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Teodor picked up Trucker. He snored in Teodor's ear, as he carried him upstairs. Trucker seemed so light for a child his age. Amanda went up the stairs ahead of them to Bilge's apartment.
This apartment had never seen a woman's touch. A small pile of dirty dishes sat in the sink. The kitchen wrapped around the edge of the room. A bare table, except for salt and pepper shakers made out of beer bottles, sat next to the kitchen counter. The living room had a couch, a TV, and a small bookshelf.
“Gunner's sleeping in Bilge's bed,” Amanda said.
Teodor put Trucker down on the couch. Trucker rolled over and curled up. Amanda covered him with an afgan from the back of the couch.
“He tries to be tough,” Amanda whispered.
Teodor put his arm around her, “All of them try to be,” he said. “Living on the streets does that to you.”
“Does he even have a family?” she asked.
Teodor shrugged. “Not anymore.”
Bilge came into the apartment, he put his keys down on his small table. “I got some more blankets and such.”
Amanda took Teodor's hand, “We could stay at our new place.”
Bilge shook his head, “I want us all together, I don't think that bitch is done with us.”
“Um, could you not use that word,” she said.
“Because I am really one.”
Bilge lit one of his slim cigars, “Yeah, I don't want to offend you.” He grinned.
Teodor walked over the window and looked out, the snow covered the street. The wind would blow the snow around in small little whirlpools. Teodor ran his fingernails down the glass. That Hag is out there, he thought. The next time I see her, I am gonna bite her.
"You coming to bed?" Amanda asked.
Teodor turned around. "Yeah."
"You got the guest suite," Bilge said.
Amanda rolled her eyes. "Its a closet, but nicer than our bed at Chaser's."
Teodor took her hand. "See you in the morning, Bilge."
He woke up with his arm around Amanda. She had curled her body around his as they laid on the blankets on the floor. He smelt coffee brewing, and pancakes cooking. His stomach growled. He smiled. Sometimes its nice to be able to eat human food, he thought.
“I could make a smiley face if you want?” Bilge's voice drifted from the kitchen.
“Make a mean face,” Trucker said.
“What about yours?”
“Just plain,” Gunner said.
Teodor sat up and shook his head. His black hair fell into his eyes, he flung it back. Amanda rolled over. Teodor tucked the blankets around her and walked into the small kitchen.
Gunner sat at the table, wrapped in a blanket. Trucker drank a large glass of milk. Bilge stood at the stove, flipping pancakes with an expert flip of his wrist.
“Smells good,” Teodor said. He sat down and nodded at Gunner, “You feeling okay?”
“Hungry and cold,” Gunner said.
“You sure you want some pancakes?” Bilge asked Teodor.
“After the kids eat,” Teodor said.
Gunner reached over for a cup of coffee, his hands shook. He took the mug in both hands and lifted to his lips. Bilge flipped the pancakes on to a plate and handed it to Trucker. Gunner put the cup down, he looked at Teodor.
“Did you guys get her?” He asked.
Bilge paused in flipping his pancakes. Teodor shook his head, “Just scared her off.”
“What ever you did, thank you,” Gunner said.
Bilge put a plate down in front of Gunner. “Looks like we are snow bound today, schools, work, everything is shut down.”
“I have to go soon,” Gunner said.
“Not in your state,” Bilge said.
“He's right,” Amanda said.
Teodor looked over his shoulder. Amanda brushed her hair out with her fingers. “Look, you had mild hypothermia, you are still recovering. You stay where it is warm and dry.”
Bilge motioned to the window with his hand, “Look out there, it's not fit for man or beast.” He winked at Teodor.
Amanda sat down at the table, “Who was that woman?”
Trucker shoveled more pancakes in his mouth and shrugged.
Gunner put his fork down. “I don't know. All I know is she is killing more and more of my friends. And no one will help us.”
Amanda reached over and patted his hand. “You just needed to find the right people.”
Trucker looked directly at Teodor. “Or other things.” he put down his glass of milk. “Don't you recognize them?”
Gunner shook his head.
“Trucker I don't think-” Amanda said.
“They're the wolves,” Trucker said.
Gunner studied Teodor's face, “I thought I dreamed that.”
“You're not freaked out?” Teodor asked.
Gunner shook his head, “I've seen freakier shit.”
“I find that hard to believe."
“Live on the streets for a while, you'll see.”
“How long have you?” Amanda asked.
He thought, “Four years now.”
“What about your parents?”
Gunner shook his head, “Just my mom, and she's the one that threw me out, so you tell me.”
“Sorry,” Amanda said.
“Teodor,” Bilge said, wiping his hands on a rag. “Can I talk to you?”
Teodor agreed. They walked to the other end of the living room. Bilge lit a thin cigar. “Do you think she will be back?”
"Yeah, I do."
“Well it's gonna be hard for her to come in here.” Bilge smiled. “We have to salt the sidewalks.”
Teodor chucked. “That's a good idea,”
Bilge grinned, with the cigar between his teeth, “While you go do that, I am gonna make sure my gun is loaded.”
Teodor found his jacket on the floor and put it on. Bilge followed him down stairs. The rock salt next to the back exit. Teodor opened the door, a blast of wind pushed the door and out of Teodor hands. He grabbed the door and forced it close.
He shook out the salt on to the snowy sidewalk. The wind blew most of the snow away from the front door, but left an icy patch right in front of the bar. Teodor pulled his collar around his neck. He glanced at the windows around the door. Four deep furrows, where the hag had dragged her fingers across the window. Teodor reached up and ran his fingers along one of the depressions. His finger sunk down to his first knuckle.