“Well, at least the night ended well for Chris,” Joe said finishing his bottle of Coors Light.
Sitting alone in the empty booth at the Red Rock Tavern, the scruffy-faced hipster put the beer down on the table and rose to leave. Joe was happy to see his friend leave with Ashley; they were good together and deserved it. Putting on his black porkpie hat, Joe sighed at his own lonely prospects knowing he wasn’t exactly relationship material. Yet he drew comfort from Chris’ happiness, and the fact that he was now free of being the third wheel spoiling his date.
Joe fished a folded bundle of bills out of his wallet and slid the tip under the empty bottle as he left the table. “Guess it’ll be another night of Halo 3 and Netflix.”
It was a crowded and busy Friday at the Red Rock. The Bruins were in the finals, and all the flat-screens were playing the hockey game over the din of conversation, eating and drinking. In particular, the tavern was crawling with Boston University proto-yuppies as Joe worked his way towards the door.
His gaze was drawn to a young Asian woman across the room in high heels and a skinny one-piece dress, both in red. She looked up from her smartphone screen and although their eyes met for only a second, Joe saw her distress before a BU student in a fraternity jacket swaggered between them.
“Come on Lauren, it was just a joke! Don’t get all bitchy about it!” the frat-boy said moving in, flanked by a trio of other young men.
Lauren pushed up her glasses. “Look Devin, thanks for the ride over and all, but this just isn’t working out. I’m calling a cab.”
Smelling like a brewery, Devin leaned over the small woman and pushed his flushed face next to hers. “Tonight wasn’t cheap… You kind of owe me!”
“Don’t piss me off! I really am a huge bitch when I’m mad!”
Waving the beer bottle he held, Devin smirked before Joe’s hand fell across his shoulder. “Hey bud. She’s not into you. Just let it go before—”
Joe wasn’t expecting Devin’s sudden swing with the bottle, or the impact of breaking glass on his forehead. Tackled and thrown to the floor amid a flurry of punches, Joe rolled onto his stomach as Devin slammed a fist into the back of his skull. The taste of blood hit his mouth before a steel-toed kick landed in his ribs and two more frat-brothers piled on top of him.
There were screams as booths and chairs were vacated around the rolling fray. But Lauren stood over the pig-pile shouting for them to stop before she grabbed the back of Devin’s jacket, ripping it as she tried to pull him away. The fat crony standing guard over the fight backhanded the Korean woman in the red dress, breaking her glasses and knocking her backwards. Stumbling, she fell in her heels to the floor with a hard thud.
The corpulent thug turned his attention back to the pile just as Devin stabbed the jagged, broken neck of his beer bottle into Joe’s thigh. His pained howl brought a smile to the big man’s lips before a vicious growl rumbled behind him. A hot breath hit the rising hairs on his sausage neck before he turned and found himself face to face with a wolf-headed lycanthrope in a red one-piece, now several sizes too small for her.
The bartender ducked as a three-hundred pound university student was thrown over him. Belly-flopping onto the bar counter, the fat man slid its full-length amid the clatter of abandoned drinks breaking until he crashed into the wooden support beam at the end of the run.
The grey werewolf turned with a snarl and dragged a man out of the pile by his ankles. Lauren then slapped him back-first onto an abandoned table, breaking it in a shower of flying tableware and nachos while he gave a terrified yelp.
Turning to continue her fury, the she-wolf instead stopped and tilted her head to the side quizzically when the two remaining frat-boys were thrown aside from below. A tawny, seven-foot werewolf rose growling and clad in the torn shreds of Joe’s clothing. With a howl, the monster snatched the stammering man beside Devin and threw him like a rag-doll. His face shattered a flat-screen television just as the Bruins scored the winning goal.
Devin felt Lauren’s claws pinch into his shoulders from behind, pinning him as he screamed at the open maw of Joe’s fangs rushing towards him. He closed his eyes expecting a fatal bite, but instead a tawny fist knocked him out cold and sent several molars flying as he hit the floor.
The two werewolves faced off, circling and snarling with ears pinned back while the tavern patrons poured out in a panic. Finally alone, the monsters reared-up… And buckled-over laughing.
“This is a first! Member of the full-moon club too, huh?” Joe snickered.
Lauren dabbed the tears from her eyes between barking laughs. “Well, yeah!”
Tails wagging, the pair finally contained their laughter as Joe reached down and retrieved his porkpie hat. He placed it between the ears of his tawny head with a wolfish grin, prompting a fresh round of snickers from Lauren before a look of concern washed over her lupine face and she scoured the floor.
“Not-the-shoes-not-the-shoes-not-the-shoes…” she chanted before retrieving her undamaged high-heels with a relieved sigh.
Lauren stood-up to see Joe handing over her purse and phone. Taking her things, the red dress tore along her curves. “Um, we’re gonna be like this until morning, Mr. Big Bad… The sisters here will be popping out of this thing before long, and my underwear is already boldly going where it’s never gone before. Please tell me your den is nearby?”
“Just a few blocks away, Little Red.”
She caressed his cheek. “Good, because I’d like us to be huffing and puffing tonight…”
(c) Jason H. Abbott – July 1, 2015