Goldie and Sammy sittin' in a tree
First comes love. Then comes marriage.
Then comes Sammy with a baby carriage.
"One more branch," Sammy called out, hoisting Goldie up to the tree house. He looked down at the three rampaging bears nervously, but they were still growling and circling the tree trunk.
He hefted himself onto the platform and followed her into the ramshackle clubhouse they'd abandoned more than a decade earlier. It was still sturdy, much to his amazement.
Goldie grumbled a curse, fussing at her torn dress, then abandoning it in annoyance. She met his eyes sheepishly. "I guess I should thank you."
"You're welcome. What did you do to piss them off, anyway?"
Her face, neck, and all he could see of her chest through the torn bodice turned a vivid red. "Well, I... Sort of... It was like this..."
He groaned, sinking to the floor across from her. "Not porridge," he begged.
Goldie was notorious for her sweet tooth. More than once, she'd dipped her finger in the wrong baker's cake or little boy's pie.
She was a stunning beauty, a woman who'd have men flocking around her--if she weren't constantly in trouble. You never knew what Goldie would do or say next. Sammy had had his own fantasies about her in those early pubescent years, even from time to time in recent years. Then she'd show her true colors, and he'd come to his senses and remember why no sane man would get into a relationship with her.
"It was just sitting there, slathered in honey, the door wide open--"
"Who would... Scratch that! Who in her right mind steals from bears?"
Goldie stared at him in guilty misery, twisting one of her namesake curls around her fingertip.
Sammy pushed to his feet and peeked over the edge of the platform again.
"They can't climb up," she assured him.
"Oh, really? Last I heard, bears climb trees nicely, thank you." Coming up here was probably a huge mistake, but there was nowhere else to go, and he hadn't been thinking. Maybe spending time with Goldie was having a detrimental effect on him.
"Mama Bear insists on a well-groomed and manicured family. They can't climb trees with clipped claws."
He turned to her with a raised eyebrow. "How could you know that?"
Her blush darkened by several shades, but she didn't answer.
"You've done this before?" he demanded. Was she insane?
"Not--precisely. You see..."
"I don't want to know," he announced. Trouble! Goldie had been trouble when they were kids, and she was double trouble now.
He went to the doorway and peeked down at the bears again.
"I told you they can't come up!" She had the nerve to sound offended at that.
"Neither can we go down while they are there," he countered patiently, calling on the last of what he thought were his endless reserves of calm.
"They won't stay long," she offered brightly.
He sighed in relief. He wouldn't be forced to endure this madness for hours. "Good."
"They should be gone by morning."
Sammy spun around to stare at her. "Morning?" he shouted.
She winced then nodded, her gray eyes stormy with near tearfall.
"Morning." He raised his hands in frustrated entreaty to the Mother. "Someone should find us before then," he assured himself. "Your parents will miss you at dinn..."
He realized he was shaking his head in time with hers and shook himself mentally.
"My...um... My parents don't seem to notice when I've gone missing," she admitted.
More likely, they revel in the reprieve! "This can't be happening," he complained to the cosmos at large.
"Oh, be a sport! One night of roughing it in a tree house won't kill you. You could look on it as an adventure."