Page 2 of Wolf's Mate

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The following day goes by quickly, and in a blink of an eye, it’s evening. All of my stuff has been moved to my new place, courtesy of the moving company dad hired for me, even though I said a few times that I could arrange it myself. When I close the door to the last moving guy, I take a deep breath as I look around.

I love this place. I absolutely love it. Technically, it’s not really mine because I’m just renting it, but it still feels like mine. The little touches here and there helped me adopt it as my very own. My mom always said that a house is just four walls that keep you safe from the weather. But, a home is a place of warmth, where you are reminded at every step that you live here, that you are safe here. I placed a framed photo of all three of us right by my bedside, and I scattered little trinkets, dust collectors as dad likes to refer to them, all throughout the apartment. Sure, it’ll be a bother to clean up, having to move them all then put them back in the same place. But, it feels like home. It truly does.

An idea comes to mind. I could invite dad over and we could order some pizza. But, before I can even reach for my phone, I hear the doorbell. I look in the direction of the door and smile. Could he have predicted my idea and is now standing in front of the door?

I walk over there and unlock it, but upon opening, I see, with a slight dash of disappointment, that it’s not him.

“Hey, girl!” Tina shouts at me so loudly that the whole hallway echoes. I’ve grown accustomed to her in your face manners and stopped being bugged, even though I know others find it somewhat crude.

Tina, unlike Nicoletta who is standing right next to her, isn’t from our social circles. At least, she didn’t start out that way. She was just a country bumpkin, a term Nicky and I use endearingly, and Tina doesn’t like it, but she puts up with it, but then her dad hit it big on the stock market and moved the whole family to the big city. All three of us found ourselves in the same class in high school, and we somehow clicked.

“Hey, guys,” I reply, moving to the side to let them in.

Nicky walks in first, and I see she’s ready for a night out in a sequeny top and a mini skirt, slightly too short for my taste. Nicky’s always had a body to show, and she had no problem flaunting it. Even back when she was still jail bait, she’d walk in those high heels she stole from her mother’s closet like a pro, with a thin cigarette hanging low from the corner of her full lips.

“You all done unpacking?” Nicky asks, glancing around.

Tina sits on the sofa. The way she’s dressed, you’d think she’s about 5 years younger than Nicky, in those plain jeans and white blouse. I see she’s not wearing her glasses, either. That usually means she’s going out and wants to meet someone new.

“Sort of,” I nod. “What are you guys doing here? I thought we arranged to meet up tomorrow.”

“That plan is still on,” Nicky nods. “But Tina and I were thinking that you moving out of that mansion deserves a celebration. I mean, I still don’t know what possessed you to do this, that house is freakin’ amazing, but all the more power to you.”

Tina chuckles on the sofa and from this angle, I see the skin on her chin thickening. In about 10, 20 years, she’ll be overweight like her mother, if she’s not careful.

“So, we’re taking you to the Winchester,” Nicky concludes.

Winchester is exactly what its name says. Owning up to the name of a gun that won the West, Winchester is a club that quickly became the most popular hangout of the young and affluent. Also, it was no slave to stereotypes. You had the money to pay for the insanely expensive drinks you order? Then, come on in.

“Oh, guys, I’m not really in the mood for elbowing my way through the crowd to get to the bathroom, or guys shouting lame pickup lines in my ear,” I roll my eyes, sitting down next to Tina.

“Remember the s’more guy?” Tina giggles.

“Are you a campfire? Cuz you’re hot and I want s’more!” Nicky alters her voice as she’s speaking, deepening it a little as she speaks, and we are all bursting with laughter. None of us remembers what the poor guy looked like; we just remember his pickup line. And, with a lame one like that, it’s better we don’t remember anything more.

“How can you not want to hear more gems like that?” Nicky smirks.

I turn to Tina, and I see her giving me the puppy dog eye look. Nicky has slid right next to me on the sofa, and they’re pressing onto me from both sides.

“Pleeeeeeeasse?” they chant in unison, and I finally jump up.

“Alright, alright!” I laugh. “But, just one drink.”

“Hallelujer! Praise the Lort! ” Nicky does her best Madea voice, and we’re all rolling.

“Just give me a minute to change,” I say, when I finally stop laughing.

“Put on that slutty black dress!” I hear Nicky shout. “I want some competition this time!”

I always think that Tina might take it the wrong way and get upset or something, because Nicky really doesn’t have a filter. Once, she even told me that my dad was hot for an old guy and if she was drunk enough, she’d bang him. Needless to say, sleepovers were off from that day on. Not that I’d think she’d really do it. Sometimes, Nicky was just a show off. All bark and no bite. But, with things like that you can never be 100% sure.

About an hour later, we’re elbowing our way through the Winchester. It’s always busy, but tonight is ridiculously so. I regret agreeing to this, but I couldn’t say no to my best friends who came to celebrate this special moment in my life with me. So, I figured, one drink couldn’t hurt.

I lean onto the bar, and realize that Nicky already caught hold of some guy and they’re dirty dancing, hands sliding everywhere. Alright then, Nicky’s out. Tina is still by my side, but I know she’ll be gone the moment she starts batting her long eyelashes and someone walks over, which won’t take long. I order us both drinks, and one for Nicky if she decides to join us at some later point. By the time I take my first sip, I feel Tina’s hand squeezing my shoulder and pointing at a guy across the bar from us, raising his glass to her. And, that means I’m on my own. I thought it’d take a bit longer this time, but never mind. I’ll just finish my drink in peace, hopefully devoid of lame pickup lines, I’ll dance a little, then call an Uber home and be in bed at a still reasonable time.

“Looks like your posse left you hanging,” I hear someone shout right into my ear, trying to be louder than the music blasting all around us.