Something new to entertain my reviewers for a while.
Sorry I was so late posting something new.
This story is a little special in that I had help.
Loads of help. Half help.
I co-wrote this story with my dear Lovely, so there's credit where credit is due.
Like before I'll update weekly. ^_^
Tibia Griffin was not your average woman. She'd been to 46 states and lived in 32 of them. She could ride a bull longer than most men and could shoot a verity of different guns—accurately. She was by definition a loner though she made friends in her travels and kept them. She simply didn't agree so much with the idea of staying in one place with one job, one home, and one set of friends her entire life. Family wasn't something she thought too much on either. She only worried about herself.
She pushed open the beauty shop door and fought down a cringe at the chemical smell. It seeped into her nostrils and stung almost worse than hot mustard seeds. She did not enjoy the scent but of her many talents she preferred cutting hair to long nights behind a bar when she'd rather be running, or days under the hot sun tending a lawn that would never be hers. With fingers crossed and the knowledge of an empty booth for rent, she decided to feel the place out.
Even if they'd hire her, after all, she needed to make sure shed be able to attract customers to pay her booth rent so she didn't eat the little remaining of her savings. It was hard work traveling like a gypsy and backup cash was something shed made a habit of keeping.
Much as she enjoyed it, it wouldn't be worth working in a salon where the clients wouldn't trust you with the shampoo job.
She walked up to reception and put on her most charismatic smile for the young lady, "Hi, I saw an ad in the paper saying you guys had a booth open, who do I talk to about that?"
The girl smiled a little, obviously waiting for the end of her shift as she stood up to shake her hand politely. "Oh sure. You got pretty good timing too, she's in the back right now."
"Well that's just fabulous" Tibia said, almost amazed at how genuine she sounded. She was not the perky type they looked for but she could sure as hell fake it.
"I'm new in town." she mused, "How's life here? Not too rowdy I hope, just got away from that."
The girl smiled. "It's a nice place to live to be honest, but every town has got a few trouble makers." she laughed a little, leading Tibia towards the back. "For the most part I think you'll enjoy yourself."
Tibia smiled softly, "Good then..." She trailed off for a moment, taking a whiff of the air before stepping back behind the dividing wall, away from any of the patrons that could be giving off the scent.
"Ah, shoot, I completely forgot my portfolio." Tibia said quickly so the girl wouldn't look too startled to see her not following, "I'll have to come back... Thanks though."
"Oh." The girl blinked slowly, turning to glance back. "Well sure. Come back any time or you can leave your name and number and all that."
"I'll be by tomorrow or somethin'." she promised sweetly, trying not to be too over eager to head for the door she added, "Haven't gotten to the phone company yet or anything."
"Right." She laughed softly, shaking her head at being so absent minded. "Well, see you then, I guess."
"Absolutely." Tibia waved as she headed out the door, the word never sounding through her mind, "Have a good one."
It was a decent excuse considering she had a portfolio but had the girl been a stylist it would have fallen apart. Maybe in an upscale salon in NYC she'd need it but here she likely just needed the license, supplies and last months rent. She wouldn't be coming back though. Whether they were clients or stylists she didn't need to step on any toes, not when she'd just gotten here.
Tibia had known the moment she'd gotten on their territory but never having heard anything bad, she assumed things would go fine. That didn't mean, however, that she would wear out her welcome by being in their face with her presence. She had no intention of making any agreements so staying out of the way was simply the best solution until she had the finances to leave.
With that done, she kept looking, avoiding state and community employers considering they might have influence there too. She gave in when she finally found a bar that smelled only of booze, cigarettes and bad intentions. It was on the outskirts of town so she could only hope it wouldn't be too obnoxious.
The manager agreed for her to have a trial, mostly because he couldn't stop staring at her breasts, but she had been used to that for years and couldn't bring herself to care anymore—as long as he didn't try to touch.
The bar was relatively calm compared to most places shed worked in before. There was decent music, football—which she could deal with far better than baseball, and a steady but not overwhelming flow of people. There was also the amount of drinks people were buying her. Half of which she didn't even bother pouring and it made the owner ecstatic.
All in all it was a good night, or so she thought as she was stuffing the small wad of cash into the pocket of her jeans at the end of her shift around midnight. That was before she noticed the three men sitting idly near the big screen, not one paying the game any mind as they watched her. She had to curse herself mentally for not smelling them. She was usually really good with her nose but she was slightly intoxicated and the room was large and drenched in smells.
They were just waiting for her to leave. It was absolutely the worst situation she could have gotten herself into. Even if she won, she'd have hell getting out of the city.
Their eyes followed her slowly but it didn't appear to be out of the ordinary for anyone. Nearly every man had gazed at her for a longer period of time. No one thought these three were any more suspicious then any of the others. She was a sight to look at but no one else would have ever guessed the reason behind it.
Just as she suspected they got up to leave just as she was ready to head out the back door. Two of them left first and the other stayed put to watch her in case she tried to sneak away on them. With two outside and one in, it would have been overly complicated to get away from them.
She sighed; trying to look bored with the entire matter. Not frightened but not hostile either. She had no choice no but to play along, but she paused when one lingered and turned to nod him over toward the back door.
When he complied and drew close enough to hear her she said coyly. "Mama always taught me to never turn my back on a man. You first. I'm not goin' anywhere."
A slow smile crossed his lips as he turned around, walking backwards out the door so his eyes were still on her. He brushed a long strand of his hair out of his face, keeping his eyes right on hers. "Funny, mine told me the same thing about women."
"That might be good advice" she shrugged, following after him into the almost vacant parking lot. The other two stood to wait, watching her intently as the two came out. "So's this my welcome party then? Way better than the one I got in San Diego..."
The one who led her out chuckled softly. "Oh? That's fine with us. We can be civil about this, don't you think?"
"If the courtesy is returned. Maybe." one of the other men muttered, arms crossed, but nothing about his stature said he was preparing to be aggressive.
"Would certainly be a first." she smiled lightly, "Does civil include me saying I'm just passin' through and you all goin' home?"
"You know how this works lone, don't play games" the third stated. He'd be the problem; she could smell it on him. He was edgy.
"No games, I'll stay out of your hair if you stay outta mine, I only eat what's already dead and I'll be able to smell your hunting grounds so I'll steer clear. No need to involve your alpha or any treaties" she waved them off.
"Come now." the first said, obviously being the most reasonable. "You know it don't work that way. Chances are real good you'll get your wish, but that's only after the alpha gets his say so. It's our hides you understand if we were to make a deal with you and something were to happen."
The second nudged the third with his shoulder, giving him a short glare. "Don't go starting shit when she's not looking for a fight."
"I'm too damn dominant to be here and you know it." she smiled, "And I'm not interested in being a part of your pack. Lived half my life under the thumb of an arrogant fuck who controlled my every move. So here's the deal, you leave here with your lives because I know your alpha won't kill ya no matter what I do and if you want some reassurance, call the guys in San Diego or Santa Monica, was all over there for almost two years with no drama. I'm mellow I promise. But you're lettin' me leave."
"Not arguing that." The first said, smiling faintly. He gave her an amused look but they both knew she wasn't kidding. "Way to many people around, even passin by, someone would be bound to hear something. I could give a shit about a fight now, you know? But the alpha will wanna see you. If nothing else just to see your face once. We're not overly interested it starting wars no more."
"I know. That's why I'm here. Haven't heard nothing bad about you guys so let's just keep it that way. You say it all you want, I've done this a million times, he will not want a lone wolf like myself here but what he don't know won't hurt him." she laced her fingers behind her head.
"We'll do our duty to our alpha. Even you won't fare well against all three of us and you know it, lady" the third stared her down.
"I may not. But I'll still win. I can take a few injuries. Can you take never seeing your loved ones again? I have no interest in killing you but you'd better believe I will if I have to." she said more seriously, "Back down boys."
"If it's what she wants then it's what we'll give her." the second shrugged. "We tried this the right way, Bairn. Hostility I can take but not towards our alpha and pack. I won't take the disrespect even if the words were said in ignorance of the fact."
Bairn sighed heavily. "Always looking for something to chew on. Sure you won't reconsider? Don't gotta be now, I wouldn't drag the alpha out of bed for something like this."
She grinned, "I'll most certainly meet him some other time if you think you can stumble across me again."
"We'll find you..." The third stated, a growl thickening his voice.
"You're young aren't you...you and you," she pointed to the second and third, "Still learning even...alright pup. Word of advice though, I was born this way."
The statement stunned them to silence for a moment; the third for longer than a moment as it was a rarity to be born a werewolf.
The first laughed though it was quiet and short. "Should have picked up on that, I think. Well then, maybe you and I can come to a tiny agreement."
"Bairn." the second hissed softly.
"Shut up." he said, smiling still as he watched Tibia
"Shh." Tibia pressed her finger to her lips, offering the second man a smile, "Not polite to interrupt."
Bairn laughed softly again, taking a step forward but his hands stayed harmlessly in his pockets. "Our alpha can wait. I think I know someone else you should meet."
"Going to need more detail than that." she mused, eyeing him intently. "Some girl you're in love with you're trying to convince to try for pups?"
He almost ignored the comment completely. "That way." he pointed. "You'll find Madison Street. On said street you'll find the Aristotle Tavern. It's more or less great food, and good portions. If you head over around lunch time, I think you'll find it worth it."
"I'm not going less you tell me who's there. All I know you could be trying to trick me" she chuckled, "Someone like me?"
"Just ask for Miss Bellaca Rauphan, though I'm sure you'll spot her right off." Bairn smiled, noticing the other two had momentarily stopped their bitching. "Knowing her the way I do, I'm sure she'll treat you to lunch."
"So it was the first guess. It'll be easy if you want me to convince her that pups are great. Specially being able to have brothers and sisters and all that jazz." she smiled, trying not to think of all the graves shed been neglecting to visit.
"You just go see her." Bairn said. "You do that and we'll walk away now."
"See now I can't because you're not admitting you love her so I can only assume you're gonna have you're alpha sitting there just waiting for me" she shrugged.
"What makes you think you're important enough that he'd actually wait for you" the third spoke again, frowning.
"Because what I am is capable which makes people consider me dangerous. That usually makes me important." she shrugged, stretching.
"You smell a lie?" Bairn chuckled. "Our alpha isn't in this discussion. You go and talk to Bellaca."
She eyed him, smiling all the while, "There are ways to lie without lying. Fine. Ill consider it."
"She's usually there for the lunch shift. You pick the day." Bairn shrugged. "To show my faith. No one would waste their time waiting when they didn't even know the day you'd show."
She nodded, turning to walk away then.
"Shall we continue to refer to you as our newest lone, or would you like to put down your name?" Bairn asked.
She shrugged, "It's Tibia."
The third made a face then chuckled a moment later, "Tibia? Why not femur or skull or spine?"
Tibia leaned her head back toward the sky, before whipping around and landing a kick where her shin hit the side of his head.
"I don't know about you but the last time I head butt someone it hurt like a mother fucker and you can't exactly hurt anyone with your femur or your spinal cord. I think my Mama thought that out pretty well." she shrugged.
The second hissed but Bairn stood in his way. "I asked the question. He didn't have to go on and be a smart ass." He looked back at Tibia with a faint smile. "I apologize for him being a dick, and I'll ask for the fight not to go further, less I do have to defend my pack mate."
"It wasn't a fight, only a demonstration of the awesome powers of the tibia." she smiled at him, turning away again. The third scrambled to his feet, growling even more fiercely than the other but the eldest restrained him from going after her.
"Madison Street." Bairn reminded as she walked away, grabbing the other two and shoving them back so they'd start walking the other direction. "Lets go."
The third was practically pouting as he rubbed his head.
The start of a new story. *inhales*....awesome.
Please review. ^_^