Andrew drove off with great difficulty. He was waring with his mind and that of his wolf. His heart and the wolf wanted to stay. His intellect said it was time to go. At least for a little while. Andrew reached a stoplight and realized that Cal lived just around the corner. He turned and pulled into Cal’s drive. No one was home. Andrew realized that Cal must still be at the picnic, running with the rest of the unattached family members. He found a piece of paper, wrote a quick note in case Cal did come home. He put it just inside the front door. Then he walked around the back of the house. As he suspected, the garage was open. Andrew stripped off and shifted. Then he carefully headed back to Vivien’s.
Wolf watched the metal things on the road. He ran across when they were still. Wolf and his two legged form talked good. Better than most. It didn’t take Wolf long to get to the house with the toys and the woman. Wolf walked quietly under the windows. He sat and listened. Wolf heard water running and the woman splashing. She was making throat noises that told Wolf she was happy. He sniffed around the house until he found the place she slept. There were bushes under the windows and Wolf found a hollow space to curl up. He stayed awake until he hear her come in the room and crawl into her nest.
Twice in the night, he heard noises. First was a cat. Next time was a bunch of dogs. He growled at the cat and got up out of the bushes to scare off the dogs. He marked the corners of the property making sure that from now on, the dogs would know this was his den. Then he went back to the spot under the bushes. Towards dawn, he headed back to where the metal thing had been left by his two-legged self.
Andrew dressed and was heading back to his car when Cal pulled in the driveway. He greeted Cal and went to go grab the note he’d left.
“Andrew, what you doing here?” Cal asked.
“I… I needed a safe place to shift. I,” was as far as he got before Cal interrupted.
“Redhead fever?” Cal asked.
“Don’t blame you. She’s cute. Come on in for coffee. Sleeping out all night when you’re not use to it can be a bit rough,” Cal said opening his door.
“Yes, it can be. You have fun last night?” Andrew asked following him into the house.
“Oh yeah. There is a little bitch that just rolled my brain.”
“Just your brain Cal?” asked Andrew.
“No, not just my brain. We had a really good time. Oh… speaking of fun, those Frisbees were great. We found a couple that got missed and we all played for a good three hours. Some of us shifted back so we could toss to the others. Thanks,” said Cal as the water boiled. Cal made instant coffee and set a cup down in front of Andrew.
“You gonna date her?” Cal asked.
“Yes, and if it goes well, I’d like to do more than just date,” said Andrew.
“Good. About time you had some fun. And don’t take this wrong, but I never knew how you and Ginny ended up dating. She just doesn’t seem your type,” said Cal.
Andrew nodded. “Our families thought it would be a good match. It was in a way, but not good enough for Ginny or I. So, I’m glad she has Patrick. He’s just rough enough to keep her in line,”
“I’ll say. After Luc chewed everyone out and you talked with her, Patrick took her off to one side. I don’t know what was said, but the sub-vocals were enough to make my hair stand on end,” said Cal.
“Ah, that would explain a few things,” said Andrew. He and Cal chatted for a little longer while they finished their coffee.
“You gonna be alright to drive home?” Cal asked as he stood up and yawned.
“I think so,” said Andrew. I had a couple hours of sleep,”
“Okay. See you later,” said Cal. He headed to bed as Andrew left out the front door.
Vivien cleared her desk and said goodbye to a couple of people she’d made friends with at the paper. They hadn’t even given her time to make a cup of tea before the editor called her in and gave her the news. One of the security guards helped her carry her stuff out to the car. She put it in the back of her car, and drove off before the tears began to roll down her face.
She got home by 9:30am. She had the boxes unpacked and her stuff put away by 10:15am. She knew she should start hunting for a new job, but her heart just wasn’t in it. She grabbed the pint of double chocolate caramel swirl out of the freezer, a spoon and curled up with a movie. She was watching one of her favorite movies, Anna and the King. She got swept up in the costumes, drama and tears while she ate ice cream. After that, she watched The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. When it was over, she picked up all the tissues and threw them in the trash. Around 2pm, she made herself a tuna sandwich and ate some corn chips. Next movie was Gone with the Wind. Somewhere around the burning of Atlanta, she fell asleep.
Andrew knocked on the door. He could hear the TV running. He knocked again. Sniffing the air, he knew she was inside. He opened the door slightly and walked in to hear the voice of Clark Gable saying “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” come from the TV. He looked over to the couch and saw that Vivien was asleep. She was surrounded by an empty ice cream container, a dirty plate and a trash can full of tissues. He looked around and saw two empty file boxes that hadn’t been there on Saturday and what looked like more papers on her desk. It didn’t take him long to realize that Vivien had lost her job. He walked back to the door, closed it and knocked loudly this time.
Vivien dreamed that Andrew in wolf form had said, “Frankly, Vivien, I don’t give a damn,” when she’d told him that she’d been fired. It was difficult to talk though as there was a sound of drums behind her.
“Bam! Bam! Bambam! Bam!”
Vivien woke up from her dream with a start to realize that someone was knocking on her door. She got up, looked at the mess and then headed for the door. She opened it to find Andrew standing there.
“Hi, I was beginning to think that you weren’t home,” said Andrew.
“Um… No, I fell asleep watching a movie,” she said. “Would you give me just a second?”
“Sure,” he said.
Vivien shut the door, ran for the couch and picked up the trash and dishes. On her way back from the kitchen, she folded up the quilt, turned off the TV and then went to the door.
“Okay, I had to pick up a little bit of a mess,” she said.
“I understand. You should have combed your hair as well,” he said with a smile.
Vivien put her hand up to her head and realized that the scrunchie had moved off to one side and that her hair was a lopsided mass of curls and ponytail. “Oh! You could have said something! Better yet, nothing!” she said as she headed off to the bathroom to fix the mess. Her face was almost as red as her hair.
Andrew smiled. He sat down on the couch and waited for her to come back. When she did, she perched on the edge of the couch. “So, how did your day go?” he asked.
Vivien looked at him and for about 1/10th of a second thought about lying. “I… I got fired today. Didn’t even get a chance to explain a thing,” she said.
“I thought as much. I’m early, you’ve been asleep for a while and there are two empty boxes over there as well as more papers on your desk,” he said.
“Are you always this observant?”
“Yes. It’s my job. Healer, priest, silversmith. If I don’t watch what’s going on, it is much more difficult to do my job,” he said. “Now, do you feel up to going out for dinner?”
Vivian thought for a moment. “No, not really. I don’t have much to cook here either. We,… we can always go out another night.”
“No, that is not an option. You need to eat and I know you need company. So, let’s go see what you do have in the kitchen and we can always make a run to the grocery store,” said Andrew as he took her hand and stood up. They walked to the kitchen and Andrew peered into the fridge. He closed the door and then looked at Vivien. “Just when was the last time you bought groceries?”
“Day before the picnic. I had to get some stuff. I… I thought I could wait until at least tomorrow since we were suppose to go out for dinner tonight. I’ve got money, I just haven’t gone shopping,” she said softly.
Andrew wrapped his arms around her and gave her one of the hugs she so desperately needed. When she stopped trembling, he spoke softly in her ear. “I’m going to go shopping for dinner. Take a shower or a bath and I’ll be back in about twenty minutes.” He kissed the top of her head and then walked out the door.
Vivien stood there for a second trying to take everything in and then headed for the shower.