Tomorrow there may be something new!
Well after the sun set, Kate watched the three of them bound over the back fence and head up into the hills. She took a last look around the yard and closed the door behind her. Heading through the kitchen and down the hall, she turned lights off as she went. After checking the other doors, she headed to bed. There was a book waiting for her attentions. Crawling over the pillows on the side of the bed, Kate settled into a nest of pillows. Reading glasses perched on her nose, she settled into her book.
The three wolves bounded across alleys and streets as they edged closer to the school yard and the culvert that Eric used as an exit to the land outside of town. He enjoyed being back on familiar grounds with someone else to accompany him. Henry and Josie followed close behind him with Henry getting distracted by a good smelling husky until Josie growled at him. He dropped his head and turned back to the other two as they headed out.
Ducking into the culvert, Eric sniffed the air. The last thing he wanted was to meet a skunk. Nothing tickled his nose except the dust and scent of cats. He headed through the culvert and out onto the open fields beyond the houses. Henry and Josie followed.
Clear of the houses, the three wolves ran as fast as they could while navigating around cactus, rocks and the occasional startled rabbit. No one was hungry enough to bother with the cottontails bounding out of their way. They headed across open land until they came to a hill that dipped down into an arroyo. Eric headed down the arroyo that had been the scene of the horrendous fight a few weeks previous. No evidence of the battle was apparent. Rain had washed away all traces. The sand gave their paws strong purchase and they delighted in the speed of their passing.
Popping up out of the arroyo some miles west of where they entered, Eric stopped to catch his breath. The other two flopped to the ground to rest. It had been a good run. Henry looked to Eric and grinned a toothsome smile. He then turned to Josie, sat on his haunches and threw back his head. A long low howl issued from his throat. A second later, he was joined by Josie and Eric. The sound echoed across the arroyo and surrounding hills. Off in the distance, coyotes joined in the song and farther off, dogs began to bark and howl. It was beautiful noise.
Once the last of the howls faded, they began moving again. Eric took them to a local stock tank. He took a long drink at the overflow pipe and then moved aside for the others to drink. Then he carefully walked around the tank making sure to leave prints in the mud. Josie and Henry looked at him and then followed suite, leaving a braid of tracks for the local rancher to find and puzzle over in the next day or so.
Sniffing the air, Eric recognized that the other predator in the area was out. He had no desire to cross the large mountain lion that came down to the stock tank. It wasn’t a shifter, just a very nasty tempered feline. He growled a low rumble to get the other two’s attention. Coming around the stock tank, they headed back towards town. Paralleling the highway, they traveled quickly and soon found themselves nearly to the gas station at the junction. Eric veered off to the south and headed through the back paddocks of a ranch and up to the ridge between them and the town. A whimpering behind him made him stop and turn around. Josie was pulling cactus spines out of her paw with her teeth. She has stepped too close to a prickly pear. Tentatively, she put her paw to the ground. No sharp prickles, so they headed out once more.
Ten minutes later, they crossed the front yard and headed for Eric’s back door. Up the stairs and onto the porch they went. Eric pawed the door handle and they were in the kitchen. Eric shifted back and caught the light. Josie and Henry shifted back as well.
“You’d better let me see to that foot of yours. Cactus is nasty.”
“I think I got it all Eric. “ Josie turned her foot towards him.
Eric took her foot in his hand and ran his thumb across the red spots. As he felt the one rough spot, Josie flinched. “You missed one.”
“I know that now.”She gritted her teeth.
Eric reached for a basket in the cupboard and brought out a set of tweezers. “I’ll have that out in a moment.” He held her foot to the light and after a second, pulled the offending spine from her foot. He daubed the area with neosporin and then turned to put the stuff away.
“You’re pretty handy with that stuff,” Henry said.
“Yeah, as much cactus as I’ve hit over the last year, I had better be. Kate was the one who finally put a kit up here in the cupboard.” Eric finished putting things away and closed the door.
“What was near the stock tank that you didn’t want to run into Eric?” Henry asked.
“There is a mountain lion that also drinks there. Nasty temper. Not a shifter, so I steer clear of him as often as I can.”
“I can understand that. I don’t like to tangle with big cats,” Henry said.
“Neither do I,” added Josie.
“I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m ready for a nap.”
“Lead the way. “ Josie hobbled towards Eric and Henry.
“Skin or fur dear?” Henry asked.
“Oh, Fur dear. I didn’t bring a nighty.”
Eric laughed and then shifted. Three wolves passed down the hall, toenails clicking softly on the wooden floors.
Kate woke as they came into the bedroom. She realized that her glasses were still on and the book had fallen to the side. She set the book and glasses on the nightstand and barely got turned around when Eric leapt up on the bed. Josie and Henry came in and quickly curled up on the pillows next to the bed. Eric turned around three times and then plopped down next to Kate.
“Oh, is that the way it is tonight?” she asked Eric, knowing she wouldn’t get a real answer. She scritched him under the chin and along the jawline where she knew he liked it. He extended his head to get more scritches and then put his paw up on her arm. She stopped and then snuggled down onto the pillows. By this point in their relationship, she knew that he wanted her to lay down. Eric put his head across her stomach and closed his eyes. In a few minutes they were asleep.
Andy was the first one up. Walking towards the bathroom he saw that the bedroom door was open. He reached over to close it and had to smile at what he saw. Kate was curled up around the dark wolf he knew as Eric. Across the foot of the bed were two more wolves. Each of them snuggled next to Eric and Kate. Gretchen and Luna had taken over the pillows on the floor. Snuggled in with the dogs was Jamie. As quietly as he could, he pulled the door almost closed. He couldn’t wait to hear the conversation that ensued from that slumber party.
The Subbie rolled up the highway into the mountains. After a pleasant breakfast of sausages, eggs and French toast, the four adults had packed up stuff for a picnic and a day hike. Eric planned to show Josie and Henry one of their favorite spots high up above Levette.
After an hour of curves and hills, Eric turned off the highway onto a dirt road. It wound up the side of the mountain in deep forested pockets of shade broken up by brilliant slashes of sunlight. Eric rolled down the windows and everyone was sticking their heads or noses out the window to smell the scent of warm trees and moist earth. When they reached the top of the pass, everyone got out.
“So, this is where you two go when you run away from home?” Josie asked. She was taking in the view of mountains raising up across the valley.
“Yes. One of the places. This area is cool even when the valley is baking. At nearly 12,000ft, it has it’s own weather.” Kate pointed to the clouds rolling up the backside of the mountain in front of them.
“Very nice. Do we have to hike far? Or, are there too many people to shift?” Henry asked.
Eric looked at the campground around where they parked. “Today we could probably shift right here. It’s late enough in the afternoon that I doubt more people will show up.”
Josie looked around and caught Kate’s face out of the corner of her eye. “You guys can go running, but I think I’ll stick with Kate. Someone has to carry the packs.”
“Thanks Josie.” Kate gave Josie a hug. Most days it wasn’t too hard to deal with her partner shifting. However, with the other two here, she felt a bit left out at times.
Eric came up to Kate and gave her a hug and kiss. “We won’t be long. “
“I know. If you are, we ladies will go to the Dog Bar by ourselves,” Kate smiled a little smile as she spoke.
“Hey now! That wouldn’t be fair!” Henry exclaimed.
“Oh, I think it would. Especially if you two men stay gone too long. It isn’t fair to Kate. She just doesn’t have the hang of shifting and we can’t leave her to be the token two-legs all the time.”
“No, it’s true. I’ve been at that end of things. It’s hard enough to get use to living with a duel nature that gallops into your life. It is even harder when that duel nature is whimsical in its appearances,” Josie finished with her hands on her hips.
“She’s right Kate. We shouldn’t be so inconsiderate,” Eric said as he tucked the stray wisps of Kate’s hair behind her ears. He smiled and then bent closer to her so that he could whisper in her ears. “Besides, your ears are fuzzy today, and I don’t want to be too far away.”
Kate startled at what he said and reached a hand up to her ears. Feeling them, she realized he was right. There was downy hair covering the very tips. She just shook her head and smiled. Josie was right. The serendipity of her shifting was difficult to deal with. Most times she realized she shifted only after she had come back. One benefit of her latent shifting was the mental dialog between her wolfish and two-legged nature. Kate’s wolfish side had spent a long time dealing with the human side and Kate’s human quirks. Eric had explained that new shifters who were younger had a great deal of trouble integrating the two halves. Often to the determent of both sides. Control and the lack thereof was much of what caused issues from both perspectives. Kate needed to let loose of the control that held her human. That was a lot more difficult that she realized. It was why moments of shifting snuck up on her at odd times.
“Well, if you two are going to go run, you’d better get. We will meet you up at the lookout point.”
“Alright Kate. Love you,” Eric said as the two women headed up the trail. He took a last look around and then started to undress. Both men put their clothing in the car and shifted. Moments later, they loped up the trail and headed across the big meadows.
Kate and Josie headed up to the scenic lookout. It was a three mile walk, but an easy one. Neither said much until they got to the top. Both were far too interested in looking around. The sky was bright blue with wisps of cloud. No thunderheads in sight. This was a good thing as lightning was almost an afternoon regular in these mountains. Kate reached into her pack and pulled out the blanket. She and Josie spread it out and made themselves comfortable. Josie sniffed the air and smiled.
“The guys are close. Can you smell them?”
It was Kate’s turn to sniff the breeze. She smelled grass, warm air, pine trees and then that faint doggy smell. “Yes, I do smell them, but they seem rather far away.”
“They are probably two miles away. Downwind for the most part. Probably tried to peek to see if we were here yet.”
“They are so silly sometimes.”
“Yes, and together, they are just big puppies.”
“I agree. It was a riot this morning to wake up and find all of you on the bed.”
“Oh, I don’t know. I think it was funnier to find the two dogs all wrapped around Jamie.”
“There is that. She thought it was wonderful that the dogs had other dogs to sleep over. “
“Yes. That was fast thinking on your part. I’d have just froze.” Josie was thinking of what a shock it had been to be woke up by Jamie petting her nose. She had smelled the little girl, and therefore not growled, but it wasn’t the morning wake up she expected.
“You were pretty froze as it was. Henry was funny though. Almost falling off the bed while having his stomach scratched.”
“He is just a push over for girls. Big girls, little girls, it doesn’t matter. “
“I’ve noticed that. He could get whiplash from all that eye candy in town.”
Josie just laughed. She reached into one of the packs and got out the water bottle. After taking a drink, she handed it to Kate. They sat quietly chatting and looking out over the valley waiting for the guys to show up for lunch.
The two wolves startled a deer and chased it for nearly a quarter mile. Their chase stopped rather abruptly when they found themselves coming close to a cliff. The larger wolf skidded to a halt on his haunches. The dark wolf turned and veered to the left. The deer headed off to the right and out of sight. Together, the wolves headed back towards the big open meadow. The breeze carried the scent of the two women. They moved at a faster pace and were soon to the boulders at the base of the hill. Coming around the boulders, they slowed to a walk. The women were the only people in sight. The wolves shifted.
“About time you two showed up. We were about to eat without you,” Kate teased.
“Yeah. We figured you caught something and ate without us.”
“Josie, you know we’d never do that!” Henry protested.
“Besides, he nearly went off a cliff chasing a deer,” said Eric.
“Yeah, and my butt’s still sore.” Henry was trying to look at his rear to see if it had sustained any damage.
Kate and Josie started giggling. It was rather comical watching a naked man try and inspect his own rear end. He realized that they were laughing at his antics and sat down gingerly.
“You know, it isn’t very fair,” Henry said.
“What isn’t fair?”
“You two have clothes on and we don’t.”
“We aren’t the ones who decided to scamper all over the mountain on four feet either.” Josie crossed her arms over her chest.
“Well, you could take your clothes off,” Eric suggested.
Henry nodded. He liked that idea. Josie and Kate looked at each other and then the guys.
“Oh… what the hell,” Kate said. She unlaced and removed her boots. Then she stood up and stripped off her shorts and top. Josie followed suit.
“You know, if I thought we’d be sitting here nude, I’d have brought sun screen,” said Kate.
“Well, we will just have to keep an eye on things,” Henry said with a leer.
Josie and Kate pelted him with their clothes and boots at nearly the same time. Eric just laughed. He got his fair share of clothes too.
The picnic was sprinkled with conversation as well as good food and the occasional flying sock. As the sun began to sink towards the western mountains, the girls got dressed and the guys shifted. The four of them headed back towards the parking lot where they left the car.
Back at the Subbie, the guys got dressed while the girls packed the lunch stuff into the back. It had been a wonderful afternoon. Laying in the sunshine had felt so good. Henry had fallen asleep for a short while. Josie teased him that he’d have a funny suntan with a white hand print over his crotch.
“I will not!” Henry said rather indignantly.
“Umm, Henry. I think you’d better reconsider,” Eric said delicately.
Henry stopped lacing his boots back on and looked at the rest of them. All three of them had that smug look on their faces.
“Okay, Just to satisfy you three,” Henry paused, turned his back and looked. He zipped up his pants, turned and was red in the face. “Fine. You’re right, I probably will have the whitest bits this side of the mountains. Can we go have a beer now?”
“Of course dear,” Josie said as she reached up to kiss Henry. Everyone was laughing as they got in the car.
Eric drove down the mountain enjoying the turns and twists in the road. They got back onto pavement and he drove a bit faster, but still dealing with curves and downhill grades that make handling the car more of an art than just an automatic process.
They entered the small mountain resort town just as the stars came out. He parked the car a block or so away from the Dog Bar and the four of them got out. The bar was loud and noisy with lots of people inside as well as out on the patio.
“Are you two sure you want to do this?” Kate asked.
“Yes Kate. You afraid to take two wolves into a bar? Or afraid to be in a bar full of two legged wolves?” Henry smiled as he asked.
“Oh you!” Kate answered in reply. “I’m just making sure you two don’t mind leashes and collars.”
“Who said anything about leashes or collars?” Eric asked.
“We did,” answered Josie as she pulled two sets out of a bag that had been in the back. “The last thing we want is for you two to end up in the local pound.”
Henry and Eric looked at each other. Sighing, they each grabbed their collar and moved towards the trees that Eric had parked next to. The trees were in darkness and that is where the guys had planned to shift.
“You’d have thought we were asking them to eat one of the cats or something.” Kate said.
“I know. Then again, I hate wearing a collar too.”
Kate looked at Josie and then off to where the guys had gone. “I haven’t had to, so I can’t really say much. However, if it hadn’t have been for a collar, I might have lost Eric.” She was thinking back to the mangled piece of collar that Eric and Zach had shown her when he came back from seeing Doc Fremont. Seeing how close Eric had come to having his throat ripped out had made her a bit more adamant that Eric keep the collar close by.
Two wolves came up to the girls and bumped noses to hands. Josie looked back and couldn’t see where they had hidden their clothes. She was satisfied and took one of the leashes and hooked it to the big wolf’s collar. Kate did the same to the dark wolf.
“You ready to go boys?” Josie asked as she ruffled the big wolf’s ears. He yipped and then stood up on his hind legs, draping his paws on Josie’s shoulders. “I guess so.” She tried to shift his paws off of her so they could move.
They took the leashes in their hands and headed towards the bar. It must have been a sight to see two rather petite women walking dogs who’s heads passed their waists and probably outweighed them. They walked up the steps and into the bar without much effort. The blast of music washed over them. One of the local bands was playing tonight. Guitars, drums and of all things, a harp. It made for rather interesting tonal combinations. The faint Celtic flavor was very nice. Josie and Kate made their way to the bar and sat down on the stools. The wolves sat at their feet, taking in the smells of the place.
“Two Bud’s please,” Kate ordered over the noise.
“Sure! Nice dogs you got there,” the barkeep said.
“Yeah, Max and Henry are good buddies,” Josie said in reply.
“Big too. Are they mixed breeds?”
“Irish wolfhound and we think wolf or husky,” Josie answered.
“Ah, that’d explain the size. Would they take a dog biscuit?” the barkeep asked as he pointed to a jar full of dog biscuits.
“Yeah, especially if there are any peanut butter ones,” Kate said as she paid for the beers.
The barkeep dug in the jar and came up with two caramel colored ones. “I think these are. You want to give them to them? Or, could I?”
“Go ahead, Just make them sit,” Josie said with a smile.
The barkeep came around th counter and looked at the two wolves. “Hello boys. Sit for a biscuit?” he said as he held out the biscuits.
Max cocked his head to one side, sniffed towards the biscuit and then sat. Henry looked at the barkeep with big sad eyes and then finally heaved himself to a sitting position.
“Good boys,” the barkeep said and handed each of them a biscuit. Henry took his and plopped to the floor. Max gave the man a grin as he gnawed the biscuit. As it broke in half, he too laid down to finish off his treat.
“Those are two very nice looking animals. Well behaved.”
“Most times,” Kate said. She wondered just how long that would last if the bar got any busier. The two of them took their beers and headed off towards a table to one side of the room. It was near the patio and had a bit of breeze to keep things cool. They listened to the music and were making small talk while drinking their beer when two tall cowboys came up to their table.
“Mind if we share?” one of them asked.
“No, just mind Max and Henry,” Kate said.
The cowboys looked around and then followed Kate’s finger as she pointed to the wolves in the shadow of the table.
“Why lookie here. You little ladies done caught a couple of wolves,” said the second cowboy as the two of them sat down.
“Caught is an interesting choice of words. More like live with them,” Josie said.
“Well, as long as you ladies ain’t dancin’ with ’em, I’m fine. My name is Jake and this here is Bill.” He pointing at the man who had sat down next to Josie.
“Nice to meet you. I’m Kate, and this is Josie.”
“Howdy ma’am. Could you two ladies take to another beer?” Bill asked.
“That would be very nice. Bud please,” said Kate. Josie nodded.
Bill went off to get the beer. Jake tried to move his chair a little closer to Kate when Max poked his head up and almost stared Jake straight in the eyes.
“Whoa boy! I ain’t gonna hurt her, I just wanna sit a little closer.” He reached his hand out and let Max sniff it like he’d do to any strange dog. Max sniffed it and then sneezed all over the preferred hand.
“Oh! I’m sorry,” Kate started out apologetically.
Jake took a red handkerchief out of his back pocket and wiped his hand off. “No problem ma’am. Dogs sneeze. I got it taken care of.” He looked more carefully at the two animals on the floor. Big dogs and he didn’t want to get on the wrong side of them.
Bill walked up with the beers. “Here you go ladies. If you want, you can let the dogs off the leashes. The barkeep has some scraps for all the dogs that he is gonna put out and he wanted to let you know that these two were welcome.”
“Okay.” Josie leaned over and unclipped the leashes. She glanced over to Kate with a look of apprehension. “Max, Henry, be good dogs!” she said as she watched them lope over towards the barkeeper and the big bowl of scraps he was randomly tossing to half a dozen dogs at the end of the bar. The two big animals joined in and were very patient about waiting their turn.
“So, what you two fine ladies doing up here?” Bill asked over the music.
“Just out for a day on a hike. Went up to the pass, let the dogs run and then came back here for a drink,” said Josie. Kate nodded in agreement.
“You live up here or are you two summer people?” asked Jake. He moved his arm up and draped it over the back of Kate’s chair.
“Josie is visiting. I live down in the valley,” Kate said rather nonchalantly. She hadn’t seen the two animals come back, but she could smell that they were very near. “What about you two?”
“We work up at the dude ranch about five miles from here. Take turns showing the Texans and city folk what it’s like to live on a ranch,” said Bill. He too reached back to swing his arm up around the back of Josie’s chair and met with Henry’s head which appeared as if by magic.
“Oh! Hey dog, good doggy.” He ruffled the wolf’s ears. Henry just cocked his head to one side and looked at him with big dark eyes.
Jake looked over and watched the dog. He didn’t trust that animal, and couldn’t put his finger on why. Maybe it had just been too long of a day. In the meantime, the band started playing dance music. “Would you ladies like to dance?”
Kate and Josie looked at each other. “Yes,” they said almost at the same moment.
The four of them moved out onto the dance floor and began to dance. It was a slow starting two-step that sped up. The two cowboys held Kate and Josie snugly in their arms as they turned on the dance floor. Kate was enjoying herself, as it had been a long time since she had danced. She wondered if Eric knew how to dance. Glancing over at the table, she saw two long faces in the shadows. Both watching every move. She wondered what on earth they were thinking.
The music stopped and the dancers separated. Kate started back towards the table when Jake caught her hand for another dance. This went on two more times. The last one was a fast two-step that left them breathless.
“Oh…. Jake, I think I need to sit for a bit.”
“Me too,” said Josie as she moved back to the table. She noticed that Max and Henry were nowhere to be seen. She wondered where they had gotten to. Josie could swear that they had been there only a minute ago.
“Kate? Do you see Max or Henry?”
Kate looked around. “No, but they were here just a minute ago.”
“Maybe those two fine males found themselves a little female company,” Jake said.
“I wouldn’t worry about those two. Looks like they could take care of themselves,” added Bill as he put his arms around Josie once again before she could sit down.
“Um.. ,” Josie started to say.
“You know you are one fine looking lady,” Bill said.
“Thank you dear, but…”
“Wouldn’t you two ladies like to visit us up at the dude ranch? We have our own bunk space and no one to bother us,” Jake said as he moved closer to Kate.
Kate realized that they had better put the brakes on this conversation real fast. Question though was how to do it so that these two cowboys would get the point. It was pretty clear that they figured a few beers and a dance or two lead to bunking with them. “I don’t know. We barely know you two.”
“Ah, but if you come up to the ranch, you could get to know us a lot better,” Jake said as he put one arm around Kate.
Kate was just about to say something when Jake dropped his arm and yelled.
“That damn dog pissed on my leg!” Jake was hopping about next to the table and trying to look at his jeans which were showing a large dark stain starting from just above the back of the knee. Max was standing behind him looking very pleased with himself.
“Oh! I am so sorry Jake! I don’t know what came over him. I apologize.” Kate tried to sound as sincere as she could and trying not to laugh at the same time.
“Dogs are strange sometimes,” said the barkeep. He had come up behind them with a mop for the puddle on the floor. “Looks like they think you two cowboys done trespassed on their territory.”
“I think we probably aught to take the two of them out to the truck. I am so sorry about the mess,” Josie said.
“No problem. Happens all the time,” said the barkeep. He smiled to himself as he walked back to the bar.
“Jake, Bill, sorry about this. The dancing and company was really nice,” Josie said as she and Kate headed out the door with the two wolves.
The two of them barely got clear of the bar before the giggles hit. They let the two wolves off of the leashes and they sped off down the street.
“Oh my! Do you think they knew? Or, was it just sheer luck?” Kate asked.
“Knowing those two, just sheer cussedness. Although it was pretty good timing.”
“Yeah, five more minutes and those two would have been drooling on our shoulders.”
“The cowboys or those two?” Josie said pointing towards the shadows where she knew the guys were.
Both women laughed and were still laughing when they got to the Subaru. It only took a moment for the two men to walk out of the shadows carrying a collar in their hands.
“Did you two enjoy yourselves?” Kate asked.
“Oh yes. Especially the part where Eric peed on the guy. He sure was a bold one.”
“Now Henry, what did you expect?” asked Josie.
“Well, I expected it to take more than a few beers and a dance or two before they decided to make a play for you.”
“I can understand that. How were the biscuits and scraps?”
“Oh man. Same brand as Doc Fremont’s. And the scraps were steak,” Eric said, remembering the taste of the scraps.
“So, what made you pee on the guy? You could have just growled or something,” Kate said.
“He just set my fur on edge. Besides, I didn’t think you liked things that smelled of horse shit.”
“Ooohh,… A little jealous?”
“Well, yes,” Eric admitted. “Besides, I wanted to dance with you.”
“I didn’t know you danced.”
“I don’t much, but… “ he hesitated. “You looked so good out there that I didn’t want to share.”
Kate smiled and wrapped herself around Eric. “I do love you. Even if you are silly enough to pee on a rival’s leg.”
Henry laughed. “Hell, you aught to see what we did to their truck!”
“What?” both women said in unison.
“Yeah. Can’t wait to hear that conversation,” said Eric.
“What did you two do?” Josie asked.
Henry scuffed his boots in the dirt. Eric looked up at the stars, whistling slightly.
“Henry, fess up!” said Josie.
Henry looked at her and then Kate. “Well, we noticed a change in the smell of the two and decided that they had other plans.”
“What smell?” Kate asked.
“Testosterone,” said Henry. “So, we went out and found their truck. Peed on the tires, and left something else on the ropes in the back.”
“Don’t forget that you tore up the seat covers Henry.”
“Oh yeah. Almost forgot about that.”Henry smiled.
Kate just shook her head. Josie smiled and then turned back to the guys. “Are you two in the mood for a beer?”
“I thought you’d never ask!” said Henry. Eric nodded and the four of them moved back towards the bar. As they got nearly to the entrance, they could hear Jake singing his woes to a pencil thin blonde. His voice drifted and they heard him complain about the big ass dog that peed on his best jeans. Henry slipped his arm out of Josie’s and walked up to the bar where Jake stood. He ordered beer, and while he was waiting for the beer to arrive, he leaned towards Jake.
“I’d have done more than piss you your leg,” he said softly and smiled a very fang filled grin at the cowboy. Then he picked up the beer and headed off to where Eric sat with the two girls.
The music stopped and so did Eric and Kate. Kate leaned into his shoulder and took a deep breath. They had been dancing for at least four or five dances in a row.
“Eric, I think I need some water or a beer.”
“Me too.” He lead Kate from the dance floor. Henry and Josie were already at the table. They had stopped dancing a few minutes earlier. On the table were two tall glasses of iced tea.
“Thought you might be a bit thirsty what with all that twirling and whirling,” said Josie.
“You are so right. I’d forgotten how much fun it was to actually dance with a beautiful woman.” Eric smiled over the top of his glass at Kate.
“I have to admit that you surprised me. I thought you were just joking earlier when you said you danced.”
“Well, I’m not sure if ‘Cowboy Bob’ over there thinks much of my dancing.”
“Yes Eric, tell me just how did you manage to step on his feet so many times?” Henry asked with a smirk.
“Ah, that was easy. The hard part was not stepping on the blonde’s feet. Those high heels of hers were a very tiny object to avoid.”
They all giggled, because Eric had made it almost a game to step on the feet of the two cowboys that had been flirting with Kate and Josie earlier in the evening. Each time it had happened, it had looked like an accident. The cowboys had finally retreated from the dance floor and left the bar with dance partners in tow.
“Wonder what they thought of their truck?”
“Oh. You missed that. While you were out on the dance floor, the sheriff went by and they were hollering about someone trashing their truck. Tried to blame it on two dogs, but couldn’t explain to the sheriff how the dogs had opened the truck doors, made a mess and then relocked the doors.,” Henry said with a smile.
Eric laughed. He sat his empty glass down on the table and stretched. “Think it’s about time we went home?”
“Yeah. I think so,” said Henry as he stood up.
Kate and Josie linked their arms with the guys and waved their good nights to the barkeeper and the band. They walked out to the Subbie and headed home.