“So, you want the low down gossip on me and Red?” The wolf grinned at me, which might have been more worrying if he hadn’t just finished a steak dinner at my expense. “Sorry, you’ll just have to tell your editor that we’ve only got a hunter/prey thing going on.”
“He told me to bring up the striptease sequence.” I was glad I’d bought him the really big steak, those were very sharp teeth he had.
“Hey, I just wanted to get her clothes off before I started eating her. Those things are harder to get through than chicken feathers. It was the story tellers who lingered on the details of what she was wearing and how it came off, nothing to do with me at all.” He looked like he was considering licking his plate. “Besides, I only get bothered about human females if I think there’s in a meal in them.”
I was wondering whether I should buy him a second steak, and asked, “What does get you hot and bothered?” I didn’t think it was a wise question, but my editor had insisted.
“Female wolves, I’m rather boring that way. If your editor wants salacious detail about Red, send him to talk to the woodsman, man to man.” He grinned again and added disconcertingly, “Perhaps I’ll get to clean up afterwards.”
I changed tack and asked, “So, are you connected to the Big, Bad Wolf in the Three Little Pigs story?”
“Very distantly on my mother’s side. He didn’t actually die, though I understand it was a close run thing, what with the herniated diaphragm and the surgery for it. He’s living quietly retired in a place with a good climate and an absence of pigs.” He poured himself another glass of red. “I visit sometimes and we compare scars. I always got the impression that the pigs were out to get him, myself.”
“Why so?” A second steak might get me safely away to file my story.
“They kept sending him cards with their new addresses. Did for years after he retired.”
“I see your point.” I made a play of glancing at my watch and added, “I have to go now if I’m going to file my story tonight. Would you like to order another steak before I settle the bill?”
“I don’t mind if I do.” He smiled with his teeth again.
He was probably wolfing it down by the time I reached the office.