“Yes, I heard you the first time. I’ve never heard of those before. Wow,” She took a stool from somewhere under the bar and plopped herself on it, “I wasn’t expecting that. I thought you were some type of witch mixed with something.”
“Are you okay?” Kara’s identity had never had this type of impact on someone. Lulu’s eyes had gone from narrow slits to round in a second.
“I’m fine Sweetcheeks. I just need a drink.” Or a shot. Kara thought as the human grabbed a glass and poured herself some Tequila, downing it quickly without so much as a grimace.
“You can call me Kara, not Sweetcheeks,” she huffed out, placing one of her elbows on the bar and supporting her chin with a fist. Sweetcheeks is a horrible nickname.
“Why not? All my employees have a nickname.” Lulu pinned her with a playful glare.
“I am not a Sweetch- wait, what did you say?”
“You heard me honey, nickname or no job. Which one will it be?” Lulu’s trademark smirk was back on. She happily munched on cherries waiting for a reply. Who in their right state of mind denies an opportunity like that one?
“Okay, fine, I want the job but find another nickname. Sweetcheeks is atrocious.” A disgruntled sound passed through her lips before tentatively throwing the question, “Why do I get the job?”
“For God’s sake, you’re a werepanther! Who knew those existed? I’ll tell you who, no one. Anyways, you know how people have some sort of gut feeling?” Kara simply nodded.
“Well, my left tit tingles,” Lulu states as a matter-of-fact, “I’ll bet my left tit that tan and gorgeous ass belong to a little fiery Latina all bottled up. God, what wouldn’t I do to have an ass like that… Anyways, back on track! I just know it and I like it. You won’t be taking shit from no one. I could use a Latina in my team, you want in or you want out?” Lulu surprised her with a wink before cleaning her glass, “Would you like another drink?”
Kara really tried but she couldn’t suppress the laughter that bubbled out. Who actually says that to a potential employee?
“Lulu you’re insane!” she wiped away a stray tear from the corner of her eye while trying to calm her chuckles, “You do know you’re generalizing Latinos? Not everyone has a tan or curves, and whatever else you’re thinking about.”
“Did I bet my left tit in vain?” Her arched eyebrow practically screamed ‘don’t mess with me’. I’ll definitely have to find her off switch.
“Ha! This tit is never placed in vain,” she pointed at what seemed to be B cups, “I have a vacant spot for waitressing. Training starts tomorrow at 1 PM, don’t be late. Now, do you want anything else? Customers are starting to trickle in and this babe is in charge of pouring alcohol to their liver’s pleasure, or would it be displeasure?”
Looking at her empty glass Kara decided on some much-needed nourishment, “Actually I’ll have a burger with fries, and a mojito.”
“Right on it K-bear.”
“I don’t like K-bear either.”
“You see? That Latina stubbornness is starting to show.” With that, Lulu slapped the bar with a spare towel and left.
Kara didn’t have to wait much before a waiter arrived with her order. As time passed, the busier the tavern became. The stage was kept empty, as well as the seats beside her while Lulu occupied herself serving drinks and chatting with other clients by the bar. The small human is completely insane, amusing too. With a boss like Lulu, what’s not to expect. Loads of craziness were bound to fill Kara’s days, she could feel it.
Holding what’s left of the mojito, she contemplated over the rest of her afternoon. There’s no fun returning to an empty apartment with hours left to spare into the night. Does Moore have anything more exciting to offer?
From what she gathered in her earlier exploration, the answer would be no. Lulu’s Tavern is pretty much the most interesting place the town has to offer. Well, I can either give the idea of exploring another try, or I could go for that run I’ve been craving for a while now.
She doesn’t even have to give it much thought at all. Running it is. Kara couldn’t help but purr at the thought. Feeling the residual burn in her muscles from a good run, the tearing of fresh bark, the addictive scent of cedar an-
“A pretty kitty all alone,” a sultry voice accompanied with an interested purr quickly piqued her panther’s curiosity, “I honestly pegged you for a witch with those wicked curves.”
What a shitty pick-up line. The young lion shifter took a confident stance, leaning over the empty stool to her right. The gray shirt stretched nicely over taut muscles accentuating his turquoise eyes, paired with dark jeans covering lean legs. He couldn’t be much older than 20 with that boyish face and mane of blonde locks.
No, no mate Lee. Absolutely not. The young shifter didn’t smell particularly different, nor enticing.
“That’s the second time I hear it today. Sorry, no witch here.” She spared one last glance at the lion shifter before munching on the last bite of her burger. It’s ingrained in her nature to want a mate, that so-called destined mate parents teach their young to expect to find someday. Even if she took a liking towards someone, her panther would always pull away. They will always ache for their mate, any other male just won’t do.
“So, mind telling me what kind of kitty are you? You’re quite the mystery in town,” blondie’s words just oozed with cockiness, “Or,” he practically purred out, “We could skip the drink and you could let me tap that ass at the cozy back alley. What do you say, my little pussycat?”
This is why she steered clear of lion shifters; their cockiness was gag-worthy. Blondie leaned impossibly closer to the point where the scent of his evident arousal singed her nostrils, his hooded eyes trained on her washed-out shorts.
“Listen kitty, I suggest you back the hell off before I redecorate your face with my fist.” Kara pushed at his chest with enough force to make him stumble a couple of steps back. Baring her elongated canines she hissed at his perplexed expression before making her way towards the restrooms by the stage.
You should have clawed his throat out. The panther inside her growled wanting to come out and maul the cocky lion shifter.
The door to the ladies’ restroom came open with a forceful yank. In contrast with the dimly lit tavern, the washroom was brightly lit accompanied by a simple white interior. It rendered her blind for a few seconds while her pupils adjusted to the new lighting. A sudden squeak drew her attention to the far corner. A werebear stood next to a trash can with a crumpled piece of paper towel. It was obvious the wide-eyed brunette could scent the hostility oozing from her pores. Should I say something?
Kara’s lips parted in an attempt to utter some sort of apology. On the other hand, not saying anything might be the best course of action. The brunette’s brown orbs eyed her stance with wary eyes, stretching the awkward silence. Kara quickly diverted her gaze toward the wall not wanting to seem a threat towards the wary shifter.
Taking a few steps towards the sinks, the brunette took the opportunity to scamper out leaving the door slamming behind her. A tired huff left Kara’s lips as she gripped the sides of the sink. The cool ceramic became the anchor to her whirling emotions. This has to stop. The feeling of becoming a ticking bomb every time a guy approached and ended failing to be the so-called destined mate. On second thought, blondie deserved it. He could count himself lucky, didn’t even receive a knick from her claws. We need our mate Kara, someone to run with and hunt. Do you think he likes mud? Our mate will play with us in the squishy delight of mud, you’ll see Kara.
We don’t need a mate, Lee. How did the professed sacred mate bond go with mom and dad? They are proof it doesn’t exist.
She squeezed her eyes shut taking a few deep breaths, willing her canines to retract. Lena was surprisingly quiet, her presence withdrew itself to a corner leaving Kara with her own thoughts to ponder. The child-like panther would usually make a fit when the mate bond was called on its bullshit. Which was… occasionally.
The cool droplets of water left a soothing sensation as she splashed her face a couple of times to help reign in the last of her temper. The mirror above the sink reflected piercing green eyes, scrutinizing every feature as she held her jaw between her hands. Her mandible ached as the elongated canines finished their process of retracting.
Once she felt somewhat satisfied with the tolerable state of calmness she could reach, she tore a paper towel from the dispenser patting her face dry before leaving the restroom. The hassle with blondie left a bitter aftertaste on her tongue. Let’s call it a day, shall we?
As Kara exited the washroom a group carrying music equipment entered the tavern from a back door beside the stage. That’s probably the door that leads to the famous back alley blondie was talking about. The group passed by in a hurry to start prepping the platform. Once she had a clear view of the tavern her senses heightened with a sense of alarm, freezing her on the spot. Something was wrong, something was very wrong. Kara’s hackles rose as she took in the rigid and silent atmosphere of the once lively tavern. People had stopped enjoying their meals, having gone pale at the scene unfolding by the bar.
A towering shifter held blondie by the neck, slamming him on the bar. The only noise that could be heard was that of glass scattering over the floor and blondie’s horrible choking. Muscles strained under the confines of a tight black shirt as his arms flexed over the young lion shifter. Blondie really tried to pry off the hands squeezing his windpipe, but it was no use, his face started to turn an unhealthy shade of purple under the shifter’s harsh grip. What the actual fuck.
Lena started to stir to attention. The tantalizing scent of cedar and musk slithered its way through the bar reaching her stiff posture, giving away the stranger’s identity. Wolf, and not just any werewolf. Shit! This can’t be happening. Kara’s legs finally started to heed her brain’s command taking her converse clad feet a couple of much-appreciated steps back.
An unexpected purr vibrated through her chest at the enticing scent. Clamping a hand over her mouth, she stood as still as possible hoping she would pass as invisible. Her wide eyes were fixed on the tense back of the shifter as he redirected his amber gaze on her. Holy shit.
Those molten amber eyes made something click inside her. A fucking spark, an actual fucking spark. This can’t be happening. This isn’t real, the whimper coursed through Kara’s paralyzed mind. A fervent heat seemed to run through her veins as a sudden yearning pulled at her chest. She could feel her heart beating painfully against her ribcage, followed by tunnel vision. Kara’s skittering eyes flicked between the wolf’s scorching gaze and Lulu’s wide blue eyes. Just as her hand touched the doorknob, the towering werewolf let out a deafening growl.
As a result, she did what any normal person would do in her shoes. It was quite simple actually… she ran from her destined mate as if the hounds of hell were chasing her ass.
Author’s note: I hope everyone is doing well. Remember to give a heart (like) to the chapter if you liked it. I’ll be working on the next chapter. Thank you for reading.