May 14, 2010

Truck Stop Tango- A Lesson in Why You Should Always Keep Your Werewolf Entertained on a Car Trip

((short flashback this week. This was a minor incident, but the quote was just too good not to write about..))

When I pulled to a stop in front of one of the gas pumps, everyone vanished from the car like it was on fire. I guess no one appreciated the atmosphere much. Roxanne and Jaleel both pulled up to the pumps as well, and I watched, hardly concerned, as Roxanne stalked towards one of the buildings like a woman on a mission. I should've have been worried.

The Truck stop was one of those combined businesses.. gas station, convenience store, and a small restaurant that probably sold more liquor than food.

When I looked up from the pump, half the group was no where to be seen. Stepping Feather leaned against a bike, looking like he always did- gorgeous, and without a care in the world, Asol was disappearing inside the convenience store, and Goule was walking back towards the bathrooms.

It seemed like a damn good time to get a fucking drink. It was humid as fuck, and I was having a hard time shaking off the mental beating Giuseppe had given me in the car.

The restaurant was dim and full of smoke. I slid onto a bar stool, grimacing as my hands stuck to the bar's surface. Roxanne was sitting a few stools down from me, taking long pulls from a beer and eying the patrons with an expression that made me nervous.

I ordered a rum and coke (which, once again, tasted like a goddamn whiskey sour), and then took the time to examine the room. Most of the eyes were on us. Only a few of the men were actually staring, but I caught more than one sidelong glance over the top of a beer, or deck of cards. The glances I got varied between lewd, curious, and downright disgusting.

The looks Roxanne was getting tended to be of a slightly different nature. Sure, some of the truckers were checking her out, but more than a couple didn't look at all happy to see her. It took me a few minutes to figure out why, seeing as Roxanne, though damn tough looking, was the more attractive of the two of us.

But she was also black. I scowled into my drink. Racist shitheads.. but Roxanne didn't seem to mind.. she just sat there, drinking and making a point of meeting people's glares and giving them a big, not so pleasant smile. It wasn't until she was approached that I figured out why.

I watched as a man at a corner table stood, nodded to his buddies, and started to swagger over. He was a big guy, but by no means muscular. He looked like he might have been a line backer in high school, and all that mass seemed to have settled around his gut. This guy was the epitome of trucker stereotype. He even wore a trucker hat. I think his neck (if he had one..) might have actually been red. I didn't bother to fight back the look of revulsion when he spit a wad of dip stained spit on the floor.

He leaned on the bar with one arm, facing his bulk towards Roxanne, who was smiling at her beer.

He spit again and leaned forward, trying to use his massive size to intimidate her. He was probably used to getting away with that, though how anyone could mistake that bulk for anything more than fat, is beyond me.

I could smell him from where I sat, 4 stools away. I could only imagine what his breath smelled like up close and personal. I briefly wondered if werewolves had increased sensitivity to scent in human form. For Roxanne's sake, I hoped not.

"You're a little far from the bayou, nigger."

I froze. The bar seemed to get very quiet. My eyes flicked to Roxanne and I groaned inwardly. She was grinning, ear to ear, one of the most frightening grins I'd ever seen. That's why she even came in here. She was looking for a fucking fight, and this guy just served it up on a platter.

He was about to have a very bad day.

Roxanne turned in her stool and mirrored his posture, leaning on the bar with one arm, draining the last of her beer. She smiled at him, and he was too stupid or too arrogant to see the violence it promised.

"You're a little far from San Franciso, faggot."

I choked back a laugh. The trucker's neck got even redder. "What the fuck did you call me?!"

Roxanne stood up from her seat, and got right up in his sweaty face. "You heard me."
And then she pushed him. His eyes went wide as he stumbled back a few feet. Not used to getting pushed around, that one. His face got beat red, and he was practically spitting with rage. "Fucking nigger bitch!"

And he threw a punch straight at her nose.

I watched as Roxanne easily side stepped the punch, grabbed his arm, snapped his elbow, and rammed his face into the sticky bar. He was unconscious before he could even register that he'd gotten his ass kicked.

Shit broke out 3.5 seconds later.

A sane person would have let it end at that. Roxanne had dispatched the redneck without any effort at all. You'd think that would make his buddies think a moment before jumping to finish the fight.

That is, if they had two braincells to rub together in the first place. His table mates came running. Then the next table.. then some other guys in the corner who looked more like they just wanted to fight, rather than avenge the fallen dumbass.

I tried to move back from the growing brawl, because, while I wouldn't want to leave Roxanne hanging out to dry.. lets face it. If she couldn't handle it, god knows I couldn't either. All I had on me was a gun, and I knew damn well not to draw it. I had no intention of escalating this goddamn cluster fuck.

It didn't matter much. The fight went out the door before I had much time to react. I was busy dodging stray punches and trying to catch a glimpse of Roxanne in the tangle. Every time I did, she was smiling widely.

The light was blinding, and the asphalt was blistering hot. I managed to pull myself away from the fray to get a better handle on the situation. Roxanne was fighting off roughly 15 burly trucker guys. I watched, trying to decide what to do, as Stepping Feather jumped into the fray. The brief glimpse I caught of his face did not reveal a happy expression. But then, I'd also seen the flash of more than one knife being drawn from within the fray.

Asol apparently thought fights were cool, pulled out a flimsy pocket knife and sprinted towards the fighting. I watched as he blocked a switch blade with his forearm, and then took a left hook to the chin. Jaleel had joined in at some point, and being a much more competent fighter, smashed his fist into the attackers temple, dropping him like a sack of rocks. I darted in long enough to drag Asol's remarkably stupid ass out of trouble and took him over to the car. I let him lay on the hot asphalt as I bandaged his arm and checked his pupils. He was one unlucky sonofabitch.. the switch blade had nicked his radial artery. He left a trail of blood on the pavement.

By the time I got him to where he wasn't going to bleed to death anytime soon, there seemed to be a dog pile forming. I couldn't see Roxanne, just a few unconscious (or so I hoped) bodies. I didn't realize the fight was getting serious until I saw Roxanne's arm shoot up into the air out of the pile of bodies, fingers elongated, nails lengthening into claws...I watched, frozen, as she dragged those claws down the back of one of the younger men. He fell and didn't get back up.

I have never been so glad to hear police sirens in my life. Those who were still conscious, fled. Stepping Feather had Roxanne in something like a modified full nelson and was talking frantically in her ear. I couldn't hear him, but I watched as she slowly started to compose herself, arm slowly shifting back to something more normal.

I took a quick inventory of the scene, hoping they hadn't killed anyone. I knelt next to the guy I had seen Roxanne claw, and was surprised to find him alive. He was unconscious, but sweating profusely, twitching, and shivering. The wounds weren't bleeding nearly as much as they should have been.

Stepping Feather walked up behind me, and I heard him groan. "Fuuuuuck.."

He strode forward and grabbed the guy, threw him over his shoulder, and started for my jeep. "We have to take him with us.."

"What? Why, for Gods sake?" I asked, jogging to keep up.

I saw him grimace. "He's going through his first change..he's a wolfblood."

I had my keys out and was about to open the back of the jeep. I stopped and just stared at him. "And you want to put him in my fucking car? Are you insane?"

Stepping Feather flashed me a sheepish smile. "He probably won't change for a couple more days. You're safe for now."

I looked at him incredulously. "Probably?"

He snatched the keys from me and popped the back hatch, lowering the guy onto the floor, between the overnight bags. "Don't worry, we'll be right behind you."

He tossed me the keys, and took off at a run towards the bikes where Jaleel and Roxanne were waiting for him. Goule had already dragged Asol into the backseat, and the sirens were getting closer. I took another look at the guy as he convulsed and moaned in his unconscious state, cursed, and closed the back of the jeep.

"Harper! Hurry the fuck up!"

I slipped into the front seat and pulled back out onto the highway. We never actually saw the cops, but they must have arrived just minutes after we bolted.

I wiped the sweat from my face and tried not to keep looking in the rear view mirror every 10 seconds. Fucking werewolves.. I concentrated on calming my ass down so I didn't run us off the fucking road.

Giuseppe sat in the passenger seat, like he'd never left the car, headphones on, sketch pad out, and didn't say a word to anyone.

We all obliged him.

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