I Believe

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The Celebration

After lunch the next day Connor, Nathaniel, and three other Rottweilers see John and Jack throwing a football to each other. They walk over and ask what they are doing. John and Jack don’t see them until they are standing ten yards away from them. Connor, Nathaniel, and the other Rottweiler’s sudden appearance spooks John and Jack.

“Ya’ll don’t know what football is?” John almost shouts.

“We have never really paid attention to any of your sports before.”

“Ya’ll have other, more important things to concentrate on right?”

“That’s one way to put it.”

John explains to them what Football is. Later that evening, a few Rottweilers come by and ask to see a game. Doug and Shawn agree to play. They head back to the tents and try to get the guys to play a game of football. The only one who doesn’t join is Roger. He has been having back problems for years. Even Charles joins the game. It is a skin and shirts game. Doug, Shawn, John, Frank, and Roger form one team. Mark, Jack, Jake, Corporal, and Nick form the other. Doug’s team is shirts, Mark’s team is skins. The game is full contact. They try to make the tackles are painful as possible. To the Dogs, it looks like they are actually trying to hurt each other. The big guys in the group, Charles, Jake and Corporal, use their strength and size to pick up and throw their opponents to the ground. Doug, Mark, and Shawn use their martial art skills to their advantage. To make things, worse, not long after the game starts, it starts raining. The ground quickly turns to mud. But they do not seem to care. It makes the game more fun.

Katrina and Zathora are watching the game from the balcony of their home. They can see everything that happens. Katrina and Zathora are getting a big laugh out of watching the humans beat each other up.

“Looks to me like an excuse for them to beat the crap out on each other.” Katrina says.

“I know, but it looks like they are having fun.”

“That may be but I cannot even tell which one of them is winning.”

“I guess whichever team cheers at the end. It cannot last much longer. They’ve been playing for at least an hour now.”

On the next play, Katrina and Zathora see one of the humans jump over Doug and the Charles, and tackle Frank, the quarterback.

“Wow, that guy has some skill.” Zathora says.

“I know, I think that is Doug’s little brother.”

“Really, that is Doug’s little brother.”

“I know it does not look that way, but they are brothers. I do not know his name.” Katrina replies.

“He is much bigger and he looks tougher than Doug.”

“It may look that way, but I believe that Doug is the tougher one of the two. I think that Doug is the more logical and disciplined of the two. I have not seen much of his brother though so I cannot tell you much about him.”

“Did he tell you anything about Charles?” Zathora asks changing subjects.

“No, but what do you think about him?”

“I think that he is a lot like Doug. Charles seems a little shy to me. But he is an interesting guy, once you get him talking. I would not want to anger him though. He looks he could do some real damage to someone if he gets angry.”

“You actually talked to him.” Katrina replies shocked.

“Yes, he is a very nice guy. But I would not want to get him angry.”

“Which one is Charles?” Katrina asks.

“Charles is the only black guy in the group.”

“Which one is that? They are all covered in mud. I cannot distinguish one from the other.”

Doug, Shawn, John, Frank, and Charles huddle up to form a plan. It is the last play of the game. They are all soaked, covered with mud, and exhausted. Doug’s team is one point behind Mark’s. Doug does not want to lose to his younger brother. This game has been real competitive. It’s been a tough, painful game too. A lot of the guys have multiple cuts and bruises.

The two teams face off for the last time. Shawn tosses the ball to Frank, the quarterback. Just like the last time, Mark jumps over Doug and Charles and tackles Frank. As soon as Frank is down, Mark jumps up cheering, thinking that he has won.

“Hey Mark, what are you cheering for? I don’t have the ball.” Frank shouts.

Frank shows Mark his hands, they are empty. Mark, realizing that he has been tricked, turns around looking for the ball. But he is too late. Instead of tossing the ball to Frank, Shawn kept the ball. Doug, John, and Frank protect Shawn and run straight through Jack, Jake, Corporal, and Nick. Mark takes off running toward Shawn. Mark is the fastest guy in the group; he has no problem catching up to Shawn. Doug turns around and sees Mark catching up. Doug quickly turns around and charges Mark. Mark doesn’t have the time to react. Doug clotheslines Mark in the chest instantly knocking him to the ground. Shawn manages to make a touchdown no problem. Other than Mark, none of his teammates pursued after Shawn. They knew that once Shawn got passed them, there was no way that they were going to catch him.

After the game, Doug is by the tents washing the mud off of him. It has stopped raining now. He uses the water that is falling from the tents to wash the mud off. The mud has dried into his hair making it difficult to get it out.

“Have you considered cutting your hair?”

Doug turns around and sees Katrina standing behind him. He smiles when he sees her.

“No, I haven’t cut my hair in two years.”

Katrina laughs quietly to herself.

“That was an interesting game Doug. What is it called?”

“Football”

“So that is what it is called. You guys were playing kind of rough out there. I am surprised that none of you got hurt.”

“Me too, a few of us got some bruises, but that is it. That is how football is played. I actually enjoyed beating the crap out of Mark’s team.” Doug replies.

“Doug, you are just crazy. Has anyone told you that?”

“Just about every person I know. But that makes life interesting.”

“Based on what I have seen today and yesterday, I agree with you. But what I do not see is how you are still alive.”

“I guess that God has a plan for me. Other than that, I have no idea.”

“You could just be lucky.” Katrina says smiling.

“I highly doubt that. If I was lucky I would still have my arm.” Doug sarcastically replies.

“I guess that’s true. You are funny Doug, I like that.”

An hour later, Doug and his guys are getting ready for the celebration. They do their best to get all the mud off. It takes three hours to get all the mud off. Once everyone gets all the mud off of them, they get dressed for the celebration. All of the guy’s have at least one button up shirt. Frank, Jack, Mark, and Nick each brought cologne. Because the bathroom is small they have to take turns using. Doug is the last one to use it. His long hair takes a while to comb. Before Doug goes to the celebration he reaches into his bag and pulls out a medal. He stands there for a minute remembering how he almost paid the ultimate price to get it. Doug sees the Roger and Charles are looking at him and waiting for him to go to the celebration. He hangs the medal around his neck, and walks with Roger and Charles to the celebration. The celebration starts when Doug, Roger, and Charles show up. Everyone is waiting for them. They cannot start until the humans have arrived. Doug is in charge of introducing his guys. Griffin told him early that he is just supposed to give a short, brief summary of each of his guys. Doug starts with his father Roger. He tells them that Roger is one of the best piano players he has ever heard. He says that Roger is an excellent outdoorsman, and a master at T’ai Chi. He has to explain to the Rottweilers what T’ai Chi is. Doug tells the Rottweilers that Roger is the one who taught him T’ai Chi. He also tells the Rottweilers that Roger is one of the most religious person he knows besides Charles. Doug then moves on to his Uncle Shawn. He tells the Rottweilers that Shawn is the Roger’s older brother. Doug tells them Shawn is a former Infantryman. He says that Shawn is a master at Jeet Kwan Do. Doug also tells them that Shawn is the one who trained him in Jeet Kwan Do. Doug then goes on to his older Cousin Frank. He tells the Rottweilers that Frank is the oldest one in his generation. Frank is a business man and the owner of the famous Military Arms Inc. Doug also tells the Rottweilers that Frank is the smart guy in the group. Next Doug tells the Rottweilers about his younger Cousin Jack. He tells them that Jack and Frank are brothers, and that Jack is younger. He also tells them that Jack is a businessman like Jack, except not as big or as famous. Doug moves on to his youngest Cousin Jake. He tells the Rottweilers that Jake is Frank and Jack’s youngest brother. He also tells them that he is a Deputy for the Sheriff’s department. Doug then goes to his friend John. He explains that John is the most trustworthy and loyal friend he has. John is one best mechanics Doug has ever known. Doug tells the Rottweilers about his Christian friend Charles. He tells them that he served in the Infantry for four years together. He also tells them that he was a Corporal. He says that Charles was their unit’s medic. He tells them about Charles bravery and skills in combat. Doug also tells the Rottweilers how powerful Charles’s faith is. He has been through some tough times in his life, but has never doubted his faith. Doug then goes to Corporal. Unfortunately, Doug doesn’t know that much about him. So Doug lets him come up and tell the Rottweilers about himself.
“My name is Corporal Drake Fields. I am a Corporal in the Black Mamba Ranger Company. Other than Shawn and Roger, I am the oldest. I joined the Army four years ago. My father was a missionary in Brazil. He moved me, my brother, and mom to Rio de Janeiro thirty years ago. As you can probably imagine that being a young white boy in Rio de Janeiro, I needed to find some way to defend myself. So when I was nine I started learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I quickly became one of the best. I competed in the regional and national tournaments. I got married young to a local girl and we had a child together. Unfortunately I lost them four years ago. The six months after I lost them was terrible. I almost lost my faith. I eventually came back to the states. When I got back, I decided that I wanted to help people. I wanted to do everything I could to prevent the same thing that happened to me from happening to people again. I joined the Army and worked my way up to the Black Mamba Ranger Company. When I heard that Colonel Patrenski, our company’s commander, was looking for someone to come up here with the legendary Cobra, a.k.a. Doug Wilson, I jumped at the opportunity. Now, here I am, standing before ya.”

Corporal jumps off the stage. Doug can see a tear on his cheek. He doesn’t mention it to anyone.

“Good job Corporal.” Doug says.

“It’s Drake.”

This is first time Doug has heard Corporal says his first name.

“Ok Drake, good job.”

Doug jumps back up on stage and introduces his last two guys to the Rottweilers. He starts with his younger brother Mark. He tells the Rottweilers that Mark is a UFC fighter. Mark may be rookie, but he has lost only one fight, and that was the championship match. Doug also tells the Rottweilers that Mark is also a member of Little Rock SWAT team. Next, Doug tells the Dog’s about his friend Nick. He tells them that he served in the same Ranger unit, and that he was a Sergeant. However, Doug leaves out Nick’s bad attitude. He figures that they already know. Nick’s rude and atheist attitude has already earned him a name for himself among the Rottweilers. Once Doug finishes, he gives the Rottweilers an assurance in case one of his guys does something.

“I want everyone to know that if any of my guys cause you any problems come to me or Shawn. I promise you that I will handle it to the best of my ability.”

The Rottweilers are most impressed with Roger and Charles because of their faith in God. They don’t seem to like Nick, Frank, Jack, and Jake all that much. After Doug finishes introducing his guys, the celebration starts. The celebration starts off with food and music. The Rottweiler’s food and drinks are a lot like those on Earth. They mostly cook the meat from the animals they hunt and vegetables and fruit from their crops. The meat is mostly deer, cow, and pig while the vegetables and fruit are corn, apples, grapes, and bread. The Rottweilers’ music sounds to Doug and his guys like a combination of bluegrass and medieval music. It has the bluegrass fast pace and an old, medieval sound to it. A lot of the Rottweiler’s instruments resemble human instruments like guitars, drums, flutes, and trumpet - like instruments. The Rottweilers have a really amazing skill when it comes to playing their instruments. Other than learning about God and how to fight and survive, one of the things they have to do is play instruments. Once some of the Rottweiler’s have finished eating they start dancing. Their dancing looks like a combination of square dancing and ballroom dancing. All of Doug’s guys are familiar with square dancing, but only Doug, Roger, Frank, and Mark are familiar with ballroom dancing. But they still just stay back and watch the Rottweilers dance. The humans mostly stay in separate groups from the Rottweilers. Doug told his guys earlier to not dance with the Rottweilers unless they are asked. He doesn’t want one of his friends ruining things for them. Frank, Jack, Jake, and Nick stay by the food table. They are cracking jokes at each other and making a lot of noise. The Rottweilers think that Nick and Jake are a little too rough and rowdy. Roger and Shawn are with Griffin and the older Rottweilers. Roger and Shawn mostly talk and try to learn from the older Dogs. Doug, Charles, John, Mark, and Corporal are sitting down with four Rottweilers around their age: Nathaniel, Saul, Robert, and Alexander. These Rottweilers want to learn more about Doug and Charles’s military days. Doug and Charles have some fun telling a couple of funny stories. Charles tells a story about the time he and Doug tangled with a few Delta Force Operators in Afghanistan. Nine years ago, Charles, Doug, and a few other infantry men, snuck into the barracks while the Delta Force guys were sleeping and attempted to duct tape them to their cots. The Delta Force operators woke up when one of the Infantrymen sneezed. Even though it was a ten to four fight, the Delta Force Operators whipped all of them, except for Doug. The Infantrymen did manage to duct tape the Delta Force Operators to their cots, but all of them got hurt in some way. Charles adds on that Doug was the only one who was able to go toe to toe with a Delta Force Operator.

Doug tells the next story. He tells the story of the time he and Charles were the front line defense against a possible attack on a U.S. F.O.B. (Forward Operating Base). They heard that there was a possibility of a suicide bomber attack.

“Who would be dumb enough to be a suicide bomber?” Nathaniel asks.

“Well, according to the Qur’an, if they commit suicide for the cause there will be seventy two virgins waiting for them in heaven. Suicide bombers are really dangerous to deal because it is almost impossible to tell who there are, where they are, and when they are going to attack. One time I was standing within ten feet of a suicide bomber when he exploded. He gave himself away when he opened his jacket revealing the bomb underneath. If I hadn’t jumped behind a small wall at the last second, I wouldn’t be here right now.” Doug answers.

“You are one lucky guy Doug.” Nathaniel says.

“I know God must’ve been looking out for me.” Doug replies. “Now back to the story. We got a report telling us that a large enemy force was going to attack one of our main bases. So, our unit was told to set up defenses along the entire outside of the base. We were told to dig foxholes around the perimeter as a defense.”

“What happened?”

Doug turns around and sees Katrina and Lady standing behind him. He recognizes her voice, but looking at her now absolutely stuns him. Doug barely even recognizes her. He is so stunned that his mouth drops open. Katrina’s beauty stuns him. Doug can’t take his eyes off her. Her long, black hair, which is normally tied in a pony tail, is now untied and dangles all the way down her back. He notices that she has pretty green eyes that he senses not only power and strength but also kindness and wisdom, a combination that Doug rarely sees anymore. She has a young, beautiful, caring, and powerful face. Doug also notices that she is wearing a red, slim dress. The dress really brings out her body figure. Doug is attracted to her appearance, but he also knows that real beauty is on the inside. It still takes a Doug a second to focus.

“We were in the foxhole for three days waiting for the enemy to attack. While we were waiting it rained nonstop. Our foxholes got flooded within a couple of hours. The water was so high that we couldn’t go to sleep. By the third day, we had to tie ropes around our chests and stick them in the ground to keep us from falling asleep and drowning. But, despite all that, we still slaughtered the enemy when they attacked. When we got out of there all of us had to spend a couple of days in the hospital because of infections. A couple of guys got to go home because the infections were so bad.” Doug answers.

“And being in the water for so long caused our skin to wrinkle. We looked like a bunch of wrinkled, old men when we got out. We couldn’t even see our skin was so wrinkled. The reinforcements had to lead us to the helicopters so we could get out of there. Plus, having no sleep in three days, we got a week off from combat.” Charles adds.

“Sounds to me like you guys have a lot of bad combat experiences.” Katrina says.

“Combat is not supposed to be fun or comfortable.” Doug replies sarcastically.

“I know that from experience.” Katrina replies. “Anyway, do you wanna dance Doug?”

Katrina’s question catches Doug off guard.

“Yes, but I must warn you that I’m a terrible dancer.” Doug answers.

“Do not worry Doug, it is not that hard.”

“I guess I’ll give it a try.”

Katrina grabs Doug’s hand and leads him onto the dance floor, with Lady following close behind. Charles, Nathaniel, Saul, Robert, and Alexander stay at the table and watch them. Saul leans in close to John and whispers to him.

“Your friend is one of the luckiest guys I have ever seen.”

“I know it’s a miracle he’s still alive after all he’s been through.”

“He was talking about Doug and Katrina. The four of us have been fighting over her for years. Katrina is the most beautiful Rottweiler, except possibly Zathora. Every Rottweiler around here wants to marry her. Besides being beautiful, she is also Griffin’s only child. Whoever marries her will be the next chief of the Rottweilers. But Katrina and Zathora are very picky. Dozens of guys have tried to get them but none have succeeded. Whoever Katrina and Zathora choose will be the two luckiest guys that I have ever met.” Saul explains.

The music playing is a slow, love song. Katrina leads Doug to the middle of the dance floor. She turns and grabs Doug’s hands and places them on her sides. Katrina wraps her hands around Doug’s neck. Doug feels her warm, soft fur from her arms on his neck. They dance slowly moving from side to side. Every few seconds, their eyes will meet and they will be locked in each other’s gaze. Even Roger and Shawn can see that there is a spiritual attraction between then, and they are standing thirty yards away.

After three minutes, Doug and Katrina’s eyes meet again. This time they can’t take their eyes off of each other. They just stand there not moving. When neither Doug nor Katrina looks away the tension between them really builds up. Doug tries to think of something to break the tension.

“You look beautiful Katrina.”

“Thank you Doug. You don’t look to bad yourself.” Katrina says as she blushes.

“You’re welcome, is your leg feeling better?”

“Yes, but it still hurts a little bit.”

“That’s good, I was starting to think that you weren’t gonna make it.” Doug replies.

“No, it was not that bad. Do you mind if I ask a question?”

“Go ahead.”

“What is that medal around your neck for?”

“This is the Medal of Honor.” Doug answers.

The Medal of Honor is the highest military award that anyone can receive. It is given to those who distinguish themselves through outstanding courage at the risk of their life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in combat against an enemy of the United States. Unfortunately, over half of the people who have received the medal died posthumously.

“Wow that is amazing. What did you do to get it?”

“I did something that required more courage than the average person.”

“That did not answer my question.” Katrina responds.

“Well, it’s a little personal. It almost cost me my life.”

“I’m sorry I did not mean to offend you.”

“Don’t worry about it Katrina, I’ll tell you sometime, just not now.”

“I can live with that.” Katrina replies. “Can you tell me about your necklace underneath the medal?” Katrina asks.

Doug looks down at his necklace and smiles. The necklace has seven beads with two ¾ inch sharp snake teeth.

“It’s a good luck charm. I made it from a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake I killed.” Doug replies.

“I have heard them, but I do not know much about them. I have never seen one before. That snake must have been hard to kill, just look at those fangs. How did you manage to kill the thing?”

“Well, I didn’t have a gun on me at the time. I had to use a stick to pin its head down. Then I used my hatchet to cut its head off. This snake was easily seven and a half feet long.”

“That must have taken a lot of courage.” Katrina says.

“To tell you the truth, I am scared to death of snakes, especially venomous snakes. They’re the only thing really scares me.”

“Then how did you get up the courage to face something that big if you were scared of it?”

“Well, seventeen years ago, I was walking along a trail with Mark when I heard a rattle very close by. I froze instantly and looked around to spot the snake. Mark must have spotted the snake first because he took off running. I looked down and saw the snake just five feet away from me. I almost passed out from the fear. I don’t remember anything after that. The next thing I do remember, I was standing over the snake’s headless body. Mark, who stopped running when he realized that I wasn’t with him, saw what happened and he told me later. After that, I’ve gotten a better handle on my fear on snakes. I’m still afraid of them, just not as much. Ya’ll don’t have snakes around here do ya?” Doug answers.

“Yes, they are bigger.” Katrina says with a smile on her face.

“Oh well, there’s nothing I can do about it anyway.”

The music suddenly changes to something a little faster now. The music sounds a little familiar to Doug. At least, that’s what it sounds like to Doug. He smiles when he hears the song.

“What are you smiling for?” Katrina asks.

“I’m familiar with these types of songs. This is music I can dance to.” Doug answers.

“Then what are you waiting for. Prove it to me.” Katrina says as she smiles.

“No problem, just try to keep up.”

Katrina allows Doug to lead her in the dance. They dance like two competitors from the show “Dancing with the Stars”. It is fast paced and very elaborative. It involves a lot of movement with the arms and a lot of moves that involves both of them. Doug moves a little slow at first so that he can give Katrina cues. He doesn’t want to challenge her too much. To his surprise, she meets his cues no problem, so he picks up the pace a little bit. Despite her experience and skill, Katrina finds it difficult to keep up with Doug. Katrina has a very competitive personality, but she mixes it with fun. She enjoys competing against a good opponent, and that is definitely Doug. Both of them make mistakes dancing. They bump into each other, miss cues, and fall down. But each time they mess up, they just laugh and keep going.

The next song is even faster than the previous one. Doug and Katrina really moved on the first song and it exhausted them. They pause for a moment to catch their breath.

“You said that you are a terrible dancer.”

“I’m terrible at most dances but not this kind. I grew up on this kind of music.”

“Why did you not tell me that?”

“You didn’t ask.” Doug answers.

“Well then, why don’t we continue, unless you’re too tired?”

“Ladies first”

Doug and Katrina get a little competitive in this song. Doug lets Katrina lead this time. That is not a real smart choice. When Doug led in the first song, he held back a little, but Katrina is not about to give Doug that luxury. She moves so fast and elegantly that Doug can barely keep up. Unfortunately, that all ends when out of the nowhere Katrina spins and accidently backhands Doug in the face. The blow stuns Doug and almost knocks him to the ground. Katrina panics when she realizes what just happened.

“Oh Doug I am sorry, I didn’t mean to hit you.” Katrina shouts and she tries to steady Doug to keep him from falling over.

“I’m ok, it was an accident, don’t worry about it.”

Doug shakes the dizziness out of his head. He takes a moment to steady himself.

“Wow, you can really throw a punch. I think you knocked one of my teeth out.” Doug says while smiling.

Doug reaches into his mouth and pulls out one of his back molars. To Katrina’s surprise, he starts laughing. Doug looks around and sees that the other Rottweilers are not paying that much attention to them. A few are looking at them though.

“We probably should slow down before I get hurt again.” Doug says sarcastically.

“I knocked out one of your teeth and you still want to dance with me?”

“Yes, I know you didn’t mean it. Besides, I haven’t had this much fun in a while. But it’s up to you if you want to continue.”

“Okay, I guess we can slow down a little bit. I do not want you to start complaining.” Katrina jokingly says.

“Nice to know that you have a sense of humor.”

At that moment the song changes to a song that is a little bit slower. It is more like a fast ballroom song, not a bluegrass song. Katrina looks around to see how the other Rottweilers are dancing. She sees a lot of them dancing like she and Doug just were.

“I think I’ll let you lead this one.” Doug says.

“You sure you want to do that?”

“I don’t know anything about this kind of music so it’s probably better if you lead.”

“Alright”

Katrina and Doug dance a little slower this time. Katrina decides to keep it slow and easy. She puts her competitive nature aside for once. To her surprise, Doug has no trouble with this dance. Based on her first perception of Doug and the rest of the humans, Katrina considers them to be kind of uncivilized and rowdy, especially Nick, Jake, and Corporal. But she sees that there is more to the humans, especially Doug. She can’t explain it, but in his eyes, she sees more than kindness. It is like he has the spirit of God in him. Doug is focusing on more than just the dance. It feels to him like God is drawing him to Katrina. Each time he gets a look at Katrina he feels even more drawn to her. The feeling intensifies every time he looks into her eyes. When the song ends, Doug starts feeling some pain in his chest. Even though the pain starts out small Doug knows that the pain will increase, very quickly. In a matter of seconds, the pain almost causes Doug to fall to his knee. It becomes very difficult for him to breath.

“Doug, are you okay?” Katrina asks.

Doug takes a small pill container out of his jacket pocket. He quickly takes one of the pills.

“I’ll be fine. I just need to sit down for a minute.”

Katrina helps Doug to where Charles and the other Rottweilers are. When Charles sees Doug, he rushes to help him. Charles and Katrina sit Doug down on a nearby bench.

“What just happened to him Charles?” Katrina asks.

“An old war injury decided to act up on him.”

“Which one?”

“The lung injury.”

“Another war injury, how are you still alive.” Paul asks.

“God must be looking out for me. I’ll be fine in a few minutes. I just need to rest.”

Out of the corner of her eye, Katrina notices that Charles is focused on something else. She turns around and sees that Zathora walking. She sees that Zathora is wearing a long, black dress. Zathora looks absolutely beautiful. Katrina notices that Charles cannot take his eyes off of Zathora. But she also notices that neither can Nathaniel, Saul, Robert, and Alexander. Katrina leans in close to Charles and whispers “Go ask her to dance.”

“What are you talking about?” Charles replies pretending that he doesn’t know what Katrina means.

“I saw how you are looking my cousin. I can tell you like her. How about you do yourself a favor and ask her to dance?”

“Ok, I’ll give it a shot.”

Charles leaves them to ask Zathora to dance. Doug whispers to Katrina “What makes you think that she’ll say yes to him?”

“I do not know? I would be surprised if she does. Zathora is very shy. She‘s said no to everyone who has asked her in the past. But I saw something that I hadn’t seen before.” Katrina answers.

“What was that?”

“I saw her actually talk to him. I have never seen her say more than ten words to a guy.”

“Charles is the same way. This is going to be interesting.” Doug says and smiles.

Zathora looks up and see Charles coming towards her. She starts to panic inside. Zathora is used to guys coming towards her, but this is different. Even though she has known him for only a week she has feelings for him that she can’t explain. On the outside, she looks calm, but on the inside, Zathora is stressing out. She wants to shout but holds in it. Despite these feelings, she hides them pretty well.

“How are you feeling?” Zathora asks.

“I’m feeling a little better.” Charles answers.

“Glad to hear it.

Charles pauses for a minute while he tries to figure out what to say. Zathora does the same thing. Both of them are extremely shy towards the opposite sex. It takes Charles a couple of seconds to gather up the courage to ask her.

“I was wandering, uh, do you wanna dance?”

“I would love to.”

Charles leads Zathora onto the dance floor. The song playing is a slow song. Unfortunately, Charles doesn’t have a lot of dancing experience. Fortunately for him, the dance is easy. He tries to lead at first but keeps on stepping on Zathora’s feet. Eventually, Zathora tells him that maybe she should lead. Charles has no problem agreeing.

“I would not believe it if I did not see if with my own eyes.” Robert says.

“Me neither.” Paul agrees.

Katrina looks at Doug and sees that he is smiling.

“You knew that she would say yes, didn’t you?”

“I had a hunch.”

“Well then” Katrina says as she puts her hand on Doug’s shoulder. “Do you feel well enough to dance again?”

“I will if you will.” Doug answers.

The song is about half way over by the time Doug and Katrina go back on to the dance floor. They dance for the next two songs. Both of them are slow songs. When the last song ends, Griffin jumps onto the stage.

“Did everyone have fun tonight?”

Shouts of joy echo back at him.

“Good, glad to see that everyone had a good time. There is just one thing I would like to ask from our guests. Earlier today when I talked to Doug, he told me that some of them are really good musicians. Would you guys mind playing a couple of songs?”

Doug looks at Charles, Frank, and Jack. They all nod their heads.

“Fine by us.” Doug answers.

The Rottweilers cheer Doug and his guys on. Doug, Frank, and Charles have their guitars while Jack has to use the drums that the Rottweilers have. They are almost exact replicas of the drums that he has on Earth. Before they start playing, Doug talks to his guys on what songs and how many they are going to play.

“Okay, we are going to play four different songs. The first song is called Down Home.” Doug says.

“Down Home” is an old country song group Alabama. The song has a bluegrass tune to it. It has a kind of slow but fast pace. Down Home is about the beauty of the South. It is the story of growing up in a rural area. It gives respect to the tighter knit togetherness and integrity of the rural life. Doug, Frank, Charles, and Jack chose this song for that reason. They are not surprised with the applause they get from the Rottweilers.

“Glad ya’ll like that one. This next song is kind of similar. It is called “Where the Green Grass Grows.” Doug says.

“Where the Green Grass Grows” is by Tim McGraw. The song is about enjoying the simple things in life. A lot of the times, it is the simple things that really matter. Like the song “Down Home” it is also about the beauty of the South. The song states the desire to leave the big city and go back to the country life, “where the green grass grows”. That’s why Doug and his friends have a real love for this song and songs like it. He can tell that the Rottweilers really agree with this song.

“Hey Katrina, what do you think about these guys?”

Katrina almost jumps when Zathora walks up behind her. Zathora is the best at sneaking up behind someone and scaring them half to death.

“I really like it.” Katrina replies.

“Me to, these guys are pretty good.”

“I half expected them to sing about something inappropriate. But they really seem to be emotional about these songs.”

Doug, Frank, Jack, Jake, and Charles move onto the next song called “Everything and All”. The song is a fast paced country rock song by Randy Travis. It is a combination of old and new country. It is songs like this that really gets Doug, Frank, Jack, and Charles pumped up. If they could, they would play nothing but songs like this. Before they began playing the song, Doug warned, Charles, Frank, and Jack not to get carried away. In the past, when they’ve played songs like this, a lot of movement is involved. But Doug doesn’t want to offend the Rottweilers. Doug, Frank, Jack, and Charles get more involved with this song than the others. There is a loud applause from the Rottweilers after they finish playing. Doug picks up a fiddle from one of the Rottweilers for their final song.

“This is our final song for tonight. It is my personal favorite. It is called “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”

“The Devil Went Down to Georgia” is famous for its outstanding fiddle playing by Charlie Daniels. The song is a story about a young man named Johnny who is challenged by the Devil to a fiddle contest. If Johnny beats the Devil, he’ll get fiddle made of gold. If he loses, the Devil gets Johnny’s soul. Doug saws on the fiddle with amazing speed and skill. Frank, Charles, and Jack can barely keeping up with him. The only time Frank, Charles, and Jack get a break is the part of the song when there is no fiddle playing. It is pretty evident that the Rottweilers enjoy the song when they finish. It takes a few minutes for the applause to die down before Doug, Jack, Jake, and Charles can even hear each other. Griffin comes back on the stage after the applause. He comes onto the stage clapping.

“You guys really know how to play. That was pretty impressive.”

“Thank you Griffin. We’ve had a lot of time to practice.” Doug says.

Doug, Frank, Jack, Charles and Griffin jump down from the stage. The celebration has come to close and everyone starts going home. Within a matter of minutes the village center goes from over a hundred occupants to less than twenty.

“That was pretty impressive Doug.”

Doug turns and sees Katrina standing behind him.

“Thank you”

“You are welcome. Did you write those songs?”

“You’ve never heard of those songs.” Doug replies a little surprised.

“Down Home sounded a little familiar. I know that a group named Alabama wrote it. I have heard The Devil Went Down To George before a few times. But I have never heard those other two.”

“Well I didn’t write any of them. I love playing those kinds of songs. But I prefer to play the classic rock music a little more because it is harder. We just don’t have the instruments or technology here to play them. I mean we could, but the songs just wouldn’t sound right.”

“We have the technology. But I get what you mean. I would like to hear you play those songs sometimes.” Katrina responds.

“I think I can arrange that. It’ll probably take a while.”

“Sounds good to me.”

Doug watches Katrina walk away and disappear around a building. He can’t help but stare at her as she walks. Even though he has known her for a week, Doug feels more attracted to her than any other girl he has been attracted to in the past. It feels like his heart is about to bust out of his chest when he is anywhere near her.

“Hey Doug, come on, it’s time to go to bed.” Roger says as he snaps his fingers in front of Doug.

Doug shakes himself out of the trance. He notices that besides the other humans, he is the only one still on the dance floor.

“What time is it?” Doug asks.

“12:30” Roger answers.

When Katrina walks around the building, she sees Zathora and Charles. Their arms are wrapped around each other, and they are kissing. Even though Zathora is taller than most Rottweilers, she still has to stand on her toes to kiss him. To see them like this really surprises Katrina. She never expected for Zathora to do this.

“Ok you two love birds, break it up.”

Katrina’s voice scares them half to death. Charles and Zathora break off instantly.

“Oh Katrina, I did not see you standing there.” Zathora answers while trying hard not to blush.

“The celebration is over, you two can talk tomorrow.”

“Ok, I will be right behind you.” Zathora replies.

Katrina turns around and walks away. When she is out of sight, Zathora lunges and kisses Charles on the lips again. They spend half a minute kissing.

“I guess I’ll see you tomorrow.” Charles says when they break off.

“You will, see you then.”

“No problem.” Charles says then kisses Zathora on the cheek.

Zathora returns the kiss then disappears. Charles just stands there in awe. When he turns around, he is shocked to see John, Frank, and Corporal standing behind him. The shadow hides them pretty well.

“How long have you two been standing there?”

“About thirty seconds.” Corporal answers.

“Why didn’t you guys say anything?”

“We wanted to see what would happen. How long have you two been kissing?” John replies.

“After the celebration stopped, she led me here back here. We talked for a little bit, and then she kissed me.”

“So Charles, how did it feel to get your first kiss?” Frank sarcastically asks.

“Shut up Frank”

When Zathora turns the corner, she finds Katrina leaning against the building. Katrina appears so suddenly that Zathora jumps back into a defensive stance.

“Why did you kiss Charles?” Katrina asks.

“I was just following my heart. By the way, I have been seeing Charles since he got out of the hospital. But that was the first time I kissed him.”

“No offense Zathora, but I you are the last person I expected to kiss someone that quick.”

“None taken, but what about you and Doug?” Zathora asks.

“What do you mean?”

“Do you remember that you told me about the part of your dream where you fall in love with the chosen one?”

“I told only two people about that. What makes you think that Doug is the chosen one?” Katrina replies.

“Are you kidding me? He has fulfilled almost all of the qualifications from your dream.”

“Alright, I will tell you one thing Zathora. I do feel something for him. But you know that I am a cautious when it comes to men. Besides tonight dad and Judas are going to try to find out more about him tonight.”

“So you are going to wait till you find out more about him before you jump in.”

“No, I’m going to take it nice and slow. I made that mistake with Zane. I do not want to make that mistake again.” Katrina says.

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