S E V E N T E E N
I stared at the stairs long after the old man disappeared.
I looked at a happy Orion, wagging his tail back and forth as he watched me.
"A little dramatic, eh?" I asked him
He barked twice and I patted his huge head "Come on boy, let's go see if there's any dog food laying around"
He barked once more before running down the stairs.
I laughed as he skipped the last two stairs and basically flew into the kitchen.
When I finally got in the kitchen, I started looking in all the cabinets for the dog food. When I didn't find any, I frowned.
"What the hell does he feed you if there's no dog food?"
Orion scratched the fridge door before whining.
I looked at him in shock "Can you understand me?"
He stopped whining before tilting his head to the side and barking once.
I shook my head "No way"
This dog was messing with me.
He barked again
I heard footsteps on the stairs before a sleepy Ares came into the kitchen. When he saw Orion, his face lit up.
When Orion saw Ares, he froze before barking twice and looking at me.
'What an odd dog' I thought before mentally promising myself to question the old man about Orion.
"We got a dog sissy?"
I bit my lip and gently patted Orion's head "No buddy. This is Grandfather's dog, Orion"
Ares ran forward but I put my palms out, slowing down his approaching form "Wait buddy!"
He paused and started to whine "Kassi..." he drawled my name out "I want to play with the doggy!"
I smiled "I know you do buddy but I don't know anything about this dog. He seems nice but I don't know if he'll attack if you rush towards him again"
I looked at Orion "Sorry Bud, but I rather not risk the chance of having my baby brother mauled to death"
He looked at me and I swear to God it was like he shrugged his wolfy shoulders in a way that said 'I get it'
I reached for Ares and he hesitantly put his hand in mine "He won't bite, right sissy?"
"I don't think so but just in case, why don't we touch him together? Worse comes to worse, he'll bite me and not you"
Ares frowned "I don't want you to get bitten either sissy"
I pinched his cheek before giving it a kiss "I'll be alright buddy. I'm tough, that's why I'm your big sister"
Orion whined and I turned to see him giving us what looked to be a sad look.
He whined again and Ares gave me a nervous look
"Is he okay?"
"I'm sure he's fine buddy. We're just taking too much time and maybe he needs a belly rub"
I put grabbed Ares hand before walking forward slowly and gently petting Orion's huge head.
After a couple of minutes of petting him, Ares became more confident and ended up petting the dog without my help.
Orion laid on the tile floor baring his massive belly to Ares. Ares sat down next to Orion and started rubbing his belly.After I was sure that Orion wasn't going to maul him to death, I left the two in order to continue my search of dog food.
After 5 minutes of searching, the door bell rang and I looked at the clock hanging above the microwave.
I scowled "Who in the hell comes knocking this late?"
Orion sat up and started growing before running toward the door.
Ares followed after him and I chased after Ares.
"Ares!" I hissed "Go upstairs right now! And take Orion!"
I was too late.
Ares was already opening the door and once the door was open halfway, Orion rushed out and started growling at our visitor.
"Oomph" a deep voice said "Stupid mutt. The old man let you out of the attic already?"
I swung open the door and found a guy maybe two years older than me, glaring at Orion.
"Ahem..." I glared "Who are you and why are you glaring at my dog?"
The guy's head snapped up at the sound of my voice. When he saw me, his eyes widened and his mouth dropped open.
Orion was still growling, the hairs on his fur standing up like there was no tomorrow.
Ares hid behind me, his tiny hands gripping my hand tightly.
"Who are you?" the guy mimicked
I crossed my arms "I asked you first dude. If you don't have a answer, get the hell out of here"
The guy's eyebrow lifted in surprise and he took a step forward "Look here little girl, I don't know who you think you are but you need to step aside and let me talk to the owner of the house"
My anger rose and I felt my eyes body start to shake. I knew my eyes darkened and shifted colors when the guy's own eyes widened.
I got up in the guy's face "Listen here Guy" my words were venomous even to my own ears "If you don't get out of my face right now, I won't be responsible for my actions. I'm not afraid to mess that ugly mug up"
Now I was trying to reign my anger in ever since my mom left me in charge of Ares but this guy was pressing my buttons.
I wanted to be a pacifist but right now, the only thing I wanted to do was pass a fist across his face.
"Listen princess..." he started but I cut him off with a punch to his face
He went down and I smiled in satisfaction when I saw his split lip
I bent toward him and laughed in his face "I ain't no princess. Princess"
He threw a punch but I was quicker. In less than a minute, I dodged his punch and roundhouse kicked his face.
This time, it knocked him out completely.
I rushed and awed Ares and Orion inside before locking the door.
"Sissy that was AWESOME!!!" Ares exclaimed and then started punching the air like a boxer would do for a warm up.
I never wanted him to see me like this, the ugly side of me. The side that takes over when my anger hits. The side that's gotten me in so much trouble at school in New York.
"Ares, buddy" I took his hands in mine "What I did out there, that isn't the proper way to solve problems. It isn't right. Fighting is never the answer"
"I know sissy but he was a giant bully"
"Even if their giant bullies Ares. Violence is never the answer" I narrowed my eyes "Promise me Ares"
"Okay sissy. I promise never to use violence"
The front door open and slammed shut.
A throat cleared from behind us and I turned to see our grandfather staring at us with raised eyebrows.
"Can somebody explain why David is knocked out cold on the porch?"
I gave him my most innocent look "I don't know who that is"
He scowled at me but the side of his mouth lifted ever so slightly.
"Word of advice girl" he walked towards his workshop "Next time you kick him in the face, make sure he's on the gravel. I don't want no animals at my front door"
I saluted him "Aye Aye, Captain!"
Ares giggled when I started whistling the theme song for his favorite cartoon.