Late again; I'm sorry. But rather than posting a quicky hashed out during my lunch break, I decided to just be late and post an actual bit of flash. Hope you like it!
Dorri saw Lex sneak out the back door out of the corner of her eye. What was he up to anyway? She looked around the coffee shop, realizing he'd sent her down here not because she loved coffee--she did--but because he wanted to distract her. She eyed him as he made several trips between the door leading up to his private quarters and the older pickup truck in the side parking lot. He Dorri not been sitting at the far end of the store, right by the huge bay windows, and been facing this direction, she would never have seen him!
She smiled warmly at the blue-haired girl as she deposited her coffee cup and the plate from her muffin into the huge plastic tub beside the toppings bar. The girl smiled back, looking grateful for Dorri bussing her own dirty dishes.
"Excuse me," Dorri asked the girl, suddenly realizing that she might have some insight into Lexor's sneaky behavior. The girl looked up, smiling vaguely but welcomingly.
"You seem to know a lot about Lexor," Dorri began tentatively but had to grin when the blue-haired girl rolled her eyes in a sarcastic way. "Do you, by chance, know why he would suggest I come down here for a cup of coffee then sneak out the back door with those silver barrels?"
The girl looked back at Lex as he slipped through the back door, lugging one such barrel, then nodded.
"Those are beer kegs," the girl said with a shrug. "Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo. He's likely taking an extra batch down to Louise's bar. I'm Marissa, by the way."
"But why would he not mention this to me?" Dorri asked, trying not to sound wounded--or pissed.
"No clue," the girl, Marissa said with a shrug. "I've been with him since I was a child and I still have not figured the hairless little twerp out."
Dorri watched Lexor slip back upstairs again then slipped out. She looked around to see if anyone could see her, then hastily shifted to her animal form, that of a pure white Persian long-hair, before jumping into the back of the truck Lexor had been loading. She wasn’t going to confront him about his sneaking around behind her back—she was going to follow him to find what he was hiding!
“Yo Lex!” Louise boomed out happily in his out-of-place Jersey twang. Lex looked up from the tarp he was pulling back from his cargo of beer kegs and smiled his own greeting. As little as three months ago, he would never have dreamed becoming good friends with a common shifter, let alone a rat. It still amazed him to this day that his attempt to weasel his way back into heaven with his brewing skills had led him to the path of contentment here in Talbot’s Peak, Montana.
It had, of course, started with him trying to enter his green beer into that snobbish wolf Dante’s green beer contest back in March. If he had been able to enter his creation, he might have gained the attention of the other gods, who were known to frequent Dante’s Pleasure Club. No, he retracted, trying to be honest. It had started with him attempting to recreate his grandfather’s formula for a love incense. That fiasco had been the reason the snobbish wolf wouldn’t let him enter his beer. In a fit of depression, he had got to that human bar Marissa was working part time at.
To his great surprise, while the bar was primarily patronized by humans, it was owned and run by a rat shifter who happened to be one of the finest chefs in the area. And the bar had run out of green beer. That had been the start of his relationship with Louise, professional at first with Lex providing gormet micro brews. It hadn’t taken Lex long to realize that while he had never fit in with the other gods, here he was among folks he could relate to. And more importantly, they accepted him just as he was.
“What the hell!” Louis exclaimed startling Lex. Out of the corner of his eye, he spotted a streak of blinding while flash past him at at the rapidly retreating Louis. A split second later his nose caught up with his eyes—Dorri! Lex swore as well, then shifter into his fighting form—the same as his normal sphinx cat form but ten times larger—and gave chase.
He hit the swinging door with all four feet, just barely making it in time to force the door back open. Coming around the corner leading to the store room, he smacked right into Dorri. She had come to a screeching halt. He didn’t take the time to figure out why, just grabbed her with all four paws and planted his teeth into the fluff of her neck. She didn’t fight or struggle as he had expected her to.
“I give you my friendship,” Louise hiss dangerously, drawing Lex’s attention, “And this is how you repay me?” Lex shifted back to his human form so he could hold Dorri without needing his mouth on her.
“I did not bring her here,” he spat disgustedly. “I had assumed she had gone down for her moring coffee, as I asked her to do, so I could work.”
“I was having my morning coffee, you rat-lover,” Dorri hissed, still in her cat form. Lex looked down at her, realizing she sounded terrified. He looked back up at Louise and his cousins, all four in their animal forms, as well. He looked back down at Dorri. Oh. Yes, she might very well be afraid. Louise wasn’t a tiny thing in this form—he was twice her size. Lex had, himself, shown Louise the trick of increasing a shifter’s animal form in times of need. He had been thinking of exactly this sort of situation.
“And I was working,” Lex said, disgust tinting his words an ugly color.
“You were doing things behind my back!” she spat back.
“I’m a brewer, Dorri. I make beer and deliver it to my customers. How is that behind your back? Besides, you invited yourself into my life.”
“You associate with rats!” she fired back hotly, sounding angry. Lex knew that was mainly because she was beginning to realize she was very much in the wrong here.
“And you just attacked my friend. I told you earlier this morning why I prefer to live here, among normal folk, rather than in heaven with you stuck-up gods and goddesses.” He stood up and walked back to the back door, carrying Dorri in her cat form. He tossed her out. “This is my life and I’m not changing for you, princess. You already refused me on my best behavior once. Accept me as I am or don’t bother darkening my door again!”