Chapter 3: Fight Me
“So Oz who’s your friend? Are you staying with her or do you have your own place in this town?” Wash asked after the girls managed to stop their laughter.
“Actually we’re both staying in a place out in the woods. Belongs to a friend of mine. I helped build it. And this is Blake.” Oz said before gesturing, “Blake this is Mal, the captain, Zoe, first mate, and Wash, the pilot. They are part of the crew of the firefly that gave me a ride here.”
“Firefly huh? You flying old style.” Blake smiled widely at Oz.
The werewolf rolled his eyes, “Old school Blake.”
“No my version is better. The phrase needed to be updated.” Blake said.
“And how long have you been waiting to tell me this?” Oz raised an eyebrow.
Blake shrugged, “Now you know the right way to say it and that’s all that matters.”
The corner of Oz’s mouth twitched, “How long?”
“Well now I know.” Oz repeated her words back to her. Mal and Zoe looked at the girl in confusion as she hugged Oz and then patted him on the head as if he was her baby brother.
“How do you two know each other? Are you two related or something?” Wash wondered.
Oz and Blake looked at each other. Blake spoke first. “You could say we met through mutual savings of each other. He came to the town where me and Josh were living at and got in trouble with some of the locals. He was just so cute, me and Josh had to help him. Only then there was an accident and he ending saving us from our village. And so we escaped from the evilness that was the townspeople and went far away never to return again.” This time Wash joined in with his wife and captain in staring at this girl and her strange speech.
Oz sighed, “You broke into my library recently haven’t you?”
Blake made a small attempt not to smile, “There may have been an incident where Jian locked me and Josh in separate rooms. And I may have maneuvered myself towards your book collection. What can I say Oz you’ve got stories like none other.”
Mal was about to ask who this Josh was that this girl kept talking about when he noticed the bartender marching over. The bartender was a rather large man and looked pretty mean at the moment.
The man grabbed Oz’s arm and yanked him away from the group. “What do you think you’re doing here?”
Oz didn’t try to pull his arm back, “I was thinking of having a drink Samuel.”
“What makes you think you can come in here? I thought I made myself clear last time.” Samuel said.
“Apparently not.” Oz responded.
“Maybe I ought to teach you another lesson…” Samuel pulled his fist back only to find Mal pointing a gun into his face.
“Let the boy go.” Mal commanded.
Samuel merely tilted his head back and said loudly, “Looks like you’ll be coming in early for the next week Ryan.”
A yell come from the bar, “You bastard I can’t believe you used Oz. That’s cheating you jerk.”
Suddenly Samuel’s whole demeanor changed. He lowered his fist and pulled Oz into a hug. “Good to see you man. You’ve been gone for a while.”
“What was the bet this time?” Oz wondered.
Samuel nodded his head towards the confused looking Mal who was slowly lowering his gun, “To see if I could get this character here to pull a gun on me without saying anything to him.”
“You must be getting really bored if that’s the best bet you can come up with.” Blake said.
“Ah the ever lovely Blake.” Samuel said as he let go of Oz, “I should have know when I saw you and Josh that Oz would be here soon to clean up your mess.”
Blake’s eyes narrowed and she shoved the bartender hard, “Fuck you Samuel!” Oz stepped in and grabbed her around the waist stopping her from punching Samuel.
“What in the guay is your problem Blake?” Samuel yelled and anyone who hadn’t been paying attention to the group, were now.
“Josh’s hurt bad.” Oz replied softly still trying to restrain the struggling girl.
Samuel’s face softened immediately, “Oh Blake honey,” he pulled her from Oz and hugged her, “I’m so sorry.”
“I just want to fight someone. Too much anger in me.” Blake muttered into Samuel’s chest.
“Hey Chase,” Samuel called out. A large man stood and walked over to them. “Bet you a free meal that you can’t beat this girl here.”
Chase looked down at Blake snorted, “You’re on. I’m not going to even ask what will happen if I lose. Cause that ain’t going to happen in this lifetime.”
A predatory look crept into Blake’s eyes as she let go of Samuel, “Thank you Sam.”
The two walked over to a cleared out space on the far side of the room that looked as if it was there specifically for fights. “Bars tend to bring out fights in people this way things won’t get broken in my bar and I can have people wager money on the fight. Ryan see who wants in.” Samuel yelled the last part at the bar. A lanky boy came out from behind the bar and began going to the different tables collecting money on who they thought would win.
Mal looked at the two in anger, “You’re setting up that girl to be pummeled.”
“Just sit at a table and watch the show. Your first round is on me.” Samuel said as he and Oz walked back to the bar.
Mal was just about to march in and stop the fight when it began. The girl dodged the slightly larger man’s first punch before retaliating with her own. Chase’s head turned from the force of the blow. Mal slowly sat down at an empty table, his eyes trained on the fight.
Samuel looked at Oz with concern. He knew this boy was no boy. He was something else entirely. The boy never seemed to age. He looked exactly the same as he had when he stepped into the middle of a fight that Samuel had been about to lose with some robbers who were trying to steal his horse and money when he was just sixteen. That was some twenty-five odd years ago. Oz was like the protector of their town and everyone in the town made sure Oz and his were protected as well. They knew when Oz came back to town he stayed in the forest in the monastery that no one could ever seem to find. The monks were also very kind to those in town. They would sometime bring herbs and medicines that worked better then some of the stuff at those fancy alliance hospitals. So the monks were just as respected as Oz but also there were those random strangers that seem to gravitate towards the forest. Some of them would later be seen in town with Oz. Josh and Blake had been well received when a group of men from a town three days ride from here had tried to bully those in town. Josh and Blake dealt with the men and help repair the wreckage they had caused. They had first come here with Oz when they were about sixteen or so. Oz had stayed here for two years with them. When they came into town it was very easy to see how close the three of them were. No one every found exactly what had happened to bring the two here but many had grown found of Josh and Blake even if they did get in the worst of fights at times.
“How bad is Josh hurt?” Samuel asked placing a drink in front of Oz.
“Pretty bad.” Oz said before taking a drink.
Samuel placed a hand on top of Oz’s arm, “How can I help?”
“Tell me who’s new in town. Just arrived in the past month or so.” Oz looked around the bar.
“Just a few new guys. One’s Amara’s cousin. Another looking for work has a job at Chase’s shop. Jem married a man three town’s over and they’re both living here with a little girl now. And last is that man over there. He just comes and goes. Nobody really knows anything about him.” Samuel looked pointedly at an attractive man sitting alone at a table. He looked pretty fancy. Nowhere near Simon’s or Inara’s style but better than Mal and Zoe’s type of clothing.
The man was currently watching the fight between Chase and Blake like everyone else. Chase was barely able to stay ahead of Blake’s attacks. Blake had a busted lip but she was smiling anyway. Chase however was frowning and looked just about ready to call it quits. Just as Blake was about to deliver a powerful punch to his nose, he ducked and held up his hands in defeat. “Okay I give.”
Many of the patrons groaned at losing their money as many hadn’t seen her fighting without Josh in a long time and had forgotten how well she was on her own. Especially when she was ticked off. Blake bounced over and sat next to Oz. She grabbed his drink and took a swig. “Feel better?” Oz asked.
“Much.” Was her bubbly reply.
Chase sat a few chairs down from Blake and put his head on the top of the bar. “So what do I have to do since I lost?” He mumbled.
Samuel placed a bag of ice and some alcohol in front of him. “Just get your wife to send over some of her delicious stew for me.”
“Really that’s it?” Chase lifted his head from the bar.
“Unless you want me to take your first born child instead…” Samuel said as he walked back over to Oz and Blake.
Chase shook his head, “One pot of Amara’s stew is well and fine enough.”
“Where did he go?” Oz asked as he looked over to the table that no longer held the man that Samuel had pointed out.
“Like I said he comes and goes.” Samuel said.
“Mmmm.” Oz fiddled with his bracelets. ‘Man bad. Hurt Josh. Kill.’ Fenir growled. The wolf had smelled something that Oz hadn’t. ‘Josh pack. Revenge.’ Oz looked at Blake realizing how wrong it looked to him that Josh was not at her side. “Don’t worry we will.” Oz muttered.