I don’t want to make any waves here, but Marcus Scriven was just arrested, and he ordered his ‘thief’ to drive the car home and behave until he returns.
I don’t see this turning out so well… bwahahahah
I know you’ve waited a long time for this with still a little longer to go before you’ll finally learn the outcome of the cliffhanger of the century— so I thought I would throw you a bone (mostly to keep me out of the doghouse with all of you hee hee)
FIVE SOURCE SECURITY COMPLEX
Paris was just getting to the office late in the afternoon and was about to ignore Marcus as he had every day but stopped mid stride when he saw Bill venturing out from the back door coming from the gun shop.
“Bill?” Paris turned to him as it was strange; Bill never came up front.
“Any of you gents have the password for Mr. Gentry’s computer?” Bill looked to them both.
“What for?” Paris asked with a tone of more mistrust than he’d intended.
“Follow me and I’ll show you.” He waved Paris to come with him.
They went back into the shop and Bill stepped behind the counter. “The shop has needs, bills and finances, which need to go into the computer, or the shop can’t work.” Bill explained like he was some drill sergeant’s tour guide.
Paris closed his eyes and sucked in a heavy breath. He was stretched too thin when he wasn’t even here at all. His heart and mind were at the hospital with Diesel. Each morning he followed the same routine, like a coalmine mule. Visited Deez to let him know how much he loved him and needed him to come back, then he came into the office like an empty clone— did the minimum needed so he could get back to his lover. He swallowed anxiously fearing this day or the next would be the time he went back only to find the hospital bed emptied and the sheets stripped off to be changed and made for the next patient.
“You know it might be best to close the shop for a bit,” Paris finally suggested, not waging he had it in him to take on more responsibility that would drain more of him away from the place he wanted to be.
Bill bulked up at the suggestion. “Can’t do that. This shop has obligations it must honor.” He sounded like a soldier who’d been told to give up. Such things were not acceptable to him.
Paris was still far too drained to feel it with him. “What obligations?”
“Starting this week, and onward, of the following sixty days, damn near ever NYPD in Queens will be coming in here for their gun and target evaluations. City has already contracted the needed blocks of time.” He pointed to the calendar with an adamant finger. “That’s what all the blue blocks up there are for.”
Paris rolled his eyes. Not at Bill, but that he’d forgotten about them. “Can we source the evaluations out to another nearby gun range?” Paris looked for alternatives. “Because we can’t.”
“No,” Bill affirmed mildly, “But it’s not pending on Mr. Gendry’s presence. We just let them have the gun range to themselves five hours a day, three days week for the next sixty days. They’ll have their own men in here for the grading.”
“Okay, so what’s the problem that you need to get into the main computer?”
“I need to order more ammo and pay the bills.”
“So do it. You’re authorized for that. I’ll gladly second anything if you’re in doubt.”
“Can’t.” He opened the safe under the counter, revealing a stack of white nightly deposit bags. “Money can’t go to the bank until the register receipts are entered into the computer. That’s nine days of sales income right there that hasn’t gone into the bank acct. So, I doubt there is enough in the primary expense account to cover the amount of ammo and target sheets we’re gonna need for these boys.”
Paris let out a heavy sigh. He thought he had everything covered only to be told he’d overlooked the biggest miss. “Alright, Bill. Give me a second to do some things upstairs then I’ll be back to tally the accts. Close that for now.” He pointed at the safe, felling uncomfortable with so much money sitting in one spot. “You armed?”
“Always.” Bill pointed to the rifle under the counter, then to the 9mm Rudger tucked behind his back.
Paris nodded. He still didn’t like guns, but for now, he felt safer having a few of them surrounding him. “I may, however, just hire Marcus to transport the deposits once I’m finished.”
“I won’t argue with you on that one.” Bill agreed with a nod. “Will there be anything else I can do?
“Yes, I know Diesel had made a partial order that was to be set aside for the evaluations. The rest was on back order; so maybe call to check up on that. And if you would please, take the calls, so I don’t have to be interrupted.”
“You bet, sir. Now, if you’ll excuse me, best get our orders in ready for your approval.”
“Thank you, Bill.”
Paris climbed the stairs, haunted by the memories, a blow job on this step and some power fucking on this one— and an argument on that one. He made the landing, passing through the ghosts of them locked in a heated, hungry kiss that almost sent them busting through the handrail to the floor ten feet down.
How had mouse ever survived a hurtling jump that great?
How had any of them survived what followed after that day?
He pulled the door open and stepped into the long office hall, where he paused to just collect himself.
He felt guilty. Coming here and playing office boy— going on with his life while his love was still struggling with life in a hospital as John Doe. He had no right to be here, did he? This wasn’t his world, it was Diesel’s and if Diesel wasn’t coming back, why was he here?
“Stop,” a voice called out towards him.
Paris’s flashed his eyes open and he turned finding Marcus at his desk in his office looking directly out at him.
“Don’t beat yourself up, Paris,” Marcus went on. “We all want to be there with him, but we also can’t let our lives unravel. So, we try to balance the two. We share the load so you can have more time with him.”
Paris only stared at him.
“And he will wake up,” Marcus told him as if he believed it.
He better or I’m out of a home and family, Paris thought and started off without responding. Deep down he knew Marcus meant well, but he was still angry with them for making decisions without his say so about what they thought he should do and about shuffling Kat off to be watched over by a stranger. And he’d yet exchanged a single word with any of them since.
The day is so close, you can just feel the tingle all the way down there… can’t you? And just in case you need a little boost to get the excitement going. It’s April 1st and this is no fool’s day post!! As promised, the cover reveal for Touching Vida~Vince and a hefty sized teaser!
Vince sat quietly in the patient room in the rear of the emergency room, waiting for his own x-ray results— and his ride. The flying object that attacked him had turned out to be the door handle from the bathroom stall door breaking off when Darko assaulted it.
Vince’s hand floated up to the fresh bandage covering the stitches just above his brow where it’d hit. He tapped it lightly, but even the cautious touch made him flinch.
He fidgeted on the ER bed, legs dangling over the side, folding his hands together as he worked to keep his emotions in check. No doubt he would crumple when Dane got there, but he had no one to comfort him until then.
They’d wound up here because Darko had needed x-rays on his hand, and because Dane insisted that Vince be checked out as well. But as soon as Darko was medically cleared, Vince convinced him to leave before Dane arrived. Purposely encouraged Darko to head home. There was no intelligence in facing Dane Masters while he was in full rage. Darko had been reluctant, but finally obliged. One fight a night was enough, and so Vince waited alone in the small examining room of the hospital.
There was a soft knock then the door opened. Vince jumped to his feet, half expecting it to be Dane storming in, but he was relieved to find it was only the doctor, his nose down as he either plucked or entered info into the digital pad he carried with him.
“So? Am I going to live?” Vince did his best to lighten his own mood.
The doctor hardly glanced up, but was quickly doing a double take, then froze in mid-step with a slight slack-jaw expression. It was enough to make Vince uncomfortable.
“Didn’t think it would take this long to get my x-ray results, so it must be bad news for me, huh?” Vince joked, growing more self-conscious in front of the doctor staring at him in wonder.
The doctor glanced at his pad, slid his finger over it a few times before responding, “Oh, this does look bad.” The doctor shook his head. “Might have to keep you overnight so I can—” A minute pause, then he rattled his head. “So, we can study you further,” he finished, emphasizing the interjected pronoun correction. It was almost cute.
The correction didn’t go unnoticed and if it weren’t for that, the suggestion might have worried Vince, but he caught the jest and managed a real smile. “That serious, huh?”
The doctor looked at him with a gleam in his eyes, as if he liked what he saw. In fact, Vince could easily have fooled himself into believing the man had affection in his eyes. A nice fantasy to wish for. But surely it was just the joke trying to escape and made the man’s eyes laugh. Hopefully not at him.
The doctor caved and shook his head in disagreement, letting out a mild chuckle. “No. I’m teasing. You’ve a slight bruise, around the cut. As you know, we put five stitches in to close it up with some tape which should hold with minimal scaring. Be sure to leave them in place for at least five to six days to prevent reopening. Your x-rays showed no signs of fracture. And, based on your exam on admission, as well as your ImPACT clinical score, there appears to be no presence of concussion. But I’d prefer you didn’t drive yourself home. Have you a ride?”
Vince grimaced and gave a slight nod. He did, but Dane had been at work at Club Pain when he called and most likely— involved. Vince had also stalled before calling to be sure Darko could be released before the wrath arrived. “Yes, my brother is coming.”
“Doctor?” a nurse called from the nearby station.
The doctor glanced out of the curtain divider, toward the corridor, then back, watching with a deflated expression as Vince sank back down onto the narrow hospital bed. “Excuse me a moment.”
Vince nodded, but his mental state was already running away from him. He pulled his coat tighter around him, feeling chilled, or perhaps just overly conscious. He was, after all, in a dress, and a hospital wasn’t exactly the ideal atmosphere where he knew how to pull the look off. The night had been so perfect, too, then it somehow got upended into a pathetic state of being alone and old, and achy in a cold hospital.
Vince snapped alert, surprised the doctor had returned, standing over him, his face blushing with some unexpected expression.
Dr. Pavle Laszkovi wondered if he’d said something wrong, considering the way the slender man snapped around as he did. “It is Vida, isn’t it? That’s what is in your medical file.” He pointed to the tablet in his hand for emphasis. The face, worried over with emotions still didn’t diminish the angelic allure. Because Pavle remembered that face when it was flourishing under the heavy adoration of a brother. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to—”
“Yes,” Vince interrupted, “well, used to—” He paused a moment, looking uncertain. “Yes. That’s me.” He shivered.
Pavle could see he wasn’t comfortable, and he fumbled for anything to say. “Are you cold?”
“A little, I guess.”
“Well, you’re free to go.” Though the curt suggestion didn’t seem to make the worry go away, and he felt as though he was part of the cause. He also didn’t want him to go right then. “If your ride isn’t here yet, maybe I could offer you something to help warm you up.”
“Excuse me?” A tired face blinked at him.
“I wanted to offer—” Pavle fidgeted. “I, uh, I make a pretty good tea— helps calm the nerves. I wanted to offer— I mean—” he stalled, wiping across his lips as if trying to erase all the stuttering thoughts he was about to spit out and try again. He set the tablet down on the counter, then stuffed his hands into his pockets, unable to tuck away the sheepish smile that came over him. “This is embarrassing,” Pavle admitted. He shook his head and immediately made the correction. “I wanted to offer—” He shifted on his feet. He almost had to laugh at himself over it, because the androgynous man made him feel like a ridiculous insecure school kid attempting to ask for his first date. “What I mean to say is— I make a pretty good tea. It helps calm the nerves— my nerves especially,” he joked. “It might also help warm you up. I mean—” He shifted again, the embarrassment still apparent, unshakable. “Would you join me for some tea? I’m overdue for a break. I’d like your company.” He fidgeted some more because now he’d just worded it in a way that could be misconstrued as unprofessional conduct. Great, but there was no refuting he had a crush on this allusive angel. “While we wait for your brother, that is,” he quickly added, if for no other reason but to assure Vida he meant no funny business. Because no fool would risk misplaced ideas when there was a brother on the way, right? Good God, he couldn’t remember being this foolish, even in high school. But then again, he had still been living in Serbia at the time, and he wasn’t allowed to pursue any crushes as a boy in their home country.
He was certain Vida was going to laugh at him. It was nuts, he knew. But he couldn’t take his eyes off him.
“I would love some tea.”
Just then, one of the staff assistants poked her head into the room. “Miss Masters, your ride is here.”
“Oh, okay, thank you,” Vince replied then blushed before the doctor. “Thank you for the offer, maybe another time.” He tried to offer an apologetic smile, but he was so tired he was certain he failed at it. And he really did want to go home.
The doctor smiled at him and nodded. “Of course. Remember to rest for a few days, and no twirling, ballroom dancing for at least a week. Doctor’s orders.”
As Vince slipped out of the emergency room, he couldn’t help but chance a glimpse over his shoulder, and there the doctor was— watching as he left as though sorry to see him go. I wonder what his hands feel like?
*NOTE: for those who are wondering where Vince’s story starts and ends: It picks up right behind where Becoming His Slave ended, and spans over the entire series so far, tying up what some readers may have perceived as opened-ended stray parts and/or sets these issues up for further inclusion of the series. It then ends directly in the same shooting scene as Right One 4 Diesel ended.
Marcus Scriven’s book, Seducing His Thief book 8, picks up in the same scene where these two left you , and goes forward. We’re hoping to have Marcus’s book ready for release by the end of this year, but his book has also shown its going to be larger than expected. (upward around the size of Right One 4 Diesel), so it’s gonna be a doozy and well worth this long wait. ❤