Open Season Chapter 05: New Girl In Town

Story by Rick Coona on SoFurry

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#5 of Open Season

Chapter 5

Gwen pays a visit to Open Season and meets the gang!

fun times

uploaded a little early cause I will be out most of the day tomorrow so i want you folks to enjoy


Chapter 5

New Girl In Town

We pulled into the parking lot of Open Season at about 5:45 p.m.

Gwen was decked out in a stunning blue strapless number that, Well. Let's just say I liked it! Woof !

As we walked through the double doors, a large grizzly bouncer met us.

"Bruno!" I call out, grinning at him.

"Yo, Rick. Welcome back, how's the folks--Hell-o, who's 'dis stunnin' young lady here?" Bruno grinned as he greeted Gwen.

"Bruno, may I present to you, My Soul-mate, Gwen Coona; Gwen, This is Bruno, our bouncer and bear about town." She fixed him with one of her dazzling smiles and held out her paw.

"Ma'am, I'm honored," he said, bowing and taking her paw in his with a gleam in his eye.

"Thank you Bruno, It's a pleasure, KC's spoken quite fondly of you."

"You know KC?" The big ursine chuckled as Gwen nodded. "Dat's wonderful. So Rick, where did you find 'dis lovely lady?" he drawled in his heavy mid-western accent.

"If you can believe it, KC introduced us, seems Gwen's her best friend. I told you she was out there, my friend."

"No kiddin? Dat's great. Congrats youz two. Oh and Rick, Tell dat sister of yours, I'm thinking of her. She dang near broke my... heart, last tine she was through herez." he chuckled good-naturedly.

"Will do Bruno." I said guiding Gwen towards the bar.

"So_that's_the big ol' cuddle bear Kacy was talking about. He's cute." Gwen confided.

"Yup, what can I say, KC can be a heart breaker. Know what they say, the quickest way to a male's heart is through his stomach." I chuckled.

"Funny, Kacy always said the quickest way was through his ribcage?" She said impishly.

"RICK!" A lovely honey and cream bunny waitress called out exuberantly as she nearly collided with us. "Welcome Back! Hey, who's your..." Her eyes went wide. "OH-my-God! It's her, isn't it?" the bunny exclaimed, a huge smile on her face as she looked at Gwen.

" Thanks Cas, and yes, it's her. Cassy Bhunny, meet Gwen Coona. Gwen this is Cassy."

"Oh-wow, Hiya Gwen! I'm soo glad to meet you! Rick has told me all about you, I am soo glad you two finally met up." "It's nice to meet you too Cassy, Rick's sister KC introduced us." Gwen smiled.

"Are you two really like Soul-mates and stuff?" Cassy asked looking between us.

"Yes" we answered in unison, chuckling.

"That's soo COOL!" Cassy bounced in place. "Gwen, are you going to be around later? I'd love to chat with you if that'd like be okay?"

"I'd like that, Cassy. Yes, I'll be around, Thanks." Gwen nodded to the bunny waitress. "Coolness! Oh! I gotta run, see you later!" And she was off to the bar where a brown and tan ferret was dashing back and forth mixing drinks.

Grinning at Gwen, I called out "Hey Mike!" as we took seats at the bar. A moment later, he appeared. "What can I get you fol--RICK! Hey man, welcome back--what's..." He froze in place when he saw Gwen seated next to me, her green eyes sparkling.

"...No way, couldn't be..." He looked over to me. "No way." he said in shock.

"Yes way." I grinned. "Told you she was out there."

"Daaaamn. I owe Bruno fifty bucks..." he moaned, looking over to the bouncer who was giving him the thumbs up.

"Mike, this is Gwen Coona, my Soul-mate. Gwen, may I introduce to you, Michael Ferretti, a fellow shot slinger, best friend and romantic cynic!" She gave him a thoroughly disarming smile.

"It's a pleasure to meet you Mike." her green eyes sparkling.

"Uh, hi. Oh my. Rick. W-where did you find her?" he stammered, unable to look away from Gwen's eyes. "Remember my sister KC? She introduced us."

"Some guys have all the luck." Mike shook his head with a heavy sigh.

Gwen placed her paw over his, causing him to jump like he'd been goosed. At this point, he was becoming lost in those twin emerald pools. "Mike, there is someone for youtoo. Just be yourself, okay?" She smiled giving him a slight nod. "Oh my god, you know, don't you?" he whispered and shot an inadvertent gaze at Cassy.

'"Flowers, Mike. Try carnations, and she won't stomp on your heart if you're honest with her. Trust me on this, Okay." Gwen released the ferret's gaze with a squeeze of his paw.

"Um, ok. I-I-I gotta go..." he retreated into the back room, visibly shaken.

Coming around the bar, I stole a quick glance into the back, Mike was sitting on a beer keg looking at the floor. "Hon, what was that all about?"

"Oh, He's got a major crush on Cassy, but he's afraid to approach her." Gwen smiled softly turning to watch Cassy bounce between tables.

"_Mike?_Mr. No-Such-Thing-As-Love? Huh. Go figure. Cassy _is_a real sweet heart," I trailed off as she approached the bar.

"Hey big Ha-Coona! " she grinned "Give me a 7&7, four coronas, a mudslide and a fuzzy nipple." As I went to work, Cassy turned to Gwen. "So, what do you do to occupy your time Gwen?"

"I am a freelance graphic designer. CDs, websites, posters, album covers, the works." Gwen handed Cassy one of her cards. "I've been working with the Bay Area music scene, and I thought I might see what Seattle has to offer." Cassy examined the card, It had a diagonal gray hawk shadow across the front with Gwen's website, Cell number, and E-mail address.

"Cool logo, Hawk-shadow Productions..." she read. Gwen smiled at the play on words.

"Yup, that's me." seeing that Cassy had no clue, she enlightened the girl.

"The logo, and name are based on my name, Gwenwyfar. It's Gaelic for Gray Hawk's Shadow." Gwen grinned as Cassy's large blue eyes widened. "Cool beans, Girl! " she said, returning a muzzle splitting grin at Gwen. Noticing that her orders were up, she stuffed the card in her apron "Thanks, Rick." and she was off once more.

"So what do you think of Cassy?" I asked. Gwen nodded "You're right love, she's a sweetie. I _like_her, I think we can be friends." Just then a stodgy badger in a gray business suit descended the stares from the office and approached the bar.

"Coona!" he growled "Stop hitting on the customers, you know they are my guests here." The grin on his muzzle belayed his mock anger. "Welcome back Rick, How are the folks?"

"Thanks Max. They send their greetings, and mom sent you a quart of her brandied peaches," I said, reaching behind the bar and sliding the jar across to him.

"Oh your mom's a saint, I love her peaches!" Max grinned with a look of pleasure on his face as he reached for the jar.

"Max, May I introduce you to my mate, Gwen Coona. Gwen, this is Max Badger, owner of the Open Season."

Max froze in place, as what I just said sunk in. "You found_your s_oul-mate?" A look of wonder played over his face as he turned to greet Gwen. "My dear Gwen, Rick has been telling me about you for years now. This is wonderful! She's exactly as you've described her Rick, But how?"

"It's all my sister KC's Fault, she introduced us, and the rest, as they say, was history." I chuckled. Max bowed and kissed Gwen's hand.

"Really? You don't say. How is that Procyon of pot-roast doing these days?" he winked.

"A pleasure Max. KC's my best friend. She thought I should meet Rick here, figuring we might hit it off. Not only did we hit it off, we met on Friday and were married on Sunday. Then I came home to Seattle with Rick." Gwen smiled demurely at the stunned Badger. "Well, congratulations you two. And please, do tell. What is that culinary Goddess up to these days?" Max asked as he took a seat next to Gwen at the bar.

"T&T Boss?" I asked, and he nodded. "Gwen love, what can I get for you?"

"Oh, some Ginger Ale, if you have it."

Max interrupted, vetoing that. "Break out the _Good_stuff Rick--Vernors." Max winked with a sly grin.

"Oh, You have _Vernors_here? Ooh, I _love_that stuff. Thank you Max!" Gwen gave the Badger a peck on the cheek. I set out a glass of tonic water (with a twist of lemon) before him, and a tall glass of the special ginger ale with two long thin straws and a cherry floating on top to Gwen. I ducked in the back to check on Mike. He was still planted on the beer keg.

"Hey buddy, what's up?" I asked jovially. Mike looked up at me with the most haunted look I'd seen in years.

"Rick,H-how, how did she _know?_It was like she was looking into my _soul._It was like I was back in Sicily with my granny. You remember, I told you about her. She had the gift. She could look into my soul, it scared the hell outta me. I can tell you one thing, that gal out there isyour soul mate. No doubt about it. Congratulations, man...what do you think I should do?"

"Mike, We've known each other a few years now, have I ever steered you wrong?" He shook his head. "You were there when Lenora...Thanks, Rick."

"I say, trust your heart. It's time to move on with your life my friend. Gwen's special, I say, follow her advice, I trust her with my life, Mike." He nodded mutely.

"Okay, Lets get out there and see what happens. Thanks Rick." Mike took his place behind the bar once again.

Taking my place, Gwen and Max were swapping stories about KC.

"So, boss, who do we have on tap this week?" I asked with a grin

Max scratched his head a moment, "Eh, let's see. Wednesday is 80's night, and we have the Vice City Rangers, they are always a good draw. On Friday it's Motor City Metal-heads. Real gonzo death metal stuff. And Saturday it's three local garage bands duking it out in the battle of the bands type of thing. Personally I don't think they should have left the garage." Max grimaced.

"Why is that Max, are they no good?" Gwen asked recalling some of the lousy acts she had to sit through.

"No, it's not that. It's just most of these kids can't carry a tune in a bucket with a forklift!" Gwen barked out a guffaw, "Oh, that's good, I've sat through my share of what does the winner get, exactly?"

"Oh, $500 bucks and bragging rights and a spot in the...Excuse me for a moment."


All eyes turned to see Cassy with her hand still in the air. Bruno materialized a moment later and hoisted a writhing ferret in a horrid polyester leisure suit by the scruff of the neck. "Ats it buddy. You're 86ed." the bouncers baritone voice boomed over the crowd as he "escorted" the miscreant to the exit. Max had a few choice words of his own to deliver and was on his way to intercept them at the door.

Cassy came up to Gwen...vexation blazing in her eyes. Gwen asked, "What happened Cassy?"

"That little fart-knocker tweaked my tail and tried to play grab-ass without so much as a by-your-leave! So I gave him the back of my hand. Grrr, it just really pisses me off when that happens." Cassy sighed, letting the anger go.

Gwen noticed that Mike had a murderous look in his eyes as he watched Bruno and Max deal with that jerk. Turning to Cassy "How often does that happen around here Cassandra?"

"Wha? Oh. Hiya Gwen. Not too often we've got a real good group of furs here, and it always takes me by surprise when it happens, that's all. Hey Rick, can I get a 7&7 and a banana daiquiri please?"

A rather flamboyant panda in a loud Hawaiian shirt made his way up to the DJ station on the stage waving at everybody. "Hey Furs and Friends, it's Platter-Master Phil here, to play the songs you all love to dance to...So let's get out there and dance your tails off" he announced as dance music began flowing from the sound system.

"HA-COONA!" called an absolutely drop-dead gorgeous Red and Cream Vixen, decked out in a halter-top, miniskirt and black apron. She dashed behind the bar, hitting me with a flying tackle of a hug. "WEL-_come_back!" she beamed exuberantly. Gwen just smiled with a 'This-is-going-to-be-interesting' expression in her face.

"Hey Kel, Whazzup?" I grinned back at Gwen. "Kel, I got someone I want you to meet." I said extracting myself from her embrace. "Kel, this is Gwen Coona, My Soul-mate." Kel's jaw hit the floor, her brown eyes agog with shock. Gwen could see that I was enjoying this way too much. She just grinned, extending her paw.

"Hi_Kel_, it's nice to meet you, I'm Gwen..." Kel just stared. I reached over and closed her mouth--that seemed to break the spell.

"Oh my GOD! You're r_eal!Rick! It's _HER!" The Vixen squeeled

"Yeah Kel, I know." I chuckled, grinning like a fool.

"Oh_Wow_, I-um-uh...Rick, she's gorgeous!_Oh-my-_God, I'm, uh...Hi I'm Kel." She had recovered enough to take Gwen's paw in her own, her muzzle fluffing in distress.

Gwen just smiled. "It's so nice to meet you Kel, and all the crew here at O-S."

"Oh wow, thanks Gwen. It's just that Rick's kind of a fixture around here and we all kind of miss him when he's not around, ya know?" Kel gushed nervously.

"You've nothing to worry about from me Kel, I'm not the jealous type, despite the green eyes." Gwen winked. Kel let out an unconscious sigh of relief.

"That's wonderful, how about we plan a girls-night-out, you, me and Cassy. To get to kinda know each other?" The Vixen asked exuberantly.

"That sounds like it would be a lot of fun, I'd like that, thanks Kel." Gwen nodded.

"Coolness! I gotta go punch in, _Thanks_Gwen, Great to meet you!" The vixen vanished into the back room.

"Sorry about that, Kel can be a bit...Exuberant." I said apologetically.

"Think nothing of it love, I _like_Exuberant." Gwen grinned back as me. "Besides, you set people at ease, I like your friends Rick. They're good furs."

"Thanks Hon, can I get you anything? A snack maybe?" Before she could answer, Max strode up with two college age badgers in chefs' whites. "Gwen, I'd like you to meet my boys. This is William and Theodore, Boys...this is Gwen Coona, Rick's soul-mate." Both boys blinked in surprise.

"Awesome! Hey, I'm Bill" the first replied, waving.

"Excellent! Hiya, I'm Ted." Max rolled his eyes--_well_at least he tried...

"Boys," He admonished. "They run the kitchen here. Kacy taught them to craft the menu here."

"Of course. I remember now, Kacy told me about you boys, she says you guys have _real_talent." Gwen nodded to the young badgers.

"Whoa, You Know _Kacy?_The Mistress of Munchies?" The boys asked.

Gwen chuckled. "Yes, she's my best friend..."

"EXCELLENT!" The two boys shouted in unison, doing a few quick air guitar riffs before there father intervened.

"BOYS!" he growled. "Back to the kitchen, Now!"

"Yes_Sir_," they said dejectedly and retreated back to the kitchen, followed by their father. Gwen chuckled softly watching them go. "Kacy calls them the 'Twin Terrors' but says they have real talent despite the fact they act like goof balls"

"That they do love, that they do. Max is really _proud_of his boys, despite the fact they act like nut bars." I said with a smile on my muzzle. Gods it was good to be back.


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