It had been a day since I'd been brought to the Flats. Though it was a modified apartment complex, there were no free rooms for me to take, so I was made the Flats's guard dog, sleeping in the foyer on a pile of cushions and, as a suggestion by Drifter, towels.
As I made my way to the canteen with Drifter and Sori, we halted at the double doors. There was a sign in bold red letters stapled to the door, No dogs allowed.
They both looked at me. Drfiter put on his smug face and Sori put a hand to her mouth to hide a smile.
"Sorry. Looks like you'll have to stay here," Drifter said, pushing the doors open and walking in. Then, he hung through the open door, "Stay." He grinned, pointing at me, then at the floor. He disappeared into the canteen again.
Sori peered at me, "Don't worry, I'll bring you some bacon" She smiled, I replied by wagging my tail. Sori also disappeared into the canteen.
It was a torturous fifteen minutes that passed since they'd entered. Snatches of delicious smells wafted through to my nose everytime people entered or left. The doors opened and, who I'd expected would be Drifter and Sori, there came three people,
a slightly elderly man in a tweed jacket, over a pale blue shirt and suspenders with brown trousers and black shoes. Behind him came a young man, his hair was black and long, he wore a full black suit, and sunglasses, he looked like something from a spy movie. And behind this man, came a woman, her hair was blonde, the wore a black blazer over a white business shirt, with a black skirt and heels, she had a black, snakeskin handbag over her shoulder.
The elderly man stopped and looked at me, the other two continued slightly until they noticed their companion wasn't beside them.
"Hello, there," The old man said, patting me on the head, "You're a nice little fella', aren't you?"
The woman approached and patted my head also, "Cutie pie" she smiled. The younger man stood statuesque. Though I couldn't see his eyes, I knew he was staring at me.
"And I said, 'there's no way I'm getting on that boat and-" Drifter said to Sori as they walked through the canteen doors. Both stopped at the sight of the trio and me.
"Ah. Hello." Sori said straightly, nodding to them, "Sirs. Madame."
The elderly man looked to Drifter, "Is he yours?"
Drifter looked panicked. "Erm...er..." Sori elbowed him in the ribs, "Yes! Yes he is!"
Finally the man in black spoke, "Oh? Is that right?"
Sori glared at him, "Yes, that's right" she scowled.
The old man looked at the younger, "What is the matter, Greigor?"
Greigor removed his sunglasses to reveal his pale blue eyes. As he stared at me, they swirled and turned a deep, blood-red colour. No one moved.
When he had finished, the red receeded and the blue returned, he replaced his glasses on his face, "He is a skinwalker,"
The old man and the woman looked, not at me, but at Drifter and Sori. Then smiled.
"This is brilliant!" The old man cheered, "He will be a useful ally. Catherine, get this amazing lad some bacon!"
"Yes Mr. Barton", The woman pulled up her blazer and attatched to her hip was a threadbare, crudely sewn, sackcloth pouch. Catherine unlaced the pouch and reached in, producing a large slice of bacon, steam rose off it as though it was freshly cooked. Throwing it at me, I caught it and devoured it.
Barton smiled at me, "There's plenty more where that came from". He turned to Sori and Drifter, "Does he have a place to stay?"
Sori said nothing, Drifter was again elbowed in the ribs.
"He...er...sleeps in the foyer..."
Barton spoke quickly in reply, "Now, now. That won't do. You both have space in your apartments, one of you will take him."
Before Drifter could say it, Sori shouted, "NOT IT!"
"What?!" Drifter sighed, "He can't live with me!"
Barton raised an eyebrow, "And why not?"
"Because I'm still trying to clean dog piss out of my car seats" he mumbled but gave in, "Fine."
"Thank you. And please make sure he is given the proper equipment." He stopped and looked at the canteen doors, "Why is this sign here?" he tore it off the wall, "I don't remember putting this up."
When trio left. Sori turned to Drifter, "You put that sign up!"
I stared at him, and he looked at both of us, ignoring Sori's accusation.
"Well, it looks like it's a trip to the pet shop to get Fido here some things," Sori said, Drifter heard this and reluctantly nodded.