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Teodor jumped and aimed for the Hag's neck with his teeth. But she was gone, dispersed by the wind as it roared by the bar. Teodor howled in disappointment. He heard stray dogs take up his howl. Good, he thought, they can look for her too.
He turned back around, kicking the door shut with his back paw. His clothing was in shreds, but he didn't care. That damn Hag showed up here and tried to kill the children. That bitch, he thought.
Teodor turned back to his human. Bilge came up to the door, holding the shot gun in the crook of his arm.
“You alright?” He asked Teodor.
“You're a bit naked."
Teodor looked down. He pulled up what remained of his pants. “Sorry.”
He glanced at Amanda, she had turned her attention back to Gunner. Trucker bit his fingernails, hiding behind Amanda.
Teodor held out his other hand to Bilge. “Thanks for not shooting me.”
“It wouldn't have worked anyway.” Bilge said, taking Teodor's hand. “I don't have any silver.”
Teodor chuckled. They shook. Bilge looked out the window. “I thought it was her, but I wasn't certain.”
“You knew about the Hag?”
Bilge nodded. “It would have been an insult to my family if I didn't.”
Amanda looked up. “Can I move him somewhere warmer?”
“Yeah,” Bilge nodded. “Let's get that boy into my apartment. I got an electric blanket.”
Amanda nodded. “That would be good.”
She picked up Gunner. Teodor watched Bilge's face. Normally a woman the size and build of Amanda would not have been able to pick up a nearly full grown teenager. But Amanda had been strong before she became a werewolf. Teodor grinned at the look of slight shock on Bilge's face.
“Are all of you that strong?” he asked.
Teodor laughed. “Actually, Amanda here is a Midwestern farmer's daughter. She's used to throwing hay bales around.”
Bilge chuckled. “I have heard stories about farmer's daughters, but...”
“Guys, please.” Amanda said, sharply.
Bilge chuckled and ran to the back of the bar. Amanda followed, leaving Teodor and Trucker alone.
Trucker looked up at Teodor. “That was so cool.”
Teodor raised an eyebrow. “That was?”
“Yeah, you looked so mean."
Teodor chuckled. “Look, I have to find some pants.”
“I don't think Amanda minds."
“Yeah, but I am freezing my ass off.” He walked by Trucker and tossed Trucker's hair.
Teodor went to the back of the bar. Bilge ran down the stairs. He threw a pair of sweat pants at Teodor.
“Just don't rip them out.” He said.
Teodor changed behind the bar. Bilge put the shotgun back in its compartment next to the wine bottles.
“I have to ask you,” Teodor said, as he tied the cord on the pants. “How did you know about the Hag?”
Bilge leaned on one of his knees, opening small locked cabinet behind the bar. “I saw her when I was a child. As soon as all the same things started to happen around here. I knew she was back.”
He opened the cabinet. Inside there were shotgun shells, a few trimmed twigs, a couple of small bags, and baggies of herbs and seeds. Bilge threw the empty shot gun shells in the cabinet and locked it up.
“I have always been prepared,” he said.
“What was all that?” Teodor asked.
“Trinkets. Weapons,” Bilge said getting up. “Stuff to fight off the real nasties.”
“But not werewolves?”
“Why? I have never had an issue with your kind.”
“Then you haven't met many of us.”
Bilge shrugged. “Perhaps. You are the first.”
“Then you lucked out.”
Trucker climbed on a stool. “Is Gunner gonna be okay?” He asked.
Teodor nodded. “Yeah, Amanda is amazing.”
“Is she a nurse?” Bilge asked.
Bilge opened a can of soda for Trucker. “Here you go,” He said to Trucker. Then to Teodor. “So what are we going to do?”
“About you and your girlfriend,” Bilge said. “I'm not going to have issues during full moons, am I?”
“It doesn't work that way.”
“Too bad, I thought the next full moon we could hunt down that bitch hag.”
“What is she?”
Trucker looked up. “Yeah.”
Bilge poured himself an orange juice. “My dad would have called her Black Annis, but Black Annis does not leave Leicestershire. Over the years I have found out she doesn't have just one name.” Bilge leaned against the bar. “I was six or seven, when I saw her. A friend of mine ran away from home. I found him by the old Strake's Canal. As we were talking, she came.”
Bilge took a long drink. “She ripped his skin off in front of me.”
Teodor glanced at Trucker. Trucker's face was one of the best poker faces Teodor had ever seen. He concentrated on drinking his soda, acting as if he had not heard anything.
“She came after me,” Bilge said. “But my dad showed up. That scared her.”
The wind hit the building harder now. The creeks and noises started to sound like the Hag came back. Teodor shivered, but not from the cold.
“She wants children that are alone,” Teodor said.
Bilge nodded. “Easier to get.”
Trucker put down his soda. “Your Dad chased her away?”
Bilge shrugged. “The shells were filled with rock salt. The only thing that seems to hurt her.”
Teodor tilted his head. “Really?”
Amanda walked into the bar. “He's asleep and his temperature is rising,” She said as she sat down next to Trucker. “And those scratches aren't deep.”
She pointed to Bilge. “And you frightened me.”
“Sorry about that,” Bilge said. “You really thought I was going to shoot some of my favorite employees.”
Teodor reached over and took Amanda's hand. “Most of the time when guns are pointed towards us, we get shot.”
“Same here,” Bilge joked.
Bilge nodded. “Yeah looks like we are going to have a sleep over tonight.”
Trucker laid his head down on the bar. Teodor smiled. “One big sleep over.”
Bilge finished his orange juice. “I'll lock up, you take him upstairs.”