He’d asked about Little Red Riding Hood. It was the myth that inevitably came up when she mentioned her specialty. She rattled off the interpretations: obeying one’s parents; the dangers of the primeval forest; the wolf as stand-in for the sexual dangers that faced an adolescent girl.
James laughed. She was three drinks in; he ordered her a fourth. It was nice to be able to talk to someone who was intelligent and interested, and who didn’t meet phrases like ‘ethnographic fieldwork’ with a blank, brainless stare.
From there it went to werewolves and Twilight, and how the ‘animal’ had become ‘erotic’. Her fifth drink. Her sixth. James stood in close; he smiled, laughed, and watched her with bright, interested eyes. They were so deep in their conversation, so apart from the bar around them, that they both blinked in surprise when the bartender announced last call.
He drained the last of his Jack and coke. When he leaned in and lowered his voice, she could smell the whiskey on his breath. “Have you ever done it?” he asked.
“A dog. A wolf.”
She had stared at him, stunned into silence even though the fuzzy pleasure of her buzz.