Monsters, dogs, and coffee
The party sucked. But honestly, Gabby threw the worst parties. She lived on the high end of society and was a bit of a goody two shoes. So, despite the fact that there was no one under twenty-one, there was technically no alcohol on site. Not to say you need alcohol to have fun but you needed it to deal with the people on her very strict guest list. Naturally Olivia and I had snuck some in. Or I had snuck some in and Olivia and I were sharing. I hated Gabby’s parties. I only went because Olivia, my best friend, needed to save face and be polite so she had to show up. I on the other hand would have much rather hung out at Liv’s apartment watching b-rated movies and drinking whiskey. Instead however, I was standing in the corner of a poshed out, two story apartment sneaking sips of cheap vodka out of a flask hidden in my jacket pocket while I listened to a bunch of people gossip about everyone they had ever met. I had long since run out of something nonalcoholic to drink and the waiters carrying around trays full of beverages and snacks avoided corners.
“Seriously, I’m starving.” Olivia said taking a sip of vodka from her own flask that I had snuck in under my jacket.
“I told you we should have grabbed something to eat.” I said crossing my arms and leaning against the wall.
“I didn’t think she would hold us hostage here.” Liv countered, “I thought we would be here an hour tops.”
“Why do you think I snuck alcohol in?” I asked, “You know Gabby’s parties. She stands by the door and tries to prevent people from leaving because she knows her parties suck.”
“We need to come up with a reasonable excuse to leave here.” Liv said, “Because I’m almost done with this flask and I’m getting a little buzzed.”
“I’m getting drunk probably wouldn’t be a good excuse.” I said taking a nice swig.
“She would be so pissed.” Olivia grinned a little, “We could tell her, she might not invite us to any more parties.”
“I vote we tell her then.” I said raising my hand into the air a bit.
“It could have negative repercussions though.” Olivia frowned, “Her dad is a major investor and my dad might need to him to invest in the new store he’s planning on opening.”
I rolled my eyes at her, “Do you really think he would get involved in his daughter’s petty issues?”
“Yes.” Olivia said, “why do you think I’m so nice to her?”
“Because you’re a nice person who secretly hates everyone?” I guessed.
“Well… maybe,” Liv said, “But we still need a better excuse to leave.”
“We could say that we need to go to the cupcake shop to prepare for tomorrow?” I suggested.
“I’m not sure she understands work.” Liv said.
“Very true.” I nodded.
“Hello.” A male voice said causing me to turn away from Liv and stash my flask into my jacket pocket.
“Hi.” Olivia said with a tense smile to the guy standing in front of us.
He was probably 5’ 11” to 6 feet tall with dirty blond hair and bright blue eyes hidden behind black rimmed glasses. He had a sharp jaw with a little bit of scruff as if he couldn’t be bothered to shave that day. He was dressed in a well fitted t-shirt and dark wash jeans as if he wasn’t actually supposed to be at a party for rich people. He was really cute in an “I don’t give a fuck” kind of way.
“Hold this.” He said handing me a beige messenger bag that clanked with glass as he thrust it into my arms. I had no choice but to hold it.
“I’m sorry who are you?” Olivia asked giving me a strange look.
“Bo.” The guy said as he pulled a pair of tweezers from the bag. “Hold still.”
“What are you doing?” Olivia said slightly horrified as he pulled a hair off her sleeve using the tweezers.
“Collecting a sample of your hair.” Bo said.
“Um… why?” She asked as Bo rummaged around in the bag for a moment. He pulled out a test tube full of blue liquid. He pulled out the stopper in the top and dropped Olivia’s hair into it.
“Research.” Was all he said as the blue liquid turned clear. This made him grin as he pulled out a pen. “Olivia Jones.” He mumbled to himself as he scribbled her name onto the test tube label.
“How the hell do you know my name?” She asked her voice raising in horror.
“Not important.” He said dropping the test tube in the back and looking me over. “I need a hair from you too.” He said to me.
“Like hell you do.” I said trying to shove the bag back toward him. He didn’t take it and I was tempted to drop it but it was full of glass that apparently had chemicals in it. I didn’t want to cause an explosion. He just looked at me for a second before reaching forward suddenly and jerking a strand of hair from my head.
“Ow!” I exclaimed, “What’s your problem jerk?”
“No problem.” He said pulling out another test tube with the same liquid and dropping my hair into it. Once again the liquid turned clear. “Brayden McGuire.” He mumbled my name as he wrote it down. He dropped the test tube in his bag, grabbed the bag from me and left. I could have sworn I heard him mumbled “These two.” As he walked away.
“What the fuck was that about?” Olivia asked me wide eyed.
“I have no idea but if Gabby is letting people like that into her parties we really need to leave.” I took an extra-long drink of vodka. I put the top back on and stashed my flask in my jacket pocket. “Lets just say we have shit to do in the morning.”
“It’s 8 o’clock.” Olivia pointed out, “That excuse won’t work for another hour.”
“How are you feeling Olivia?” I asked after a beat.
“A little nauseous actually.” She said with a slight smile as she picked up on what I was saying.
I shook my head, “It must have been the chocolate covered strawberries, it’s the only thing you’ve eaten while you’ve been here.”
“Oh dear.” She said shaking her head as well, “It looks like we will have to leave.”
Slipping her almost empty flask into the pocket of my jacket we both turned to leave only to run head long into the chest of someone. It was very rare for either of us to run into the chest of anyone. Seeing as we were both five eight and enjoyed wearing heals. We could look most people in the eye without craning our necks upwards but with this guy we tipped our heads back to get a good look at his face. He was unreasonably tall. He had to be at least six three if not taller. He had brown hair with tinges of red and grey blue eyes. He was cute in a puppy dog sort of way. Not as cute as the weird guy stealing people’s hair but still cute, despite the stupid half grin he had on his face. The fact that he had yet to steal our hair gave him bonuses points. Which was kind of sad.
Like the guy stealing our hair, he was not dressed for a party thrown by Gabby. He had on a pair of baggy torn up blue jeans, a plaid button down that was open in the front to reveal a MLB baseball shirt. It’s entirely possible that his shirt was the reason Olivia didn’t just apologize and step around him.
“Oh sorry.” The guy said looking directly at Olivia. I might as well have been chopped liver. He didn’t dare take his eyes off her. “I didn’t see you there.”
“It’s fine.” Liv said, “If you’d just excuse us.”
“My name’s Charlie.” He said cutting her off. He looked a little smitten.
“Nice to meet you Charlie.” Olivia said, “I’m Olivia, and this is Brayden. We were actually just leaving.”
“Oh… um, I know who you are.” He stuttered. It would have been cute if we weren’t trying to leave. “Maybe I’ll see you around?”
“How do you know who I am?” She asked getting a bit annoyed. Charlie’s shirt wouldn’t save him for much longer.
“Your friend… Gabby told me who you were.” He said.
“Oh, well, okay then.” Olivia said. “I think we should go?”
“It was nice to meet you.” He said. He was so awkward it was painful.
“You too.” Liv said as she stepped around him. “That was weird.” She mumbled to me once we were past him. I just nodded in agreement as we made our way across the living room.
We would have made it across the living room without any further incident if a foot hadn’t shot out and tripped me. I threw my hands out in front of me to catch my fall because I knew the second I tripped there would be no playing this off as silly clumsiness. I was going to make a scene. If I had hit my head and started bleeding it would give us the perfect excuse to leave. I was perfectly prepared for impact that never came. Instead I was caught by the back of my jacket and pulled upright. The sudden change in direction caused both flasks to tumble out of my jacket and onto the hard wood floor, making a shit tone of noise. Olivia, being the quick thinking person she was quickly retrieved the flasks before Gabby could see what had caused the noise.
Once I was placed back on my feet I turned to thank the person who had caught me. I wasn’t exactly sure what I expected. Maybe that Charlie was following us and had grabbed me, or that Bo, the hair thief had decided he needed to steal more samples. I wasn’t expecting a tall black guy with the springiest hair in the world to be holding me awkwardly close around the waist. He was actually dressed for this party. Encompassing the theme and everything. He had on a baby blue button up shirt tucked into khaki trousers with a dark blue tie and matching blue Vans. He looked good, a bit prickish, but good.
“Thanks.” I mumbled pulling myself away from him and straightening my dress and jacket. Olivia slipped the flasks back into my pockets before anyone could really see.
“My pleasure.” The guy said. So far, he was the least weird guy we had met that day. “Maybe you wouldn’t be so clumsy if you didn’t drink so much.” And there went his title of the least weird. At least Charlie was awkwardly cute. This guy was a know it all and bossy. Two things I didn’t take to very well.
“What are you my mother?” I asked defensively.
“Um… clearly not.” The guys said before extending his hand, “I’m Nathan.”
“Hi Nathanial it’s nice to meet you.” Olivia said giving his hand a little shake.
“It’s Nathan actually.” He corrected.
“Whatever Nate.” I rolled my eyes, “It’s not nice to meet you.”
“Not Nate,” He said cringing, “Nathan. My name is Nathan.”
“Okay Nathanial,” Olivia said with a tight smile, “We’re going to go. Thank you for stopping my friend from falling flat on her face but we don’t have time for pleasantries.” Olivia took my shoulders and turned me around so we could walk away.
The guy behind us sighed, “It’s Nathan.” He mumbled more to himself than anyone. But we were already leaving. Turning around would have been beside the point. We walked quickly across the rest of the room, both of us fully aware of where we were placing our feet so we didn’t trip and keeping an eye on what was in front of us so we didn’t run into anyone else.
“You guys are leaving already?” Gabby asked once we reached the door.
“Yeah, I’m not feeling great.” Olivia said making a face and placing a hand on her stomach. “I think it was the chocolate strawberries.”
“And I have to take care of her.” I said with a tight smile.
“Oh well…” Gabby’s eyes flicked between us, “Are you sure you can’t stay?”
“Well, I would but I don’t want to get sick and ruin your party.” Liv gave her a sympathetic look. She was so good at the fake socialization. I envied her.
“If she’s sick you don’t want her having to take care of herself.” I said with a frown, “What if it’s food poisoning and she needs to go to the hospital?”
“Well,” Gabby pressed her lips together, “I hope you feel better.”
“Thanks.” Liv said weakly, “Oh one question first.”
“What is it?” Gabby asked cocking her head to the side innocently. Her long brown hair fell over her shoulder covering up one sleeve of her blue dress.
“See that guy over there, the really tall one?” Liv said, “Were you two talking about me?”
“Talking about you?” She asked a smile forced onto her face, “He seemed pretty into me. I’m not sure why we would be talking about you?”
“Well he knew my name.” Liv said trying to stay friendly.
Gabby scoffed, “Well I might have mentioned you.”
“Okay, I was really just wondering.” Liv gave her a tight smile, “Thanks for the party. I’ll see you soon.”
“Of Course!” Gabby said too cheerfully, “Feel better.”
Walking through down town Denver as it was getting dark while you are a little bit tipsy was never a great idea to begin with. Little did we know that someone taking our hair would be the least weird thing that happened all night. In fact, it would be the least weird thing that would happen to us in a while. That night was sort of a pivotal point where we went from being normal college students to being something you only really read stories about.
We decided to walk to my cupcake shop because both of our vehicles were there and I lived there. During my sophomore year in college I had decided I was tired working for bakeries and I wanted to own my own business. Olivia’s dad had given me the money to start everything up after I had spent a year coming up with a solid business plan that he would be satisfied with, including projected income based off of economic trends for the next ten years. After all Mark Jones didn’t just invest is millions willy nilly. It was freeing owning my own business, but it was a lot of extra work. If it wasn’t for the fact that I was just a few credits away from graduating I would have taken an extra year in school. But I wanted to be done with it all and move on with my life. It might have been stupid to start up my cupcake shop while I was still in school but I was happier than I would be working for someone else. My family was prone to depression; I was going to do whatever I could to prevent depression for as long as I could.
Anyway, we had decided to go to the cupcake shop. I lived in a one-bedroom apartment above the shop. When we got drunk we always got the munchies and I always had left over cupcakes from the day before. I donated most of them to a homeless shelter, but I always kept a few behind for myself. We mostly stuck to the sidewalks and roads, but as always we cut through skyline park. We had been taking this route through to the high rise area of downtown since we were old enough to go around walking by ourselves. Normally the park would be fairly empty. There would be a few homeless people curled up under the trees but no one really bothered us. We might look like we had money but we also walked tall like we could kick some ass if we wanted to.
We were joking about the three guys we had met at the very end of the party and how weird we thought it was. We laughed about the idea of them all being friends and trying different pick up tactics to see if they worked. By the time we had gotten to the park both of us had finished our flasks. We weren’t drunk by any means, just happily tipsy. We didn’t see the person until we were right behind them.
They had their back turned and were making a weird gagging noise. Olivia and I looked at each other asking what we would do. Olivia hated when people got sick in front of her. It made her sick too but if someone really was sick it could be something serious that they needed to go to the hospital for.
“Excuse me,” I asked tentatively but I stayed where I was, lacing my keys through my knuckles. “Are you okay?”
The only response was gagging and a retching sound as if the person had something caught in their throat.
“Excuse me?” I said again, this time taking a small step forward, “can I help you at all?”
“Brayden I think we should go.” Olivia said in a tight voice. She looked freaked out and I couldn’t blame her. I knew she didn’t deal well with sick people. The noises the person was making were making the hair on the back of my neck stand up, but I also didn’t want someone to choke to death when I could have helped them.
“Hello?” I asked again.
The person turned around and I realized there was no way in hell this could have ever been or would ever be a person. Olivia let out a high pitch scream that would have easily alerted anyone nearby. Before me was something entirely against nature. Eight long slimy black tentacles were coming out of a gaping hole that I could only assume was the mouth. Its eyes were pure black and looked like they could see into my soul. This skin on its face was stretched so tight I could see the movement of the bone underneath. It had no nose, which was a dead giveaway that it was clearly evil. Long arms with claws reached forward along with the tentacles as I reeled backwards.
Olivia seemed to be frozen in place and I couldn’t seem to look away long enough to actually turn and run. All I could do was grab her by the arm and pull her with me as I stumbled backwards. From behind us a growling sounded and I thought for sure there were two of them and we were going to die. Instead something leaped over my head and landed on the thing knocking it backwards. It took me a moment to realize it was a dog. It also took me a moment to realize someone was dragging me behind them as I watched a dog fight against this crazy monster thing.
Once I realized someone was pulling me I turned to see who it was. My first thought would have been Olivia except she was still stumbling backwards watching the dog along with me. The guy from the party, Nathan, Nathanial, whatever, was dragging me behind him. Once he saw that I was looking at him he pulled harder on my arm.
“I don’t have time for you to be freaked out right now.” He said between clenched teeth. His voice seemed to bring Olivia back to the moment. “I need you to run.”
I didn’t really hesitate to argue. I did pull my arm away from him and start running as fast as I could. I can tell you from experience that running in ankle boots with three inch heals is normally quite difficult. However, it becomes easier when you are running for your life. Not easy, easier. At one point Olivia slipped off her heals and was running barefoot while carrying them in her hand. I tried to keep up with her and Nathan/Nathanial but it was difficult. Especially because my ankle kept turning making it hurt. About the fourth time I stumbled I was actually being lifted by the guy as he ran with me. Normally I would have fought him on the whole carrying me thing but there were monsters with tentacles so I figured I should keep my priorities straight before I smacked him.
Somehow he knew where my shop was because we were suddenly there and I was being set down. The guy didn’t even look like he broke a sweat. Olivia had her hands on her knees panting as she shook her hair out of her face. I unlocked the shop and we all hurried inside before I locked the doors behind us.
“What the hell was that?” Liv asked between breaths.
“I’m not drunk enough for this.” I said, “Or high enough for this.”
“Get away from the door both of you.” Nathan/Nathanial said sternly grabbing my wrist and pulling me away from the door. I shook of his hand and limped away on my own.
“What about the dog?” Olivia asked, “Did you see the dog? We need to go back for the dog.”
“The dog’s fine.” The guy said, “He’s doing what he’s trained to do.”
“Whoa wait what!” I asked holding up a hand, “You want to explain that statement? What do you mean he’s been trained?”
“Well, he’s my friend’s dog.” Nathan/Nathanial said, “We’ve come across these things before.”
“Then what the hell are they?” Olivia asked.
“Morphlings.” The guy said, “They have a few different human shapes they can take and they morph into what you just saw.”
“So these things can be anyone we meet on the street?” I asked horrified.
“Technically yes.” Nathan/Nathanial said, “But they don’t normally attack in crowded areas.”
“Cause I’m always going to be around a crowded area.” I rolled my eyes, “I can’t deal with this. I need coffee.”
“I need water.” Olivia said.
“Water yes.” Nathan/Nathanial pointed to Olivia and then pointed to me, “Coffee no. The last thing you need right now is caffeine.”
“Look I appreciate your help and all but kindly shut the fuck up about what I do and do not need.” I said as I pulled my industrial sized coffee pot out and started making coffee, there was no way I was sleeping tonight. “Now Once the coffee is done we will take the car and get the dog. Hopefully the Morph-whatever will be gone by then.”
“How about I go and get the dog and you two stay here where it’s safe.” Nathan/Nathanial said.
I looked at Olivia. She raised an eyebrow which told me exactly what she was thinking. While it may have been stupid to go back to where a monster attacked you we weren’t going to leave the dog in the hands of someone we didn’t know.
“How about that’s not happening.” I said cocking my head to the side and letting my hair fall over my ear and into my face.
“That’s not a good idea.” He shook his head, “What if it’s still there. Neither of you are equipped to deal with it.”
“What if it comes here while you’re gone.” Liv said, “Then we will be all alone.”
“Lock the doors.” Nathan/Nathanial said.
“The doors are glass.” Olivia pointed out.
“Go to the apartment upstairs.” He suggested.
“That door doesn’t have a lock.” I informed him. He blanched at that a little like he wasn’t sure how to respond to a girl living in the city without a lock on her front door.
“You seriously don’t have a lock on your door?” He asked a little horrified.
“No, the downstairs locks so I didn’t think it was a big deal.” I shrugged, “Besides, I own a gun.”
“Shit.” He mumbled. “You can come but you have to stay in the car. I’m not carrying you and the dog around.”
“I never asked you to carry me.” I said, “I could have run just fine on my own.”
“You can’t walk without limping.” Nathan/Nathanial said, “would you have rather damaged yourself further?”
“Whatever.” I rolled my eyes, “So are we going or not. We can take my car.”
“Which one’s your car?” He asked looking at the two cars parked in front of the building on the street. One was a beat up ’97 Corolla and the other was a brand new Lexis.
“The Corolla.” I said indicating to my old crappy car.
“That’s a mobile death trap. I would rather we walked.” The guy said.
“We can take my car.” Olivia said, “That way everyone is happy.”
We all stood around looking at each other for a moment while my coffee finished brewing. I poured some into my giant to go cup that held 28 oz. and then made a shooing motion with my hand. We all piled into the car. Olivia driving, me upfront, and what’s his face in the back. He had tried to convince Olivia that he should drive but she was not having it. She was rather protective of her car. We drove to the park, which didn’t take long at all because I lived less than 5 miles away. It was not a very comforting thought to think about how close I was to the initial attack sight.
When we got to the park it was empty. Nathan/Nathanial got out telling us to stay in the car. I actually listened to him because I didn’t want to come in contact with that thing again. It was safer in the car. If need be, we could drive away and leave him to fend for himself. It would be his punishment for being a bossy stupid jerk. He came back a little while later carrying a golden retriever wrapped in a jacket.
“Okay we need to find a vet.” Olivia said once she saw the dog. He really was in bad shape. He had claw marks all down his left side that were bleeding pretty badly. One of his back legs was hanging weird as though it had been popped out of the socket.
“I don’t know of any late night vets.” I said pulling out my phone, “Let me look.”
“I know where to take him.” Nathan/Nathanial said. “3301 North Cook St.”
I typed the address into my phone and pulled up directions. Neither of us argued as we drove. We also didn’t talk. Everything was entirely to tense to make a noise. Occasionally the dog would whimper which made me cringe. I could have sworn Nathan/Nathanial was talking to the dog in really hushed tones that were almost impossible to hear. The only other noise was the GPS lady telling us where to go.
When we arrived Olivia and I looked at each other skeptically. Before us was a two story tan brick house with red brown trim and a red door. It didn’t look like a vet clinic. Before we could say anything and drive away Nathan was already walking up the steps to the door holding the dog. Olivia and I quickly got out of the car and hurried after him.
“I think we should take him to a real vet clinic.” Olivia said reaching Nathan/Nathanial before I did. She could walk a little faster than I could limp. Though I could limp pretty fast.
“Look, this guy knows what he’s doing.” Nathan/Nathanial said, “I would trust him to operate on me.”
“But is he a vet?” Olivia asked.
“No.” The guy said, “But, this is technically his dog so either way, he gets a say.”
“If this is his dog why was he with you?” I asked, “At a party no less.”
“It’s a long story.” Nathan/Nathanial said, “Perhaps I can tell you another time.”
“Or you could condense it.” I suggested.
“When we get inside you should probably sit down.” Nathan/Nathanial said ignoring my statement, “We should ice your ankle.”
“I think the dog is a bit more important.” I said as he opened the door and walked right in like he owned the place.
“Bo!” He called making Olivia and I look at each other. It couldn’t seriously be the same guy. That would be too much weirdness for one night right?
“Bo seriously get down here.” Nathan/Nathanial called again.
“What could possibly be so important—“ The guy from the party said topping the stairs but quickly cut himself off, “Oh. Take him to the kitchen.”
“Ew no! we are not getting blood all over the kitchen.” Nathan/Nathanial said, “I just cleaned it this morning.”
“You’ve always just cleaned it this morning.” Bo said, “I have no doubt that it is a completely sterile environment and that you will clean it when I’m done.”
“Can’t we take him to the bathroom or something?” Nathan/Nathanial asked, “I cleaned that too.”
“People poop in there.” Bo said, “If you’re going to go around breaking my toys Nathan you have to do what I tell you to get them fixed.” Oh so his name was Nathan.
“Fine.” Nathan ground out, “But you owe me!” Nathan started into the kitchen with Olivia and I following closely behind.
“Great! You broke the girl too!” Bo said as he descended the stairs. “I can never have nice things!” His words were a little unnerving so I moved closer to Olivia thinking their might be strength in numbers.
“She broke herself.” Nathan said, “Just fix the dog.”
“There is no way you are a certified vet?” Olivia said, “I think we should go to a real vet.”
“Real vets won’t be able to work on this dog.” Bo said moving past us as we arrived in the kitchen, “He’s special. I made him.”
“You mean you breed his parents to get him?” Olivia tried to clarify.
“Sure.” Bo said, “We’ll say that. Anyway, out of the kitchen. I have work to do.”
Nathan set the dog down on an island counter and grabbed something out of the freezer. Olivia and I gave each other skeptical looks. It wasn’t our dog so we really didn’t get a say in what happened. Sure we could call the cops but at the same time the dog was getting taken care of. So we turned and walked out of the kitchen.
Nathan had ahold of my elbow before I even made it to the living room. I quickly pulled it out of his grip. He just grabbed my elbow again and started leading me toward a chair. I pulled my arm away from him so forcefully that I stumbled. I was not having the best of luck walking that night. Nathan caught me before I could fall into anything and steered me into a very pristine looking chair. In fact after taking a good look at everything, the whole house was in pristine condition. It looked like no one lived there and everything was for show. Which given the weirdness of the night wouldn’t have surprised me.
“Keep this on your ankle for at least 30 minutes.” Nathan said placing an ice pack on my ankle as he propped it up an ataman.
“I’m fine.” I said firmly.
“Just accept his help Brayden.” Olivia said sitting on the couch, “Maybe it’ll shut him up.”
“Only because the idea of him shutting up would be nice.” I said glaring at him.
“I haven’t really said that much.” Nathan said.
“No you’re just incredibly bossy.” I said, “Which you have no right to be. You don’t even know us.”
“I’m not that bossy.” Nathan said. Olivia snorted causing him to glair at her.
“Nathan stop lying.” Bo said coming out of the kitchen. “You’re very bossy.”
“How’s the dog?” Olivia asked before Nathan could say anything.
“He’ll live.” Bo said, “Do you want him?”
“You weren’t in there for very long.” Olivia pursed her lips together ignoring his question, “Are you sure you fixed him correctly?”
“He’s fixed just fine, he’s already started to heal.” Bo said, “Now, do you want him.”
“You would give your dog away, just like that?” Olivia asked a little horrified.
“Well, I don’t really need him.” Bo said, “He’s yours now.”
“I’m not taking your dog.” Olivia said.
“Fine.” Bo shrugged, “I guess I’ll have to euthanize him.”
“Why would you euthanize him?” Olivia asked, “Just give him to someone who wants him.”
“Do you want him?” Bo asked.
“I can’t have a dog right now.” She said.
“It’ll protect you from the morphlings.” He said.
That made her pause for a moment. She glanced at me. I shrugged at her and she looked back at Bo.
“You really don’t want him anymore?” She said.
“No.” He said, “I never really wanted him. I wanted a wolf but apparently those are impractical.”
“Well they are.” Nathan said.
“Anyway, do you want him?” Bo asked.
“Sure I guess I’ll take him.” Olivia said, “What’s his name?”
“Dog.” Bo said before turning back into the kitchen.
“That’s a terrible name!” Olivia said, “I’ll have to change it.”
“You could call him Charlie.” Nathan suggested.
“No.” Olivia shook her head, “We met a weird guy named Charlie tonight so I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
“He’s not that weird, he just doesn’t know how to talk to people.” Nathan said.
“Of course you would know him!” I said adjusting the ice pack on my ankle. My foot was staring to go numb from the cold. “Weirdos stick together.”
“I am not weird.” Nathan said, “I am very normal.”
“Anyway,” Olivia cut in,” What about Yogi, after Yogi Berra?”
“You mean Yogi Bear.” Nathan corrected.
“No.” Olivia said, “I mean Yogi Berra the baseball player.”
“Oh you’re a baseball fan.” Nathan made a face, “So is Charlie. He actually plays on the baseball team at school.”
“That’s nice.” Olivia said with a forced smile, “We should probably get going. It’s been a long day.”
“Do you need to me to see you back to your shop?” Nathan asked standing.
“No, I think we will be fine.” I said standing as well and handing him the ice pack.
“You can help us put Yogi in the car though.” Olivia said.
Nathan went to go gather the dog as Olivia and I made our way outside and to the car. Once the dog was settled and we were on our way I let out a big sigh.
“Do you mind if I stay at your place tonight?” I asked.
“Thank god you asked!” She said with a relieved smile, “I really didn’t want to stay at home alone tonight.”