Adventuring through twisted time.
“Happy one year anniversary to me” Makani grumbled once she settled back down against the hard mattress; the alarm clock left broken in tiny pieces on the ground after it collided with the wall on the other side of the room. Whilst she lay there, looking up at the ceiling, she couldn’t quite believe that she had now been human again for as long as 12-months; and somehow survived it all. There were, of course, moments where she wished to return back to the wild and live by the freedom that her wolf flourished in; but in reality, she knew she would lose all her humanity if she did that. Yet, what humanity did she truly have now? She was always eager to get into scraps, even if it meant to finish them at the bar and she was just as competitive with games and well, it was just hard to shake off some other wolf like tendencies.
To say she lived a luxurious lifestyle would be an extreme lie; she earned just enough to get by and in fact, she spent the better half of her working life reverting back to being a wolf to eat and sleep in safety out in the wild. It wasn’t until she was hired at The Midnight Rose did one of her hunting regulars offer his worn down cabins that he no longer needed; and much to her delight, he offered a very discounted rent considering bar work did not pay well, despite some of the tips she received. They had a very business-like relationship, Makani and Bobby - discounted rent as long as she was happy to give him a few free drinks each evening he turned up; and she was more than happy to oblige, she enjoyed his chats and how he lived his life. Bobby was certainly one of her favourites.
In fact, Bobby was one of main reasons she had stuck out at The Midnight Rose and did everything in her power to not get fired; and even when she did, it was he who managed to speak to the owner to hire her once more. Because of that, she did attempt to make more of an effort to appear on time, and not take money out of the register because she needed to buy more clothes or whatnot. Tonight was no different, Bobby was sitting at the bar and almost cheered as she walked in for her shift. “Quit it Bobby, or I may just have to dilute whatever it is you’re drinking” She teased, grabbed the back of his head and pressed a dramatic kiss to his forehead.
“You wouldn’t do such a thing!” Bobby exclaimed before leaning against his forearms. “You’ve been in town around a year now, right? I think you should have a lock in tonight with a few of us to celebrate”
“If you’re still standing at that point, I’ll consider it” Makani responded and turned to another regular face, but one she never knew much about; he came in most nights with those in construction across town, but barely ever spoke a word to her. He had helped in some brawls and stood up for her, not that she needed it when she was spoken to in a derogatory tone; either way, she had a knack of remembering a customer's order. “Water? You want water? You’ve come to a bar, just to order water?” Makani glanced at Bobby who reflected her dumbfounded expression before shrugging. “Very well”
Burning. He blinked his eyes completely dazed a faint flinching wince escaping him as he started start in front of him. He could hear his coworkers voices but could not make out their words like he was listening underwater. All the vibrations of the sounds there but nothing legible enough for him to make sense of it all. Eventually, a heavy hand rested on his shoulder and fully pulled out the drowning daze he could not pull himself from. The man's concerned face was a very telling sign that it was time for his break, he sat in the break room still unsettled.
Two year's it has been two years since this nightmare began and less than half since I inserted myself into Shira's life. I was stalling, observing her in the shadows and getting to know what I needed from her but not doing anything else. Her brother was getting anxious and angry with me and I today I was feeling it, I took a breath closing my eyes as I cleared my throat. I felt his pressure on me burning straight through my body and making me entirely useless the whole day. Even after work where my coworkers and I would go to Shuri's bar I was off my game this burning made it so. I sat down at the bar trying to get a hold of my normalcy when I heard Shuri's voice. That helped ground me a bit as my crystal eyes finally focused on something, her.
"Yeah." He faintly chuckled out "I am the newest to the group over there despite being there for years. So they make me the designated driver... So water..." He gave her a Bobby a closed mouth but genuine smile before thanking her for the glass. He took a deep breath as he sipped and watched his coworkers, one coming up to him and resting his hand on Caleb's shoulder and asking him if he was sure he was okay. "Yeah, just a rough day..." Is all he gave him along with another genuine smile.
As the night went on I still avoided speaking with Shuri despite that being exactly what her brother wanted me to do. Instead, I messed around with my coworkers beating in darts and billiards and consoling them as they lamented over being out drunk by Shira like always. Eventually, I took a seat in the booth my coworkers always sat in as they continued to have their fun, laughing at joyful drunkenness.
"You know when I heard my parents had adopted a son I at first thought I would have to kill you too." Shomari sat in Caleb's living room studying Caleb. "You are a hard man to find... Brother." He spitefully spat the last word out at Caleb. "You owe my family your life..." He eventually said after speaking with Caleb for a time, catching up with him on the things he has missed with the tribe and the things Caleb could share from before he was born. "Who do you want me to kill?" Caleb jumped straight to the point realising Shomari would not have gone through all this trouble to find him in particular if he did not want his services, or to kill him as he originally stated, or both. "My sister."
I shook my head to come away from that memory, I should have said no to him, or tried harder at saying no. The night was coming to a close for the boys and I, we had early mornings but stayed here as late as we could. Tonight we had made it until closing and I now found myself rangling up the men to get them into my truck and home safe. I chuckled as Shira helped me round them up, thanking her and pushing the last one out the door as I said goodnight. I huffed and cursed under my breath as I reached my truck to find the tires had been purposely blown out. Immediately I knew my night would be far from over, I called a ride for my coworkers to be sure they made it home safe and then called a tow for myself as I did not have enough spares in the trunk to replace all the tires. They would not be here for about an hour and another curse shot from my lips before I dragged myself back into the bar knocking this before entering because I knew they were closed now. I gave a nervous smile at Shira as she looked at me "hey I am sorry, someone slashed my tires and it will take an hour for a tow truck to come, would you mind if I hung out with you until then? I will help you clean up?"
Water? He wanted water? For almost a moment, his simple request didn't register in her mind and it almost felt like he spoke a language that she had failed to learn or had never heard of. Makani stood there for perhaps too long with her dumbfounded expression and it wasn't until Bobby cleared his throat rather aggressively that made her come round to the present once again. "Water it is" She nodded and grabbed a pint glass, filled it with ice before pouring the innocent, transparent liquid in: with a smirk, she placed the drink down before him. "Don't drink this too quickly, it may go straight to your head" Makani offered a slight wink before he turned away to go back to his colleagues. "Very strange, designated driver or not" She mused silently to herself with a shake of her head before beginning to shuffle round the bar and completing many orders as the rush hour groups came storming in.
The rest of the evening for her was pretty much standard; music boomed, laughter filled the air and drinks were flowing. Throughout the night, Makani kept her eye upon Bobby who seemed to have drunk more than what his liver and brain had ever prepared for. She shook her head and as his head fell against the bar, she slipped his drink away and placed it with water. It was safe to say the lock in that he had requested a few hours ago was not going to happen this evening; which she supposed she was grateful - she didn't want a party of sorts to celebrate how long she had worked in this bar. Was it truly something to celebrate? Yes it was a huge accomplishment for her, but realistically, they would all be disappointed if and when she packed up again. There was always great satisfaction when she rang the bell to indicate that the bar was now closed and the reaction it always got from the punters. "A'ight, everyone out. I don't want to see your ugly mugs until tomorrow evening at the very latest"
Makani ushered everyone out, yet kept Bobby slumped over the bar for now; she knew his truck was out back and she would move him there when she could go home. It was somewhat of a relief to see the last of them go and just as she was reaching for her keys to lock the front door, there was a faint knock. Despite the grumble, she opened the door to see the man from earlier standing there incredibly flustered. Mack raised a brow at him and stood to the side, with a wave of her arm to allow him safe passage into the bar. "I have a good idea who slashed your tires too" She replied and nodded before she closed the door behind him.
"It's what your men get for beating the Northsiders at darts and then pool" She laughed and nodded. "I'm not tipping you if you help, although I would be grateful if you get this sorry piece of shit back to his truck where he can sleep this off" Mack grinned and patted Bobby roughly on his back but yet again, it didn't wake him. "He will never learn and I swear I'm going to convince the landlord to make a designated bedroom round back for him" Her dark eyes remained on Bobby for a moment before turning to the man again. "Two things. Firstly, you've been coming here for a while and I've never grabbed your name and secondly, you want a proper drink now?"
A wide moon-eyed smiled sprawled onto his face when she spoke "this sorry piece of shit and are old friends." He said with a chuckle before he looped Bobby's arm over his shoulder as he hoisted him up. "Come on bud." He walked him to his truck and got him safely in it and even took his keys to be sure he did not try anything again. "I learned my lesson last time." He mainly said to himself since Bobby was now snoring, he chuckled to himself before heading back to Maki and her bar needing to take a deep breath to keep this facade he had up going.
I smiled gently at her and kept to my word immediately helping her clean up around here, picking up the plethora of glass bottles scattered across the sticky floor. "So no tip huh? Not even a little one like... Do not count your chickens after they hatch or however that one goes? " I smirked and chuckled tucking a few of the long strands of my hair behind my ear. That might have exposed my curse mark the crossed spears but it just looked like a tattoo and plus it was not a mark she could identify me by. My tribal mark was covered by my hair or the collar of my fleeces when I wore my hair up and my scar from our blood oath was always hidden under the many layers of the shirts I wear. I drop the bottles in my arms into the trash and take the opportunity of being a little closer to look at her arm. I opened my mouth to ask her about the scar as if I did not know already but changed my mind and closed my mouth.
He continued to help clean, occasionally checking his phone to see when the tow truck would come, he moved around her smoothly mindful not to bump her or touch her and not for the reason she might think. To her, it might have seemed like he was avoiding touching her to keep from her accusing him of something except for him he was desperately trying to keep from possibly triggering her memory of him. He disguised his scent well enough and it had been over ten years since she would have smelled him so that worked in his favour but touch was a different story. He could touch her hand or arm or ass by accident and who knows all their childhood memories could come crashing down on her.
"Oh!" I froze and patted my pockets in search of something "happy one year." I took an envelope from my back pocket he was fat and filled with money and a card. "The boys and I wanted to get you something nice but could not agree on what to give so I guess this will do. I hope." I was going to place it on the bar but handing it to her was much more genuine and this was, in fact, a genuine moment I talked the boys into. "As for that drink, if it is still on the table I will take the strongest you got, and the names Alexander Crimson. Some call me Alex, others Crimson." I said with a smile and laugh.