by David Prismo Piccola
Story ©2010 David Piccola
Characters: Tom ©2006 Equestrian Horse Wrangler
Tazel ©2007 David Piccola
Illustrations: Sexy Dance ©2010 Nicole Riley, Alley Encounter ©2010 Dojo
This story is a sequel to Helping Hands, by Equestrian Horse Wrangler
Dont you ever play darts normally?
I smirked at Patrick, who was leaning against the side of the fire station rec room wall. Hes a golden retriever; Im a rabbit. He shook his head as I flung another set of three darts at the board.
What can I say? I happen to like efficiency, I said, my smirk growing. Youre just jealous I can actually hit what I aim at. My long ears twitched as I heard the canine sigh, muttering something about rabbits and luck. Didnt catch all of it, though.
I stepped back from the line, and with a sweeping gesture of my upper left arm, allowed Patrick to step up for his turn. Your turn, Sahib.
I could almost hear Patrick rolling his eyes as he took his dart and aimed it. Youre such a weirdo, sometimes, he said. And I dont mean the arms. he continued, grinning.
I grinned back, propping myself up on a table with my lowers while my upper left hand reached for a drink. I knew he didnt mean the arms, but sometimes its just nice to hear a normal person say that to you. Makes you feel like youre a normal person yourself.
As Patrick continued to abuse the board with his errant shots, I thought back to recent events: The apartment fire, the raccoon child Id saved, the Fire Departments huge media extravaganza where they gave me medals and paraded me in front of more cameras than I could count. It would be nice if this kind of thing happened every time a life is savedGod knows there are heroes like that every day, who deserve more recognition than a simple rabbit doing his jobbut the department insisted. They wanted the world to know they not only had a hero, but one with The Condition (the common name for the genetic aberration of being born with four fully functional arms) working for them.
I sipped my soda and ran my upper right through my hairfur. A day or so ago, I was lamenting the extra arms, believing that theyd always make me an outcast, that I couldnt do anything worthwhile with themaccepting the fact that I would always be a freak, and a target of ridicule.
It took a single fire to change thatnow the phone wont stop ringing with all these TV stations wanting to do interviews with me. I think I have a better voice than image, so I wouldnt mind radio or phone interviews as muchbut of course, nobody could see all of my arms on the radio. Doesnt help that Im still camera-shy, either
Tom? Tom! Wake up, bunny!
I snapped back into the present with an undignified Huh? Patrick was standing in front of me, jerking his thumb at the board. Get your dartsits your turn! He smirked briefly. What, you been daydreaming again?
I put my soda down and pushed myself off the table with my lowers, then deftly picked up all three darts with three separate hands. Yeah, yeah been thinking about the last couple of days. I replied to him, as I approached the line. The whole ceremony deal, all the phone calls
I could see Patrick nod. Yeah, its been crazy here. But hey, man, if it helps, you dont have to prove anything else, yknow?
I stopped and turned to him. What do you mean?
Patrick shrugged, then looked around to make sure nobody else was nearby. Then he continued in a more hushed tone. Guys like Darren, they gotta feel superior by tearing down someone else, right? But that wont fly here. We gotta support each other.
He put his hand on one of my right shoulders. You saved Darren, toowe heard about it from Cappy, cause Darrens keeping his muzzle shut. No wonder; I mean, after all the crap hes put you through, you still saved him. That says a lot, man. And youve got the respect of the whole station for that. Whatever that mook says, youre a hero to that raccoon kid and her mom, and youre always welcome here.
I smiled, a respectful and warm smile. Thanks, Pat. That means a lot to me, too. I said, as I turned back to the board. Lets see I need a sixteen and an eighteen to win, so
I raised my two right hands, a dart in each one, and simultaneously speared them at the board and grinned with satisfaction as the darts hit their marks perfectly.
I could hear Patrick groan, burying his face in his hands. I smiled and handed him the unused dart in my lower left hand: There! Didnt use all three at once. And youre buying tonight, I said, gently poking at him with my upper left index finger.
Patrick went wide eyed. Of all the lucky shots he grumbled, his eyes narrowing at me. I felt a little nervousthose damn prey instincts rearing up againbut I knew he wasnt going to attack or anything.
I shook my head. Nuh-uh! Not luck. See, in all this, I just had the upper hand, I quipped, waving my uppers at him.
The tortured groan I heard was worth it. Worth it all.
After shift change, I was a white-furred dervish in my room, grabbing several pieces of clothing at once and trying desperately to find something that was clean and presentable enough to wear in public. Yes, we rabbits are quickthats mostly how we escaped predators before the desegregation laws passedbut when you have to try to coordinate four arms into dressing and youre in a hurry, it detracts somewhat from your speed.
Hey, puffball! Hurry up! Were gonna be late!
Bens melodious basso voice belied his speciesa rat should sound meek and squeaky, but Bens voice was deep and forceful. Really, he should be doing voiceover for movie previews and commercials; with his commanding tones, youd have a hard time ignoring him, if not obeying out of sheer awe.
Luckily, Hollywoods loss was our gain; I just knew him as another one of the guys. Im coming! Keep your shirt on! I called back down, as my lowers grabbed some jeans and slid them on, and my uppers tried to open the hem of a pullover polo shirt with four sleeves.
Time was that I sometimes tried to hide my extra arms under a too-big shirt, keeping the lowers glued to my sides. But ever since the fire and the publicity, Ive found that I dont want to hide them as much. I get the same amount of looks, yeah, but I also get some respectful glances and whisperings from people who had seen the TV reports, the ceremony or the newspaper.
They knew I wasnt just some four-armed weirdo. They knew the city called me a hero, and there had to be a reason for that.
Tom! Speed! Now!
DammitAlmost ready! I called back. I quickly slipped my spray deodorant up my shirt and sprayed under three arms, then switched to another hand and got the fourth. (As a matter of fact, I do get jibes about how I go through the stuff twice as fast as anybody else). Then I yanked my shirt on, and let it fall over my outstretched arms.
I reached for my wallet on the dresser, and BAMF!! I winced and held my lower right hand in pain, as it too went for the dresser and smacked right into it. I growled softly and slowly picked up the wallet and keys. Thats what I get for trying to maneuver quicker than my bodys comfortable with.
Shaking off the pain, I flew down the stairs to an impatient Ben, looking at his watch. Come on, fuzzy! The others are waiting for you! he said, sprinting off towards the outside. I followed suit, slicking my hair back a bit.
Outside, Patrick, Preston and Cliff were waiting in the idling van. They lit up when I came out. Finally! Patrick said. Lets go, guys! Ben and I piled into the back seat, and Preston drove us away before we could even close the door.
I sat in the back bench seat and looped the seat belt around my waist. Where are we going?
The fox in the drivers seat just smiled, while Patrick turned back to me and chuckled. Youll see. Cliff was chuckling, toobeing the newest fireman on our team, he got the back back seat duty, but he seemed to be taking it in stride.
Yeah, Tom, he chimed in, the tabbys tail waving anxiously. Youll like this. We found a place just for you.
I know I wasnt in any danger, but those prey instincts were starting up again. I knew these guys were up to something! I put my upper right hand to my forehead. Youd just better not embarass me. I said, smirking.
The whole van laughed as we drove on. And twenty minutes later, we pulled up to a slightly dilapidated establishment. I peered out the window to read the sign: SensualiTease.
My ears drooped. Oh, no, I said, closing my eyes and shaking my head. Not a strip club I looked around at all the grinning faces, and immediately felt my fur stand on edge around my neck.
Yup: I was in trouble.
Its about time we got to have a little fun. Come on! said Patrick as he left the van. I looked at Preston, who just shot me this grinthe grin of vengeance. Guess I drummed my fingers a bit too long for him.
Im gonna get you back for this. I said under my breath, and Preston smiled even wider.
We all went inside; Cliff bouncing in the front, Ben and Patrick, then me, all four hands in my pockets as I slouched, being corralled by Preston in the back. Now, Im as straight as they come, but I dont enjoy nudie bars, and never have. I just dont care for the attitude, the tactless leering and the girls who put themselves on show for money.
Some guys got their jollies doing this; I didnt. I happen to think love and sex and all the romantic notions are worthwhile, but they have to be done right. Not like this.
The place was not seedy, but it wasnt high class either. More like it wanted to be high class, very much so, but hadnt figured out how to do it. It was a mishmash of stylesRoman columns, steel fixtures, polished brass booths. Im no designer, but it all seemed like the places decor was an afterthought, as everything circled around a huge stage with poles propped up on it.
We got ourselves a table, and this feline waitress came over almost totally naked, save for a strip of cloth over her chest and in between her thighs. Cliff was just about shaking in his chair. I put all my elbows on the table and buried my head in my arms. What will you fine studs be having tonight? she purred. She was probably the definition of the word tease.
Patrick, the funnyman, grinned. How about you? he said with a wink. She laughed and poked him with her pencil eraser.
Thats a special you cant afford, hon, she shot back. The others chuckled as Patrick went red in the face and ears, but he laughed along with them regardless. Despite all their kidding around, this was a good bunch of guys to be around.
Drink orders came and went, and when she got to me, I raised my head. A coke, please, I said, smiling. She nodded, then she saw my extra arms. Oh! You must be here for Tazel.
I blinked and looked at herwhat an odd question. Tazel? Whos Tazel? I said, genuinely confused.
The waitress made an ahh face and nodded, winking to me and the boys. Youll see. she said and sashayed off. Cliff was gripping the table in a hormonal frenzy, watching the waitress every move.
I turned to Preston and elbowed him twice, lightly. Whos Tazel? I repeated. Preston just shrugged and smiled. I looked around at the othersand got nothing but grinning stares back at me.
Great. A conspiracy.
I looked over the room at the clienteleand found exactly what I expected to: Single men, mostly, staring into their drinks
, and looking for something more exciting to look at. The place smelled of liquor and a bit of sweat. I saw bikers, construction workers, guys in suits and the like. I swivelled my ears around to pick up the sounds of businessmen talking into their cell phonesone told his wife that he had to work late at the office. Pathetic.
The waitress came back, much to Cliffs delight, with our drinks. I sipped my soda as the others did the same with theirs, glancing around. They were talking with each other
, about the recent fire, the football game on Sundayguy talk, mostly. Preston elbowed me back. Cheer up, gloombunny! the fox said with a grin. Youll like this, I promise.
I looked back at him and smirked. Thats what Im afraid of. I replied.
It was then that the lights began to dim, and a voice came over the sound system. And now, gentlemen, we present for your ogling pleasurethe ladies of SensualiTease! And with that, the stage filled with very attractive women, in all manner of costumes to satisfy almost every kink out there. A rabbit in a cop uniform winked at me before she swung around on her pole and took out a set of handcuffs, winking suggestively. I chuckled. Gonna need more than that I murmured, to the whooping delight of my friends.
While every one of these women was extremely beautiful, I just couldnt get into the ogling, nor did I find a reason to get my hands involved with money like the others were. This was like any other strip club Id seen, and if there was anything special here, so far Id missed it. So guys, when does this special girl come out? Im getting hungry, I said. It was a lie, but it would be a good excuse to get out of there and go somewhere else.
When the last of the ladies left the stage, the voice came back over the speakers: And now, gentlemen, SensualiTease is proud to present our star attraction! Put your hands together for Tazel!
The room, which had previously been imbued with an air of anticipation, now seemed to erupt in hearty applause, catcalls and whistles. My table joined in the noisemaking as I looked on stage.
The music system was playing a tune from the Middle Eastpossibly Indian in nature, or maybe Moroccan. I saw the spotlight on the stage come on at the curtain, then a long, slender arm emerged, covered in indigo fur. The hand at the end had one of those finger cymbals, which clicked in time to the music.
It was actually a nice piece of music, and I was beginning to be intruiged. The arm came out, lightly covered in a gauzy veil of silkthe sleeve of a harem girls outfit. When the rest of her came out, I smiled.
A blue/indigo vixen emerged with a veil over her muzzle, and sheer, transparent silks crossing around her body at almost all angles. She had a similar cybalette in her other hand; both clacked to the rhythm as she stepped fully out from behind the curtain, using every step to accentuate her long-legged beauty, her sinuous motion.
I could hear moans and murmurs coming from the patrons, including my own table. I could understand whythis girl knew how to move, how to get her way simply by swaying.
The dance continued as she went to the center of the stage, her cymballettes clicking. But I thought something was wrongthere was too much clicking. These ears of mine pick up a lot of sounds, and right now, it was like an echo of the cymbals coming from behind her.
She started moving her arms up and down, like a Tibetian dancer might do. And I saw why I was hearing four cymballettes: She had four arms! The lower arms (expertly hidden by the costume) came up and worked in flawless motion with the uppers, the dance continuing as the music started to speed up.
She had The Condition, too! And she used it to devastating effect.
The audience was entranced, some of them not appreciating the art of the moment and focusing on more obvious things: Show off those boobs, honey! Can you give me a hand or two, darlin? I rolled my eyes. Those people just cant wrap their minds around anything but the sex or the freak aspect.
The music changed slightly, becoming more sensual. Definitely harem music. She deftly started undressing, much to the pleasure of the patrons, leaving just a piece of gauzy cloth covering her chest. Only it was a rather wide piece of cloth. She didnt seem to be extending out that far with her breasts
But the silk was translucent, and I clearly saw what made Tazel so exotic well, more exotic than the extra arms. The Condition went the extra mile for her: She had four breaststhe top pair was the larger, but even the bottom two were still prominent.
Hoots and catcalls filled the room at that sight. I was amazed; I think I read where there were very, very rare cases of polymastia with the Condition, but they were not as well formed and simply outstanding as what we were seeing on the stage.
Star attraction, indeed.
Tazel shimmied up to the side of the stage, where most guys had their hands stretched out, money waving in the air. Tazel found a businessman offering two ten-dollar bills, and slid up to him, sensuously stroking his arm with all four of her hands. You could almost see him melt. He seemed to be a regular, because she winked at him and lifted up her cloth on her dual chest, showing off both pairs of cleavage. The man dutifully stuck one bill in each set of cleavage, as Tazel let out a soft murr and blew him four kisses at once.
I was less interested in the obvious teasing than in the dance and the girl herself. She came back up and looked over to our table, and her hazel eyes found me. She looked surprised for a moment, like she recognized me, and then her face lit up as she swung around the pole (grabbing with a couple hands) towards us.
It was then I felt something pressed into one of my right handsa ten-dollar bill. I looked over and found Preston grinning again: Go ahead, Tom. Shes waiting for you. I gulped and looked back at Tazel, who was now hovering over me, grinning.
Did I mention how much I hated nudie bars? That instinct was screaming in my head: YOU HAVE A STRANGE FOX LICKING HER LIPS OVER YOU! RUN!! And then another instinct rose up in meone that was more interested in playing than fleeing I shook my head briefly as I looked up, and saw Tazels handsall four of themoutstretched to me.
I couldnt resist. I raised all four of my hands, and touched their palms to hers. She lit up again, and closed her hands over mine, squeezing them, one taking the money out of my hand. My heart was beating so loud I couldnt hear much else, except the murmurs of some less-than-delighted patrons that there was another one here. I sighed insidethey would never accept us, I feared.
Tazel took the money and stuck it in her upper cleavage, and blew me four kisses at once, and added a wink. I smiled and returned the blowing kisses gesture to hera gesture she seemed quite impressed with. She was beautiful, of course, but also there was a sadness in her eyes. To see her work at a place like this, I can understand the sadness.
Some of the bikers were jumping up, trying to get Tazel to take their money, and possibly cop a feel. But the vixen wisely avoided them. Apparently this did not sit well with some of them, one of them calling her a stuck-up bitch. I glared at them, my hands balling up into fists and it was the first time in a while I could remember my flight-or-fight feelings pushing me to fight.
To protect Tazel? Maybe. I wasnt sure. All I knew was that my instincts were yelling at me that something was going to happen.
Ben was the first to notice my reaction. Tom he murmured in his low voice, ease off. Theyre not worth it.
I glared back at the rat. She doesnt deserve the names theyre calling her, Ben. Its wrong, and you know it.
Ben pursed his lips and bowed his head.
Yes, he knew.
Then the music died down and the voice came back over the crackly P.A. system: We thank you all for attending. Our next show will be tomorrow at the same time! Hope to see you back again! The lights came back up and waitresses bustled about, refilling drinks and bringing tabs.
The other guys were talking about somethingI didnt hear what, I wasnt paying attention. I was scanning the area, looking for that vixen. I wanted to talk to her, about her arms, her condition, her life here. I wanted to simply know more about her.
Isnt that right, Tom?
Another undignified, Huh? came from me as I turned towards Cliff. The others looked on expectantly. Sorry, I wasnt listening.
Cliff exchanged glances with the others. You okay, man? Preston asked. You seem distracted.
Patrick grinned. I told you guys Tazeld glaze him over, didnt I? he crowed. Preston waved him away and looked concernedly at me. Seriously, Tom, you okay?
I nodded. Yeah, Im fine. Just I want to talk to her.
Patricks smile got wider and the others just grinned. Man, she did lock you down, didnt she? asked Cliff.
I was about to reply to Cliff when I heard Ben growlI still cant get used to a small rat giving a growl that would make a lion quiver. Dammit, we gotta get back to the station! Im missing the playoff run tonight! The others groaned and protested, but Ben stood up and headed to the car. It was amazing we were able to pry him away from his basketball games enough just for this night.
Everyone else reluctantly rose up, paid their bills (Patrick got mine, as he promised), and followed the rat outside. The canine hung back and looked at me. You coming, Tom?
I looked back at the curtain where Tazel had disappeared to. You guys go on, Im going to see if I can talk to her.
Patrick grinned again and shook his head. Man, she did glaze you, didnt she? Well, get back soon; second shifts gonna need duty relief.
I nodded and double-patted his back. Thanks, Pat. I rose up, left a tip, and made my way back to the curtain area. On the way, I stuck one of my left hands in my front pocket and felt for my cell phone. I pulled it out and checked the battery Yup, still good. It was a quality model, with all the bells and whistles; GPS tracking, loudspeaker, and so on.
Time to make my move.
When I got to the curtain, I started to duck behind it, only to run into a wall of muscle and fur. I looked upway upinto the face of a rather large bear, very muscular, with the word Security emblazoned on his black t-shirt. Sorry, pal. Nobody goes backstage but performers and staff.
Drat. But I just want to talk to her, thats all.
The bear made a pfft sound and chuckled. Yeah, thats what they all say. You wanna talk to her, gotta wait outside like everyone else.
I sighed and nodded, and made my way outside through the rest of the tacky establishment. The night had fallen with a vengeance, dark clouds obscuring what light there was. And I found myself staring up at the clouds, and the stars that twinkled in spots between them.
I always find it a surprise to see anyone else with the Condition in public, but to be this overt about it? Wow! At least Tazel had a great body. But those eyes I really wanted to know why she was demeaning herself like this. Maybe she didnt know any better. Maybe she
My ear twitched as I heard a door close. But not the front doorit was a side door to the club. I peered around the side, and saw Tazel, dressed in a long coat (despite the warmish weather) being let out by the security bruin. Night, Taze. he said, smiling.
She turned back and smiled to him. Night, Victor. Thanks, she said back. She had a very pretty voicenot quite a singers voice, but pleasant. The door closed and Tazel made her way towards the back of the club.
I felt my hands rub against each other, wringing. Its now or never, Tom, I reminded myself.
And quickly, I found myself sprinting down the alleyway. Tazel! I shouted out.
The vixen whirled around and backpedalled a bita fearful response to her namebut when she saw it was me, she relaxed. Oh, its you! The four-armed bunnyboy! she said, stepping towards me.
I grinned sheepishly. Uhh, yeah, I just wanted to say, um, that was a hell of a show. I dont go to these clubs oftenmy friends kinda dragged me in here, yknow. I think it was on a bet or something, and I shut my muzzle for a moment and blushed deep pink in my ears. God, Im rambling. Sorry
Tazel laughed and swished her tail under the coat. I could see two hands grabbing at its edge. The other two were probably hidden in the folds of the coat. So she wasnt that overt about it. Its okay. I didnt expect the hero of the city to come here.
That blush came back twice as hard. Hero? Oh, the fire you recognized me?
Not that many four-armed buck bunnies out there, she pointed out. Even fewer whose face was plastered over the newspapers and TV screens.
I sighed. I swear, I never wanted all that attention.
Not to worry. Your name was Tim? No, Tom! she said, snapping her fingers.
I nodded. Well, guess we dont have to worry about introductions, hmm? I looked at her hands. Can I buy you a cup of coffee or something?
Tazel looked at my facestared, almost. No. she replied. My heart sankI was really hoping to talk to her.
Oh, I understand. Im sorry if
She put up one of her hidden hands in a stop gesture. But you can buy me a drink. she continued, grinning.
I stopped blabbering and grinned back. Oh, s-sure! Here? Or somewhere else?
Somewhere else, if you dont mind. I dont like getting drinks where I work. She leaned forward and whispered, I think the bartender waters down the liquor.
I laughed and smiled, and extended two right hands out to her. Madam, Id be honored to have your company. Oh yes, I could be charming when the time came. Curiously, I wasnt even thinking about it. It was happening automatically.
Apparently it was the right thing to do, as Tazel smiled and took her two left hands and put them in mine. Monsieur she replied back, smiling.
I couldnt believe my good fortunehere was a very beautiful femme willing to let me buy her a drink. On top of that, we both had the Condition, so conversation should be very free-flowing.
Thats when my fortune took a wrong turn: Two unfriendly figures were silhouetted at the entrance of the alleyway. The glare from the alleyways single bulb reflected off their leather jackets, and their chains jingled omniously.
I took Tazels two hands in mine a little more protectively, now. Were not alone. I whispered to her.
The two figures stepped forward, and two more filled in behind themthe four bikers from the club earlier had apparently waited as I had for Tazel. Only I was sure their intentions were less amicable than mine.
Welllll, just look what we got here, boys, one of thema mottled rottweilerleered: A freakshow! he spat out, to the chuckles and grunts of his cohorts.
My instincts were screaming at the top of their imagined lungs for me to run like the wind. One wolf wore a set of brass knuckles, and another wolf behind the leader was brandishing a serrated knife. This was not good. Tazel saw that, too; her eyes went wide and she shivered visibly.
Instincts be damned, I wasnt going to let Tazel get hurt! I stepped in front of her, putting myself between them and her. I put my upper hands out in a defensive pose, the lower two at my side. Hey, cmon, nobody wants to get hurt here. I said. Great, Tomway to instill confidence in everyone. Might as well have handed them a daffodil.
The rottweiler narrowed his eyes and spat at me. Correction, freak, he said, stepping forward as Tazel and I backpedalled. You two dont wanna get hurt. But we aint gonna feel a thing when we pound you into rabbit food and get our moneys worth outta that bitch!
I could feel Tazels handsall four of themon my shoulders, squeezing. Tom just go. Ive been in this before. Ill be alright. I dont want you hurt. she whispered.
There must be some sort of macho part of the brain that kicks on whenever a male is defending a female, so no matter how much sense a suggestion might make to anyone else, the only one who doesnt get it is the intended subject. I stood my ground, putting a hand on one of hers. Ive got a plan. We just have to stall them. With that, a left hand slipped into my pocket and pressed a particular button on my cell phone.
Yeah, let the bitch go! Whassa matter, whore? We aint good enough for you to take our money on the stage? shouted out one of the wolves. Gonna put all those hands and tits to good use, aint ya? shouted out the other, all of them getting riled upI saw one of them fondle his crotch.
Follow my lead, Tazel whispered into one of my ears. I narrowed my eyes at the assailants, but inside I was worried. What did she have planned?
She stepped out from behind me and threw open her coat. Okay, but you know Ill only give a private performance for the strongest and most virile man, so which of you lucky guys is it going to be, hm?
I smiled inwardly and looked at Tazel like I didnt believe her. In response, she cracked a tiny smile with the corner of her mouth that faced me. She wasnt some dumb stripper, thats for sure.
Predictably, every member of the biker group decided he was the biggest and baddest. Of course, each one was starting to argue with the others, even getting to shoving and severe name calling. It was like throwing four bullies into a pit and letting them go at each other.
Perfect distraction, I thought at her. Now, if only my end comes up
The rottweilers barked out, All of you shut up! Apparently, he was the alpha, as the others quickly quieted down. I run this gang, so I get her first! He whipped out a pistola .45and brandished it around. Any complaints?
That really shut everyone up, including Tazel and I. But then I heard my salvation approaching in the background.
And you, you four-armed freak of a rabbit? You got 3 seconds to get the hell out of here before I make you normal by blowin off two of those arms.
I gulped. There was that instinct againrun, you idiot! run!but I fought it back heavily and stepped in front of Tazel. No. You want to get to her, youll have to go through me. If you shoot me, you could hit her, and then you wont have any fun.
The rottweiler bared his teeth and put away the gun. Have it your way, dead man. he said, and pulled out a knife from his boot. He was advancing on me, and I was surprised at how calmly I was taking my imminent death. I looked at Tazels face; if I was going to die tonight, I want her face to be the last thing I see
Then one of the wolves behind the leader grabbed his shoulder. Teek! Sirensthe cops are coming!
The rottweiler turned and perked his ear. What?! Aw, shit! Someone mustve 911d us! The others were starting to run for their bikes as the sirens wail grew louder and louder.
The rottweilerTeek, apparently, not that I caredwas the last to leave. He really wanted to stick that knife in my gut, and stick something else in Tazel but without his posse to back him up, he didnt feel as confident. Next time, bitch, youre mine, he growled as he flung the knife at her. I quickly pulled her to me, the knife barely missing her left shoulders, as the dog quickly scurried around the corner. I could hear motorcyles revving up and peeling out in addition to the growing volume of sirens. I could even see the flashing lights.
After the bikers had left, I hugged the vixen tight, and she hugged me back. My Hero, she whispered to me. Then she put a kiss on my cheek.
I think my ears were on fire; they were blushing so hard you could have seen them from space. For once, I didnt have a thing for any of my hands to do as they laid limpy at my side. I urrm uugh Apparently my vocal chords were in similar dire straits.
The sound of doors slamming and men running brought me out of my haze. One of the men noticed us. Hes over here! I heard a voice shout. A low, commanding voice, that sounds just like
Ben! I shouted out gleefully, and walked Tazel hand in hand in hand in hand to the front to meet up with my firefighting friends and co-workers. The others from the group came over and smiled as one. Man, we cant leave you alone for five minutes, can we? quipped Preston. Cliff went back to kill the siren and lights.
Tazel went wide-eyed. How did you know to come back? she asked the fox.
I smiled and fished in my pocket for my phone, which was on a call. One-touch dialing, I replied, gesturing to Patrick, who fished out a similar phone from his pocket. We all have an emergency button that broadcasts where we are, in case someone becomes unable to use the phone to call for help. Kinda like those Ive fallen and I cant get up things, yknow? he explained.
Tazel nodded as Patrick continued, We got updated models that also hook our phones up to a GPS system in the truck. When we were driving back, we got Toms signal, so we came back, with sirens and lights to get us here quicker. The retriever looked significantly at the mouth of the alleyway. Looks like we were just in time.
I nodded, putting a hand on a shoulder of all four of my comrades. I owe you all one. Thanks, I said, smiling.
Hey, were a team, Ben replied. Youd do the same for us. You two okay?
Tazel nodded. Tom helped save me from those bikers. Wasnt for him, I might have been killed, she said, blushing. The others nodded and chuckled. Yeah, Preston continued, despite a warning glare from me, Hes going headlong into the hero business, it seems!
More atomic blushing from my ears. I turned back to the blue vixen. You sure youre okay?
She replied by kissing me. On the muzzle. For a brief moment, all my hands just flailed everywhere, and I think my ears and tail fuzzed out to twice their normal fur length. I think I heard the others whooping and clapping, but otherwise, all my senses were shut out. When she let go, I was really glazed over. Bahhu huaa I grunted out.
Tazel laughed gently and mussed my hair with three of her hands, while slipping a card into my pocket with her fourth. Call me. Soon. she whispered, giving me a squeeze. Then, raising her voice to speak to everybody: Im alright, boys. Im gonna go home. Thanks for the help. She winked back at me and walked back down the alleyway.
I just stood there, muzzle hanging open, all my hands at my sides, totally unresponsive. Preston came up, stuck his finger under my chin, and pushed upwards. For the future, thats a better look for you. he said, grinning. I snapped out of my daze and shoved playfully at the fox.
So, didja get her number? Cliff asked. And does she have a sister?
I glared at the tabby and grinned. Ill see her again. But not here. I said, fishing out the clubs business card. Chuckles all around flared up as I silently read what she had written on the back: I mean it, Hero. Call me. And then her number. When did she have time to write that down?
The others got back into the truck, and I followed suit. Id had enough of this place, and was eager to get back to the station, even if I was getting on-shift. It didnt matterI knew that even if nothing happens between me and the vixen, that this break from routine was just what I needed to get back into the swing of things. I could easily have taken abuse from Darren for a week after that.
I would call her. Oh, yes. And invite her to dinner. Hopefully without needing a truck full of chaperones to accompany me.
As we drove back to the station, I thought about how lucky I was.
I looked down at my four hands, and smiled. No, I reminded myself, it wasnt luck.
I just had the upper hand.