her cousins, the Oceanids. “Unless—”
“Go on,” Agnes exclaimed. “We’re waiting.”
“Years ago, I planned a huge party for Oceanus, but I didn’t do it alone. We had a small group that organized the event and energized everyone to participate. I bet if we ask Madame Jinniyah and Tatesta Redbird to co-chair a committee, they’d be happy to do it.”
Malik nodded. “Ever since Ynez moved to Orlando with Dexter, Madame Jinniyah has been at loose ends. She’d love a new project.”
Agnes frowned. “Tatesta would want to invite her grandchildren.”
Tessa clapped her hands and shouted, “The bigger the better!”
Malik stroked his chin. “That’s all well and good for the Supernaturals and their families, but what about the cats? They have lots of opinions—on everything.”
“No one should be left out. We’ll ask them to serve on the committee.”
“This is going to be huge.” Agnes rubbed her hands and smiled. “Harold and I will have such fun cleaning up after, we’ll be up all night.”
Tessa laughed. “It’s a win-win. How do we let the Decorators know we’ve agreed to hold the biggest Valentine’s Day bash FFRH has ever seen?”
The music stopped.
“Blessed silence,” Agnes breathed. “Their house heard us.”
Tessa leaned down near the jukebox. “My favorite artists from that era are Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley. I’d love it if you could play their songs.”
The tiny jukebox flashed its lights and played the first few notes of Johnny B. Goode.
Tessa smiled. “This is going to be so much fun. I can’t wait to get started.”
Sharon Buchbinder has been writing fiction since middle school and has the rejection slips to prove it. An RN, she provided health care delivery, became a researcher, association executive, and obtained a PhD in Public Health. She is the author of the Hotel LaBelle Series, the Jinni Hunter Series, and the Obsession Series. When not attempting to make students and colleagues laugh or writing, she can be found fishing, walking her dogs, herding cats, or breaking bread and laughing with family and friends in Baltimore, MD and Punta Gorda, FL.