The thing about the White House is that it’s always the same and always different. The floors are in the same spot and the doors usually are, too. But sometimes they’re closed off, depending on the time and the era. Sometimes desks are in new spots. The closets hold different items. The people are different.
So it’s not a surprise, really, when the door that Bruce stops in front of is closed, with a fancy looking red velvet rope pulled across it.
Jack says, “no one uses this room.”
Bruce says, “no, someone’s in here. Whoever took Peter Rabbit, they put him in there.”
Jack fluffs up his feathers, unhappy. “I can’t open that type of door.”
“Neither can I,” says Bruce. He gives a dejected whine. “I messed things up again! I’m really sorry!”
“Hush now,” says Jack, quickly enough. “You didn’t mess up anything! We know where Peter Rabbit is and now – well…”
“Exactly!” Bruce paces a circle in front of the closed door. “Now what? We can’t get in there!”
Jack says, “so we wait. And eventually, someone else is going to have to open that door for us.”
Jack and Bruce settle into a room on the other side of the hall, just out of sight. Bruce lays down, and Jack nestles into the crook of the Bull Terrier’s stomach. His feathers are soft, and Bruce’s fur is warm. It’s comfortable and nice, an element of companionship that both animals have been missing.
Sometimes, friendships are born in the oddest ways, you know. Sometimes, the best of friends are the strangest of matches.
But Jack and Bruce have become fast friends, even though they’ve only known each other a short while.
Bruce is determined to do a good job to make Jack proud, and Jack – well, he just wants to make Bruce happy.
So they wait in companionable silence until a person does come along. He’s tall and pale, with a navy blue suit jacket and a shifty look about him. The man looks this way and that way over his shoulders.
“No one’s here,” he mutters, under his breath. “That’s good.”
And then he unhooks the velvet rope, opens the door, and steps into the room.
The door closes tightly behind him.
Jack says, “we need a new plan.”
Bruce’s tail thumps in a slow wag against the ground. “Actually,” he says, giving Jack a big, doggy grin. “I think I already have one!”
Katelynn E Koontz – Author