As it began to get dark, some of the people shifted back to human form. Modesty wasn’t a consideration Vivien realized after the third naked person walked by. Some held Frisbees in their hands and smiled and waved at her as they walked past. Others were gathering up kids and possessions. A few were snacking on the food that was piled on the table next to the barbecue. Vivien looked around for Andrew.
“Hi, I’d like to thank you for a great day,” said a voice behind Vivien.
She turned to see a man she didn’t recognize. “Hi, and you are?”
“I’m Jeff. Shifter, vet and doctor,” he said. “This Frisbee thing has been really great. I have to admit I fully expected to be dealing with broken bones and cuts at one point. I should have known better. Andrew always manages to pull peace out of thin air,” Jeff said.
“Yes. He’s our local shaman, all around good guy, priest as well as silversmith,” said Jeff. “I sure hope you two work out. Thanks again for the Frisbees.” He shook her hand and walked away.
Vivien stood there a little stunned. Others came up and thanked her and then three children ran up to her carrying Frisbees and tennis balls.
“Vivewen? Where do you wants these?” asked the little girl.
“Um, I guess on the table,” Vivien said.
“Oh Kay. Unkie Wolfie said to gives them to you,” said the little girl.
“Here’s the sack, shall we put them in there?” asked Vivien holding out the bag.
“Oh Kay. Oh… an dat’s Jow and Ivan and I’ms Sawa. We’s Awnty Ginny’s and Unkie Wolfie Patrick’s.” said Sara.
“I’m very pleased to meet all of you,” Vivien said to the children.
“Is it weel?” asked Sara pointing at Vivien’s curls.
“Yes,” said Vivien putting her hat down and letting the three children touch the curls that had escaped the braid. The three children smiled and then ran off towards an adult that was calling all the children together.
“You’re going to get a nick name you know,” said Patrick standing there in just his jeans.
“Geeze you startled me!” squeaked Vivien. “And why do you say that?”
“Those are the infamous pups. Sara is the ring leader and Joe and Ivan are her minions. They are hell on wheels and knowing them, you will have a new name by morning,” Patrick said.
“Oh. Wait. Are they the ones that snuck into George’s car on his first date?” she asked.
“Oh my,” she said.
“There you are!” hollered Ginny. She was wearing Patrick’s shirt and little else. “The brat pack took my clothes.”
Patrick and Vivien laughed. Ginny finally began to crack a smile too.
“The Frisbees were a real treat. Thanks,” said Ginny. “It’s been years since I played around. And to see Andrew cavorting like that was a riot.”
“Oh, I don’t know. Some of the guys that forgot to strip off were pretty good too,” said Patrick.
Vivien nodded. Seeing a man jump up and a wolf land in baggy shorts and an aloha shirt was just one of those things you didn’t expect. As they stood there talking, she felt two arms wrap around her.
“Hi,” said Andrew. “Ready to go home?”
“Yes. I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted and all I did was sit and toss toys,” said Vivien.
“Well, let’s say our goodbyes,” suggested Andrew.
They grabbed the bag of chewed Frisbees, an empty salad bowl and headed home.
Andrew pulled up in front of Vivien’s house. “Hey sleepyhead,” he said softly.
“Oh! How long have I been asleep?” she asked rather embarrassed that she had fallen asleep.
“Only about the last thirty minutes,” he said with a smile. “Not a problem. You’ve had a rather busy day.”
“Sort of. Lots of tension there at first I have to admit,” she said as they got out of the car.
“Agreed. I’m glad that you and Ginny seem to have figured out who’s top dog,” he said with a laugh.
“Top dog… oh that is so bad!” Vivien laughed. “Would you like to have a cup of tea or coffee?”
“Sure. Tea would be fine. I’ve got a bit of a drive, and don’t want to fall asleep,” he said as they entered the house.
“How far away do you live?”
“Other side of town. That subdivision out next to the river,” he said. “Twenty-vie minutes or so.”
“Oh, I didn’t realize. I… you should have let me drive part of the day,” said Vivien as she put water on to boil.
“It’s okay Vivien. I don’t mind. Better yet, this gives me a chance to visit with you and see how you feel after today,” he said.
Vivien got cups out of the cupboard and dropped teabags in them. Then she got some gingersnaps out of the cookie jar and put them on a plate. “How do I feel? Well, amazed. I never thought that shifters, werewolves would play Frisbee, have picnics or be just like normal people,” she said.
“Oh? Did you think we were all slathering killers bent on either ruining or saving the world? Or did you think we were some sort of blood cursed bastards?” asked Andrew.
“No! It’s just between modern literature, myths and fairy tales, what am I suppose to think?” she said just a tad louder than she expected. “Sorry. It’s just that my whole worldview has done an entire 180 degree spin and I’m not sure where I stand.” Vivien poured the water in the cups and brought them over to the table. Andrew took his plain and Vivien added honey to her tea.
“Okay, I can accept that,” said Andrew breaking the silence. “Now for the tougher question. How do you feel about me?”
Vivien blinked. “I… I know that we haven’t known each other very long and I find that I like you. Like you a lot, but I wasn’t sure how things would go with all these other people I didn’t know. I was afraid that they’d hate me for being a reporter. For being curious and nosy. So, I didn’t want to say anything, because if… if they all hated me, it would be much easier for me to just disappear,” she said rather quietly.
“And now? Now that you’ve survived the fearsome Ginny, and dealt with the terrifying trio? Now that you know we’re just people who happen to have dual natures?”
Vivien took a sip of her tea, and then looked up into Andrew’s eyes. “How do you feel about me?” she asked.
“Nice deflection. Sorry, you first,” he said with a smile.
Vivien took a deep breath. “I… would really like to get to know you better.”
Andrew smiled. “Do you have any worries about dating someone older than you?”
“Oh. You know, that never crossed my mind until just now. How old are you?” she asked.
“I’ll be fifty-three this year,” said Andrew.
“Huh? You don’t look that old,” said Vivien. “You’re really physically fit and…” She stopped, going bright red in the face.
Andrew laughed. Yeah, you got to see a fair bit of me and others today. We all tend to age well right up until we don’t. I am that old. Remember, Ginny and I dated. I’m older than she is,” said Andrew.
Vivien thought about that for a moment. “Okay. So, since you brought it up, do you know how old I am?”
“Yes, You just turned thirty. And before you ask, no your age does not bother me. I think it runs in the family as my dad was about eighteen years older than my mom.”
“Oh. Wait, how did you know I just turned thirty?” she asked.
“Birthday cards on the bookshelves,” he said with a smile.
Vivien rolled her eyes blushing again.
“So, are we agreed that we are going to date?” asked Andrew.
Vivien looked at him. Really looked. His hazel eyes, sandy hair and that smile. The way he tilted his head to one side just like the wolf did. “Could I?” she thought. “Yes,” she answered.
Andrew set down his cup, walked around the table and pulled Vivien up from her chair. He ran his fingers through the stray strands of hair and then tilted her face up towards his and kissed her.
It took all of three seconds for Vivien to get over the shock of that kiss and return it. She wrapped her arms around him and melted into his arms. He broke the kiss for a moment.
“I’ve been wanting to do this all day,” he said and went back to kissing her. His hands roamed down her back and across her hips. Vivien gave a little moan. Hearing that made Andrew’s body harden. “Not yet!” he thought. The wolf deep inside whimpered. “Ours?” came the question. “Wait!”
Vivien broke off the kiss. “Are… are we moving a um… little fast?” she asked in a whisper.
Andrew held her out a bit from his body. “Your speed. Your decision. I await your pace,” he said in a hoarse whisper.
“It just seems so sudden and…” she paused. “And yet so right!” screamed her thoughts.
“No, you’re right, we… we’re probably rushing things,” he said letting go of Vivien. “I don’t want to rush things. May… may I come by on Monday night?”
“Yyes,” she said, her heart still pounding. She wanted to grab him and haul him off to her bed at the same time she was a little nervous.
“Then I will take my leave, my Vivien,” he said. He gave her a brief kiss and then walked to the front door and left.
Vivien stood in her kitchen stunned.