The Producer-human was glaring at me, and I was growling under my breath, and Nick was making excuses for me. "He's really no trouble," Nick was saying as Lauren ushered the Producer-human into the living room. Nick followed along, "Really. He doesn't usually act like this around people. He won't be any trouble at the wedding."
The Producer-human froze mid-step. "Excuse me? You're bringing the dog to the wedding?" he looked aghast.
"They're going to be in the wedding," Lauren said. "They have tuxes and everything."
Producer-human looked at me, "There's more than one?"
"Igby," Lauren said, and she waved at my fat, lazy counterpart, who was probably not even aware a new human was in the house. He was sleeping. He reminded me of Nick's playmate Howie who sleeps a lot.
The Producer-human made a face, "I'm not a big fan of dogs, I'm sorry."
Yeah well we aren't big fans of you either, toolbag.
"Nick, put the dog away so we can talk about the project," Lauren said, waving her hand at the Other Room door.
"He doesn't like it in theerrrrre," Nick whined for me.
That's right. I don't like it in theerrrrre.
Lauren gave him The Look and I knew that meant Nick wasn't gonna take my side anymore. He turned and put me in the room. "Sorry buddy," he said as he pulled the door shut before I could escape again. I banged into the door and I barked. I wanted my nemesis to know my presence.
I could hear muffled voices as they talked but mostly all it was just lonely and lame in the Other Room and eventually I laid down by the door with my nose smooshed against the crack at the bottom snuffing. I wanted my human to come get me. After a bit, I let out a long, low howl. This was a sound that I knew from experience made Nick get shivers in his spine and almost always got me an immediate response. I waited. Nothing. So I let out the long, low howl again a second time and waited. Still nothing. I took a deep breath. This would be my greatest production, I thought, future generations of pugs would speak of this moment with awe in their barks.
I let out the most pathetic, drawn out noise I could possibly get out of my lungs.
The muffled voices stopped.
There were footsteps coming closer and closer and then the door cracked open and my human smooshed his face in. "Nacho, don't do that." He reached a hand in the door and pet my head, "Stop it, please, this is important."
I let out the howl again. No way was he gettin' away with just pettin my head and then leaving. He ocludn't appease me that easy.
I did it again.
"Okay, fine, c'mere." He opened the door enough that I could squeeze out into his arms and I climbed up his chest and nuzzled my head into his neck. I shook a little because this added to the pathetic factor and the more pathetic I seemed to Nick the more spoiled I would get. Igby had wandered over and was staring at me with a look of disapproval and maybe a little awe. I nuzzled all the harder against Nick's throat and chin. "Okay, okay. It's okay buddy, it's a'ight," he said. "Aw I'm sorry..." He scratched my ears. "I'm sorry, dude." I licked his neck right by his Adam's Apple and he sighed, "C'mon."
Nick walked back into the living room with me on his hip. He sat down on the couch next to Lauren. The Producer-human was sitting in a chair across from the couch. He saw me and he pulled a slight face that probably Lauren and Nick didn't even notice. Then he turned back to talking to Lauren about the wedding.
I was in the room about thirty seconds before I noticed that Producer-human was completely ignoring Nick. I thought at first that this was because of me, but I don't think it was because whenever Nick would try to inject a comment in the conversation about the wedding, Producer-human would hold up a hand to signify one moment and Nick would sigh. At one point he muttered, "Of course," and rolled his eyes. I didn't like people who didn't let my human talk. Nick has very complex throughts and feelings sometimes and its important to him that he gets to say them. I could feel the tension building in him and I don't like people that make my human feel tense.
Lauren laughed and blushed as Producer-human said something about how pretty she was and Nick's arms tightened around me. I felt his heart rate go up a little. I looked up at him. I didn't like it when his heart rate changed and neither did he. I know he has a funny heart beat anyway, it's something that he worries about, I know because when his heart is beating funny sometimes we go someplace private and he talks to me about it. We'll lay on the couch in his studio in the dark and he'll whisper fears to me and I listen real diligent-like because thats my job as his dog is to listen and be there for him. His job as my human is to feed me Beggin' Strips. Sometimes I do better at my job than he does at his, but he's just a human so it's understandable that sometimes he messes up.
Plus I like licking his tears off. They taste good.
It was a long time of talking and the Producer-guy paying attention only to Lauren and Lauren trying real hard to get Nick into the conversation. I didn't fully understand what they were talking about other than that it was about the wedding and the fact that this Producer-human was going to be hauling a film crew to the wedding and taking pictures for the TV like where fetch is played. And I wondered how we were all gonna fit in the TV box, but I know Nick knows a secret to that because I've seen him in the TV box before and I've tried to rescue him from in the TV box because the Fans were in there, too, all screaming at him. I don't know how he escapes without me when that happens.
I hoped the Fans wouldn't be able to get to the wedding, too, if we were going to be on the TV box.
Igby had wandered over and jumped up next to Lauren on the couch and was sitting there watching the Producer-guy, who he didn't seem to have any troubles with, probably because he was treating his human better than he was treating mine.
"Igby, the Fans won't be able to scream at Nick at the wedding, right?"
Igby looked at me. "Stop worrying about the stupid Fans, your human likes the Fans."
"How could he like that? They scream at him and try to attack him. Of course he doesn't like them."
Igby sighed. "You're so stupid sometimes..." he muttered and he put his chin on Lauren's leg.
"But they're saying the wedding is going to be in the TV box and the Fans are in the TV box!" I persisted.
"Quiet Nacho," Nick muttered, and he scratched my head softly. I didn't realize I'd made any noises that humans could hear, but I guess I had in my panic.
Igby rolled his eyes so he could only just look at me out of the corner of them. "You don't go in the TV box, you go on the TV box." And with that, he closed his eyes and nuzzled into Lauren's hand with his nose.
Fat ball of lard. Lot of good you are, I thought.
The Producer-human stood up. "Well I will see you all tomorrow morning and we will begin our filming for the show on the way to the airport. It was a pleasure to meet you, Miss. Kitt." He took Lauren's hand and he slobbered on it. Now I don't know a lot about human customs but I do know this: only Nick is allowed to slobber on Lauren. I growled. I think Nick did, too.
The Producer-human laughed, "What, now it doesn't like when people say goodbye either?"
"Apparently not," Nick muttered.
The Producer-human nodded at Nick, "Nice meeting you," he said. He glared at me, then turned and Lauren had stood up and was showing him to the door. Igby stayed behind on the couch, and Nick hovered behind, still carrying me, as Lauren showed Producer-human out. "Have a good evening, Miss. Kitt," he said, and he smiled, showing off a thousand teeth.
My human does that better than you do, Producer-human.
When Lauren shut the front door, Nick put me down on the carpet. "I can't believe you brought him back out to the living room after Terry said he doesn't like dogs!" she said, turning to Nick.
"Well it ain't like he was listening to me about anything so why would I listen to him?" Nick argued, "I swear to God, Laur, he looked at me like twice through that whole thing. It was like I wasn't even there!"
"Well typically guys don't wanna talk about the wedding," Lauren answered.
"AJ's videographer knew he wanted to talk about the wedding!" Nick argued.
"AJ owns more Essie nailpolishes than I do and he wore a dress to one of his wedding photo shoots. I think AJ doesn't really fit the traditional male role and that his videographer probably noticed that." Lauren sighed, "I thought Terry was really nice. He really seemed in-tune with what I want the wedding to look like, you know? He wasn't like insistant on anything that doesn't sound like what we planned."
Nick muttered, "Yeah well he wanted to get in your pants."
"What did you just say?" Lauren asked.
"I said he wanted to get in your pants," Nick repeated louder.
Lauren stared at him, aghast. "You're being ridiculous."
"No I'm not! Laur, he wouldn't stop staring at you."
"Nick that's called paying attention and when people talk to someone, they're supposed to stare at them while they are talking. That is called effective communication." She eyed him. "It's not Terry's fault that you're lacking in that department."
"I ain't lacking in no departments!" Nick said hotly.
Lauren rolled her eyes, "Please. You're not perfect."
"I'm perfecter than that guy was!" Nick yelled, he pointed at the door to emphasize he meant Produder-human. "Did you see that guy's eyebrows? They were ridiculous!"
"Well they were! How did you not notice that? Christ, it was like Kevin and Oscar the Grouch had a god-damned love child!"
"Okay this conversation has officially descended into levels of ridiculous beyond -- just beyond." Lauren headed for the stairs, "Igby, c'mon."
"Where you goin'?" Nick demanded.
"Upstairs to pack."
We watched as Lauren and Igby went upstairs and when the bedroom door slammed a few minutes later, Nick muttered, "Fucking wooly mammoths on his face, that's what he had... Bastard thinks he can look at my woman... he's got another thing coming... Take a damn photo asshat, it'll last longer..." He stormed into the kitchen as he muttered, and I followed him because angry Nick plus kitchen equals good food and I was going to need to use my hypnotic powers to make some of that fall onto the floor.
Nick ripped open the fridge and pulled out a bottle of beer, then turned to the cupboard and glanced back out at the stairs to make sure Lauren wasn't around. Then he opened the secret cupboard. See, there's this one part of the cupboads where it's not technically supposed to open, but Nick discovered once that it does and that there's a cubby space back there and he started stashing food stuff that Lauren doesn't approve of. Things like Twinkies and Pringles and extra Beggin' Strips and chocolate bars and pretzels. Today's Forbidden Food du Jour was Cheetos.
Nick carried the bag of Cheetos and his beer - the lid of which he popped off on the edge of the counter before we left the kitchen - through the house and back out to the living room. He turned the TV box on and skimmed the channels as he took a big swallow of beer. Fetch wasn't on so we ended up watching a rerun of this show called The Price is Right in which a lot of humans scream at cars. I'm not sure what the show's about other than that. Nick gave me a Cheeto though and I sat next to him and splayed my belly up because it always makes Nick feel better to rub my belly. He did and slowly I felt the tension leaving him as he ate his snack and scratched my belly and we watched the humans scream at exercise equipment on the TV box.