Nicole’s office has undergone a major makeover since Waverly officially moved in. The first addition was a desk for Waverly, tucked in right next to Nicole’s so they can work side-by-side.
On the wall next to Nicole is a wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling map of North America (with a little step stool folded away so Waverly can reach the top if necessary).
The wall next to Waverly has a large smart board that Jeremy installed. Nicole was hesitant about this at first. She’s not adverse to technology but she didn’t think she would get any use out of it since she usually likes paper and ink over digital data. But she now uses it constantly to organize files, blow up pictures, and watch videos while looking for minute details. She also likes being able to zoom into a map of the area she is focusing on rather than using the map next to her.
On one side of the door is a large file cabinet with her “murder board” on the other side of the door.
All items, from the door to the office itself, the computers, cabinets, and even doors for the murder board and a pull-down screen for the map are locked with a fingerprint scanner that only allows Nicole and Waverly access.
But their favorite change in the room is tucked in front of the break between their two desks. Laying on a small cushion is a black and white puppy wrapped around a tiny orange and white ball of fluff. When they originally discussed getting a pet, Nicole explained that she was a cat person while Waverly had always wanted a dog. It was one of the few things they disagreed on. So when Waverly heard about a big adoption event in the Big City, she begged Nicole to go with her “just to look”.
When they got there, they were walking along the cages and spotted a cage that others seemed to be ignoring. A volunteer explained that the puppy and kitten were found together, were bonded, and had to go home together but most people weren’t looking for both a dog AND a cat. But Waverly thought it was a kismet, the perfect compromise.
So a stack of papers and several hundred dollars later (seriously, animals need a TON of stuff!) , Bernie and Calamity Jane were officially part of the Haught-Earp household. And their humans couldn’t be happier. And surprised. Nicole found an almost-perfect jogging partner in Bernie, although she was still working on teaching him that he didn’t need to pee on every leaf and blade of grass he saw. And Waverly enjoyed staying warm in bed cuddled with CJ.
But the two furry friends were rarely apart and the family often went on walks around the neighborhood, which thrilled the kids nearby, who would run out to see the playful puppy and laugh at the kitten who wasn’t excited to be on a leash but also didn’t want to be left behind at the house.
Waverly had taken Rosita into Chearp Robotics and added animal handling and animal training to her programming as well. So she was in charge of feeding and taking them out when the ladies were working and got distracted.
Nicole almost lost it when she walked into the kitchen to find Rosita trying to tempt Bernie and CJ into sitting for a treat. She was impressed when Bernie’s rump hit the floor, although his tail was still going a mile a minute. But her jaw actually dropped when CJ followed suit and sat as well.
The two are now able to do a handful of tricks that Nicole, Waverly, and Rosita all reinforce. Nicole didn’t think CJ would continue to learn ALL the tricks that Bernie would but she had to admit that if anyone could make it happen, it seemed to be Rosita.
Nicole had to fight her superiors hard to get Waverly access to her work. When Nicole explained how she helped in the Juan Carlo case and was fluent in several languages and could significantly cut down on any translation and research work, Lucado went to bat for her. She underwent every background check they could think of and is now officially listed as a need-to-know consultant.
Waverly and Nicole are working diligently at their desks when the call comes in. Waverly answers as she stands and walks out the door so as not to disturb Nicole’s work. “Hey Sis.”
When she doesn’t return and Nicole’s alarm sounds indicating the end of the day, she goes in search of Waverly. She finds her at the stove in the kitchen. “Hey. What’re you doing? Where’s Rosita?”
Waverly looks over her shoulder. “Well, see, Wynonna called and asked if she could borr…”
Nicole shakes her hands. “Nevermind! Brlbrlbrlb. I didn’t ask. I didn’t ask!” Waverly smirks as she turns back to the stove. Nicole stands back to admire the view in front of her. Waverly is wearing one of Nicole’s extra long flannel shirts, long fuzzy socks, and an apron. Nicole assumes she’s also wearing short shorts that are covered by the flannel.
Waverly looks over her shoulder again and notices Nicole checking her out. She raises an eyebrow. “Can I help you?”
Nicole’s eyes jump back up to meet Waverly’s. “Nope! Anything I can do to help?”
Waverly stirs whatever is in the pot in front of her. “No, everything’s good. I’ve missed cooking.”
Nicole drops her eyes again. “And I’ve missed watching you cook.” She clears her throat. “So, we have the house to ourselves tonight? Any ideas on how we should spend our time?”
Waverly shrugs. “Maybe play a board game?”
Nicole steps closer to the woman in front of her. “Bernie ate the pieces.”
Waverly tilts her head to the side as Nicole brushes the hair away from her neck. “Hmmm, watch tv?”
“Bernie ate the remote.” She kisses the side of Waverly’s neck.
“Read a book?”
“Bernie chewed them up.” She places a kiss on her shoulder.
“All of them?” Waverly says with a giggle.
“Listen to music?”
“Bernie chewed through the speaker cords.”
Waverly turns around and pushes Nicole away slightly, pointing into the living room with the spoon in her hand. “Nicole! The stereo is up on a shelf! How did he get up there?”
Nicole follows the spoon to look into the living room. “Okay, maybe that one was CJ.”
Waverly puts her hand on her hip and taps Nicole on the chest lightly with the spoon. “So you were trying to blame MY dog instead of YOUR cat?”
Nicole smiles widely at her and holds up a hand with her thumb and index finger nearly touching. “Maybe a little.”
Waverly turns back to the stove and turns it off before turning back around. “I mean, I guess we could just go to bed.”
Nicole looks at the clock. “It’s kind of early to be going to sleep.” Waverly reaches up and pulls the apron loop from around her neck, letting it drop to reveal that the flannel shirt is open and she isn’t wearing anything underneath. Nicole gulps. “And I’m not really tired.”
Waverly unties the apron from around her back and lets it drop to the floor showing she isn’t wearing shorts (or anything else) beneath it. She steps closer to Nicole and loops her arms around Nicole’s neck. “I didn’t say anything about going to sleep.” She says huskily before pulling Nicole down into a quick, passionate kiss. Nicole tries to wrap her arms around her and Waverly pushes her away teasingly. “After we eat.” She grabs two bowls and starts spooning up the stew she made.
Nicole reaches for her. “How about you eat that and I eat what your mom made?” She says, cheekily.
Waverly gives her a disbelieving look. “Really, Nicole? That was the worst line I’ve ever heard.” She grabs the bowls and heads into the dining room. She turns her head to see Nicole just standing there, checking her out once again. “Oh, and you’re in charge of walking the kids tonight. Unless you want me to get dressed to take them?”
“Nope! I got ‘em!” Nicole looks down at Bernie, who is sitting at her feet, wagging his tail. “Oh, like you’d choose differently if you were me.” She murmurs as she crouches down to be closer to eye level with the pup. “You better be quick tonight, Bud! Mama’s got plans.” She ruffles his fur before standing back up and heading to the table.