Francis sighed, wiping his hands clean... or at least tried to. He glared at his pinkie, where a single ribbon of flesh still clung. It dangled so merrily, almost white against the carnage around, their final hope of surrendering, but there was none. There was no surrender to be had; they “accepted” his apology.
He growled, shaking it thrice, but the blasted thing was well and truly stuck. A few tugs showed that it was stuck well under that claw, while also being wrapped around his wrist AND stuck under his thumb crease. There was no way that was coming off shaking- but that didn’t stop him from ripping it out... only for the end to tear and be just under where the skin and nail met. He stomped around the room, trying to scrape it out, hoping to tease it further so he can yank it, but it was a right ornery bastard. Like the rats he tore apart.
He slipped a little, but caught his balance on the circle of desks, grimacing down on the scalp he stepped on. It was the first one that spoke, and its eye popped on his heel, the other staring on in pure terror into its friends across the room. Oh, their skulls were nowhere near to their horrid visages; they were lined up on those desks, and, even with his best throws, only one was managed to be knocked into the center of them all, laying upon the arm that did it.
He winced, bringing his own blood, adding it to the saturation abound. It dribbled in his wake, more viscera slurping and popping as he trudged along. The wolves and Bridget were in the only clean corner, right in front of the door when it swung open. He had some class; he knew how hard it was to scour blood off of smoked glass-
“Ah! There we go,” he exclaimed, and finally pulled that bit of flesh free, throwing it right into its owner’s skull, number three. It fell on number two, leaving the first skeever alone on that faux wooden top. He wiped his hands cleaned, sighed... and his stomach grumbled, instead. “She should be here soon... Hey, Bridget.”
“Yes?” She squawked.
“If it isn’t here in thirty minutes, do I get another? I mean, it’s already free, but would that mean I get another, free pizza... Well!”
“I... I don’t know. Would you... would you like me to a-a-ask-”
“That would be sweet of you, but not necessary. She should be here soon en-”
“I insist, though... I’m just as interested to know.”
“Oh... very well. If you wouldn’t mind-”
“I don’t. At all.”
He chuckled, sitting at one of the desks –after wiping it free of viscera. It slopped off, sucking on whatever it touched along the way. Francis sighed, looking at his hands, and cocked his head at the witch.
“Then please... Also, could you bring me, like, a jug of hand sanitizer?”
“I c-can do that. There are several in the s-s-s-supply closet across- I will be be right back!”
She found the courage to scuttle to the door and slung it open, slamming it behind. Though the room was mostly soundproof, the drachan could still hear her calling out Lilith’s name and her heels clacking away far after making it into the entry. Francis sighed, leaning on the desk... looking at the four wolves.
“Are you nice and ‘sober’ now?” He said, yawning.
“Yeah. We are,” Mandy said. “Good God, man.”
“Hmm? This? Eh. No one will miss them. There’s too many rats in the world as it is, and I mean that in every sense.” He held up a finger, the middle, and smirked at them. “I really only live by one rule: Don’t. FUCK. With me... and I don’t fuck with you.”
“You know... I can get behind that,” Victoria said, and was the first to step away- only to be pushed back as Mandy took the lead, instead.
“Hells yeah,” the alpha said, and tittered as she slung herself onto his lap. She wrapped an arm around his neck, while the other reached back and picked up the skull. “Fuck bitches like this. The dirty rat had it coming.”
“That’s not how the quote goes,” the one with the N said, her, Mandy, and the one with a P on her face sitting at his feet.
“Close enough,” Francis said, his stomach grumbling again, making him groan. “Where the hell is she? I made sure to do this in under twenty-five minut- there she is.”
Lilith clicked open the door- HOLY MOTHER OF GOD THE PIZZA SHE WAS HOLDING- AT LEAST, THE FRONT HE COULD SEE... Francis shook his head, and looked up from that holy artifact (at least the beginning of it) into the succubus’ face. She was more annoyed than the first time she popped in, her brow darker, the lines under her eyes more bold... okay. Back to the pizza. She waltzed in with it, carrying its front with both hands. Even that end was large enough to be a feast, but then imps followed, holding the segments, end-over-end-over-end until, at last, Bridget had the back, easing it, balancing it on the circle of tables. She inhaled as she squeezed out from behind it, barely enough room between her and the wall, while Lilith was smart enough to stand to the side of it in front of the window, allowing that... battleship of a pizza to be admired by all.
“Oh... oh mama-” Francis began, whimpering, and tear fell down his eyes, gazing upon that holy field. It had at least ten animal’s worth of meat strewn upon it, and a garden of vegetables, with enough cheese to feed a third-world nation, all on a crust so thick yet so evenly distributed somewhere in Italy a man was singing opera for the culinary breakthrough of his immigrant cousins. It was already cut into perfect little squares; he reached for one- only to wince, growl... and settle, looking up at Lilith. “Hey-”
“Don’t you ‘hey’ me,” she said, and gestured to the room. “This? This was uncalled for.”
“A little, but it felt good.”
“They had it coming,” Mandy exclaimed, licking Francis’s cheek. “They tried to rat him out for being a good person, then they wouldn’t accept his apology.”
“I’m not speaking to you nor your pack right now, Mandy. I am talking to the drachan that has been a right headache today.” She sighed, rubbing her temples... and huffed. “I would have been here sooner, but I received a call from Eve. She warned me of what to expect in here, and that you earned another week of suspension-”
“Only one? Can’t it be, like, one week per vermin or, you know, expelling m-”
“No!” She tapped the top of his head, then waggled a finger before him. “You are not getting expelled, Francis. No matter what you do... You might as well come to terms with that.”
“‘No matter what I do,’ huh?” He chortled, reaching for her- and, instead, found his hands clawing at the pizza he wanted so much more. “Oh. Right. Succubus.”
“Nice try, though. As I stated, you won’t be expelled. Even after... this.”
“Damn. Looks like I learned my lesson, then: You can’t make someone ‘accept’ your apology... Bridget? Did you get what I asked for?”
“Oh! Right,” she said, and reached into her jacket. She was still shaking, but he didn’t mind when she did. Her brighter attire did wonders to accentuate her curves, and seeing them tremble made the wolf on his lap giggle as she bounced a little. At last, she fished out a bottle of hand sanitizer and tossed it to Francis. “Here.”
He caught it... after decimating four slices of the pie. He cleared his fine hands of all blood and grease and found the pizza tasted far better without remains. Shame it was still cold.
“Thank you,” he muttered, tearing through another fifteen. “And my other question?”
“I forgot about t-”
“You aren’t getting another,” Lilith stated. Making him whine.
“But this one was late... and cold.”
“Cold?” Mandy said, reaching for a slice. “It looks piping h-”
“DO. NOT. BELIEVE HIM!” Penny boomed as she entered the room. “Francis... the hell? I come back from... my lunch... and see you are in suspension? Again! With this... football stadium of a pizza!”
“You missed the halftime show,” he said, and tore off another slice. He wanted to ask her how her shrink visit went... but decided to keep it under wraps. Lilith knew, he knew, but he doubted she wanted Bridget to know –which, wouldn’t one know, she found the courage to stop shaking and, with a bit of... acrobatics, found her way beside Francis. Stroking his head.
“Hey there, Penny,” the witch said, holding Francis’s head even as he continued to tear into the pie. “Don’t worry. I’ll be watching over Francis for the rest of the day. He’ll be in... good hands... I’ll even drive him home. I don’t want that... lovely little vehicle of yours to be overworked.”
“It’s okay,” Francis piped in. “Mine gets better mileage.”
“You really don’t want that answered,” Lilith muttered... but Francis saw the smallest, most coy smile sneak onto her purple-glossed lips. As quick as it and she came, though, she departed. She stopped at the door, though. “Before I head off, Tina wanted me to tell y-”
“What? That I broke my promise?” he blurted, and chortled, shaking his head... rubbing against Bridget’s chest. “I warned her: Anyone that FUCKS WITH ME... She knows the rest.”
“She still wanted me to say-”
“If she wants to say something, here’s a thought: She can tell me herself. Does she have ANY ovaries! Good fucking God... Like it matters. All she does is bitch.”
“All bark and no bite?” Mandy suggested.
“Exactly, so fuck her.”
“Not before me!”
“Or me,” Victoria added, then the other two, all giggling. Lilith sighed then finally left. Penny did, as well, but not before a stare-down with the bright redheaded witch –who was still holding Francis’s head. She left, and Bridget let him go at last, taking a piece of the pizza.
“At least she was honest about this,” she said, wincing as the cheese stuck and scorched at her fingers. Her hair flashed again, removing it as well as sending a chilled breeze over that slice, biting into it. “But it is good. Shame there’s no banana peppers...”
The rest of the day seemed to fly by. Francis didn’t have any work, so he spent the majority simply talking to his fellow deviants and Bridget- mostly Bridget. The others tried, but whenever a new topic came up, the witch was the first to pounce upon it and held onto it harder than every slice she partook. Francis learned she was a movie buff, quite the movie buff at that. He deduced she was a romcom fan, a noir fan, an indie fan... and a cartoon fan. Not anime, like the one marked with the N was, no. She liked cartoons. Actual. Cartoons... He also gleaned that she loved axes, not in any way tied to her love of cartoons.
He, also, picked up real quick that she was baby-crazy.
“I love anything that shows the family.” “There’s something pure about a show that gives us what a family means.” “This show has the funniest family. The mom-” “They get married, and-” “Married-” “Family-” “Family-” “Married-” “Expecting-” “Younguns-” He didn’t keep tabs at the start, but, by the time the door was unlocked and Lilith popped her head in, he counted well over 300 mentions of the word Family, 500 of Kids (including all slurs for it), and 200 for Married. Even when he disputed her, disagreed with her, told her he wasn’t exactly the family guy type, she did not relent. In fact, it seemed to have the opposite effect and stirred her on. What became a simple conversation became a hammer to nail the truths of love, family, and companionship into him on the cross of “traditional” values.
Well, he was in no mood to be a martyr, so, as soon as Lilith poked in, he took the rest of his pizza and his wolf fanny pack home. Tried to, at least; he lost the fanny pack as he bent that metal cooking pan in half, what was left of the grand monolith nestled inside that folded cage. He held it proudly before him, and found it quite comfortable on his moped, “riding” beside Penny’s as they called it a day. She was silent during their ride; even if she wasn’t, it was hard to hear her over the screeching and honks as he guided that heavenly vigil before him through traffic. There was a minor fender bender, but nothing a heated slice didn’t answer. Plank lead the way up to his apartment and held the door for him, even as he had to finagle that pan into the kitchen. The fairies weren’t going to be pleased about the chips he made, but compared to fire damage from Penny... he think they’ll look the other way. If not? He’ll offer them a few slices, as well.
Francis sighed, huffed as he pulled out another slice himself, then retired to the living room for the rest of the day- when there was a knock at his door. He groaned, standing from the couch, gnawing on the bit of crust as he trudged to the entry, still being assailed. It shook with each crack, which made it a task to look through the peephole at all, but he managed to make out a familiar, scorpion tail waggling on the other side.
He grabbed the knob, and the thundering stopped... only to resume as he didn’t turn it- only to suddenly end when he gave it the smallest turn... and waited again. The manticore on the other side growled, and drummed on the door again. She didn’t stop, though, when he gave another, minor turn, but did when he gave a significant one... only to st-
“Are you kidding me right now!” She exclaimed. “It’s me.”
“Jessica... You remember...”
“I don’t think I do, n-”
“You slept in my bed! You cooked for me-”
“I think that rings a bell... I gave you food poisoning.”
“It wasn’t your fault I kept rotten food in my freezer.”
“Wait! Why didn’t you get sick?”
“So you DID poison me!”
“Then how did-”
“Dragon blood, son.” He chuckled- cut off as the tail broke through. Thick ichor dribbled from it, running, hissing down the door as she pulled it out, and he could see her much better now. “So how can I help you?”
“I saw that... blessed... wonderful item you brought home.” She sniffed, and sighed... almost erotic. “A metal-protected pizza, made fresh... Food...”
He huffed, rolled his eyes... but opened the door.
“Fine... but only because I have more than enough to sp-”
Jessica was little more than a blur after he opened it far enough. She ducked under his arm, bolting into the kitchen, where one could mistake a wild animal tearing into a carcass with how... vocal she was. He walked in, and saw she tore through the metal pan to get to the flesh under. Rather than simply reaching through the slot around. Through the slurps and barfs Francis could hear her purring, and, as she came up for breath, she sighed again, fully erotic.
“Oh God,” she said, panting... but shook her head, looking at him. “Thanks... So... I don’t see short and stout around-”
“She’s not here Mondays or Tuesdays. She’s not here Thursday, either.”
“You don’t say?” She trilled, and lumbered up to him, running a claw along his jaw. “I wish you told me sooner... I’ve been wanting to come visit you again.”
“I bet.” He reached around her, grabbed a fresh slice, then returned to the living room. Jessica followed, this time with a plate stacked seven high of the cheese slices, down to three stories before he even clicked the TV on. “How’s work been? School?”
“I got a raise.”
“Yeah. Nothing too special; only three dollars. It was nationwide, though, so... I basically make four dollars less now.”
“Got to love that. Artificial inflation is a bitch.”
“As for school... Eh. SoS;DFD.”
“Same old Shit; Different Fucking Day.”
He barked a laugh. “Nice! I’ll have to remember that one... What grade are you, anyways?”
“Junior. Same as Cassidy. In fact, I’m in the same class as her, the wolf pack, and Ali.”
“That’s not scary.”
“It’s really not. The wolf pack is mostly in detention, so it’s dealing with that flying twat.”
“What did she do to you?”
“Nothing big now but, back when we were freshman, she put superglue on sand paper and placed them under my desk. I didn’t realize it at the same, and, let me tell you, that was a painful trip to the nurse’s when lunch was called.”
“And you knew it was her?”
“Hard to miss when she signed her work. On the bottom of both, was Cat Scratch Fever, a Prank by Ali.” She growled, tearing into another piece as her tail whipped. “She’s very... proud of her work.”
“Can’t say I’m surprised-”
“So did you and Cass really do it on the first date?”
“No, and not from lack of trying.”
“Ooh! So bold. I dig that.”
“Did she tell you we did?”
“No, but she hinted at seeing your junk-”
“Oh, she definitely did see that.”
She cocked her brow at him. “So... is it as big as she was touting?”
“I can tell you this much: The pizza you’re eating puts it to great shame.”
“It would put the plastic abominations on porn websites to shame, so that’s not saying much.”
“Yes... You do know most porn is illusion, right?”
“Not really? I don’t need to watch it. They really use plastic dicks?”
“For the ‘larger’ scenes, yeah. That or smaller girls, angling tricks-”
“Man, and here I thought I was average. There goes my confidence. Oh, how can I live life knowing I’m a big-dicked freak.”
She giggled, and trilled as she rubbed his leg. “Everyone’s a freak. You simply have to embrace it... I heard about the stir below, though. With The Chalice... and saw their sign.”
“I’m not sure which one put it up and it’s driving me nuts! It’s a good thing I’m suspended for the next two weeks so I can grill them about i-”
“Two weeks! For what?”
“Did you miss the rodeo?”
“Is that what happened during lunch? I was helping Professor Strout with the next topic, as well as arguing certain points.”
“You missed quite the show, then. A ‘concerned’ mother decided to make me enemy number one, so I showed her what that actually meant.”
“I’m surprised you weren’t expelled-”
“Trust me I tried! But no... It will take a cleanse before I am even considered for expulsion. Pisses me off.”
“You want to be expelled? Why?”
“Do I look like the scholarly type? I just want to be left the fuck alone... It was either this or jail, and it turns out this was the harsher punishment.”
“Surrounded by woman that want to bone you, get big ass pizzas, treated like a god; yeah, that sounds like true torture.”
“Want to know the sad part? Aside my ‘nanny’, I haven’t fucked a single other person here.”
“You... you fuck that thing?”
“More like she fucks me, but still.”
She finished off her last slice, then gave his leg one last tamp.
“Well, hopefully, you fix that soon... I would offer, but Aunt Flow is making her rounds.”
“Eh. Wouldn’t be the first time I had red wings.”
“Meanwhile it would be my first. In every single way... Keep me well-fed, though, and maybe I can give you a treat.”
“Just in time for Halloween, too.”
She giggled... then smacked his cheek.
“Maybe. Just maybe.”
Jessica sauntered out of the room, but not before hitting the top of his head one more time, that time with her tail. The flat side of it. She tittered and skipped away- but not before stealing a baggie-full of the slices. She thought she was being sneaky, but he could hear the box rattle from space with how careless she was being... Regardless, not his problem. He was in the middle of studying for the test the next day... and then? Two weeks with Beatrice and Wesley.