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I felt my eyes flutter with the beginning morning. Tuning onto my back I placed my arm across my forehead, taking in a deep breath. Sunlight crept through the small bedroom window though not enough to wake me completely. It was still early with was no rush to start the day.

As I faded in and out of consciousness I listened to the sound of breathing next to me. I reached out finding warm fur to slip my eager fingers through. Wiggling over I embraced the sleeping rat, relishing the scent of his dark gray fur.

With an indistinct moan Jinnai took my hand. Wrapping his arms around me we slept in each other’s arms.

I snuggled against him, my head buried in his chest. His arms tightened as if he couldn’t hold me close enough. As he started to caress my hair, I looked up at his half-opened eyes. I nuzzled Jinnai’s throat.

“So don’t you think this is more comfortable than the sofa?” I asked. Jinnai chuckled, kissing me on my forehead.

“Most definitely,” he whispered as his caress lowered to my back. His touch was very soft with a teasing, hesitant pace about it.

“What?” I looked up at him again. He returned my gaze with a smile.

“Nothing,” he replied. “I just can’t believe you’re here. I’m almost afraid to wake up.”

I giggled at his words. “I’m very real,” I replied. I propped myself up, causing him to roll onto his back. He placed a hand on my cheek, convincing himself this was indeed happening.

It was rather strange. I didn’t feel odd about this at all. In fact, it was the first time since I changed that I truly felt like I belonged. If I never turned into a human again, it would be no great loss.

As I gazed into his blue eyes I began to feel the yearning deep within me that had brought me into the room the night before. I stroked his face, concentrating on his features. How anyone could mistreat such a beautiful creature was foreign to me. I couldn’t imagine being with anyone else like I was with Jinnai, human or otherwise.

As if an unknown force was pulling me, I leaned over, tenderly kissing him.

What started as a comforting embrace began to turn into something more passionate. Gentle touches turned into needing hands, pulling at each other with growing desire. Our breathing became heavier, the kissing deeper, then with strong hands Jinnai pulled me on top of him.

As our lips parted, it was obvious in both our faces that this was what we wanted; this was what we needed.

“It’s too good to be true,” Jinnai whispered in my ear as he embraced me tightly.

“Then all the more reason to cherish this moment,” I answered, raising my head. I placed a finger against his lips, silencing him from speaking any further. I nuzzled his ear, giving it a little lick. “Don’t think,” I whispered softly. “Just do.”

With that, we rolled over, Jinnai looking over me. I couldn’t tell whether he reached for me or I reached for him first. In the end it really didn’t matter. As we kissed again, the first rays of sunlight began to pour into the room.


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