More Than Just a Fairy Tale Ch. 22byJaisen©
A happier chapter at last! This one had to wait while we were gone on vacation. Where you ask? Up in the mountains of course. Coyotes yipped in the distance and I thought about the story and dealt with computer withdrawl for five days! However, the resulting rest proved good. I worked on this story and two other series. For once, you readers will get this before my partner does. He's been busy with computer projects. Enjoy the story and please comment. I like to read what you think of the story. Plus, sometimes what you comment about appears in the story...
Luc woke up early. He heard some sort of noise and couldn't figure it out at first. Then it hit him. "Growling? Who the fuck is growling?" he wondered. Luc grabbed his jeans and headed downstairs towards the noise. It came from the backyard and Buster's house. There in the back yard were a bunch of reporters huddled together in a corner and 'Buster' leaning towards them in a menacing way. He was growling.
"Hey Buster, settle down!" he hollered as he approached. "What set you off boy?" Luc looked at 'Buster' and then he noticed the net shredded under 'Buster's' feet. Shreds of it hung from 'Buster's' fangs. Luc turned to the crowd of reporters.
"Alright you idiots, what in the hell did you think you were doing?" he hollered, his voice heavy with sub-vocals.
"None of your business!" one hollered from deep in the corner.
"We were just looking at the dog and he attacked us!" said another.
"Bullshit," said Luc. "Unless he's grown opposable thumbs, 'Buster' doesn't use nets to catch or attack reporters. Plus, if he really wanted to hurt you, do you think that any of you would be alive?"
"That...that thing is a werewolf! It needs to be hauled in, dissected and studied," said another man in the huddle.
"Right. You know, you guys aren't too bright. How does one become a werewolf?" he asked as he stroked 'Buster's' head.
"We all know that one! You get bitten," said one of the reporters.
"Okay, so you idiots were going to tackle 'Buster' here and haul him off for science and none of you were worried about getting bitten?" asked Luc. "Stupid idiots!" he thought.
"Well, um... Joe here had a tranquilizer gun, but it didn't work," said the reporter.
"You shot Sam's dog with a tranquilizer dart?" asked Luc.
"Yeah. See, it's right there!" the reporter said pointing to a red fletched dart.
Luc looked down and saw that the dart had lodged in 'Buster's' collar. He plucked it free and put it in his pocket.
"You have really bad aim. It hit his collar. Now, to be honest, from the looks of this thing, it's Bear tranquilizer. You'd have killed him. Then I would have gleefully shot your ass full of this shit and left you to survive," Luc growled. The force of the sub-vocals rattled the fence timbers.
"Need any help Luc?" asked Patrick as he walked up behind Luc.
"Yeah. Call the Sheriff. I'm not letting them out of here until the Sheriff takes all of their names and hopefully arrests them for trespassing," said Luc.
"Sounds good to me," Patrick said. He pulled his cell phone out of his pocket and dialed a number. "Yes, can I speak to Sheriff Dobbs? Sure. Yeah. Tell him we have some trouble down here at Sam's B&B. Thanks," he said and hung up. "Dispatch will get him here as soon as they can. I think the poor man is still in bed."
"Thanks Patrick. Would you clear the rest of the net off of 'Buster'? These idiots thought that they'd haul him off to be a lab rat toy," said Luc.
"Idiots. He's just a big husky wolf hybrid," said Patrick loud enough for the reporters to hear. "He certainly isn't a werewolf you idiots!" he hollered directly at them. "And if I was Catholic, I'd be saying three hail Mary's for that lie," he thought.
The two men stood next to 'Buster' who had finally stopped growling. The reporters were still huddled in the corner. Luc and Patrick could hear the sirens getting closer and soon saw the flashing lights on top of Sheriff Dobbs SUV.
"What in the hell is going on here?" asked Sam coming up behind the two men and 'Buster'.
"These fine upstanding citizens were trespassing and planning to kidnap 'Buster' here," said Luc. "Luckily for them, 'Buster' cornered them and woke me up with his growling."
"Ah, and you two called Dobbs?" asked Sam.
"Yes," said Patrick.
"Good, 'cause I've had just about enough of this shit," said Sam. In the week since Brian's funeral, there had been reporters and all sorts of kooks showing up. Sam still had the B&B closed down and at this rate she was getting peeved.
Sheriff Dobbs got out of his SUV and made his way over to them. "What in the hell is it this time Sam?" he asked.
"Trespassers and dog thiefs," said Sam. "They snuck onto my property, through a closed gate marked 'PRIVATE' and tried to steal my dog."
"Here are bits of the net that was on 'Buster' as well as the tranquilizer dart they fired at him," said Luc.
Sheriff Dobbs took the evidence and then looked over at the eight men boxed into the corner. Anytime one of them moved, 'Buster' growled. He shook his head as he keyed his mike. "Jeff, get your ass down to Sam's. I gotta pick up for you. Yeah, eight stupid reporters," he said. Then he turned back to Sam. "I take it you want to press charges?" he asked.
"I certainly do. I've told them to leave me alone more than once. This time, they can go to jail," she said standing there with her fists on her hips.
Sheriff Dobbs nodded. "Boys, I hereby deputize you. There are some of them zip strip handcuffs in my car. Go get some and lets truss up these turkeys," he said.
Luc smiled and Patrick went to get the cuffs.
"I'll be in the kitchen working on breakfast," said Sam. "Come on in and eat when you're done."
"I won't turn that down," said Dobbs.
Forty minutes later, the reporters were stuffed into an SUV and were taken to the county seat about twenty miles away. They'd been arrested for trespassing and attempted theft. Best yet, the local paper got the scoop, as all the big city reporters were amongst the arrested.
Luc, Patrick and the Sheriff went into the kitchen where everyone else had already started eating. Angie served them up and then went back to her plate.
"Sam, how much longer are you going to be able to keep closed down?" asked Meg.
"Not sure honey. This stuff just jerks my chain. You'd think by now it would be old news," said Sam.
"It would be if that one guy would just shut up," said Patrick.
"Well, he got his ass arrested today," said Dobbs. "I'll make sure he does at least a month down in the county jail. That way maybe he won't come back."
"Will Sam have to do much to keep them in jail?" asked Angie.
"No honey, the judge is a good friend and he'll make sure that everything goes smooth. Besides, his son is one of the paramedics that messed up in the first place. That boy still ain't sitting easy," said Dobbs with a smile.
The court took all of fifteen minutes to decide on the fate of the eight reporters. The charges were loss of revenue, trespassing, attempted theft of a dog, and general nuisance. The sentences handed out were $1000 fines and thirty days in the county jail. Three of the reporters tried to buy their way out and got hit with an additional week in jail.
Sam, Luc and Patrick walked out of the court room with smiles on their faces. The judge had read the reporters the riot act about making up fantastic stories and causing good people grief. They were almost back to Luc's Subaru when the bailiff caught up to them.
"Sam! Sam! Slow down!" he was hollering.
"What is it Mike?" Sam asked as the three of them stopped in the middle of the parking lot.
Mike caught up with them and after he caught his breath, he handed an envelope to Sam. "Judge wanted you to have this," he gasped.
Sam took the envelope and then opened it. Inside there was a check. The amount read $7500. Sam turned back to Mike. "Mike, what on earth?" she asked.
"Judge figured out what you'd lost because of all this. Our court costs are only $250, but he done doubled it. Then he added all the other stuff in and said this was to make up for all the hassle," Mike said.
"But I can't take this," Sam protested.
"Judge said if you fuss, and he knew you would, he'd let those assholes go," said Mike.
Sam uttered an exasperated sigh. "Fine. Tell the Judge thank you and I'll see him at the B&B for breakfast on Sunday," she said as she tucked the check into her pocket. She waved goodbye to Mike and got into the car with Luc and Patrick.
"What was that all about?" asked Patrick.
"The judge done fined those reporters and paid me for the trouble they caused. Let's go to the bank before I get stupid," said Sam.
Sam, Luc and Patrick walked back into the B&B with grocery and shopping bags. Angie, Ginny and Meg were sitting in the kitchen drinking iced tea. 'Buster' was laying across the door into the main part of the B&B.
"What took you so long?" asked Ginny.
"Well, we got an unexpected bonus," said Sam.
"Oh?" asked Ginny.
"Yeah. The court fined the reporters and paid Sam for lost revenue," said Patrick.
"They did?" asked Angie.
"Yes, to the tune of $7500," said Luc. "So, we did some grocery shopping and Sam spent some money on herself."
"Only after you two threatened to growl at me," said Sam.
"Did you use sub-vocals on her?" asked Meg.
"Just a little," teased Luc.
"Luc..." started Meg.
"Hold on Meg! They just talked me to death until I admitted that there were a few things I could use," said Sam laughing.
That made everyone laugh.
"What did you buy?" asked Ginny.
"Well, enough steak to make George happy and lots of chocolate for Meg," started Sam. "Then I went to Big R and got new jeans, a couple of shirts and a pair of boots," she finished.
The women oohed and ahhed over the stuff and the guys put the food away. Sam hadn't joked about the meat. Patrick stacked steaks in the fridge and roasts in the freezer. Luc handed Meg and Angie chocolate and gingersnaps to Ginny.
Sam went to put laundry in the washer and when she came back, they all sat and talked about the court case. George had shifted back so that he could be part of the conversation. When Sam got to the part where Mike had run over to give them the check, George stood up for a moment and then came back to where everyone was seated.
"Sam, I have a question to ask you," he said.
"Go ahead George," said Sam.
"These guys will be in jail for a month, and then what?" George asked.
"I hadn't thought about that. Guess I figured they'd just move on," said Sam.
"Well, Angie and I have been talking and I made a decision. I have an offer for you Sam," George said.
Sam looked from Angie to George and couldn't figure out where this was going. "Okay, what is this offer?" she asked.
"You're going to need Buster around for a couple of months. Once those reporters get out, most are going to disappear. But a few are going to come back to see if Buster is still here and if there is a story," he said.
"I can see that," said Sam.
"So, Angie and I talked and if you're willing, I'd like to stay on for a while. Angie too. I'm not ready to be separated from her for more than a few days to be honest. She can help around the kitchen and stuff. You can take it easy for a bit and I'll work on being an old dog. Then in a few months, Buster can pass on too and you can be left in peace," said George.
"I can't ask that of you," said Sam.
"No, but we can offer. George is between jobs and while the company can use a good receptionist, Ginny can cope and we figure it would probably be good if 'Solda or Bitty learned a skill or two," said Angie.
"I agree. We talked about this while you were gone Luc," said Ginny.
Luc turned to Patrick. "I knew leaving them alone was dangerous," he said to Patrick.
"Like you didn't know they'd plot to rule the world. Steal someone else's bone," laughed Patrick.
"Geeze, I'm the CEO, and my receptionists rule the office," said Luc.
"You bet your ass," said Meg. "As it should be. I think it's a great idea. Plus it will give Angie's house a chance to sell so they aren't packed into Ginny's house."
"I'd forgotten all about that," said Sam. "I accept." Sam held her hand out to George to shake on the deal. George wrapped her up in his arms and hugged her. Angie moved in and hugged Sam as well.
"Now, which one of us is cooking?" asked Patrick holding up a pile of steaks. "Not sure about anyone else, but I'm starving."
Sam smiled and tossed her barbecue apron to Patrick. Patrick snagged it and turned back to the stove. Ginny started to make a salad and Luc and Meg went upstairs for a bit. Sam turned to George.
"You gonna be okay with this?" she asked quietly.
"Yes Sam. I wouldn't have offered if I didn't. At first I thought that I could just go home with the others at the end of the week. After the reporters showed up, I knew I couldn't. So, Angie and I talked. The best solution was for us to stay," he said.
"Alright, but if it ever gets to you, you just tell me," Sam said.
"I will. Oh, and one other thing. No wages," he said.
"But..." Sam started.
"No Sam, and that was my condition," said Angie. "We figured that by being here we're costing you a room. We won't take from you twice. You won't let us pay you now which isn't fair either."
"Well, you're family. How could I?" said Sam.
"Exactly. So, if we don't pay for our rooms, we don't get paid wages," argued Angie.
Sam thought about it for a moment and realized that Angie was damn smart. "Fine. It's a deal," she said and they shook on it. "Now let's see if we can get this place cleaned up a bit. We have a business to run."
Saturday morning came far too quickly. Luc and Patrick packed the Subaru while Meg and Ginny said their goodbyes. Kisses and tears were exchanged and finally Angie, George and Sam waved as the Subaru pulled out of the driveway and down the road.
Luc waved out the window and then concentrated on driving. Cal had called Friday night. Work had been steady, but there was a wave of stupidity flowing through town. He'd gotten to work to find the sign defaced and some windows broken. Luc hadn't said anything in front of Sam or George, but he suspected that someone had traced them from the B&B to work.
"So, what's got you all riled up?" asked Patrick.
"Someone playing stupid tricks at work. Cal and Peter are doing repairs today and I'm not happy," said Luc.
"We can tell. Stop growling at all the cars," said Ginny.
"Sorry. It's just after all that's gone on you'd think that people would just let it go," said Luc.
"Hon, they won't. It's just too damn interesting," said Meg.
"Why do you say that?" asked Luc.
"Well, have you looked at the best sellers list in the paper lately?" she asked.
"No," said Luc.
"Well, there are three books that have been at the top of the list for fifteen weeks. All of them to do with vampires, werewolves or other supernatural beings," said Meg. "To be honest, two of them are my favorite authors."
"Yeah, in spite of the whole bite and turn factor, some of those books are really hot," said Ginny.
"Yup, Sex sells," said Patrick. He'd picked up one of the books Ginny was reading the other day and had been surprised at the level of sexual content.
"So, this is about voyeurism as much as anything?" asked Luc.
"In a way. People want to see things that frighten or fascinate them and the more 'out there' it is, the better they like it. Sex is good. Naughty sex is better. Naughty sex with vampires and werewolves is hot," said Meg.
"Oh god! You mean they want to see shifters fucking?" asked Luc.
"Not only see it, but do it. There is a whole group of people called Furries who dress up and pretend to be shifters and have sex. Or, at least cybersex," said Meg.
"Where in the hell do you women find out about this type of thing?" asked Patrick.
"Patrick, we do more than shop online," said Ginny with a giggle in her voice.
"What!!!" said Patrick.
"As one of the family guardians, I check out what's new and kinky on a regular basis and see how it relates to us. Furries and shifter groupies are just one of the things I've run across," said Ginny. Meg nodded her head in agreement.
"So, what's getting repaired and what are you doing to solve this?" asked Patrick trying to change the subject.
"Two broken windows, paint splashed on our signs and Peter is hiring a guard service with dogs for a few days. Last time this happened we did this and it helped," said Luc.
"Dogs? Why not a few shifters?" asked Meg.
"Because last time they tranquilized one of us and tried to haul him off to a lab. This way, they get 175 pounds of pissed off guard dog," said Luc.
That got everyone laughing.
Late that afternoon after dropping Meg and Ginny off, Luc and Patrick showed up at the office to see how things were progressing. The windows were fixed and Cal was picking up the last of the paint smeared rags.
"Hey Luc! Good to see you," said Cal.
"You've been busy," said Luc looking around.
"Yeah. Peter is back in the warehouse with the dogs having a little discussion with them," said Cal.
"That should be good. I take it the guard dogs took exception to Peter?" asked Patrick.
"Probably. His scent is really heavy, and probably made the dogs nervous," said Luc.
Cal nodded. "Damn things pissed themselves," he said. "That so didn't make Peter's day. Upset the handler too. He took two of them back and brought three others. One wouldn't come out of the cage and the other two rolled on their bellies. We explained that Peter has a wolf at home and the guy nodded like he understood."
"I was afraid of that, but glad that Peter had the sense to come up with something," said Luc. "Now what got done to the signs?"
"Some of it was just paint thrown over the lettering. Others were things like 'were' added to Alpha Wolf and 'Shifter!'," said Cal. "All the usual stuff. The brick through the window threatened to burn us out and shoot us with silver bullets. I took those to the police."
"Thanks. After all the stuff up in Spoon River, I had hoped it would be quiet down here. How many other companies with the word 'wolf' in them have been hit?" asked Luc.
"Forty-seven," said Peter coming up to the front of the building. He had two huge dobermans by his side on a leash. "Let me introduce you to Buttercup and Fezzik."
Luc, Cal and Patrick turned to the dogs and let them sniff their hands. Buttercup wagged her tail and Fezzik rolled over on his back waiting to be petted.
"Are you sure these will do the job when we leave?" asked Luc. "I think I've seen more aggressive kittens."
"Oh, they'll do the job. They have a phrase trigger. Once you say that, they're on duty," said Peter.
"Okay, so let's put them in the warehouse area and put them to work," said Luc. "It's been a long day and I want to go home."
The men walked around to the entrance of the warehouse and Peter let the dogs off their chains. He locked the gate and then said, "As you wish." The two dogs looked at him and then started prowling the yard.
"I take it the handler liked the Princess Bride?" asked Patrick.
"Oh yeah. He even looks like Cary Elway," said Peter.
"That's a riot. Now, other than filling out police reports, playing with puppies, cleaning up paint and repairing windows, how's work been?" asked Luc as they went into the main offices to close up.
"Steady. All our regulars still calling in. A few new jobs and a couple of nosy inquiries," said Cal.
"Oh, and don't forget the goth chick that wanted a job," said Kevin as he came into the main lobby.
"What?" asked Luc.
"We had this goth chick in full leathers and lace and a foxtail come in asking for a job. Said she'd do anything, as long as she could work for the company," said Kevin. "It was obvious she thought we were werewolves ala some of the novels that are out."