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Oops, My Bad by A.C. Pontone

Oops, My Bad
A.C. Pontone
Publication date: July 6th 2020
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance

The rules were simple—don’t fall for the handsome vet. Oops! Some rules are meant to be broken.

The light turned red and suddenly my whole life changed. I found myself lying in the middle of the street with two little yellow eyes staring at me.

Then he appeared. Logan. Tall, sexy, built. I’d prayed that Superman would show up to save me, but Logan’s even better. Except that he seems more interested in saving the cat I almost ran over.

Since I can’t pay the vet bills for my unwelcome new guest, I’m forced to accept a job in his veterinary clinic as a receptionist. Not a great fit for someone who’s known since childhood that all animals have it in for her. And Logan seems to be more on their side than mine.

Of course, there’s nothing that says I can’t also unfurl my claws and be a sex kitten for the hot veterinarian. He’s got just one rule: don’t get emotionally involved.

Simple, no?

Not when the damn test comes back positive.

What can I say? Someone’s in trouble . . . and it’s not the cat.

Oops, my bad.

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I hate orange. I hate the cold. And I hate this stupid scooter.

Don’t get me wrong; usually I’m a sunny and positive person, but right now, with my butt frozen and a nose that’s redder than Rudolph’s, my positivity has vanished. Died. Disappeared. Been sucked into a big black hole. Or maybe been flushed down the toilet like the dead goldfish you have to quickly replace in order not to traumatize your little brother.

Not that I ever did that, you understand. Okay, maybe something like that might have happened once—or actually, ten times. I mean, it’s not my fault those dumb goldfish kept coming up to the surface with their creepy little mouths open. I thought they were hungry! Later I realized they’d decided on their own to put an end to their miserable little lives when they realized the grave error they’d made ending up in a bowl on a shelf above the dining-room table

in the house where I also happened to live. So many tiny red Samurai soldiers committing seppuku, except with food instead of swords.

It was even kind of poetic. Except for the ending, where all that poetry ended up flushed down the toilet. The life of a goldfish is truly miserable. After the tenth suicide, my parents threw in the towel, something I would probably have done after the first one, and confessed to my little brother the tragic fate of his beloved pet.

I’m pretty sure he threw a thank-God-she’s-gone party when I finally left home to go to college. Now he has a whole aquarium full of multicolored fish. Oddly enough, none of them have ended up in the toilet.

Anyway, going back to the things I’m not happy with in my life, the color orange is probably first on the list. I mean, in what universe would a sane person willingly wear orange clothing? Stranger still, who came up with the idea that a pizza-delivery person should dress like a carrot that’s been regurgitated by Bugs Bunny? I admit I’ve looked worse, though. The Little Caesar’s uniform probably isn’t even one-tenth as hideous as the chicken costume I had to wear to advertise the chicken wings sold by—wait for it—El Pollo Loco! Quite an original idea, you must admit—dressing up as a chicken to promote the wings at Pollo Loco. Needless to say, I was fired before the end of my first week.

Anyway, now I’m a new version of myself. Now I’m a pizza-delivery person with a frozen ass and a stupid orange hat under my helmet. But as long as it pays the bills, I guess I can’t complain.

I have one last delivery to make and then I can finally go home, burrow under the covers, and sleep like a rock. If I manage to keep this job long enough to pay off my overdue bills, maybe in a couple of months I’ll even be able to take a shower with hot water! Or eat something that isn’t Cup O’Noodles. My mouth is watering already at the mere thought of getting to savor some real food. Maybe I can even splurge and buy myself a bottle of wine. I can already imagine myself lounging in my teensy bathtub submerged in bubbles, sipping a glass of Two-Buck Chuck.

With this comforting image in mind, I twist the accelerator and continue down Madison Avenue. The streets are almost deserted because there’s a blizzard blowing in right now, but the rich snobs on the upper East Side still want their pizza. They don’t care about the poor pizza delivery people, even though it’s January, for fuck’s sake, and cold as a witch’s tit.

What the fuck are they ordering pizza from Little Caesar’s for anyway? If I had enough money to afford an apartment in one of the most expensive areas of Manhattan, I would never order pizza from a place like Little Caesar’s. I’d have my own chef and eat delicious gourmet dishes every night. Shit, just thinking about food is making my stomach growl and my mouth water.

With a sigh, I accelerate even more. I’m not going to worry about speed limits on a night like this. Not that this scooter can go very fast anyway. At least I have my own transport—that is, during my shift. If I get a good tip on this last delivery I’ll go home on the subway. Otherwise I’ll walk from the pizza place to my apartment in East Harlem. Five blocks on foot, in January, at night, in New York City. The thought sends a shiver down my spine, literally.

Don’t make that face. I know I don’t exactly live in the most upscale neighborhood, but by this time you should have gotten the idea that I’m . . . probably poorer than the homeless man I just passed, sleeping on Fifth Avenue. The only difference is that I have a roof over my head—as long as I manage to keep this job, anyway.

I roar, or rather, putt up to an intersection. The light’s red, but there’s no one on the street and I really, really want to get this damn pizza delivered on time and possibly get a nice tip, so I floor it. Wouldn’t you know it, at that very moment a car appears out of nowhere. I jerk the handlebars and swerve, somehow managing to avoid crashing broadside into the door of the expensive SUV and becoming a large meatball squished against the window. There must be some invisible superhero watching over me.

The driver of the vehicle honks, shorthand for Look where you’re going, stupid bitch! Under other circumstances I might even apologize, but I really need that tip. So I turn my back on the big black SUV and putt-putt away.

The cold is making my eyes water and the scooter tires are skidding on the icy road. Right when I think I’ve finally arrived at my destination, two small yellow eyes suddenly appear out of the darkness right in front of me. I scream at them—to no avail, since the little beast doesn’t move. Instead, it sits down in the middle of the street and begins to lick a paw. Of course I’m driving too fast, and when I try to brake, I lose control and skid. Though I try to steer in the direction of the skid, I lose my balance and fall. I can’t tell if I hit the damn cat or not. All I know is that there’s a big rip in my uniform pants at the knee. I’m afraid to look; I’m pretty sure there’s a bad cut there as well. One side of my body is pulsating with pain, but at least my helmet served its purpose and protected my head. I’m alive, thank goodness, but I don’t see the cat anywhere. I can’t have the death of that poor feline on my conscience as well when I’m already haunted by the specters of those ten goldfish.

I feel tears pricking my eyes. I didn’t want to kill him! I’m not an animal-hater, really! I have nothing against them. They’re the ones that hate me. Still on the ground, the scooter lying on top of my leg, I begin to sob.

Then I hear it. A little meow right behind my head. It sounds mocking, contemptuous. The stupid cat is making fun of me. He’s safe and sound, while my ass is probably one big black bruise and I’ve got at least a dozen other scratches and bruises. “Aaarrgghh!” I scream like someone possessed. I have to get this fucking pizza delivered if I want to keep my job.

I need a miracle. Where’s Superman when you need him? I look around me and notice to my horror that the pizza box has opened up and spilled its contents onto the icy New York streets. Maybe if I can manage to get up and move my ass fast enough, I can shove it back into the box without anyone noticing that the bell peppers have flecks of asphalt on them.

Slowly and painfully I move the scooter off my leg. I can’t feel my toes, but I’m sure that’s more because of the cold than the accident. As I prepare to hoist myself to my feet, I see that the idiot cat has decided to sit down on top of the pizza. It starts to lick off the cheese, its little muzzle turning bright red from the tomato sauce. I realize I’m well and truly fucked.

Superman, where are you when I need you?

As if by magic, I’m suddenly bathed in light. A post-Christmas miracle? Either that or I’m dead, and this is the light at the end of the tunnel everyone talks about. Fuck, I’m going to die like a cat squashed on the highway, I think, because I know neither of those two possibilities describes what’s really happening. A hysterical laugh bursts from my chest. The irony of the situation doesn’t escape me as I sit there watching the car bear down on me. After all, I am lying in the middle of the street in the heart of New York City—what else did I expect?

Then something totally unexpected happens. I say a silent thank-you to my horrible orange uniform. I hate it, but I have to admit, it’s got the visibility of a neon sign in the darkness. I hear the sound of brakes, followed by a car door slamming shut. Turning my head to look, I blink and my jaw drops.

Oh. My. God.

It’s taken twenty-two years, but He finally heard my prayers.

He’s here! Superman is here!

Okay, maybe I hit my head and didn’t realize it. I must have hit it really hard because I could swear that standing before me is the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen. Besides Superman, of course. This guy’s hotter than all the Marvel and DC superheroes put together.

“My hero,” I whisper as tears begin to fill my eyes and my heart rate accelerates.

“Poor kitten, are you okay?”

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