Animal Lover Ch. 03byKemMyst©
She couldn't breathe. Any idiot could see it.
But the idiot wasn't watching, wasn't letting her go.
She clawed at him, pushed at him, and her efforts began losing strength.
As her arms dropped and her body sagged he howled. Ronnie was going to kill her.
He made ready to go through the window as Ronnie released her and she fell to the floor. He'd kill the bastard.
He stopped when he saw her hands go to her throat. She curled up on her side.
Ronnie crouched down and fell over.
"God, babe, are you alright?"
Her voice is low and rough. "Get out."
"Hey, babe, I'm sorry, OK?" He takes her shoulders as they sit up. "Are you al...?"
She pulls away and smacks him across the face. "I said, get out."
"Lys, I didn't mean..."
"Goddammit, Ronnie, are you deaf? Get out of my house!"
He looks at her. She glares at him.
Emmett's outside, watching, pacing. Growling. Hackles raised. Paying no heed to the pain in his leg. Ready to do battle.
Ronnie stands and yanks up his jeans. Pulling the zipper up, roughly, he manages to catch himself. "Ow! Son of a..."
She continues to glare at him from her seat on the floor.
He walks to the front door, opens it, and turns to her. "Lyssa..."
She purposely turns her face from him, indicating her refusal to listen to anything he has to say right now.
Damn bitch. He walks out, slamming the door behind him.
She scrambles over and throws the deadbolt.
Turning away she sees Emmett pacing and growling. She then moved to the back door to let him in, then slammed and locked it.
She hadn't heard his truck start. Now, she began to be really afraid.
She scuttled away from the back door, into the middle of the living room, where she could watch both doors.
Emmett was on high alert. She had ordered the male from her house but the scent of fear hung heavy around her.
When she moved back, to sit on the living room floor, he stood beside her, guarding her.
She jerked and his eyes followed hers.
The other male, on the back porch, holding his ruined jacket.
The damn dog had ripped up his favorite jacket and had apparently pissed on it, too. It reeked.
He carefully pulled his keys from the pocket than got ahold of a dry corner and held it up. He walked over to the door and rapped on the frame, then yelled, "Your fucking dog ruined my jacket!"
He doesn't hear the single word response.
Dropping the jacket's remains, he stomps off.
"Good." she says quietly. The son of a bitch could have killed her. He'd gotten drunk and wasn't concerned about anything but himself. She'd passed out. He could have killed her.
She hears the truck start, back out of the driveway, and tear down the street. Her neighbors would not be pleased.
Her body sagged in relief as he left. She wrapped her arms around herself and burst into tears.
Emmett was a bit confused. The other male was gone. The threat removed, why was she upset?
He thought briefly about revealing himself to her but sensed it was not yet time. He sat on his haunches and licked her face.
After a little bit she threw her arms around him and cried into his shoulder.
She sniffled and pulled herself together. "I'm glad you're here, Emmett." She wipes her nose against her arm. "Ronnie's got me a little scared right now."
Both seated on the ground, his head is at the same level as hers. She looks into his chocolate eyes. "Thank you." He licks her face again.
Heaving a sigh, she roughly runs her hands up and down his spine. He groans at the sensation. A belch catches him by surprise. Her hands stop abruptly. "Where did you get beer?"
Angry now, she rises and stalks out the back door, kicking his shredded, sodden jacket into the grass. She picks up the water bowl and notes the yellowish liquid in it. Then she looks at Emmett. "Asshole! How much beer did he give you?" Emmett looks up and whines again.
She puts a hand to his head. "Sorry, sweetie, I'm not mad at you."
She takes the bowl into the house, cleans it out and refills it. He drinks as she checks the grill then collects the rest of the items from the meal.
A noise startles her, and she drops the salad bowl and dressing. Dusk has come. She crouches, picking up the items, then rises and looks around carefully.
He notices the movement and looks at her. Afraid.
He scans the area, scents the air. There was no one or nothing around.
She scurried back into the house and put the items on the kitchen table.
Her cellphone rings. She checks the number and turns off the phone.
She goes to the back door. "C'mon, Emmett. Come inside."
Emmett trots into the house and she closes and locks the door behind him. She then turns on all the lights.
Lyssa walks over to the sink, drains the cold water, and stands there, staring at the dishes in the sink.
Emmett makes a circuit of the lower floor. His nose leads him around. A faint scent of another dog. The smell of a mouse around the cupboards. He checks the doors, the bathroom, the furniture.
She jumps when the refrigerator kicks on and again when he noses her palm. She still stunk of fear.
She runs a hand over his head. "I don't know what he'll do." Emmett whines.
She shakes herself and looks at him. "You're right. Dishes, dinner for you, and I'll check you out again. Then a movie and some popcorn, whaddya think?"
He gives a light bark of agreement.
Releasing a deep breath, she starts the water in the sink. She rinses out the bowl she had used to feed him, portioned out some hamburger, folded in an egg, and set it on the floor. "There you go."
He'd never actually hit her but he had a temper and was rough sometimes.
Emmett didn't like him.
He had been pretty good to her but..
She drops the plate in the sink as the phone rings. "Lyssa? ... Lyssa pick up the phone. ... C'mon, we need to talk. ... Quit being a bitch already. .."
There is a click as the answering machine stops recording and she releases a held breath. He sounded mad, and drunk.
She pulls the broken plate out of the sink then finishes the dishes and drains the water.
Another deep breath and she turns.
"OK. Shall we see how you've healed?" She drops to the floor. "C'mere."
He walks over and lays down, like the other times she's checked him.
The wound on his flank is now a reddened scar. She pulled the gauze away from his rear leg. That wound was red, and angry looking, but there was no longer any blood.
She strokes his side. "Who are you? Wonderdog?" He shouldn't look this good this quickly. She shrugs. "Anyway, I guess you're good to go."
She stands and he rises as well.
"OK, shall we see what's on tonight?" She sits on the couch, turns on the television, and checks the listings.
"Saw? Geez, like I need a scary movie right now. Treasure of the Sierra Madre? Bridge on the River Kwai? Isn't there anything decent to watch? The Break Up. Nope, no relationship movies. There, how 'bout Up?"
Emmett is standing at the back door as she looks up. "Oh. Sure. Not a bad time for a potty break."
She opens the door to let him out. She watches as he walks out of the lighted area. "Be careful. Hurry back." She closes and locks the door then uses the bathroom herself and hunts for some popcorn.
Emmett heads for the back of the property. Be careful, she'd said. There really wasn't much out here he needed to fear. Hurry back. He smiled a wolfish grin. She wanted him there. Good.
He again marks more of the property borders then walks beyond the treeline again to defecate.
The query reaches his mind as he sees half a dozen eyes reflecting the light of the house.
'Randall wants to know what's going on, Emmett. What happened?'
'Courting a female, Rolly. Now's a delicate time.'
'Who's on the other side of the ravine?'
'Not sure. One of the Macy pack. He came up while I was watching and challenged me.'
'Looks like he got in a couple good licks. Losing your edge?'
'Missed a feint. Nothing serious. I've gotten worse from you and Randall. Anyway, gave me an in with her.'
Roland takes another breath. 'What about her male?'
'He hurt her tonight. She kicked him out. She feels safer with me there.'
Samuel growls lightly. Abuse of females and young was not tolerated in their pack. 'I don't understand you, Emmett.'
'When should I say you'll be back?'
'I'll need a few days to make sure the male's going to leave her alone and to show her what I can do for her.'
A couple of chuckles sound in his mind. 'I should get back.'
'Alright. We'll check back in a week.'
'Good. Roland. Samuel. Erich.'
The three wolves turn for the woods as Emmett walks back through the yard.
Lyssa is waiting for him, peering out the back door into the gloom.
"Oh, there you are. I was starting to worry."
She closes and locks the door behind him then curls up on the couch with a blanket and the remote. She watches some financial news before the movie comes on. He settles down at her feet.
Just before the movie starts, she grabs some microwave popcorn and brings the bag out to the couch and curls up again. She relaxes about 15 minutes into the movie, flipping him the occasional piece of popcorn and drinking her diet Coke. She chuckles occasionally at the movie.
Emmett worms his way slowly onto the couch. First his head, then a forepaw. It takes a while for him to get his chest up there and even more to get the back end up.
He settles with his head in her lap, stretched out on the couch.
She rubs his ears and runs her other hand down his side. He rumbles in pleasure.
The movie ends and she sighs.
Turning off the TV, she rises. Emmett gets off of the couch.
She throws the bag from the popcorn away and rinses out the pop can.
Emmett has a drink.
She climbs the stairs and Emmett follows her up. She goes into the bathroom and closes the door on him. After using the facilities, she starts a bath.
Emmett snuffles at the door and whines slightly.
She looks at the door, a little guilty, and strips. "I'll be out in a bit, Em."
Lyssa slides into the water with a sigh. Leaning back in the tub, she puts a wet washcloth over her eyes. Ronnie. What was she going to do about him? He was pissed, she knew it, but he could have really hurt her. She was pissed at him for what he did.
He said he was sorry, but when he called later he just sounded mad. He hadn't been paying attention, he'd made her pass out. If he'd just stop getting so drunk...
Every time he had a beer he just kept going until he got drunk.
Emmett lay in front of the door. He was not worried that Ronnie might get in but that she had shut him out. He would have liked to have another look at her body.
Patience. Patience. She was upset and afraid.
He would not change form yet. That might frighten her further. So, he would continue to comfort her as he was, until the threat of Ronnie was removed, or he felt she would be ready to accept what he really was.
Movement in the bathroom, water draining, she would be coming out soon. Would she allow him into the bedroom?
Lyssa steps out of the bathroom in a robe, arms wrapped tightly around herself.
Wind blew the trees and she started, then chuckled nervously, as branches scraped against a window.
Emmett rubbed his head against her and her hand again dropped to his head. She absently scratched his ears and he groaned. She then yawned hugely. "OK, I guess that means bed." She starts for the bedroom then turns and heads back for the stairs.
Emmett follows as she turns on all the lights in turn and checks that all the doors and windows were locked. Sighing, they climb the stairs again. The smell of fear begins to rise on her again.
In the bedroom, she throws the robe over a chair and pulls on an oversized t-shirt.
Lyssa yawns again as she sits on the bed. Emmett puts on forepaw on the bed. "No, Em, stay on the floor." He whines and she takes his muzzle, looking into his eyes. "I don't need anybody in bed with me tonight."
With a huff, he laid down on the rug and curled his tail over his nose. She slid under the covers and turned out the light. "'Night, Em." A little more quietly. "I'm glad you're here."
She curls up on her side and closes her eyes, trying to sleep.
He listens to her breathing, her heartbeat. They were too fast. She was too wound up to sleep.
She rolled; she tossed. Finally, she dropped into sleep.
He listened, watched. He smelled her sweet breath.
When he was sure she was soundly asleep he crept onto the bed.
The settling weight of a heavy body next to her had her sighing, "Ronnie."
Emmett bit his own tongue to stop the growl.
Sure she was asleep, he shifted form. Slowly, carefully, he got closer and put an arm around her.
She snuggled in closer and sighed contentedly.
He watched her, through the night, in case she might wake.