Small note: Because this is a furry story, there are two kinds of animals: “greater animals/greaties" aka people and “lesser animals/lessies" aka what we humans consider animals. “Lessies" also works as an insult, similar to referring to humans as “apes". In this story, birds, dinos (not all of them and they're a lot smaller), insects, and small dragons are lessies.
Also, here, an “animal" just means a “being with soul", i.e. beings who can react to their surroundings quickly. This way we don't need to deconstruct the five kingdoms of life :D
Someone had nudged that asteroid a little bit to the left, though.
Oh yeah, Vilkas and Mike speak in South Icelandic with each other.
Vilkas missed Kevin.
He closed his bag and walked outside. Mike was waiting for him at the bar, talking with Jeremy. «Come on.»
«Where's boss?» asked the jackal.
«Still in his room doing some paperwork. He told us to just go ahead.»
Done cleaning the counter, Jeremy put the rag away. «You two go ahead, I'll wait for him.»
«Sure. See ya tomorrow.» Vilkas waved at the bear. «Stay safe.»
Mike stood up, ears half-mast at the thought of leaving his friend. «Till tomorrow, bear.»
As they walked to the minimarket, Vilkas let out a sigh. He didn't really care about the money Kevin borrowed, and honestly it didn't really matter. He was instead worried about the wolf himself. Kevin leaving was abrupt, and even though they spent the wolf's last night in Barrowisle together, he still couldn't help but worry. He knew they didn't talk about each other that much, but he wanted to help him.
Although, as he gave a sigh, he told himself again that it was fine. He let the wolf go, and hopefully he could move on more peacefully now. They were texting last night and Kevin said he was fine. He still hadn't found a job there yet, but he said he attended some interviews already, so that was good.
Meanwhile, here in Barrowisle, a shooting incident of some sort happened four days ago, fortunately quite far from his flat or the bar. That made everyone anxious since that kind of thing never happened in the city—heck, even the country. Barrowisle, and in extension, South Iceland was very peaceful. Vilkas wasn't very close with his father but he was glad his father did his job well.
Right now, the country was on high alert. In Barrowisle, police were scouting every road every night. Just as they turned into an intersection, a police car went by. They greeted the officer in the car who smiled back at them and hushed them to quickly go home.
“Thanks for having me around, Vil." Mike said, switching to South Icelandic.
Vilkas took his water bottle and drank. “All good, Mike." The shootings happened near the jackal's place, so the jackal was understandably anxious—actually, pretty much everyone felt anxious. He invited Mike and Lucas to stay at his place until at least they felt safe again, and they accepted his invitation. It also helped him feel safer.
This late in the night, the streets were deserted, and the snow drizzle only made the atmosphere more sombre. Normally, he wasn't bothered by it too much; he was used to going home this late, anyway. One of the perks of working 17 to 1, he guessed.
“You're seriously not cold just wearing that, mate?" Mike asked him.
Vilkas shrugged. He was wearing a hoodie, compared to Mike who was wearing a thick coat and gloves. “It's really fine. I'm used to the cold. Besides, this fluffy fluff isn't just for show, eh."
The jackal shook his head with a smile.
Vilkas pushed the minimarket door open and went inside. “You ordered an Over already?"
“Yeah. They're on their way. Let's hope this one doesn't cancel the order."
They took some warm beverages just as the supermarket was about to close, then paid for them at the cashier. Their Over arrived just as they exited the minimarket.
Sitting in the backseat, Vilkas took his phone out. There weren't many people coming to the bar tonight and last night. That was fine; Charles didn't mind that because people's safety was more important. He told them to take some days off and even considered closing the bar for a few more days. Honestly, Vilkas was fine with that.
“Quiet night, huh?" The driver said, starting a conversation.
“Yeah, it's been even quieter since that." Mike replied.
Vilkas wasn't in the mood to talk, so he just stayed silent.
“That happened in Walkirie, didn't it? That area has been under constant police surveillance."
“I wouldn't be surprised at that. Thankfully the police are patrolling the streets there, especially since I go home at this hour."
“Where do you work, jack?"
“In a bar not far from there."
Speaking of Walkirie, Tom and Lucas worked there. Lucas was safe and still went to work. The coyote said he felt safer with police patrolling the streets there. As for Tom, unfortunately he was one of the 10 injured during the shooting along with Octo. They were still unconscious in the hospital, though thankfully when he visited them yesterday, the doctor said they had no life-threatening injuries.
Anyway, he invited Lucas to stay over at his place too. However, because their work schedule was incompatible, the coyote went to his flat just before Vilkas was about to go to work. He was all right with leaving his flat in the coyote's care, though. He just told him not to allow anyone unknown inside and not to look under the bed, ever. He did not know where to put his face if the coyote ever found out what he was keeping under the bed.
They got out of the car when they reached his flat complex. Going up the stairs, Mike took his gloves off and rubbed his hands. Vilkas watched amusedly as the jackal rubbed his face with his warmed paw pads. Winters must really be a challenge for the jackal and his thin fur.
Inside his flat, Mike took his shoes and coat off and went to the bathroom right away. “I'm gonna have a quick shower to warm up."
Vilkas hung his jacket and went to the bedroom. “Sure."
Lucas was already deep asleep on the bed. The husky looked at him as he put his bag down and unpacked his things, smiling a bit as he did so. While their first meetings were surely unexpected, he was glad it wasn't a trouble for them.
Vilkas shook his head with a fond smile and took his shirt off, changing into a t-shirt. He also changed his jeans to more comfortable long pants. As he was plugging his phone, Mike walked in, nude with a towel on his shoulder. The jackal went straight to his suitcase to pick up some clothes.
The husky stared at the jackal who was bending over, then shook his head and went to the kitchen. “You want some dinner?"
“That'd be nice, thanks."
Apparently, Lucas already made some dinner. On the dining table were two bowls of delicious-looking soup with a note between them, «I made some soup for dinner. If you want more corn there's more in the fridge.». They were still warm; did Lucas just cook these shortly before now?
“Oh, you made some soup. Nice." Mike appeared in the kitchen doorway, already dressed, then picked one of the bowls.
Vilkas did the same. “Nah, Lucas made these. Let's watch TV while we're eating."
The news was still mainly about that incident. This late in the night, or early in the morning, there weren't many channels they could watch. Having enough of the news, Mike took the remote and changed it to a documentary instead. At least that was better. The faint sound of sirens outside was enough to remind them, anyway.
“Anyway, Vil." Mike started. “You've ever gone hiking around the city?"
The husky shrugged. “Yeah, twice. Once during mid school and another towards high school graduation."
“How was it? My friends asked me to join but I've never gone hiking."
“Eh, it's really just like taking a long trek through the forest, but instead of going to another city, you're going to the summit. Not very impressive, really. Thorsdale Summit just beyond city park is, like, 200 metres taller than the city average." He leant back on the sofa. “If you really want to go hiking, go to the western or northern shires, or even just head to mainland Europe next door."
The jackal hummed. “How about lessies and stuff?"
“Nothing interesting. I ran into some wild raptors and dragons but that was it."
“Whoa! You met wild raptors?"
“Yeah, a pack of them. They just looked at me and my friends and moved away. Maybe they're already used to people walking around since the trail I was going through is a well-established route."
“Seems cool." The jackal put his empty bowl on the table and watched the television again. “Well, I reckon that's just a regular trek or something, then."
“Maybe I'll go. At least spring won't be as boring as I thought." Letting out a small chuckle, he stood up and stretched a bit before taking his bowl and went to the kitchen. He returned and took the blanket, then positioned himself on one of the sofas. “I'm gonna sleep. Please turn the telly and lamps off when you're done, yeah."
Vilkas burped. “Yeah. Night, Mike."
Mike yawned. “Night, Vil."
With the jackal draping the blanket over his body, VIlkas returned his attention to the television again. He felt a bit bad for letting Mike sleep on the sofa since he was the one who invited him over, but the jackal didn't mind. At least he had Lucas, though. The coyote slept like a rock, making him a very nice bolster.
Vilkas smiled embarrassedly at the thought. In their first meetings, he had let his mind wander all over to imagine what the coyote would be like in the bed, but now, he felt like the coyote was a precious cinnamon roll to be protected at all costs. Sure, Vilkas had thought of them doing more intimate things, but to actually do that to the coyote… that was taking it too far.
Feeling sleepy already, he stood up and put his dirty bowl in the washtable. He'd wash them tomorrow. Turning the television and living room lamps off, he then went to his bedroom. He slipped under the blanket and stared at the coyote's back, somehow feeling happy.
He turned over and faced the other way instead, not caring about his wagging tail. Stupid thing had a mind of its own.
“So, you from 'round here, wolf?"
Kevin put his glass back down and shrugged. “Yeah, you could say that. Been living in this city since I was a pup. Moved out for a while but still visited from time to time. Looks like nothing much has changed, huh?"
The snow leopard next to him gave a small laugh. He was shorter than him but really handsome. “Other than those fancy new tall skyscrapers near the city centre and this new bar, nothing much has changed. The city is still as loud as ever."
Kevin laughed along. “Join me here, it's much quieter."
“Heard that some wolves don't like too much noise, 's that true?"
“Pretty much." The red wolf sipped his beer. “But not me, though. I like doing 'em hard and loud if you know what I mean." He grinned and wiggled his brows.
The snow leopard grinned back. “Heh, big bad wolf likes it hard and loud, eh? You like giving it hard or receiving it hard?"
“Both, but I prefer the former." Kevin chuckled and his tail swayed lazily. He wasn't going to deny it, he liked doing it both ways. This snow leopard was hot, too. Kevin just hoped that if he wanted to do him, he'd go slow since it'd been a while since the last time he did that with Oct—
Oof. But eh, that was the part of moving on, right? He really wanted to reach out to the panther, but he was still not sure. Angry as he was, he couldn't deny that he missed not just his body, but the panther himself.
Speaking of, with that incident in Barrowisle being broadcast all over, he couldn't help but worry. He'd been hearing people talking about it all over; he was even talking about it just minutes before with the snow leopard beside him. He was worried even more because Octo and Tom were two of the injured. He really wanted to go to Barrowisle to visit them, but he didn't have enough money.
He had been texting Max pretty much every day for updates on Tom's condition, and when Tom finally woke up, he texted him instead. The grey wolf was doing well, he was told, and the recovery should be quick. As for Octo, while he… didn't really have the heart to contact him directly, at least the panther often sent messages in the group chat. His last message was him jokingly complaining that the hospital water tasted weird and incorrect.
Kevin replied with a sticker of a puma holding a bottle of water with the text “you're a real hydro homie" under it.
For now, he just took a big gulp and wiped his mouth. The television just above the bar was showing a cartoon, but just a few minutes earlier, it was showing the news update about that incident. “Call me Kevin." He said to the snow leopard to distract his mind. Tom and Octo were on their way to recovery, he told himself to quench his worry, and if he got too worried, he could just text or call them right away.
“Anthony." The snow leopard replied with a grin. “You want more beer?"
Eh, why not? He still had some money in case Anthony decided to back off. “Sure."
Anthony ordered more beer from the bartender, who was a handsome cougar, by the way, then smiled at him. By now Kevin already knew that he was flirting along with him too. The cougar refilled their glasses with more beer and winked.
Kevin grinned at him while Anthony winked back.
Gulping it down, Anthony sighed. “Ahh, good stuff."
“Y'know, we could've asked him to join." Kevin shrugged as he took a sip.
“Mhm. Some intense activity that's gonna happen tonight?"
This time, the wolf laughed. “I was thinking that he would join us getting a drink here, but yeah that works too."
“Heh, you ever done that with a pantherine?"
“Yep." Kevin gulped his drink again, not bothering to push away the thought of being sexual with Octo. “You ever done it with a canine?"
“Yeah. Dog, though, never a wolf."
He snickered. “Adventurous, mmm."
Anthony put his hand around Kevin's shoulder and moved closer. “Let's see if what they say about wolves is true, huh?"
“Which part?" Kevin's tail started wagging.
“All of it, of course, but especially the part that wolves are doms."
“Nah, that part's wrong 'cause not all wolves are doms, but," he licked the side of his muzzle. “me, though, you gotta make sure you're free tomorrow 'cause you won't be able to walk straight."
The snow leopard's tail tugged his own as he laughed. “That's a loud bark to make." He released the wolf.
“I got the fangs to back 'em up, well, if that's what you want, of course. Just tell me the word and I'll stop." He gulped his beer. “Anyway, 's been a while since the last time I had it. Got all that pent up. How about you? You from 'round here?"
Anthony gulped his beer. “Yeah. I'm from the other side of the city, actually. Here visiting my friends."
“Visiting or 'visiting'?"
“Nah, just visiting. They're cool people but I don't wanna mess with 'em, which is why I'm here." The snow leopard chuckled softly. “Work's been killing me lately. I love my job but standing and smiling all the time is tiring."
The wolf chuckled along. “You're a waiter?"
“No, hotel staff. Well, pretty much a waiter who doesn't deliver drinks and smiles more often than breathes."
That explained his kempt fur, handsome face, and nice smell. Really, the snow leopard was handsome as fuck. Kevin wouldn't mind bending over for him.
He shrugged. “I'm still looking around, just got back to the city and all, y'know. Do you know any openings, by the way?"
“Ah, I see. Well, I know one." Anthony replied, making Kevin lean closer. “There's an event in the hotel near where I work. I heard they're looking for more crew."
“For the hotel or for the event?"
“For the event. But I don't know for sure though. Lemme text my mate if they're already opening any openings… yeah." The snow leopard chuckled at his own mistranslation and pulled his phone out. “Or, y'know, if they could put this hot-as-fuck wolfo as the MC."
That made him laugh earnestly. “Thanks for the compliment, man. I know I'm hot as fuck but go ahead." He smirked lopsidedly at the snow leopard, then it turned into a bashful smile. It then turned into a sad one. “Nah. I mean, yeah I'm interested in that, the MC I mean, but y'know how it goes with wolves here…"
The snow leopard smiled nervously. “Ah, right, sorry about that."
“'S the reason I'm more comfortable in Súþíslensjgard—you know, the South-Icelandic-speaking parts of the city." Kevin shrugged and sipped his drink. “Folks there don't keep the species apart."
“Fair enough, fair enough."
“Anyway, you sure 'bout coming here and hitting on a guy? Heard that kind of thing isn't really good for your job." Kevin asked him, the alcohol beginning to calm his mind down. He might be starting to develop an addiction, but he couldn't really blame himself when alcohol really helped him think and push his worries away. It made the emotions he'd been ignoring come to the surface. His mother was fine in the hospital and she would be allowed to go home in a few days. Shaun should be on his way to the hospital right now.
Anthony gulped his glass empty. “Not really. But I'm halfway across the city anyway. Besides, I got this one hot wolf right next to me."
Pulling the snow leopard into his arm, Kevin laughed. “How about having this one hot wolf inside you?"
“Deal. Your place?" Anthony grinned. “But later, 'kay? Gotta admit, this place's really good."
“Yeah, you're right." He let him go. The bar was nice, really. It looked classy but still colourful. Not too bright but just enough to catch the eye. The waiters were also very nice. He wanted to order a cocktail but he was in the mood for plain beer.
The advice Tom gave him a while ago, turned out he liked it. The grey wolf told him to not splurge too much, basically just go to a bar or buy some expensive shit when he successfully did something as a reward of sorts. He attended three interviews this week already and now he was in the mood for some beer and a fuck.
Eh, why not some cocktail anyway?
“You wanna order more?"
Anthony burped softly. “Nah, I think I'm good."
“Hey cougar! Give me one cocktail." He called the bartender.
The cougar came back again. “So, back for more? Which do you want?"
Letting out a small chuckle, Kevin just leant forward and smiled. “Surprise me."
“Heh, don't chase me if you find it good." The cougar said, then got started making a drink. Kevin watched his hands as he mixed the ingredients. Being a part-time bartender himself, he had a rough idea of making some drinks. However, he couldn't tell what the cougar was making. It must be one of the more complicated drinks.
He hoped it didn't cost too much.
“Here you go." The cougar put the finished drink in front of him and lit the top layer with fire. It burned quickly before disappearing. “Hot drink for hot wolf." He crossed his arms and smiled brightly, looking proud of his creation.
Kevin eyed it, interested. Jeremy or Ivri never made something like this. “On a scale of 1 to sleeping in the fountain in the middle of the square, how hard is this gonna knock me out tonight?"
Anthony chuckled at the question.
“It's not that heavy, so I'd say 2 or 3. Tell me if you like it." The cougar turned to Anthony. “Snep wants some too?"
“Thanks, but I'm fine."
Kevin took a sip from the drink. He was greeted by a bitter taste. The wolf wanted to put it back, but the bitterness gave way to something sweet, like a cherry. Taking another sip, it was still bitter, but again the aftertaste was sweet, this time mixed with something herbal, like mint but rawer. The wolf's tail began wagging as he took another sip; this was a lot better than he thought.
The wolf wiped his mouth. “Gotta say, it's really good. You want some, snep?"
“Nah, I need to be sober to go back home." Anthony replied.
Kevin's ear drooped slightly and his tail stopped wagging. “I thought we're heading to my place after this?"
“Oh right. See? I better be sober. Don't want to miss the feeling." He elbowed the wolf.
“How 'bout we go now?" His tail started wagging again.
Anthony laughed. “Finish that first, wolf."
“Don't worry, 's all fine. You're hella fine. Don't worry too much." Kevin took another sip and put his arm around Anthony's shoulder.
“Comes with the job, I guess." The snow leopard laughed.
They spent a few more minutes as Kevin drank his cocktail just talking about small stuff. When the wolf was finished, they paid for their drinks and stood up. His home was only a short bus ride away from there. They exited the bar and walked to the bus stop. Kevin huffed and shook his head, glad that he wasn't as drunk as he thought. The snow leopard's tail was so fluffy, a contrast to many pantherines. He picked it up gently and inspected it. The fur was very soft.
Anthony then pulled his tail and leered at him, swishing his tail from side to side. Kevin laughed at that. That was really cute.
As soon as they arrived at his house, Kevin pushed the snow leopard against the wall, kissing him. At first, Anthony was surprised, but he quickly joined the kiss. It was heated; Kevin put his hands on the snow leopard's sides while Anthony's hands explored his back. The wolf felt the other's tail wrapping itself on his leg as his own tail wagged furiously.
Fuck, he tasted so good and his fur was so soft and fluffy.
“Ew, what the fuck! Fuck off, fags!"
Kevin pulled away from the kiss and looked beside him. Shaun was standing in front of his room, arms crossed and growling a bit. He looked angry and the fur on his tail bristled.
“What the fuck, you fuck off!" Anthony said, offended at that.
The older wolf was about to say something, but Kevin cut him. “We're gonna fuck, you piss off." He rolled his eyes. “I didn't say anything when you were fucking that fox last week."
Staring intently at his brother, Shaun then let out a loud growl and wiped his face. “Just… just don't forget to throw the condoms away."
“You look into my bi—"
“It's my turn to clean the house this week, dipshit." Shaun said and picked his coat on the sofa, then headed towards the door. “'M gonna be back in the morning." He was still growling. “Preferably fucking stoned."
“You take dru—"
“No, dickhead, but you're making me really want to." He said before slamming the door.
After the lighter-red wolf closed the door, Anthony asked, still in an offended tone, “What the fuck was that?!"
“Eh, don't mind him, he's just my brother."
“Wolf, your brother is a gobshite."
“More than just that. Now, where were we? Right, my bedroom."