Open Season Chapter 2: Crash And Burn

Story by Rick Coona on SoFurry

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#2 of Open Season

Chapter 2: Crash & Burn

This was the first Novel i had ever written took me almost 9 months to write it longhand on 10 yellow 8.5x14 legal notebooks and two weeks to type it into the comp

a bit of background...

Rick Coona stood behind the bar surveying the crowd at one of Seattle's most popular night spots, 'Open Season'. He had been here since the place opened four years ago, and at 28, was considered by most furs to be a true mix master. He was a tall, well built raccoon, with an easy smile and quick wit. Being a bartender he was well known to have a friendly ear for any fur to bend as needed. and a patented smile that was outlawed in four states.

Being a hopeless romantic, the one thing Rick had always believed in was the fact that he had a soul mate. For he had seen her-in his dreams and visions. She was a Skunkette, a beautiful black and white Skunkette, a green-eyed Skunkette, with white 'gloves' and 'sox'. He would know her by two things: A heart shaped blaze at the base of her tail, and a crescent moon birthmark on her inner right thigh near the hip.

Chapter 2

Crash and Burn

It was a fairly slow night,at one of Seattle's most popular night spots, 'Open Season'. and Mike noticed I had 'that look' in my eyes again, giving an exasperated sigh "Geez Rick, not again. What's with you?"

I turned to my fellow shot slinger. "So, I know we've been over this a few hundred times, but...I have the oddest feeling that I'm going to meet Her, My Soul-Mate is out there Mike, and it's our destiny to meet. I had another dream about her last night..."

The ferret just gave me a sour look "Bah! Love is just a cruel joke I tell ya, designed to ultimately sell jewelry, candy, flowers and bridal gowns. You're better off living the life of the Confirmed Bachelor, my friend. That way, you can live life on your _own_terms with out any twittering _female_trying to 'improve' you." Mike grumbled as he paced the bar. "Take me for example, if I want a piece of tail, I go after it, no strings, just a good romp in the sack, Ba-da-Bing. Know what I mean, Pizon?"

I shook my head-here we go again, I thought. "I've known you for what, eight years? And you are s_till_the biggest cynic on the subject of romance I've ever met." I chuckled washing out a few glasses during a lull. Mike turned on me, this was a sore subject for him but he wasn't getting past it. He glared at me

"Hey, I gotmy reasons, and you know damn well whyI got this attitude, You were there. It showed me the truth,and you can't tell me they ALL ain't like that, deep down sir, I figure I got off lucky to learn that_lesson when I did. Now I can get on with my life and just be ME!" The ferret gave me a smug nod. "And if you're smart, you'll drop this whole notion of there being a '_Soul-Mate' out there, and have some fun. I say, ain't no such thing. I even bet Bruno over there fifty bucks that says there ain't no such thing," He said, indicating the large ursine bouncer.

Just then a certain honey and cream bunny came bouncing up to the waitress station. Mike regained his composure, giving her a friendly smile. "Oh um, Hey Cassy, What can I get cha?" He always smiled easily around the beautiful bunny.

"Hey Mike! Are you s_till_grousing about love and us evil females again?" she chuckled. "You really DO need to lighten up ya' know. Anyhow, I need a couple drafts, a shot of house Rum, two mudslides, and um, a sloe gin fizz." This gal was like a summer breeze, and watching the way he acted around her if I didn't know better, I'd think Old Mr. Cynical over there was falling for her. It was fun to watch.

"Um, ah sure thing Cass, coming right up." Mike stammered. Cassy gave him one of her devastating smiles that made his knees weak, gods she was Hot!

As I was washing out a few more glasses, Kel came up and tapped me on the shoulder. I could tell from the look in her eyes, she had 'Crashed and Burned' on another relationship. "Hey Kel, uh-oh, I_know_that look." The vixen nodded, her ears drooping. "Yeah, c-can we talk, after work?" Kel sighed.

"Sure, any time. Want to come over?" I offered. She was a sweet gal, who didn't deserve to get jerked around the way she was.

"Thanks Rick, I'd like that." Kel gave me a warm smile. Good old Rick...always there for me, she thought after filling her drink order, then drifted back into the fray.

Mike watched her sashay off. "Looks like s_omeone's_getting lucky to-night" he joked. I just shook my head. "You k_now_it's not like that, Mike. She needs someone to talk to. She's a friend."

"Yeah yeah, friends are friends, but buddies sleep together. Hey, all I'm saying is if you get the opportunity to take her for a test drive, go for it. Come on Rick, you know as well as I do she's _dam_hot. Hell I'd nail her to the bedsheets if she'd give me the opening." Mike chuckled. "Keep your options open my man, she may be saying 'Do-Me' and you're just not getting the message here. Look at the way she shakes her tail, tell me she's not hot to go! Think about it, okay?"

Standing in the parking lot after closing, I had to admit it was a lovely evening. Standing next to my Plymouth Prowler and turning to Kel, "Do you want to follow me over, or shall I give you a ride hon?"

" My car's in the shop, so if you wouldn't mind, I'd like a ride." Kel smiled shyly.

"Way to go Rick! " Mike chuckled, slapping his door as he drove out of the lot. I just shook my head at Mikes comment. "No problem, hop in. You're off tomorrow, aren't you?" I asked climbing in, turned the key waking the beast to life.

"Um, yeah. Why?" Kel asked, as we exited the parking lot and negotiated the early morning traffic. "You look like you r_eally_need to talk, and with both of us off tomorrow, we can take our time and really hash this out. Not to mention it gives me the chance to pamper you properly." I said to the lovely vixen as I drove back to my place on Lake Union.

"You can put your stuff in one of the Guest rooms if you like, then we can settle in and you can tell me all about your latest "adventure." You know the house rules, so make yourself comfortable, while I take care of a few things." I said as I showed my guest into the kitchen. As Kel drifted down the hall, I set to work; first order of business was a pot of coffee. Then I went out to the patio and fired up the hot tub. Next on the list was a light snack. This wasn't the first time we'd done this, but I was glad she felt safe enough to talk to me about it.

Kel looked at Rick's room at the end of the hall and sighed, as she took the first room on the right, Setting her purse on the dresser she stepped out of her clothes. She found the terrycloth robe in the closet, slipped it on and flopped on the bed. How could she be so dumb, she thought. Leone seemed so perfect. Wolves, Bah! It wasn't pretty, her break ups never were. Thank God she had Rick to unload on. He _really_was a good friend. After another ten minutes of brooding Kel sat up, and brushed out her hair before finding Rick.

The smell of fresh coffee and, was that shortbread? brought Kel into the kitchen, her nose twitching. "Rick, Is that shortbread I smell?"

"Close, Scandinavian almond bars; should be out in three minutes, Coffee?" I asked, standing there with a fresh pot in my hand. She nodded and I handed her a large mug. "Cream and sugar are on the table, I'll be in momentarily, got to pull the cookies."

Kel accepted the coffee and sat at the dining table " You're the best, Rick, thanks." flashing me a smile as she added the extras to her coffee. I set down a platter of fresh from the oven shortbread-like squares, dusted with sliced almonds, drizzled with glaze. Kel thought they smelled heavenly.

"Okay, talk to me. Tell the Doctor of _Love_all about it." I smiled at my Foxy friend. Kel giggled. "Oh Gods, I crashed and burned, big time. I-I thought Leone and I were going to work out," the Vixen sighed nibbling on a cookie. "Mmmmm these are good. Where did I go wrong, Rick?"

I had a few ideas. I'd had been helping her over these romantic disasters for almost four years now, and I was clearly seeing a pattern here. "Well, what precipitated the break up?" I asked.

"I dunno, maybe it was when he wanted to bring in a video camera, or trying to get me into some r_eally_kinky stuff. Now you know Me, Rick. I'm up for most anything. It's just...there were times that Leone would _look_at me, like I was a piece of meat. Like he could fuck me to death and bury me in the woods somewhere, just for kicks, ya know? It _really_gave me the creeps."

I nodded, I noticed that Kel had a tendency to go for guys who lived life on the edge, I likened it to a moth to a flame.

"Well Kel, as I see it, you did the right thing by cutting this guy loose. As I've told you before, _trust_your instincts, and if something doesn't seem right, get the heck outta dodge, and this time you did. "

"I_know_, but he was so much f_un__!_Why is it that things never seem to work out for me, Rick?" Kel moaned, as her ears drooped.

"I have a few theories, but tell me Kel. What do you really want out of a relationship? " I asked, knowing that Kel could be a bit touchy when it came to anything too personal. But I had to get her to look at _why_she was making the choices that she was. She was getting better, but had a weakness for the bad boy types.

The vixen fixed me with a shocked look.

"Damn, I don't know. I just look for the kinda guy who looks like he'd be fun, and see what develops. I-I never thought about it beyond how the guy might be in the sack. I guess I figured, if we were good in the sack together, then we _should_be compatible in other areas too. God, that sounds so shallow,"

Kel sighed and dipped a cookie into her coffee. I could tell she was finally thinking objectively for once about how she approached dating.

"Maybe I just don't want to end up like my mom, bitter and alone and hating the world for making her that way. She ended up killing herself over it. And, I dunno-maybe I go out with these jerk-wads to feel...wanted." She gave me a look that spoke of heartbreaking loneliness.

I gave her one of my patented melting smiles that were outlawed in four states. "How about a nice soak in the hot tub? Got it fired up and ready to go."

Kel smiled shyly, "That would be great, thanks Rick." She stood and dropped the robe to the floor as I led her out to the roiling hot tub, where I stripped to my fur and joined the Vixen in the relaxing waters. After a while, Kel snaked an arm around me and snuggled close, and sighed as I put an arm over her soft shoulder. "Thanks for this, Rick." Kel murmured in my ear, sounding profoundly relaxed, and giving my muzzle a playful lick. I slid my paw down to the base of her tail, gently skritching the pleasure center. This caused Kel to melt against me, resting her head on my broad chest while she held me.

# #

The next morning dawned clear and bright, lingering over a late breakfast and Kel looked _much_more relaxed. She even gave me a lopsided smile "Thank you for last night," she purred.

"Sleep well?" I asked, returning her grin, knowing the answer. "Mmmm, God Rick, Where did you learn your technique, you were amazing!" The shapely Vixen shivered at the memory of last night's encounter.

"Liked it, did you. It's a bit different than what you're used to, I imagine. But I thought you might enjoy it." I said, rubbing my paws together.

"Keep that up mister, and I'll end up being your wanton Love Slave." Kel chuckled, "That was one of the best massages I've ever had, thank you. Sorry if I got a bit-"

"Kel, it's okay. You were in a very vulnerable state last night, I wasn't going to take advantage of that. Like I said, if you want to go there, we can discuss it later. " I said apologetically.

"That's just _it_Rick, no one has ever _done_that with me before, I-it's I didn't want you to feel uncomfortable with me. You are, oh I don't know how to put it." Kel stammered.

"Kel, you're my friend. We work together, and I have the great honor of being the one you turn to when things go badly in your life. I want you to always be able to come to me anytime, What we shared last night was wonderful. I didn't want you to feel that you were obligated to do anything you didn't want to. I respect you too much to take advantage of you in that way-I was notrejecting you or your advances, I felt honored that you offered, and believe me, if the circumstances were different, I'd have loved to have taken you up on it. I just want to make sure that it is what you freely want to do, and not something you felt obligated to do."

Kel digested his words, it was true, she _had_felt obligated to offer herself to him, not that she hadn't _wanted_to, but as he had said, she was feeling very lonely and unloved. Rick had picked up on this and acted accordingly, and keeping her from doing something she would have regretted later. What had she done in her life to deserve to have a friend like Rick? Whatever it was, she was glad of it.

"Thanks. I-I was just...needing a friend last night, and you knew _exactly_what I needed. You have no idea how grateful I am to you for that, for being my friend, more than just friends. I've never known anyone like you. Thanks for being there for me, Rick." Kel smiled at her revelation.

"All part of the service love, Gods, Mike would go out of his mind if he had any idea of what we did. Of course, knowing that pervert, I'm sure his imagination will be working overtime." I said.

"Ooh, I'll bet. Would you mind if I played on that, just a bit. "Kel giggled.

"Telling the truth to create a false impression, eh. I will nether confirm, nor deny anything. Just remember, there are some real good reasons that Mike is a cynic. Just go easy on him, Okay?" I asked.

"No problem. So, when are you going to see your folks?" Kel asked over her coffee cup.

" I leave tonight, should arrive around eleven tomorrow morning, barring traffic."

" Narf, I'm gonna miss you. If you see KC, tell her hey for me, I _like_your sister, she's fun to hang with. " Kel grinned recalling all the mischief they'd gotten into the last time KC came up for a visit.

I knew _that_look too. "Heh, You and Bruno." I chuckled raising my cup to her.

" You _do_know that he's quite taken with that saucy sister of yours, right?" Kel mentioned. "Oh yeah, She's a regular lil' heart-breaker, My sister. Of course, I love her to death, we share a special bond; being my twin and all. You've got my cell number in case you need to get a hold of me, right? I should be back by Monday and I'll see you on Tuesday, you going to be all right 'til then? "

"Oh definitely-I'm doing so much better, you gave me some startling insights into why I keep screwing myself on relationships; hey, you know what I mean." She swatted at me for arching my eyebrow. She said it always made her feel like a little kit caught with her paw in the cookie jar.

We had lunch at Kel's favorite little place downtown. Todai, an all you can eat sushi bar. I dropped her off at her Capital Hill apartment before heading home to pack.


The drive down to my folks place in Sonoma County, California took about 14 hours. I loved driving my Plymouth Prowler, Yeah, it was a bit of a nod to the ego, but...what the heck, it _was_fun to drive. It was good to get out of Seattle every now and again, Recalling my last trip out, Mike and I almost sparked an international incident. Mike said he knew of this fantastic 'place' just over the border in Vancouver. Yeah, Mike was Sicilian, hot blooded and hot tempered-known to carry an eighteen-inch stiletto in his boot. This stiletto was given to him by his uncle Carmine back in Sicily. He jokingly called it his "little" friend. Well this establishment turned out to be a place where "Ladies of negotiable virtue" could be found. It was on that particular night that the local constabulary decided to pay an unannounced visit en mass. It was a good old-fashioned raid. Mike, it seemed, took offense to being interrupted in his passions and a brawl ensued. We had made our escape in the ensuing chaos when the Canadian SWAT team bashed in the front door. It was memorable.


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