An unknown woman sang an off-key country song on the smoke-filled stage. The place was crowded and no one was paying any attention to the singer or her band. Waitresses wove in and out of the Saturday night horde that frequented the roadside bar. Pool games progressed as others watched various sports games from the many TVs scattered around the bar.
A scruffy man wearing a black t-shirt, yellow flannel, brown leather jacket, blue jeans, and boots waited his turn at one of the pool tables. Standing with pool cue in hand and lit cigar in his mouth, he surveyed the room idly. Half turning at the sound of a cue cracking into the balls on the table, listened to them clack against each other and the sidewalls as they scattered.
The swinging doors to the bar flung open someone entered. A few people looked up from what they were doing to take in the newcomer, then went back to their business, while others were distracted and kept staring. The scruffy man was in the latter group of people.
He watched her stand in the doorway with her hands on her hips as she assessed the room she'd just entered. She was tall; he figured close to six feet. She wore a skin-tight hunter green sleeveless jumpsuit- that appeared to be made of some sort of vinyl or leather- and knee-high boots a paler shade of green. This woman wore sunglasses at night and had neon orange hair.
She put her hands down by her sides and began to walk... no, slink to the bartender's station. Men's heads turned to follow her swagger and swaying hips as she made her way to the bar. Those lined up on the side of the bar parted as she reached the counter.
"One beer please. Anything domestic, not imported," she requested. The bartender filled her request, popping the cap for her and handing her a green bottle. The man to her right tried to pay for it, but she ignored him and slipped the bartender the cash herself. She turned and glided away toward an empty round seat behind the pool table the scruffy man stood waiting at.
He eyed her appraisingly as she walked by. He smiled as she returned his gaze, the dark lenses on her glasses sweeping down his lean, muscled frame and then back up to his face. She gave him one small Mona Lisa smile and then promptly ignored him as she sat with her back to the room. She took a swig from her beer and put her boots up on the chair next to her, draping one arm over the back of her seat.
He licked his lips, leaned his cue against the table, and moved to follow her to her table, but two other men beat him there first.
"Hey there pretty," a tall, thin trucker made the first move. "You ah, mind some company?"
"Depends on the company. If it's you, then I highly object," she answered.
The other man laughed at his friend's rejection and made as if to sit down next to her. She snatched the chair out from under him by hooking a boot under the leg and pulling it towards her. She grinned as his ass made a resounding smack on the floor.
"It was a collective 'you', meaning you chubby, and your over-skinny friend here," she informed them as she stood.
"Hey, look out!" The scruffy man called to her.
She whirled and brought her bottle down over the top of the skinny man's head and punched him in the stomach as he staggered." While he was doubled over, she kneed him in the ribs and shoved him to the floor. 'Chubby' had gotten up in time to see his companion's beating.
"You bitch!" He yelled as he charged towards her, swinging back his fist.
She sidestepped him, sticking out one foot to trip him. He stumbled and took a few faltering steps in the direction of the scruffy man.
'Scruffy' closed the gap and clocked 'Chubby' over the shoulders with his fist causing the man to fall flat and stay down. He looked to her. She put a hand to her face and pushed her sunglasses back up her nose.
"Thanks. It's nice to see chivalry isn't dead yet," she said as she passed him on her way to the door. "It's getting so a woman can't even enjoy a beer and some quiet anymore."
He put one hand lightly on her wrist to pause her for a second. "Don't I at least get a name?"
She turned to him for a moment and then answered, "Name's Glow. Do I get yours in exchange?"
He smiled at the mention of her unusual name and gave an unusual name of his own. "Name's Wolverine."
Glow gave him a crooked smile. "Aren't wolverines related to skunks?"
"They've been known to run off bears and wildcats." He grinned back at her.
"As much as I'd love to stay and chat about the local wildlife, I only stopped in to wet my whistle. I should really be on my way." Glow said as she pulled her arm out of his hand and walked easily to the doors and outside.
"Hey bud." The guy at the pool table Wolverine had been waiting for tapped him on the shoulder. "You know her?"
"Na, never seen her before in my life."
"You want the table now?"
Wolverine looked back at the pool table. "Na, think I've wasted too much time here already. I got places I need to be."
"Suit yourself, buddy."
They half-nodded to each other and moved their separate ways. No one had so much as batted an eye at the brief fight, common as they were in this place. As long as it didn't spread too far, fights were always overlooked.
Wolverine stuck his hands in his pockets and ambled to the doors. He paused outside and briefly glanced around for any sign of the red ... no, orange-haired woman. He found no trace of her, and didn't expect to, considering how many cars and trucks were parked in this lot. He walked to his motorcycle then stopped for a moment. He turned around in a quick circle, sniffing the air deeply. "Hmmm… smells strange. Like something's burnt..."
He shrugged it off and mounted his bike, kicking it into life. Logan roared out of the bar's parking lot and down the empty Canadian highway.
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