by Arnold Snyder
The hostess looked alarmed. “Are you going to be having lunch with us, sir?” she said. Pretty in her plain black sheath dress and pearls, she was talking to me but staring at my mangy-looking guide dogs.
“Yes,” I said. It was taking a lot of muscle to hold the leashes with both of them pulling hard to enter the restaurant’s dining area.
“Are you alone or will there be others in your party?”
“Just me and my little pups,” I said.
“Come this way.” She led us to a table in the far corner of the room, thankfully as far away from the few other diners in there as we could be. “Reginald will be your server this afternoon and Salvatore will be here momentarily to take your drink order.”
The Top of the Strait is a swank joint. There were candles on the tables and a gurgling art deco fountain on one wall. The waiters wore black vests with silver piping and bow ties. It was quiet, except for the gurgling water. Large abstract paintings adorned the walls.
I folded the large linen table napkin onto my lap with one hand, using the other to hold the leashes. “Look, you guys, you’ve got to stay right here. I’m going to let go of the leashes but you can’t take off or I’ll grab the leashes and I won’t let go again. I’m ordering a special treat for you, so be still.”
I let go of the leashes and they seemed to understand. I could hardly believe it. They just sat quietly beside me.
The wine steward appeared. “May I recommend a wine for you, sir?”
“I don’t like wine,” I said. “I could use a boiler maker.”
“Would you like the shot in the beer, or the beer as a chaser?”
“Drop it in.”
“Irish, scotch, bourbon, or rye?”
“May I recommend a shot of Michter’s 20 Year Single Barrel Kentucky Straight?”
“Make it Jim Beam.”
“And may I recommend a fine Irish ale?”
“If you’re talking about Guinness, I don’t drink carbonated mud. You may recommend a PBR.”
“I don’t believe we have Pabst Blue Ribbon on hand, sir. May I recommend a Coors?”
He left and I felt relieved that everything was going so well until I noticed that Bridget had gotten up onto her feet and was waving her tail in the air. Within seconds, Father Mcgillicuddy was on his feet and had his nose stuck into her business. That lasted about five seconds until he mounted her. Thankfully, they were in a dark corner of the restaurant, and mostly behind my table.
I leaned over to talk to them somewhat quietly, but trying to sound forceful. “Jim, Bridget, you can’t do that in here. Jesus Christ, Bridget, are you still on the fucking rag?”
The waiter showed up. “Good evening, sir. I’ll be happy to read the full menu to you, or if you have some preferences, I can tell you what we have that should satisfy you.” He was staring in horror at Father Mcgillicuddy and Bridget. Mcgillicuddy was humping away like there was no tomorrow, but I could tell he wasn’t inside her. He was just bumping his dick around her hindquarters.
“I know what I want,” I said. “I’d like two triple chocolate annoyances. That’s all. And make it snappy.”
He stared at the dogs for a few moments more, then said, “Yes, sir,” and left.
Bridget gave a yelp. Dammit, Mcgillicuddy, would you be careful!
I could see other people turning to look in our direction. The wine steward appeared with my boilermaker. He was trying to ignore the werewolves. He set a large glass beer mug on the table and emptied a bottle of Coors into it. Then he poured a shot of Jim Beam into a shot glass and hovered over the mug with it.
“Don’t pour it,” I said. “Depth charge it.”
He dropped the shot glass into the beer, then set the frothing mug in front of me.
“Your dogs are getting a bit frisky there, sir,” he said. “You might want to calm them down a bit. Will there be anything else?”
“No, that’s perfect, thank you.”
As the wine steward was retreating, the waiter appeared with my triple chocolate annoyances. They were enormous. Served on large dinner plates, each one appeared to be a jagged mountain of fudge, with some kind of thick dark chocolate syrup oozing down the sides like molten lava and swirls of shaved chocolate sprinkled over the whole thing, giving it a festive look. He set one directly in front of me and set the other right beside it.
“Thank you,” I said, wanting him to leave me alone quickly.
“Sir,” he said in a low confidential tone, leaning down slightly so I could hear him, “the maître d’ is becoming concerned about your guide dogs. They’re misbehaving and appear to be out of control.”
“I want you to thank him for me for bringing that to my attention,” I said. “I’ll tend to them immediately.”
Bridget yelped loudly once more and I knew she’d gotten another poke in the butt she didn’t appreciate. The waiter stood staring transfixed at her and Mcgillicuddy.
“And can you bring my check please?” I said. “This is all I’ll be having this afternoon, thank you.”
He took a faux leather guest check holder from his apron pocket, opened it, looked at it briefly, then set it on the table. “It’s by your right hand, sir,” he said. “The total is forty-four-seventy.” Then he turned and walked away quickly. So, he had my check already prepared and totaled. I’ll bet he was under instructions to get rid of me fast, cut me off, no more boilermakers.
I took out my wallet and stuck fifty bucks cash into the check holder, just in case I had to make a fast exit.
I heard a screechy whimpering sound behind me and turned to see that Bridget had grown weary of Father Mcgillicuddy’s clumsy attempts at mating—and probably tired of supporting his considerable weight—and was trying to walk away from him as he hopped on his back legs and continued humping her as he attempted to remain mounted. This was not good. They were starting to travel toward an area of the restaurant where others were dining.
I jumped out of my seat to grab their leashes, which were dragging on the floor. Jesus Christ, this is just what I need! By the time I’d grabbed their leashes, they were halfway across the room and moving so determinedly they pulled me off my feet. I hit the polished tile floor with a loud grunt.
But I held my ground and my determination to stop them dismounted Father Mcgillicuddy and almost knocked Bridget off her feet. They both turned to look at me with angry teeth-baring snarls.
As I stood up, I yanked hard on both leashes to let them know I meant business.
They walked toward me, growling loudly, trying to intimidate me. I was having none of it. I got down on my haunches to get in their faces. “Now look, you idiots,” I said through my clenched teeth. “Are you trying to get us busted? I know you’re just following your instincts, but this is neither the time nor the place for instincts. Now come back to the table and behave!”
As I was yanking their leashes to drag them back to my table, I saw a table of four stand up in a huff and walk toward the exit, all of them looking at me with disgust. This was bad. There were half-full glasses of wine on their abandoned table. I suspect they left without paying.
Even as I was dragging the dogs back, Mcgillicuddy continued to try and mount Bridget as she growled loud protests. Then I saw the maître d’ coming toward us at a good clip from the kitchen. He looked angry. Bridget picked up her pace in an attempt to foil Mcgillicuddy’s efforts and they ended up dragging me to the table.
As soon as we got there, Bridget spied the triple chocolate annoyances and immediately buried her muzzle into one of them, biting at it, slurping it, making a huge mess. She got her front paws up onto the table, straddling the dessert plate while she lapped it up. Just as the maître d’ arrived, looking livid, Mcgillicuddy saw the other triple chocolate annoyance and dismounted Bridget so he could get at it, which he did by climbing onto the table with all fours, and he stood there like the king of the castle, wolfing it down like there was no tomorrow. He kept picking up large hunks of the chocolate mountain in his teeth, then shaking it like it was prey he was killing. Chocolate was flying everywhere.
He seemed to have totally forgotten about Bridget. It astonished me that his chocolate drive exceeded his desire to mount a bitch in heat.
“Sir!” the maître d’ sputtered, “I’m going to have to ask you to remove your unruly dogs at once! Their behavior is entirely unacceptable.”
“I’m sorry,” I said. “Are they causing a problem? The Blind Center told me they were not quite trained yet, so they advised me to take them only to quiet places where they wouldn’t become agitated.”
By this point, both Bridget and Mcgillicuddy had finished their desserts and were just licking up the sloppy mess they’d made on the table cloth. But I could tell the chocolate had calmed both of them down considerably.
“If I have to call Tower security I will do so, sir, unless you leave this establishment now.”
“Yes,” I said, remembering to bob my head like a blind man. “My apologies for the trouble. I’m returning these mutts to the Blind Center first thing tomorrow morning. Come, Benji. Come, Teacup. Take me home now.”
As I attempted to pull them toward the exit, Mcgillicuddy leapt off the table, yanking his leash out of my hand and ran to the table that had been abandoned by the diners who’d just walked out. He grabbed a partially-eaten T-bone steak from one of the plates and then beat me and Bridget to the exit, running out with his prize.
By the time we exited the restaurant moments later, the meat was gone and he was gnawing on the bone. His face was covered in chocolate syrup, as was Bridget’s. I grabbed a hold of Mcgillicuddy’s leash, determined not to let go of it again. A few people in the hallway who had just gotten off the elevator were trying not to stare at us as they filed past to enter the restaurant.
Then, Bridget suddenly reared up on her hind legs with a horrible squealing sound and it took me a few moments to figure out what was happening. One glance at my watch and I knew. Her two hours were up. She was about to transform from wolf back to were, and she was going to be naked, save for her service dog vest.
I had to get them into the men’s room pronto. I pulled at their leashes with everything I had and was surprised at how easily Mcgillicuddy came along. Maybe the chocolate had worked. Maybe it was the T-bone. Whatever, I was glad to get them out of the public hallway. Bridget was starting to spasm.
Unfortunately, there was a guy standing at the urinal taking a piss. Bridget was making horrible groaning sounds as we entered and he turned his head to see what was happening. I bobbed my noggin blindly and pulled my guide dogs away from the door and into the far corner of the small room so the guy pissing wouldn’t have to pass by us too closely when he left. The wolves were scary-looking right now, with Bridget twisting and turning in some kind of agony, the chocolate all over her muzzle now drying to look like caked mud, and Mcgillicuddy just as grimy looking, gnawing on that T-bone.
The guy zipped up and turned around, looked at me briefly as if he was going to say something, but decided against it and beat it to the door.
And not a moment too soon. Within a minute, Bridget was a beautiful naked young woman, lying on the floor with a guide dog vest strapped around her midsection, her face smeared in chocolate and streaks of chocolate in her hair, on her neck, chest, arms, belly. Wow. I wanted to lick it off of her. She looked positively delicious.
Then it occurred to me that we hadn’t brought any of Bridget’s clothes with us. Not smart. She couldn’t very well walk through the downtown shopping district shoeless and naked, save for a harness that said SERVICE DOG.
Mcgillicuddy was just lying content on the floor, grinding his teeth on that big T-bone. Damn, that chocolate is a miracle drug.
Bridget started to wake up and I could see in her eyes that she remembered everything. She looked at Father Mcgillicuddy, who wouldn’t be transforming back to human for another hour or so. Then she looked at me.
“It was your idea,” I said.
She sat up and looked at the harness straps crisscrossing her bare breasts. “Get this goddamn thing off of me,” she said. She was not in a good mood. It probably wasn’t the right time to ask her if I could lick the chocolate off her body.
“It was your idea,” I said again, as I unclasped the straps.
“It worked, didn’t it?” she said, shrugging off the unfastened vest. “We found him, didn’t we? Where are my fucking clothes? We didn’t bring my clothes!”
I jumped up and retrieved Father Mcgillicuddy’s cassock from the top of the towel dispenser where I’d left his clothes. “Put this on,” I said. “At least you’ll be decent.”
“How could you forget to bring my clothes?” she said. “You’re the one who undressed me. Couldn’t you have just tossed them into your car? I have no shoes.” She stood up and grabbed the cassock from me.
“You better wash your face,” I said.
She walked over to the mirror, carrying the cassock. She even had chocolate on her sumptuous ass.
She looked at her chocolaty face in the mirror, then suddenly seemed to notice that she was naked. She put the cassock on quickly, observing that it was too long for her and dragged on the floor. She buttoned the cassock down the front, studying her reflection in the mirror. Her refection got a chuckle out of her. “Did all that really happen?” she said. Then she looked at Mcgillicuddy and she knew it was true. She started splashing water on her face.
“I don’t think we should wait in here,” I said. “He’s got another hour at least. The chocolate calmed him down and I think he’ll be fine if we keep him on a leash. If we hook the other leash to his collar, we could each hold one leash with him in the middle. My car’s less than a mile away.”
Bridget went over to the towel dispenser and grabbed Father Mcgillicuddy’s ratty sneakers, turning them in her hand as she examined them. “Damn, he’s got big feet,” she said. “But I think they’re soft enough that I could flop around in them if I tie them tight.”
I was already hooking up the other leash. “Do you want to put his pants on or anything else?” I said.
“I’m fine. These shoes are like boats but they’re better than nothing. Let’s get outta here.”
She started to walk toward the door when I put a hand on her arm to stop her. “I have to congratulate you,” I said. “Your strategy worked. You found him really fast. And the leash worked too. We saved his ass.”
“It wasn’t just the leash,” she said. “You get some credit for thinking of the guide dog vest. Even now, huge and scary-looking as he is, nobody’s worried because they see that big SERVICE DOG.”
“And the chocolate worked too,” I said. “Vanschtubenbergh came through for us. You guys calmed right down after that. Look at Mcgillicuddy even now, just lying there gnawing on that T-bone.”
“That chocolate was incredible,” she said. “If I hadn’t transformed back to myself when I did, I would’ve licked every bit off of Father Mcgillicuddy’s face and both of our bodies.”
“The taste is that good, huh?”
“Better than meat, even live meat.”
“Let’s hope we never have to use it again,” I said. “Do you think you can resist it next time you’re a wolf?”
“Hell no,” she said. “I’m not going to resist it. I’m going eat every bit I can find. In fact, before I transform again, I’m going to buy boxes of chocolates and candy bars, dozens, hundreds … I’m going to stock up and just stay home and binge.”
“But, you can’t do that. It’s addictive.”
“Damn straight, it’s addictive. You have to taste it next time you transform. It’s like nothing you’ve ever tasted.”
“But, you’re going to end up like the wolves at the facility. The chocolate addicts.”
“What are you talking about?”
That’s when I realized that she remembered nothing about seeing the chocolate-addicted wolves because Vanschtuben-bergh had brainwashed her less than 24 hours later. That experience had been erased. She only remembered seeing the wolves the following morning when I brainwashed them and gave them their clothes back.
“No, you see,” I said. “We already know how chocolate affects werewolves. They get helplessly addicted to it. At first it calms them down. But once they’ve grown accustomed to it, it gives them terrible stomach cramps. But they still can’t stop eating it. Those wolves at the facility, they’ve all become addicted to it, which is why we have to lock them up. If you would have seen the agony they were in the night before …”
“Then why on earth did you give it to us?” she cut me off.
“Because I had to calm you down. See how agreeable Father Mcgillicuddy’s being?” He was still gnawing away, a doggie without a care in the world. “That’s the chocolate,” I said. “He’s not addicted yet. You don’t think you’ll be addicted from eating it just one time, do you?”
“I don’t know, Dustin. It’s so damn good. I don’t think I have much willpower when I’m a wolf. I’m so instinct-driven. Once I got a taste of that chocolate, I had to eat it. I had no choice.”
“You know, when we were in the restaurant and you two were both wolves, I envied you. I wanted to be a wolf too. And I felt jealous when he was trying to mount you. I truly believe that being a wolf is the closest I’ve ever come to a religious experience. It was magical. And when I was watching the two of you, I knew you could feel the magic again and I wanted it so bad.”
“See,” she said. “Devon was right. It’s not just a drug. It’s a sacrament. It’s holy and sacred.”
“You still have chocolate all over your body,” I said.
“I’m well aware of that, but there doesn’t seem to be a shower in here. I can’t wait to get home.”
“Right, but I was wondering if when we got back to my place if we could fuck, except you would let me lick the chocolate off first. You think?”
“No, I don’t think,” she said. “I’m looking forward to a nice hot shower at my own apartment.”
I considered asking her if I could just watch her in the shower, but decided not to push my luck.
I handed one of the leashes to her, then gathered up Father Mcgillicuddy’s clothes and managed to stuff them inside the other vest so I could carry everything under one arm. Before we exited the men’s room, I stood in front of Father Mcgillicuddy and pointed at him to get his attention.
“Now look, Jim, you are the biggest, ugliest, fattest guide dog anyone has ever seen. Come here.” I dragged him to the full-length mirror on the back of the door. “Look at yourself,” I said. “You look dangerous.” He bared his teeth. “That chocolate on your face makes you look rabid. Now I want you to behave yourself. Stay on all fours. That’s important.” He reared up on his hind legs. “You’re really scary when you get up like that. We’re going to take the elevator down, then walk to my car which is less than a mile away. Just stay on all fours and we’ll get you home safely. I’m supposed to be blind. You’re supposed to be my guide dog.”
He was a head taller than me and he looked down and bared his teeth once more. I realized he wasn’t trying to be scary; he was smiling. Then he nuzzled his face affectionately into my neck.
“Goddammit, Jim, you’re getting chocolate all over me! Down, boy, down!”
Go to: Chapter Twelve