Anna had not slept that well in quite some time. She felt safe, warm, almost at peace. It was a dreamless sleep, or at least dreams that didn't greet her when she awoke. She felt a furry lump at her side, remembering she had acquired Locke the previous day.
In a half dozey state she cracked open a single eye, for a moment she swore Locke looked three times the size from last night. Refocusing her vision she saw the normal sized black cat at her hip. She gave a small scratch along his back. She was greeted with a purr and a headbutt to her side.
"How long was I out Book?"
Locke gave her a puzzled meow before laying back down, "Long enough girl, the day is waiting for you." He rolled back onto his side, it was a busy night for him.
However, that would wait for another time. Today was about Anna, he had fixed up her money clip. Locke doubted the girl would notice a few extra bills had materialized overnight. Locke had a set of rules he bound himself to. The first was no messing with trials. However, he wanted fresh fish. They were his rules; who said he couldn't bend them occasionally.
Anna's tummy gave a low gurgling as she placed a hand over it to try and calm it down."Ok, I got sleep, now I need food." She got to her feet, the bed wasn't the most comfortable in the world. However, last night it was the greatest treasure to her. Locke toppled into her spot as she took a look out the grungy window.
"So I better grab you some food today too huh Book?" Anna picked up her jacket before returning to the bed and giving his belly a small pet.
Locke lazily opened an eye, before stretching back out."Yes, and none of this diet anything. If you bring me back diet kibble I swear I'll make you sleep on the floor!" She gave Locke a hug before leaving the room.
Anna smiled at Locke's meow, "Aww you agree on the kibble. That's a good kitty."
Locke lazily stretched across the bed before hopping to the window sill. He watched the girl shuffle outside and into the real world again. Debating whether or not he wanted to see how she'd fare on this task. Then resigning to the fact he had no idea how to make the remote control work for the television. Locke decided he'd follow her. Placing a paw to the grimy window; he began to pass through the glass as if it was a soap bubble.
Perching along the cement windowsill; Locke crept along as he kept tabs on Anna. The new owner had to be good with people, and that would be the first Trial. Nothing too difficult, just go buy some food and come back to the hotel.
Thinking of it as a dry run for her real tasks. Although Trial or not, he hoped she would arrive at an old friend's restaurant. He made some amazing dishes; since he'd been around for the last century or so, one had to hope.
Since he had set up shop in this era, he had become content with the appearance of a mom and pop restaurant. Which if any customer knew that the real owner was a Scottish Werewolf, it may make them rethink what they're eating. However, for all his bluster; he was a kind soul. Which got Locke's respect and granted passage.
Anna looked about before wandering into the restaurant. She noticed a sign beside the building marked as "Help Wanted".
Interesting, the last Locke knew the owner had a fae working tables. Maybe the creature had moved on, or found happiness elsewhere. Regardless, this had potential for Anna.
Mugrir, a werewolf was the owner of the Last Round Cafe. He was a well built man with a friendly attitude towards everyone. His customers all loved his cheerful attitude and he could cook a mean porterhouse steak.
Anna nervously fidgeted at the door before walking inside, the cook was a massive man, she always felt nervous around people that towered over her like that.
"Can, I, I mean could I get some food please?"
Mugrir burst out laughing. The man caused a roar that shook the entire dining room. "Considering this is a restaurant, I am sure I can figure something out for you half-pint."
Locke had resigned to watching out of sight of the pair. He knew Anna was safe here but Mugrir was intimidating even when in human shape. Slipping inside the restaurant Locke was careful to remain out of sight. Of course he could use a bit of his power to remain in the shadows but for now he would be content just being a cat.
Anna blushed for a moment before replying, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to, I'm sorry-" Her face reddened as she tried to hide behind a menu.
Mugrir gave the girl a puzzled look before stepping out from behind the counter. "Listen half-pint, I'm sorry. Sometimes I forget how loud this body can get. A wisp of a girl like you could get bowled over if I'm too loud! Don't worry; I'm as harmless as a pup." He tried to give his most calming smile.
Anna was frightened of the man. He was big enough to break her in half and probably serve her as the catch of the day. She tried to calm down as she looked over the menu. She needed to get something for herself and bring Locke some food."I'll take the Chicken burger, could you add some teriyaki? Maybe slow roast a bit of ham and toss a pineapple ring on it? As well as a side of sole with nothing on it in a to go box please?"
Mugrir gave her a confused look before scribbling down the order. "So Half-pint, are you a chef? Sound like an interesting idea for a chicken burger. I'm more of a steak man to be honest"
Anna smiled as she felt herself relax. She loved to talk about food. Her time spent at the waitress job she held before had resulted in her learning some wonderful recipes from the cooks in the kitchen.
"No, I used to be a waitress. I loved to hear the cooks talk about food when I was on break. We had one cook who loved to make new menu items and often let the staff try them first."
Mugrir gave his bushy beard a scratch before coming up with an idea. Gesturing to the kitchen he beckoned her to follow."Well, how about you come with me to the kitchen while I make you some dinner and you tell me about these ideas."
The time in the kitchen resulted in Anna telling Mugrir of her time in restaurants, what she knew about food and cooking. Even lending a helpful tip or two in regards to the soup of the day.
Locke was becoming slightly distracted at the two talk of cooking so he returned back to the booth and took a nap.
Mugir and Anna returned a short while later, Mugrir carried two large containers of food.
"Hey, half-pint, tell me, would you be interested in coming back here again tomorrow? In more of a I pay you for your time here, sense." Anna's jaw slacked open for a moment.
"I, uh, yes, I'd love to! Umm just a heads up, you may not wanna call the last restauran-,"
Mugrir cut her off mid sentence. "I started this restaurant to give new beginnings. Just make sure you can spit out a full sentence tomorrow ok?"
Anna nodded as she tried to contain her excitement over getting a new job. Noticing Mugrir was looking beyond her for a moment Anna had noticed Locke had followed her to the restaurant. Terror crept in as she worried he may be upset over having a pet in his restaurant.
Mugrir took a careful look at the feline; trying to make sense of the new visitor. "Uh, is that yours?" Anna gasped, she put the boxes down as she shooed Locke off the table.
He hopped off the table before giving him an angry flick of her tail, "Hey! I was napping there! Don't make me smite you!"
"I'm so sorry! He must have gotten out of the hotel room and followed me here! It won't happen again! Mugrir gave another belly laugh as he placed the food into a bag for Anna.
"Don't worry about it. A pet can sometimes make the owner feel at ease when it's close. There seems to be something special about that cat, asides him getting into places he may not be welcome. Tell you what, bring him with you tomorrow and we'll keep him in the back so he can't get into trouble. Anna, how about you go grab yourself a bottle of milk for your little friend in the back room?" Anna walked out of the dining area into the kitchen.
Mugrir took another look at the cat; he knew that feeling before. It was the same one that welcomed him into this world. "Hey, so tell me, why are you playing pet to the human?"
Locke responded to Mugrir in his usual manner of fact speech, "she's got potential for a new shop owner. However she does need a little sharpening before I present the offer"
Mugrir nodded, "aye, she's a bit of a shrinking violet eh?" Locke hopped down from the table, his tail flicking back and forth.
"She may be now, but she's got a warmth in her that makes her perfect to seeing what each possible owner needs."
Mugrir grabbed a cloth and began wiping down the booth, "Hope you're not getting too fond of the human. She's gotta do each trial on her own right?"
Book flicked his tail again, a slight irritation in the tone of voice. "She will, she earned your job of her own free will didn't she?"
Mugrir was about to reply when he realized he was shot down. "Bloody god, always gotta be right..."
Anna interrupted the conversation before Mugrir could finish his cursing. "Thanks for the bottle Mugrir. We'll get out of your hair now. Have a good night!" Mugrir waved her out of the shop before sitting down in the closest booth.
He knew Locke, or Book now from ages ago. The creature was beyond ancient and sometimes the creature was three paces ahead of the rest of the world. It was quite irritating especially when they butted heads.
Mainly because Locke was always right.