Buck- Chapter 7

“Mr. Deer. P-please don’t hurt me.” Aiden stuttered out. “What did you see?” demanded the buck. “Everything” he replied in a meektone. Hm, kid was honest Stetson thought. Violence wasn’t the deer’s first reaction. He made a promise. To makeviolence a secondary resort. He had just taken down a good-sized hunter, no wayAiden was worth a fight. He looked frail. Doesn’t mean he couldn’t tell policewhat happened though. “You gonna tell anyone what you saw?” He narrowed hiseyes, watching Aiden ascend the wooden, nearly broken staircase.

He was ready for the human to flip out as soon as he laid his eyes on Marco’s bloody carcass. Between the gaping hole in his cheek and his slashed throat, he assumed he’d never seen something like this. He looked the carcass up and down, Stetson backed away and watched his reaction. It was oddly indifferent. The deer packed his knife after cleaning it under the sink, slung his gun over his shoulder and turned to face the entrance of the small house. If the teen called the cops, I’ll be long gone, and they’d find Aiden a good home the deer thought to himself.

Opening the front door, he stepped out into the night, the sooner he got out the better. His ear flicked as he heard footsteps behind him. Aiden walked into the tall furry, both stood on the front steps of the house. The porch light casts shadows onto Stetson, making him look more mysterious and a bit creepier. The morning sun was just ready to make its appearance.  

That did not deter Aiden however. “What do you want?”He tried to keep his voice kind, really there wasn’t any reason to get snippy with him, Stetson figured maybe he’d just wander back into the house. “My dad had a lot of bad friends. Friends that were as bad as him. I don’t feel safe here alone.” What made the kid keep coming back? Did he feel that since Stenson killed the man who kept him locked underground that he was some savior?“Alright. I’ll call the cops myself, then.” Taking out his cellphone, Aiden gently touched the deer’s hand. “No. You did a good thing. I don’t want yougetting arrested.”

Aiden was right about one thing. They’d find him. Even if he moved to another country, it wouldn’t be hard to track an anthropomorphic deer as big as he was. Calling for the authorities could be his downfall. “Please. I want to go with you.” Aiden had to crane his neck to look Stetson in the eye. After a large sigh, the deer rubbed the back of his neck. “Alright. Come on.”

Clicking his seat belt, Aiden looked out the window as the hummer moved onto a cement road which led to the start of a town Stetson had never been in. Traffic is light, and the sun is a pretty orange color,lighting up the sky a pretty pink color. A few cars drove by, both humans and anthros behind each wheel, most likely making their morning commute to work or vacation. Aiden spoke, but didn’t look at Stetson. “My dad kept me under therefor weeks on end. He fed me when he felt like it. Sometimes, he’d knock me out and I never knew what was happening.” Raising his eye brow, the deer frowned,keeping his eye on the road. Aiden didn’t seem to notice the shotgun and hunting rifle in the back seat. Aiden was more interested in the outside world, a world he hadn’t seen much of. Stetson could never remember a time feeling slightly sorry for a human. Humans were so high up and vicious at times. Here was a ‘type’ he had never met. “I’m really sorry.” Aiden nodded slowly.

 No one had ever said ‘sorry’ for his situation. It felt odd, but welcoming. Sleep came hard to him in the cold basement, the vehicle only got warmer. The seat was rather comfy, the movement of the vehicle almost hypnotic in a tiering way.  Pushing the seat back, Aiden sighed and closeshis eyes, falling asleep to the hum of the engine and the mysterious deerbehind the wheel.

***

Taking a deep breath, he knew the air was different. Background noises started introducing themselves. The sounds of distant its appearance honking. To the left of this room, a large window overlooking a city. Not a huge city, but a quaint city. Full of small businesses and farms. Turning over to his right, he saw Stetson sitting in a small kitchen area. Looking at the dirty ceiling panels, he knew while the motel may not be the Ritz, it was a more welcoming and warm home than he ever knew.

Sitting up Aiden inevitably ruffled the blankets Stetson had put over him.  The deer cocked his head, a hot mug of coffee by his side. Getting a good look at his bare arms, the human was shocked to see how buff he was. The black tank top showed off his human-like body nicely and he could get a look at who saved him. “This beats living under a floor,” Aiden said with a yawn.

As the human showered and cleaned his clothes, Stetson stared into his coffee as he drank. He thought he’d be thinking of Marco’sbody. The feeling of vengeance complete. Now he was looking after a human. It seemed unbelievable. As if his life wasn’t crazy enough. This happened.

I can’t let my anger for them all affect Aiden. I don’t need to cuddle him, but I shouldn’t be nasty. This kid has been through crap. Just tolerate him. Shouldn’t be hard to be a better role model than the son of a bitch who‘raised’ him.  

Watching Aiden get coffee for himself and a few donuts which Stetson bought earlier, the deer noticed the teen flicking his fingers, whispering to himself as well. In all his years knowing furries, he hadn’t seen one like him. Sometimes it’s hard to explain what makes someone unique. Sitting by his side, Aiden clearly showed no more fear towards the deer. Stetson knew he wasn’t faking it like his dad had been. If anything, Aiden was genuinely comfortable around furries. Yet another thing to make Aiden stand out.

 The humans Stetson had been dealing with were so tense and violent, the teen may have been much smaller than the deer, but one thing was for sure, he was more than happy to be with someone who at least gave him a bed and treated him like he deserved. “Why did your dad keep you under the floor?” The question burned inStetson’s head. “I think he was ashamed of me. He hated me. That I know. He killed to many furries to deserve living.”

 And treated you like a piece of garbage. He treated even those of his own spices with contempt. I guess a lot of humans do that.

Watching him eat, it was clear Aiden didn’t get much nutrition. Feeding someone and giving them a drink was in Stetson’s mind thebare minimum of what he could do for him. Taking a bite of donut, Aiden glancedto Stetson. “Thank you for giving Marco what he deserved.”

At least someone understands where I’m coming from. Ironically, I didn’t expect it to be a human of all things. I’ll take what I can get.

 “He won’t hurt you again, that’s for sure.” Being four hours away from Marco’s home meant Stetson could maybe take some time to relax. Make sure he had enough food and water. Of course, with Aiden by his side, that made things more difficult. Going to his hummer in the empty parking lot, Aiden got a good look at the outside surroundings. Everything around him seemed cheaply made.

From the signs locating convenience stores and a movie theater. Standing close by, Stetson loaded the hummer with extra food and stolen towels. He sent Connie a quick text to tell her part of his plan. If he was going back to her place, she deserved to know what’s happened. How else would he explain Aiden? Once the back of the vehicle was closed, he feltAiden’s small hand grip his rough, furry hand. A feeling surged through the deer. Companionship and trustworthiness. Something he had not felt since his daughter hugged him every day after school. “Aiden? You ready to go?” His tone kind, he released his hand from Aiden’s, the moment of contact was nice.

Plugging in Connie’s address to the GPS, he made sure to ‘avoid highways’, staying hidden was key. It was unlikely Marco’s body was discovered, but he certainly didn’t need to be arrested. Not with a trunk full of guns, a murder charge, violent acts against humans and Aiden being so impressionable. Smiling slightly, Aiden relaxed and kept his eye on Stetsonmaneuvering the big vehicle.

Opening the glove compartment, Aiden was surprised to see a photograph. A polaroid of Daisy, wearing a pretty sundress and holding a single yellow flower in her hand. Her body small and frail, but her smile was certainly not weak. It was bright. Full of life. “That’s my daughter.” Stetson spoke, not taking his eye off the road. “She’s adorable. What’s her name?”

Sighing, the deer hoped he wouldn’t have to have this conversation with Aiden. He told him everything. The good times his little family had. Tucking in Daisy at night, and how his father shot and killed her. For no reason. Just for his own amusement. Trying to process this was difficult, he placed the photo gently back where it was. A frog entered his throat. If Aiden hated anything, it was terror and violence. “I’m so sorry,Stetson. I wish I could help.” He played with his hands in a similar way he had before. “I’ve been living with the pain for all my life it seems. No one can do anything.” The rest of the ride was in silence.                 

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