Thursday, October 27, 2016

(43) Trevor Wallace – Dhampir

“What the…?”

I look at the baskets and then the woman holding them.

She says "Happy Thanksgiving", thrusts them at me, then takes off before I can reply.

I know her. Laugh to myself. This is so like her. She’s a ditzy chick I’ve met a few of times in a club I frequent on occasion. Didn't sleep with. Just knew her. Sweet but stone crazy. In a good way though. Naw. Not crazy really. Except maybe. Because she likes me it seems. Calls me friend. I remember her inviting me to dinner with her family for…yeah, Thanksgiving I think. Said to bring a friend. I turned her down. Not big on things like that. Family.

I lift the cover on one basket. Damn. Enough here to feed an army. I take a quick inventory. Then call Del. Hell, I can’t eat all this myself.

I tell him to get his ass over here. Well maybe not quite like that but. And don’t tell him why. Just that it’s a surprise.

When he gets here he sniffs the air like a hungry pup.

“Thanksgiving dinner?”

“So it seems. I didn’t realize that today was Thanksgiving.”

“Gods, baby, you didn’t?” He laughs. Pats my arm. “Sometimes you are so out of touch with reality. Where did this come from anyway?”

“A friend brought it over.” I tell him about her and how she delivered the meal. “And then, boom, she splits. Sorta like a blonde Santa on a mission.”

“Wrong holiday,” Del says with a laugh as he starts setting things out. Spreading it all out on my tiny table. I’m wondering if it’ll collapse. He sees my look. Laughs again.

“It’ll be fine. Now sit, baby. Let’s enjoy all this. But first…” He waits till we’re both seated. Folds his hands. Bows his head. “For what we are about to receive we thank you. Please watch out for all in need on this special day and always. And bless Trev's friend, especially, for doing this for us. Amen.”

“Amen,” I say softly.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

(42) Trevor Wallace – Dhampir

Del looks up at me. “Why did you show up here anyway? I thought you wanted nothing more to do with me.” 

“Now did I say that?”

He nods. “As much as. Trev, you know what I do…did for a living. And you threw it in my face.”

“Whoa, back up. You really did quit? That chick wasn’t lying to me then.”

“That chick? Oh, the girl next door, which she’s far from.” Del chuckles. “No, it’s true I did quit. And,” he’s grinning now. “I have a real job. Not anything special, just being a waiter, but still it’s legit.”

“Hot damn Del.” I grab him. Hug him. “That’s great.” Let him go. Frowning. “Do you have a decent place to stay?”

“Oh yeah.” He tells me. About the apartment. How he ended up there.

By now we’re close to a good place to eat. I tell him we’re stopping. He gives me a look.

“Pretty bossy, aren’t you?” But he’s smiling.

I shrug. “I have my moments. We don’t have to if you don’t want to.”

“Don’t back down, Trev. I kind of like you bossy, sometimes. Just don’t make a habit of it.  And what you did back at the shop… I’d never have had the nerve to talk to the clerk that way.”

“That’s what you have me…” Stopping. Here I go again. Assuming he really wants me around.

He links his hand in mine. Tugs me into the courtyard of the restaurant. Saying, “I have you around because we’re friends, Trev. I don’t have many of those and I think you have even less than me. So let’s eat and you—you stop being so unsure about us. You can’t be bossy and uncertain at the same time and I think I need the bossy part of you at times. Got that?”

“Got it.” Smiling.

“Good. And Trev.” He looks up at me. Squeezes my hand. “Thank you. If you hadn’t said what you did that night, I’d probably still be doing what I used to but now I have the start of a new life, I hope. So I owe you big time.”

“We’ve been through this before.” Kissing his forehead. “Friends help friends, though I sure went about it the wrong way. But I was pissed. It worked though which is what counts. So, no one owes anyone anything.”

Del laughs. “I know. Tit for tat. Now we have to get you moved out of that rat-trap of a place too. So…”

Things are back to normal between us. I think. I hope.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

(41) Trevor Wallace – Dhampir

“Good. Then I know you’ll be in my life for a long time.” I mutter to Del. And stop. Where the hell did that come from?

He looks at me. Surprise on his face. I see the clerk grinning behind him.

Del puts his hands on his hips. Shakes his head. “You didn’t mean that.”

“Yeah I did.” Pausing. Thinking about it. “Yeah Del, I do. It’s only been two days but I miss you. I miss our time together.”

“But you just said…”

“So I lied. I’m good at that. And it hurt that you’d think that of me.”

“Oh.” He bites his lip. Frowns. “Well, maybe I miss you a bit too. But damn it, Trev, you have to stop doing this.” He waves his hand around. “I have to make it on my own merit.”

“He’s not the only one who’s been buying your art work.” The clerk tells him. “Really. Several other people have too. I mean, jeez, you’re good Mr Draper.”

“See, I told you,” I say smugly.

“Yeah. Well. OK. Maybe.”

“No maybe about it Del.” I want to convince him. I don’t have to. Someone else does. A woman and her husband. They come to the counter. Two of Del’s sketches in hand. As they pay for them they’re raving about how good they are. I grin at Del. “See.”

The man hears me. Turns to look at Del. “You did these?” Del nods. He asks, “Would you consider doing one for me of my wife, but a painting?”

“He’d be glad to,” I tell him. Before Del can shy away.

“Very good. Here’s my card.” He hands it to Del. “Call me tomorrow and we’ll set up a time for the, what do you call it, sitting?”

“Yes sir. Thank you sir.” Del looks floored but takes the card. Puts it in his pocket.

When the couple leaves I grin at Del. “Maybe I should be your agent.”

“No way.” The clerk glares at me. Turns to Del. “If we knew you were willing to do that we’d have let people know. You’re under contract to us.”

Del starts to protest. I beat him to it. “For what you have here for sale, Del is, but not for any private work he gets. Unless you want to alter the contract that is.”

She nods. “I’ll talk to the owner.”

“Good.” I put an arm around Del’s waist. Lead him toward the door. Turn back to the clerk. “See that you do.”

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Release day for 'Not Your Average Man'!

Not Your Average Man

I was an average man, not at all violent, until a bastard tricked my best friend into killing my lover, Mick. When that happened, with my best friend in prison for life, I took things into my own hands and killed the bastard.

Not too soon after, a man contacted me. The man Mick had worked for -- as a vigilante. He convinced me to take Mick's place, once I'd been trained to do what Mick had done.

I did. Now I'm a not so average man who might, just might, be falling in love with another vigilante. Coop Frost, to be exact. That is, if we can survive what comes next.

    "Why?" Carl cried out. "Why are you doing this? What are you going to do to me?"

    "Kill you," I replied coldly. "If it wasn't for your lies, Mick would still be alive and Jason wouldn't be sitting in a prison cell."

    "I did it for you," he said, curling into a fetal position as if that would somehow keep him safe. "For us. We belong together."

    "Only in your insane imagination," I spat out. I debated whether to use my knife or the gun Mick had given me a long time back. I opted for the gun. As much as I'd thought I wanted to torture Carl before killing him, I realized that wasn't in me, in spite of how much I hated the rat bastard. I took the gun from its holster, pressing the barrel to Carl's forehead.

    "You can't! You won't!" he screamed, trying to pull away.

    I gripped his shoulder and pulled the trigger -- twice. "Yeah, I can."

    I'd been afraid, when I planned this, that I might puke after I shot him. Mick had said it could happen with a first kill. "When you get that you've ended someone's life, no matter how much of a bastard they are, you'll feel numb. You'll throw up. You'll cry." He had put his hands on my shoulders, staring me straight in the eye. "Or, you'll know you did the right thing. You won't rejoice. Not if you have an ounce of humanity in you. But you'll eventually accept you did what was necessary."

    I knew for me, seeking revenge for what Carl had done had been necessary. He might not have pulled the trigger, but he had killed Mick just the same -- and destroyed Jason's life in the process. And mine, I suppose.

    I looked down at Carl's dead body with no feelings other than relief, despite the blood surrounding his head. Taking out my knife, I cut the restraints and pocketed them. "Never leave anything behind," Mick had told me. I couldn't exactly take the bullets. They were lodged in Carl's brain. I did look for the casings, and found both of them. With that done, I left the way we'd come in. The street was still dark and empty.

    I made it back to my car before the reaction hit me. I was trembling so hard I could barely get the key in the ignition. I killed him. He deserved it. But ... I closed my eyes, picturing Mick the last time I'd seen him. Carl will never fuck up another person's life the way he did ours, ever again.

    That thought helped. I was able to calm down enough to make it home without running the car off the road.

    * * * *

    How I managed to sleep, I don't know. But I did.

    I woke knowing there were things I had to do. Pack. Collect all Mick's gear to take with me. Decide where I was going. I'd thought about several places, dismissing each one for different reasons -- too small, too big, too cold, too hot. Too far away. Not far enough away. At least I didn't have anything to keep me here. Or more -- anyone. Friends? Yeah. A few of them from the club. But they wouldn't really miss me when I was gone.

    As I packed, I kept the TV tuned to the local news channel. So far, it seemed that no one had found Carl's body. Not too surprising, considering where it was. I knew that would change eventually.

    I tried eating breakfast and found it made me nauseous. A reaction to last night? Probably, I figured. Just because I'd lived with and loved a hired killer -- and even helped him with his plans -- didn't mean I was ready to fully deal with being a killer myself. Not yet.

    Thinking of that reminded me, again, of Jason and why he'd murdered Mick. He did it for what he considered the right reason -- to save me from myself and get me out of Mick's clutches. There was one unassailable problem with that scenario. You see, as much as we were the best of friends, and had been forever, Jason had never seen the dark side in me. The side that let me accept what Mick was, and what he did. Mick's logic was unassailable. "If not me, someone else will do it, and I don't kill innocents." He'd grimaced a bit at that last. "At least not that I know of, and I do check."

    Yes, at first it was hard to reconcile the man I'd fallen in love with, with the killer I'd found out he was. That happened soon after our relationship had begun. Mick had pulled no punches. Because he loved me, he'd sat me down one evening and said, "I can't be with you and live a lie." So he'd told me everything -- knowing somehow that I would keep it to myself, even if I walked away. But I didn't. Walk, that is. In fact, after the initial shock wore off, I found it exciting. That's when I knew there was another side to me. A dark side, as I thought of it.

    I proved that for sure when I killed Carl -- with no regrets afterward.

Friday, October 21, 2016

(40) Trevor Wallace – Dhampir

He looks up at me. Brown eyes wide in shock. And teary. I want to brush the one tear away that clings to his lower lash. Restrain myself.  

Scowling at me now. Asking, “What are you doing here? Going to buy more of my stuff so you can do your good deed for the week?”

“Would you have taken the money any other way?” Asking. Answering my own question. “No you wouldn’t have. You made that very clear.”

“I don’t need charity. Not from you or from anyone. Get that through your thick head, Trev. I can take care of myself.”

He tries to pull away. I won’t let him. “It wasn’t charity. You’re damned good. Why shouldn’t I own them instead of someone else?”

“You lying bastard. You said you didn’t like my paintings. They ‘weren’t your style’ were your words I think.”

I shrug. “They aren’t. But that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate them for what they are.” I let go of him. Seeing the clerk eyeing us warily.

Del stands his ground. Not moving though he can now. Staring up at me. “And just what do you think they are?”

“Pictures that show how you feel about life. Just like your sketches. Which by the way I bought most of, so you better get busy and do some more.”

“Where are they now Trev? Decorating the walls of your room? I so doubt that.”

I smile wryly. “You’re right, they aren’t. Except for a couple, now that you’re gone and can’t see them there.”

“Glad to see the back of me I suspect.” His words hurt. But his eyes tell a different story. There’s something deep down in them. Like maybe he’s glad to see me. But he won’t say it. Admit to it.

And me? I’m not about to admit that I’m really happy to see him, either. Cause it wouldn’t change anything. So I tell him, “Things are easier with you gone. My time’s my own now. Again.”

“Thought so.” He turns away. Goes over to the clerk. I hear him tell her that she’s not to sell any more pictures to me.

“The hell with that.” Striding over to them. “I’m a customer just like anyone else. Besides,” I smile slightly, “if I can’t buy them I’ll send someone else in to do it for me. She can’t turn every sale down.”

“You’d do that wouldn’t you, just to make me more beholding to you.” Del shakes his finger at me. “I’m going to pay back every cent if it takes me a life time.”