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  2. “Are we seriously going to the TMA’s?!” Luke asks excitedly before Christopher even walks through the door. “Yes, how did you know?” Chris gives him a suspicious look, frowing as he looks at the other guys who are all reacting with excitement about the news. “Our fans are scary at hacking things. They always leak the list for those events.” Blake smirks, showing Chris the list of performers on the website. “Yes, we are on the list to perform, with a few other boybands. It should be a great night, teenage audience and voters so we’ll be pulling out all the stops to make sure we get the highest votes for the night. For this, I’m going to ask Ryan to choreograph an easy dance piece with back-up dancers for your partners, it will need to be appropriate for the audience of course but I think that will really set us aside from the other boybands we’re up against. Also Jasper, the fans are all hoping for some fanservice.” Chris tells them handing out some information about what their plan was for the night, the songs they would be singing and what time they were going to be on stage along with the list of other bands in their category. “This will be an amazing show.” Luke grins, reading the list of bands performing with them. “This is such a great line-up. I don’t even care if we win, it’s going to be so much fun to watch the others perform too, and I seriously hope we get to have an after party with these guys.” “Yes, you get to attend the after party but this isn’t a social event, this is for more attention for the band and to generate excitement for your next album, which we will get started on after this performance. So I expect you to all bring me some drafts in the next week.” Chris orders, looking at the reluctant expressions on their faces. “What, that’s part of being in a band you know? First album, tour, second album. More music, new music. Get to it.” Chris snaps his fingers at them and turns and walks out. “Oh and Ryan, fans went crazy over your post last night, more photos like that would definitely get you more love.” “More love is what I was aiming for.” Ryan licks his lips and just smiles at the group, noticing that Jasper was intentionally looking away. “What’d you post last night?” Luke frowns. “Didn’t you see, he posted a shirtless selfie on Instagram, which is now circulating every social media. It’s impossible to have not seen it. I have had to give up social media until the onslaught of reposts from thirsty fans settles down.” Jasper complains he takes out his phone and opens Twitter, turning the phone around to show Luke. “See, first photo. Let’s scroll down. Ah yes, there it is again, three posts down from the last one. Same photo, different horny phrases.” “So, Ryan. Posting shirtless photos on instagram. Obviously you’re getting more confident.” Luke teases him, with an impressed expression. “I was in a good mood last night.” Ryan shrugs, glancing at Jasper who quickly gets out of his phone and puts it away in his pocket. “You’re not the only one who was in a good mood last night.” Blake smirks at Jasper, patting his back. “Shut up.” Jasper glares at him warningly. “Speaking of good moods, Blake was out on a date last night, with my ex.” Jasper deflects the attention. “Better than being on a date with my hand.” Blake’s comment is thankfully unheard by anyone but Jasper because Simon and Luke were immediately asking about his date with Beth before the second convenient interruption comes into the room, taking the attention from Blake. Jasper gives him a quiet ‘I will punch you’ threat. “Only if you’ve washed your hands.” Blake winks at Jasper. “One more comment, I swear to god.” Jasper grits his teeth. Blake looks at him with consideration. “A bit touchy today?” Blake smirks then laughs as Jasper lifts his fist and punches him in the arm. “Ow.” Blake rubs his arm. “Surprisingly hard punch, that really hurt.” “Yeah? Well I hope that was your wanking arm.” Jasper rolls his eyes. “You sure you were doing it right? Normally people are a little less bitchy when they’ve relieved themselves.” Jasper just gives him the finger and walks away. “Hey Fi.” Luke beams as she walks in, short red dress with black crisscross patterned stockings and a black chunky scarf around her neck. “Morning boys.” She approaches the group, playing around with her tablet. “So, good news. Since Jasper told off Chris for putting you in those suits you all hated, he’s requested that you use them for your stage performance.” She smiles knowing the guys were not going to love the idea. “Good, Ryan could do with some more coverage after the photo he showed last night.” Jasper comments. “Well I guess I can’t die my hair until after the stage show. I want to go blood red.” Blake runs his fingers through his hair and looks at Fi who was just smiling at him. “You would totally rock that colour. I’ll dye it for you if you want.” She offers, flicking through and looking at the suit he’d be wearing. “It might clash but why put it off for a one time outfit.” “You’re in a very good mood today Fi.” Simon smiles at her, she looks at him and shrugs. “It’s good to see, you deserve it.” He tells her. “Thanks. Things have been good lately.” She hugs her tablet to her chest and sighs. “Any other requests for style changes?” Fi asks, looking over at Jasper. “Do you want to go a shade lighter? Get streaks or something.” “You’re the stylist. Make whatever changes you want to make, I trust your judgement.” Jasper replies, he couldn’t concentrate on anything but the embarrassment he still felt about what Blake walked in on. He was being so quiet and on the outside of the group that he stood out. Ryan moved over to talk to him but Jasper just gives him a reassuring smile and walks out of the room, going to the office and knocking on the door. “Come in.” Chris yells out. Jasper walks in, taking him by surprise. “What is wrong now?” Chris sighs throwing his pen down on the desk. “I have some concerns about our contract.” Jasper pulls the chair out and sits down. “About the contract?” Chris leans back in his seat frowning at Jasper. “You haven’t looked at the contract since you signed it, what could you possibly be concerned about now?” “Actually, I went through it not that long ago, with a lawyer.” Jasper answers, watching the hint of fear crossing Chris’ face. “So, I want to know what it’s going to take for you to sign our music back over to us?” He asks sternly, leaning forward with a slight smirk on his face, he knew he had the upper hand on this. “I can’t sign that over to you, without something substantial.” Chris tells him with a smile. “How about I release the scandal that ruins your family and this image you’ve given yourself.” Jasper replies sternly, Chris stares absolutely dumbfounded at Jasper, hoping to see any hint of him bluffing. “I know what happened with Ryan’s Mum. I think you should consider my request, because frankly my lawyer had plenty of other things he thought I should contest in this contract. If you don’t want problems to come out, do what’s right. In the mean time, I’ll tell the guys not to pass on any song ideas to you until the rights to them are ours. It’s only fair after all, since we’ve seen barely any profit but you’ve bought yourself a lovely big house for the wife you’re cheating on, and you’ve got a fancy car that you can’t put a booster seat in. Think about your family, they need you to be a little smarter about your career if you want to continue having one. Otherwise keep the rights to our stuff and I’ll make sure you lose everything the hard way.” Jasper stands up and pushes his chair in. “Here I was getting lectured by you for being manipulative, and you’re just as bad as me.” Christopher crosses his arms and looks down at his desk, chewing his lip as he thinks about the power move Jasper was playing against him. “I figure it’s the only language you understand. I’m not proud of stooping to your level, but I am only doing it to help the people I care about.” Jasper defends himself, not allowing Chris to take him down on this. “What about Ryan? That scandal would hurt him.” “Ryan already knows about it. And if you know what it has already done to him, you’d be wanting to go into hiding for shame of what you’ve done to someone already dealing with a lot. Do the right thing, for all of us.” Jasper walks out, slamming the door behind him and heading back into the band room to see everyone talking excitedly as they watch Ryan demonstrate some dance move ideas with a girl Jasper hadn’t seen before. “What have I missed?” Jasper asks, trying not to sound too jealous despite the way Ryan was dancing so closely with her. “He’s improvising this sexy dance sequence for us. I’ve gotta say, he’s really coming out of his shell now isn’t he? I hope this confidence continues because with this attitude he’s going to quickly steal the show and become a real fan favourite.” Simon smiles as he watches the dance moves intrigued. “What do you think Jasper?” Ryan asks smugly, thanking his dance partner quietly. “Mmm, not really feeling it.” Jasper answers, shrugging and crossing his arms. Ryan just nods, not believing for a moment that Jasper hadn’t felt at least something while watching the seductive performance. “Remember who we’re performing for. Teenagers don’t need encouragement to be all over each other, or to imagine themselves being all over us. Maybe tone it down a bit.” “You’re just saying that because it’s more touching than you did in your whole relationship with Beth.” Luke jokes. Jasper just raises his eyebrow at him, completely unimpressed with the joke. “Too soon?” “Best friend was with her last night, so yeah maybe lets not joke about who’s touched her more. It only makes her sound bad.” Jasper looks over at Blake who shakes his head quickly. “It wasn’t like that.” He quickly assures them. “I don’t care, I just think she deserves more respect than to be the topic of a who’s been further conversation. Whatever dance you come up with for us to do with female dance partners, I’m sure we’ll be making a lot of people jealous.” Jasper bites his lip and looks at the woman beside Ryan. “We were seriously only improvising so it’d be easy enough to change and make it more appropriate for the target audience. Or the same kind of routine but a step apart so it’s sexy but not so much touching.” The dancer suggests. “Less touching is a good place to start.” Jasper could tell by the look on Ryan’s face that his reaction was just what he wanted, and usually he wouldn’t be so quick to accept defeat but the thought of Ryan dragging this out wasn’t really appealing to Jasper. They get in the car to go home and Ryan sits in the back beside Jasper, getting on his phone and looking up ‘Obselete Fanfiction’. Jasper glances at his phone and smirks as he sees some familiar story titles. Blake was on the other side of him, also peeking at his phone. “Oh god, seriously?” Blake laughs, leaning forward to look past him at Jasper. “You’ve been influencing him, haven’t you?” He asks with a smirk. “I hear your fans are all converting over to the Ryan fanbase.” Jasper pokes his tongue out at Blake who gives a sarcastic laugh. “And you can have them.” He states. “Just please don’t read that next to me.” Blake orders with a sigh. “Because a lot of the stuff that gets written is gay smut and I don’t feel comfortable with it.” Blake tells him, smiling as he watches for a reaction but gets none, Ryan simply gets out of the fanfics and types in something else into his phone. “Woah!” Jasper and Blake look over at Ryan who was wide eyed and a little red, staring at his phone. “Sorry, just looked up Blasper and there are some drawings…” He stops, shifts uncomfortably in his seat and swipes the screen to get out of it, closing his phone. He sits in silence for a few moments, Blake and Jasper just smiling at him. “I believe you’ve just discovered what I like to call, the point of no return. Curiosity will take you back there and you will see and read things that can never be unseen. Welcome to the dark side.” Jasper laughs, feeling like he’d unintentionally gotten back at Ryan’s attempt to make him jealous. The rest of the drive had an air of discomfort for everyone but Jasper, who spent the drive with a smug grin on his face as he looked out the window. Once they got home, the group gets out of the car and all go about their separate ways once they get into their apartment. Blake walks off to his bedroom making a phone call, Luke went for a shower claiming he had somewhere to go but not wanting to elaborate on what it was or when he would be home when Simon teasingly asks if it’s a date. Simon also had plans, heading out to into town, leaving Jasper and Ryan alone. “So.” Jasper shrugs and crosses his arms. “What are your plans for the night?” “Read some fanfiction. Can you recommend any good ones?” Ryan smirks at him. Jasper bites his lip and nods his head. “Pretty much all the Blasper ones are pretty hot.” He teases with a smirk, watching as Ryan looks slightly disappointed. “None about us?” Ryan asks. “I haven’t bothered to read any.” Jasper lies, not very convincingly given the skeptical look Ryan gives him. “Ok. Well in that case I won’t bother either. I’ve got a lot to do to plan for this show so I’ll go and watch some dance inspiration.” Ryan shrugs and heads down the hallway to his bedroom just before Blake comes out of his. “Hey Jas. I just want to talk to you.” Blake walks over to him with a serious expression. “Sure, what’s up?” Jasper gets himself a drink. “If it’s about Beth, I really just want you and her to be happy and I know you like her so I don’t have a problem with you dating her. Go and make yourself happy.” He orders, Blake just smiles at him. “Speaking about problems, do you think I have a drinking problem?” Jasper asks, looking at the drink in his hands and sighing. “I think since your birthday there’s been a lot of stuff going on, and it’s hard to tell how much of that is you affecting you and how much you’re just enjoying being old enough to drink. Do you think it’s a problem? Like are you using alcohol as a cover or are you just enjoying it?” Blake asks, he felt as though he was too out of the loop from whatever was causing Jasper to feel this way. “Are you ok?” “Oh yeah, no I’m fine. There was some stuff but I’m fine now. I just find it relaxing to have a drink at the end of a day.” Jasper shrugs and looks at Blake. “What do you need to relax from today?” Blake asks, trying to gage whether he had a good reason or not. “I confronted Chris, not sure how that’s going to go.” Jasper takes a sip. “He’s the one that thinks I have a drinking problem.” He states. “Oh well don’t worry about his opinion.” Blake chuckles, taking his phone out and checking the time. “Am I holding you up?” Jasper asks. “No, it’s fine. I said I wanted to talk to you first.” Blake puts his phone away and looks back at Jasper. “Are you sure this is all ok?” He asks. “Of course, you’re a great guy, Beth deserves that and I can see that you would make each other happy.” Jasper smiles, having another sip of his drink. “So you’re kinda good at relationships and I am not. How do you know when you’re not going to waste someone’s time and you can do the relationship justice?” Jasper asks nervously. “Is there someone you like?” Blake grins at him excitedly, the idea of his best friend being happy too thrilled him. “I’m not capable of being a good boyfriend.” Jasper shrugs, finishing his drink quickly and letting out a deep sigh. “Does this person like you back?” Blake smirks at him. Jasper just nods. “Listen, I had some girlfriends I was really bad at dating when I wasn’t sure what I was actually looking for in a person. I believe people with the right person, know how to love them the right way.” Blake’s comment makes Jasper smile, thinking about what to do with Ryan. “You better go and visit your date.” Jasper winks at him. “You better go and tell whoever you’re smiling about, that you are into them or I will take away all the alcohol in the house and hide your ID card so you can’t buy more.” Blake tells him, wagging his finger like a lecturing parent. “Mm, we’ll see.” Jasper shrugs. “Well good luck.” Blake walks over and gives him a hug then pulls back with a smirk. “Were you sexting this chick last night when I walked in?” He asks. “Can we agree to repress that from our memories please?” Jasper shakes his head and covers his face embarrassed. “Don’t ask questions you don’t want answers to. And trust me, that is a question you won’t want the answer for.” “Seriously though, go and tell them how you feel. Then tonight you can tell me all about it.” Blake pats him on the shoulder. “You deserve happiness too, don’t hold yourself back because you didn’t get it right last time. Go and fall in love.”
  3. Bndmetl

    Chapter 33

    Adam “Can’t believe there’s only a month until your wedding.” Payne said swinging the door to the gun range exit. “I know. Time has flown by. I’m excited though.” “Right?” Payne laughed. “I can’t believe that sweet man agreed to marry your ridiculously large ass.” “Zip it, shorty. I have a fantastic ass.” I tried to look over my shoulder at my butt. Payne leaned back to check it out, nodding her head she said, “it’s not too bad.” I nudged her away. “Stop checking out the goods, woman. They don’t belong to you.” “You’re just lucky we didn’t use it as a target, nobody would miss.” She laughed throwing her head back reminding me of the we’d just gone through. Ugh! I hate recertifying to carry my weapon, it’s a royal pain in the ass. Thankfully, the time had gone quickly and we passed with flying colors. One more thing to tick off the to-do-list. Payne had come with me to do hers at the same time. Payne misses working with me out in the field as much as I miss her. “How’s Wade doing Payne? Give me an honest answer. From his reports and stats he seems like he’s doing fine, but I want your opinion on how he’s really doing?” I asked as we walked to my car. Payne smiled warmly. “He’s great Hotshot, I’m not saying there isn’t room for improvement, there absolutely is, but he’s doing a good job. No, he’s doing an excellent job. Although, I think he’s wasted in homicide.” “How so?” I asked getting in the driver’s seat. Payne plopped her butt in the passenger seat slamming the door. God that annoys me. “Do you think the door is shut, Shorty?” I growled. She just rolled her eyes and flipped me the bird. “I will cut that sucker off one day. What are you going to do then?” Payne laughed and flipped me off with her other hand. “Jesus, now what about Wade?” I have been worried he wasn’t fitting in with the other detectives, but his work has yet to suffer for it. It’s just a feeling I get and observation too I guess. I’ve seen him make the effort to get to know the other detectives but none of them go out of their way to include him, except for Payne. I heard her sigh. “Look, I don’t want you to take this the wrong way. You promise?” She asked her eyes boring into mine waiting for an answer as I started the car. “I promise, now damn well tell me girlie.” She punched me – hard. “Don’t call me that.” Her face all screwed up in a scowl. “Ow!” I groused rubbing my arm, thank god, we were still parked in the parking lot. “If you don’t stop punching me, I’m gonna file a report.” I stuck my lip out pouting playfully like a five-year-old. “Oh, who ya going to tell? Ian? My dad? They aren’t exactly the most intimidating people I’ve ever met. Amy will be on my side, so what are you going to do? Ya big baby.” She taunted me. “Nope, I’m going to tell Ian’s mom,” I answered smugly. “You’re in trouble,” I sang at her as we left the firing range headed back to work. “You wouldn’t!” Payne gasped mockingly. I nodded my head. “I love that woman, but she can be hella scary when she wants to be,” Payne chuckled. That made me laugh. “Now dish, what’s going on with Wade?” My phone rang blaring through the car. “Price,” I said after connecting through Bluetooth. “This is Officer Chandon, The Chief wants to see you as soon as possible.” Payne’s eyes rounded on me watching my reaction. “I’m on my way back to the station, I can be there in half an hour.” “I’ll let him know.” The call was ended. “What do you think that’s about?” Payne asked. “Not a clue,” I said looking in the rear-vision and side mirrors before changing lanes. “Okaaay, so Wade?” “He’s too soft to be in homicide, Sarge. That doesn’t mean I think he’s bad at his job. He’s more suited to something like Special Crimes, he has endless patience, compassion, and empathy. It’s just a pity we don’t have that unit here, those types of crimes just get lost with whoever can be bothered with it. We need someone like him around.” Payne’s voice softened at the end. She’s usually hard and to the point when it comes to work but can break out the softer side when necessary. Unfortunately, in our line of work that’s not very often. Payne has a soft spot for Wade, as far as I could tell she always had. “I’ll figure something out Shorty, we won’t lose him. Not if I can help it.” <>-<>-<> Officer Chandon nodded at me when I arrived seeing I was in my dress uniform. Something that was expected when called to the chief’s office. He led me into the chief’s office with a quick knock on the door opening it immediately after then stepping aside so I could enter. He shut the door behind me then immediately took his seat in the corner of the room. My boss was sitting in a chair in front of he chief’s desk. They were laughing at something one of them had just said. His eyes met mine as he stood with a smile still on his face indicating for me to take a seat next to him. “Come sit, we would like to have a quick chat.” “Yes sir,” I answered sitting in the seat next to him still wearing a confused frown. The chief waved his hand to stand down. “Don’t look so serious, Captain Price.” My frown deepening as the chief and my boss chuckled. “Uh…” I didn’t know what to say because he’d confused my rank even at the interim level. “We’ve finally made a decision. I apologize for the length of time we’ve kept you waiting. But we had to be sure you were the right man for the job. Starting this morning you are the new Captain. You’ve taken the exams and you’ve more than proved you’re ready for the job.” “I…” I must have sounded like a moron, I thought I was going to be a sergeant if they decided to keep me at all. After all the cafuffle with the FBI and the drug case they’d taken from us I didn’t think there was much chance of the promotion now. This was confusing, great, fantastic even, but confusing. “Look, we need new blood in there. You’re not a favorite of some detectives and officers but you don’t seem to care about that. You treat everyone fairly it seems and you have grace under pressure and foremost you make a decision and you stick with it. We need someone like you in that position. They’ll come to respect you if they don’t already. Now lets hear what you have to say and you can inform us of what you’d like to…” <>-<>-<> I signed in at the school office. I couldn’t wait to tell Ian but I didn’t want to do it over the phone. I’d gone back to the station and changed into my uniform then told the detectives I was taking my fiancé to lunch. Walking through the school all proud and puffy chested a few of the local stoners balked at my presence giving me a wide berth. “Dad!” I heard Pat’s voice behind me, turning around I came face to face with my son and his girlfriend Sasha holding hands. “Is Riley okay? What are you doing here?” Smiling at Paddy I shook my head, “Riley’s fine, bud. I’ve come to see Dad, I have some news. Do you want to come with me, to be honest I’m a little lost?” Pat chuckled. “Sure.” He quickly kissed Sasha. “Tell the everyone I’ll be there soon.” “M’kay. Hi Uncle Adam,” Sasha said hugging me quickly before she disappeared. Pat led the way toward Ian. “She’s lovely Pat, make sure you treat her right.” “I do. Promise.” He smiled up at me and by up I mean all of probably three inches, the kid is growing like a weed. “Good man.” Pat knocked on the open door before entering with me on his heels. Ian was sitting at his desk with Quinn, Sasha’s older brother who was an English teacher that started teaching this year. They were eating sandwiches and had been discussing one of their students. His face lit up reflecting mine when he saw me all be it he looked confused. “Hi,” he said standing coming toward me. Ian greeted me with a peck on the lips and made sure I remembered who Quinn was. The man is nothing if always polite and on top of social graces. I love that about him. “You remember…” “Quinn,” I said stepping forward to shake his hand. “How are you handling the hormonal teenagers?” He laughed. “Not as well as they’re handling me.” I smiled in response. I can’t imagine doing their job, I don’t have the patience. “I’ll let you guys visit. Thanks Ian, for your help.” He stammered before picking up his lunch and leaving us for a family chat. Ian smiled as Quinn left before turning his focus on me. “What brings you by? And is that a different uniform. I haven’t seen that before?” His head tilting as he looked at my captain’s uniform, I’d changed before coming to see him. “I came to take you to lunch but I guess I’m a little late for that. But, yeah, I have some news for you both.” “Well, spill Dad. I’m hungry and Liam will eat my lunch.” Pat shifted around impatiently. “Okay, okay.” My smile had them both grinning in anticipation. “They finally made a decision on those interviews from last October. I’ve been promoted to Captain.” “Really, congratulations Dad.” Pat gave me a hug. “I have to go get some lunch, but that’s awesome Dad. I’ll watch Riley tonight so you and Dad can go celebrate.” As he went to leave I called him back. “Hey Pat, I want to celebrate as a family so if you want to help your dad after you’ve done your homework. Get your sister ready for when I get home. That would be great.” “Sure no problem.” Pat’s smile warmed my heart. I’m such a big sap, but the happiness he showed just by being included was amazing and heartbreaking all at the same time. “I love that kid.” I sighed pulling Ian into a hug. “You’re amazing,” Ian whispered into my ear, “we’ll have our own celebration tonight once the kids are asleep. Congratulations you’ve earned this.” “This means better hours, babe. We’ll getmore family time, I’ll occasionally be called away but we’ll be able to spend more time together.” I squeezed Ian to me. “Love you.” “Love you too,” he said before kissing me. A little less PG than the school would like, but eh. I don’t give a shit. I love this man and I dare anyone to tell me I can’t kiss him whenever I want. Maybe. The damn bell rang right then finishing our time together. I gave him another quick kiss before making my exit. As I was leaving the kids started piling in. I laughed when one kid asked, “What are the pigs were doing here?” Ian corrected him politely but with his usual amount of sass. “I’m not quite sure why the police were here but they asked about you specifically.” I laughed all the way back to the car. That’s my man, gently terrifying teenagers with his calm demeanor everywhere he goes. <>-<>-<> We’d had a nice family dinner at a local Italian restaurant to celebrate my promotion, but I’ve been anticipating and day-dreaming about having Ian to myself all afternoon. Finally. And boy! I think we need to celebrate the celebration; he’s just about drained me of everything. I’m spent. “Holy shit, babe. Where the hell did you learn that?” I panted trying to catch my breath lying next to him; he was smiling smugly short of breath himself. My man maybe quiet and reserved in most situations, but in the bedroom he is a tiger. Uninhibited, forward, sometimes downright aggressive but in the sexiest way possible. Seriously I can’t even catch my breath right now and my body is still trembling. He knows how to work me over, shamelessly. “Research, plan, execute.” “Sexy.” I laughed. “So porn.” “Yeah.” He laughed with me. “Can’t believe you watched porn without me.” He laughed harder. “You were here… just sleeping and I was bored.” I used what energy I had left to roll over pulling him to me. “Next time wake me up, we’ll research together.” I bit his nipple hard then soothed it with my tongue. “Nghh, don’t get me started again. I don’t think I have the energy. You wore me out. That was work.” “What? Having sex with me is not work!” I slapped his bare ass. He laughed again. “Sexy, fun, enjoyable, work. Do that again.” So I did I slapped his ass and bit his nipple again, he moaned erotically and loud. “Shower, then I want to try that thing you did to me on you.” Ian was running across the bed, leaping through the air toward our bathroom. “Hell, yes.” Thank god we aren’t still in the apartment we’d wake the kids with our bedroom olympics. It was always athletic, even when it was tender it was amazing. Better every time. Ian is never boring, he likes to experiment sometimes he keeps things exciting. I’ve never had anyone excite me or get me so aroused before in my life. “Hurry up, I’m starting without you.” He called just loud enough for me to hear him. I hauled ass into the bathroom. <>-<>-<> When I strode into the shift briefing I was met with applause head on. Some more enthusiastic than others. “Alright, alright. Thank you and lets get down to business,” I said as I approached the podium, I continued without a pause and the room quieted down. “There are a few announcements. First, Officer Windsor.” I looked around as he stood up at attention. “Everyone meet Detective Windsor. He has been promoted and will be taking Wade’s place. He’ll be working in homicide. After the briefing get one of the detectives to take you home to get a suit, then go down to headquarters and get all everything squared away.” I switched to the next topic. “Detectives Muller and Potts are now heading up a new unit of Special Crimes, the unit will specialize in crimes against children, crimes of a sexual nature, and other sensitive matters that fall into the category. Officers Jankowski and Sullivan will be at your disposal whenever needed, otherwise they’re on backup for other matters.” The room fell into a rumble of disarray while congratulations and welcomes being tossed around. I waited a couple of minutes until everyone fell back in line. “Okay, as you all know the FBI has taken quite a load off our plates. That doesn’t mean we aren’t busy. There is nothing of particular urgency right now so back to the grind. I’d like the five new appointees to stay behind as well as Head Detective Richmond. That’s all, dismissed.” I cringed at the sound of chairs scraping and loud conversations echoed through the room as everyone headed out for their shift. The six left behind took seats at the front of the room staring at me expectantly, well except for Richmond because of course he’s above being told what to do. “I want you partnering with Windsor the next little while, if you could take him to get changed and then do what you do.” I smiled, it was genuine, kinda. Detective Richmond muttered under his breath as he left the room with Detective Windsor on his tail. “Now, as for you four,” I said sternly, “Officers, I want you shadowing the detectives this week, see if you all can’t find a rhythm to work together.” My eyes glaring at Payne because sometimes she doesn’t play nice with others. “Yes, sir.” They all answered simultaneously. “Good.” I nodded my head. “We have your first case here.” I dropped a file down in front of Payne. “This case has come from CPS, your contact is Theo Scanlon. All the details are in the file, but may I suggest you meet with Theo to get a feel for the case. The man’s been doing this a long time, he’s also a close friend. And let me tell you he has a knack for weeding out the truth. He doesn’t suffer fools, but at the same time he knows you are all new to this unit and has the patience of a saint. Go over the file together then get to it. Muller, keep in touch.” After speaking I headed back to my office. Sitting in my chair I took a deep breath, then realized my hands were shaking. It’s going to get easier, they just have to get used to me is all. My eye caught on my in-tray, how freaking long was the briefing this morning? My in-tray was now overflowing with files and paperwork. I swished my mouse to make my computer come alive while pulling off the first file on the pile. Once I put my password into the computer my emails flashed up. Eighty-freakin’-three new emails, reminders, meeting requests, and god knows what else. Welcome to the big leagues Captain Price. <>-<>-<> Paddy handed me a beer before I’d even managed to sit down. “God, I love you kid.” I smiled then gulping down half the bottle. “Feelings mutual, long first day?” He chuckled. “It was okay. I just forgot how much bullshit, red-tape, and paperwork comes with the job. My old Captain in Florida used to be inundated, I never really thought about it until now he made it look easy. Even doing the Sergeants job for the past couple of months didn’t have this much.” I sat at the table where Pat was doing his homework. “How was your day? Learn anything?” Pat laughed out loud. “Yeah, it’s school. That’s my job – to learn.” Ian gently tapped Pat on the back of the head as he walked behind his chair with Riley. “Don’t be a smartass.” “Thanks babe, I didn’t have the energy.” I snickered while Ian chuckled. Patty huffed, but he was grinning from ear to ear. Riley landed in my arms in just enough time for me to put my beer bottle on the table. Then Ian leaned down and kissed me hello. “Love you.” “Love you too,” I said between kisses then I gave Riley a few of her own while we had our after work snuggle. “Dinner’s still a little while away,” Ian told me as he swung around sitting in the chair next to me, playing with Riley as he did so. Pat had gone back to doing his homework. “So, I was thinking today. It never really occurred to me after the wedding and the adoptions what our surname will be. Have you thought about what you want to do?” Ian asked me and Pat then patiently waited for us to answer. Pat looked away from his homework chewing on the end of a pen pensively. His head tilting until his face morphed into a horrified scowl. “Are you okay Pat? There’s no right or wrong here, we will support whatever you want.” I told him alarmed at the look on his face. He swallowed almost audibly. “I was going to suggest hyphenated, b…b…ut have you really said it out loud. No matter which way we go we’ll sound like a bad game show.” Pat’s head dropped into his homework. “Oh my god.” He groaned. “I can already here them taunting me.” He looked up making us both laugh because the paper he had been writing on was stuck to his forehead. We both laughed harder when he snatched it away. Ian and I looked at each other for a moment, I’m sure he was saying it in his head too because eventually I was looking at a face that was mimicking mine in amusement. Yep our hyphenated names would absolutely not be received without at least a chuckle. “Crap, what are we going to do?” Ian asked quietly. “I’d at least like the kids to have the same last name.” Ian nodded in agreement with me, in the corner of my eye I could see Pat nodding along as well. “Price has a nice ring to it,” Ian said, “Ian Price, Pat Pri…” he stopped his whole body cringing.” “Yeah,” I laughed fiddling with my empty beer bottle, “I don’t think so. What about Wright, Adam Wright. That’s a good name. Riley Wri…” now it was my turn to cringe. “Christ.” I wiped my hand down the front of my face. “Our kids are going to get beaten up aren’t they? Maybe we should just change our last name to ‘Smith.’” I suggested jokingly to Ian. “Pat Smith,” Patty said with his face screwed up in disgust, “you might as well change my name to John Doe.” Riley clapped her hands squealing like any happy baby, oblivious to the turmoil the adults were suffering. Ian leaned over to Pat taking his face in his hands kissing Pat’s forehead. “I love you sweet boy,” he said with a chuckle, “we wouldn’t lumber you with either of those names.” Mulling over our options in my head I stared at the beer bottle in my hand. “What if we went with our mothers’ maiden names. Ian shook his head ‘no’ vigorously. “Nope, that’s the name Anna used when she met you.” “Geez, I forgot about that. And don’t say that name in this house.” I said dazed. “I’m with you there,” Ian replied. “I hate that woman,” Pat mumbled quietly. Ian and I let it go, she really hurt Pat with all her nonsense. I hope she never comes back into our lives because I fear with the way Patty feels about her, I’ll be an accessory to crimes I don’t even want to think about. We all turned when we heard the front door open and close then my parents appeared in front of us. Pat packed his homework away before getting up to greet them with a hug. “Coffee?” Pat asked them both moving closer to the kitchen waiting for them to answer. “Oh, yes please,” Mom answered. “Beer if you have it Pat?” My dad asked. They both sat down at the table smiling. “You here for dinner?” I asked my folks. “Yes, Ian invited us for Pat’s lasagne.” Dad grinned. “It is not something you say no to.” I grinned back. “No, definitely not. So, what are you all up to?” Dad changed the subject. Ian let out a big sigh. “We’ve been trying to figure out what surname to use after we’re married and with the kids adoptions.” Pat came back with a coffee and three beers, placing the coffee in front of his nan and the beers split between, me, Ian, and his grandad. “Uh, why do nan and grandad look like they’re about to bust a gut?” My parents both erupted into a raucous laughter. Riley flinched but then squealed again slapping her hands on the table from where she sat on my lap. “Oh, my god,” mom said holding a hand to her chest trying to catch her breath, “we’ve all been laughing about this very thing since you boys got engaged.” I moved my squirmy daughter around on my lap trying to get comfortable. “What’s so funny? We can’t come up with anything that won’t get the kids beaten up in the playground. Although I’m sure Pat can hold his own.” I added as an after thought. Mom glanced at dad, he gave her a curt nod. “Well, all us grandparents have been talking and we may have a solution.” Oh, dear god. No! Ian looked as scared as I felt but Pat looked intrigued.
  4. Today
  5. ObicanDecko


    Thank you!! Yes, demon birds are here, what kind of a horror story would this be without them? Ok I'll consider doing a few more chapters! 😛
  6. Normischell

    Chapter 80

    If they deman Kohen or Danie then Captain will tell them “tough shit” and fight tooth and nail to keep them safe.
  7. Domden

    Chapter 6

    I love this story and love Kevin even more than the Becker original. Please keep this going. Amazing character. I especially am impressed with how you’ve portrayed intrusive thoughts. Really well done.
  8. Ive been waiting for another chapter. Thank you! This is one of my all time favorite stories on this site. Incredible character development. I feel like I know these people. Please post again soon!
  9. AusGlitterati


    Oh my gosh city living has made Charlie so bold! You absolutely lost me though when you revealed that Tom and co raise demon birds for a living. This story is doomed. 😒 Nah jokes ❤️ loved it!! All of it! They are different enough to be super interesting together and I'm super keen for the date! Great chapter! You should do it again some time!
  10. And that reign only last one hour as the mighty raptor swoops in and takes the shiny back. This just in, by Telephone, East Meets West and they are serving Zucchini Bread. Be nice and Hug a Plumber today. Have you had your DNA checked? You can Take Your Sons and Daughters to Work today.
  11. Thorn Wilde

    Chasing Shadows

    Well, you already know how I feel. So much love for this story, man. Keep it up!
  12. He is definitely dead....I thought Denver and Robby were going to be mates, that's so sad that Denver turned against his Alpha like that. I say its treason and all involved should be put to death.
  13. I am so shocked at how calmly he is talking about Larry's death 😱 , has he seriously lost his mind, Walker is going to tear him to pieces....I can't wait.
  14. chris191070

    Alo Chapter 34

    Awesome chapter.
  15. chris191070

    Chapter 23

    Awesome chapter. Some great friendships formed. I’m glad DJ and Jamie are giving Jamal a chance, I believe he’s seen the error he made. I hope Jamal’s parents understand he’s gay and not try to use religion on him.
  16. quokka

    Alo Chapter 34

    “Yes, I will leave as soon as I am off the phone, thank you” Davis replied, and as soon as the call ended, we started making plans. The boys could use my room, as it has two double beds in it, and I quickly packed up my things, said goodbye to Davis and Alistair, and caught a taxi to another hotel, and with their hotel located near the botanical gardens at the south end of the CBD, I called ahead and booked a room at a hotel at the north end of the CBD. Near the Roma Street Parklands. Once settled into the new hotel, I called the visitor centre to speak to Matt, to see how things were going on the cattle station, and I was pleased to hear that all was going well, and that I didn’t need to worry. After the call, I went down to the restaurant for some dinner, and didn’t eat much, before returning to my room, and I spend a few hours watching a movie, before retiring for the night. I woke the next morning, to the sound of my phone beeping with a message, and it was from the barrister. “Just checking that you are awake and getting ready for court, you need to be there by 9.45am at the latest”. When I looked at the clock, and saw that it read 8.45am, I jumped out of bed and raced into the bathroom to shower and change, and I decided that I didn’t have time to get any breakfast. As I climbed into a taxi, and asked to be taken to the Family law courts, and asked how far it is. I was told that it was just on the other side of the Railway lines on Roma Street, less than 5 minutes away, which I was pleased to hear. When I arrived, I went and grabbed a bit to eat at the small café, and I spotted Davis walking past, with 4 boys in tow, and it was the first time that I had seen my sons in real life, and Sarah was right about them looking so much like me, as I sent a quick text to Davis. “You just passed me, but keep going, I will see you inside, Lloyd”, and I watched as I saw Davis stop, and the four boys walked straight into the back of him like a comedy act, and I couldn’t help but laugh at the sight, as Davis checked on the boys, before looking around to see if he could find me, but I decided to bend down and tie my shoe as he did. “Great comedy act you did just now” I text to Davis, “LOL, very funny, and it was all your fault too” Davis text back, as he and the boys continued. Once I had finished my late breakfast, I checked my watch, and I had 5 minutes to go, before I needed to be upstairs, and I took my time getting there, and when I arrived, the court officer was calling our case, and Davis and the boys were already making their way inside. When I saw the Barrister, he smiled and motioned for me to sit directly behind him, and I saw that Davis and the boys were sitting a few rows back, while a man and lady dressed in very expensive clothes, who I presumed to be the Carrington’s were sitting on the other side of the courtroom, with a Barrister sitting next to them. Once all the formalities had been done, we sat down, and Sergeant Hill dressed in uniform stood up. “Your honour, if it may please the court, Sergeant Robert Hill, Southport Police” he said, “Yes Sergeant, I haven’t seen you in this court in a while” the Magistrate replied, “Yes sir, I am mostly stuck behind the desk these days” Sergeant Hill responded and the Magistrate smiled and nodded his head. “Your honour, I know that this hearing is in regards to an application by Mr Lloyd Templeton, to gain custody of his two sons, Toby and Isaac, but unfortunately things changed quite dramatically yesterday morning, after the summons to appear, was delivered to Mr Tim and Mrs Gloria Carrington, the current family who have custody of the two boys” the Sergeant said, and the magistrate indicated for him to continue. “Mr Davis Carter, the oldest nephew of Mr and Mrs Carrington, who travelled from Western Australia with Mr Templeton, in support of the application, is the older brother of the late Sarah Templeton, nee Carter, Mr Templeton’s late wife and mother of the two boys, and brother in law of Mr Templeton” the Sergeant explained. “This sounds like a miniseries could be made of this, go on” the magistrate commented, and the sergeant looked across to my barrister, who indicated for him to continue, as they smiled at the Magistrates comment. “That could be true, your honour, and with the permission of the barrister for Mr Templeton, I would like to continue” the Sergeant said. “He has my permission, your honour” the barrister said, standing briefly, then sitting again. “Your honour, Mr Davis was worried that his uncle and aunt just might try to run as they have the financial means to do so, after being informed that a summons to appear had been delivered to Mr and Mrs Carrington, and with that concern, he travelled down to Southport to visit them, to persuade them not to flee. With his own son with him, Mr Carter went to the home of his uncle and aunt, where he was refused entry, but he did see packed suitcases in the hallway. After a very brief discussion, they left, and came to Southport Police station, where I was informed of the situation, and a little time later, a highway patrol car stopped the car of Mr and Mrs Carrington, speeding Southbound down the Gold Coast Highway, just 5 ½ kilometres from the New South Wales border. During an interview yesterday, Mr & Mrs Carrington said that they had not seen or received any summons, and that they were going on a family holiday to their holiday home in Byron Bay. Discussions with the two Carrington boys, after intercepting a telephone call that they had made to Mr Carter, I learnt from the Carrington boys, that they were concerned about Toby and Isaac, as their parents had been unfairly mistreating them for the past few years. The two boys in question, who are here today, were taken to the Children’s Hospital yesterday, and stayed their overnight, and I present to your honour a medical report, on tests that were done since yesterday” the Sergeant said, as he handed a folder to the Court Clerk, and another one to the opposing Barrister. “Mr Kingston, have you seen this report” the Magistrate asked my barrister. ”Only about half an hour ago, your honour” the barrister responded, once again standing briefly, then siting down again, and we waited until the Magistrate had finished reading the report, then my Barrister stood up. “Your honour, I do not wish to take up too much more of your time on this matter, I ask that this matter be dealt with swiftly, as Mr Templeton and Mr Carter and his son, have to return to Western Australia, as soon as possible, due to business commitments” my barrister said. “What is it that you do, Mr Templeton?” the Magistrate asked me, and my Barrister indicated for me to stand. “Your honour, I am a Pastoralist in the Gascoyne region and a Farmer in the Mid-West region of Western Australia” I replied, and I remained standing, “And you Mr Carter, what do you do?” the Magistrate asked, and Davis nervously stood up. “Your honour, until recently, I was an unemployed truck driver, but now I am an employee of Mr Templeton, my brother in law, working on his farm” Davis replied before sitting down again. “I see, well that is very generous of you Mr Templeton, so I presume you have the finances to support your two sons, from the documents that I have before me, I can clearly see that they are your sons” the Magistrate said to me, and Mr Carrington stood up and began to say that it was a pack of lies, and that the boys were his sons. The Magistrate warned Mr Carrington to sit down and stay quiet, as he was in enough trouble as it is, “Yes sir, and although I am a widower, I have the support of my brother in law and all my staff to assist me” I responded. “Good to hear, now before I make a custody ruling, I want to deal with another matter first. Mr Tim and Mrs Gloria Carrington, I have before me false birth certificates of the two boys in question, and you have tried to flee the state, to avoid this court hearing today, and as such attempted to illegally transport two minors across the state border. I also have here a detailed medical report, from the Brisbane Children’s Hospital, that states that both boys have many old injuries, including many old scars and burns, and that no medical treatment had been received, so I will be asking the police to investigate two charges of Child endangerment as well. I hear by order the seizure of your passports, and that you be detained, without the possibility of bail, until this matter is brought before the District Court of Queensland, at a date to be set. Now with that being said, I believe there are two teenage sons, who are also under age. Mr Davis are you prepared to take custody of your… cousins, until such time as their parents are deemed suitable to care for them or until they reach the age of 18” the Magistrate stated, and both Tim and Marcus stood up, as did Davis. “Your honour, these are my two cousins, and they have already spent one night in an adjoining room at the hotel, that I am staying at, and have stated to me, that it is their wish to stay with me, instead of foster care” Davis said. “Are you boys prepared to move to Western Australia, to live with your cousin?” the Magistrate asked Tim and Marcus. “Yes sir” the boys chorused. “Very well, I hereby order, that Tim and Marcus Carrington be placed in immediate care of their cousin, Davis Carter, until such time as they turn 18. I here-by order, that Mr Lloyd Templeton, be awarded permanent custody of his two sons, Toby and Isaac Templeton, case closed” the Magistrate said as he slammed the gavel down, which made me jump in fright. Toby and Isaac stood up and literally ran the few steps to the two where I was seated and rushed into my arms. “Hello boys, it is good to finally meet you both” I said to them quietly, and I saw the Magistrate smile, before he turned and headed into his chambers, moments later Tim and Marcus approached us, with Davis close behind. “Hello, I am Tim, this is Marcus” the older of the two said and I shook their hands. “Nice to meet you boys, now we have a lot of things to discuss and do, so let’s get out of here, and do you boys have keys to your home?” I replied. “Yes, we do” Tim replied. “But they are only to take their personal belongings, and that is all, as the house has been searched, and may need to be again” the Sergeant said to us. “That is all we need sir, we have no desire to be there any longer than required” Tim said to Sergeant Hill. “Very well, just leave the keys on the kitchen counter when you leave” Sergeant his said with a slight smile. Once outside the courthouse, we headed back to the hotel where I was staying, where I packed again, and checked out, before heading back to the hotel where Davis and the boys are staying, and I was able to get a family suite on the same floor as Davis, so Toby and Isaac would be close to me. We gathered in my suite, so we could have some discussions about the future. “Boys where do you all go to school?” I asked, “The Southport School, it is a boy’s private school, and we all go there” Tim replied. “I see, now you may see that I am taking the lead here, that is because I am your cousin’s employer, so I have to make some decisions that will be of benefit to you all” I said, and I saw Davis smiling and nodding his head in agreement. “Not that long ago, I was unemployed, broke and homeless, and Alistair and I have been living in a tent during that time. When things started getting desperate, we headed north in search of my brother in law, hoping that he will help us until I get back on my feet, which he has done so, after a very disastrous meeting” Davis said, and Alistair burst out laughing. “That’s an understatement Dad, and you know it” Alistair said, bloody cheeky teenager” Davis grumbled, and I just smiled, at the playful teasing. “Dad got us bogged on the beach, and the tide was all the way up to the doors, when Uncle Lloyd turned up” Alistair said to his cousins and my boys, who listened intently. “You call him Uncle?” Tim enquired, “Yes well, technically, Alistair is my nephew by marriage, as my late wife and Davis were brother and sister” I added. “So that would make us cousin’s by marriage?” Marcus asked, and I chuckled at his thinking. “Your Mother and my later father were brother and sister, so that makes us first cousins, and Alistair is your 1st cousin once removed, so really you are no relation to Lloyd or his boys at all, except for being foster brothers with Toby and Isaac, until the court case ended that” Davis explained. “Well, I don’t care, I’m going to call you Uncle Lloyd, if that is ok with you?” Tim said to me, and I smiled, as I saw Marcus nod his head in agreement. “I see no problem with that, now let’s get down to business, as we have a lot to discuss. As you heard in court, I own a cattle station, and I’m currently buying a second one. The farm that I grew up on, is where Davis and Alistair, have just moved to, as it is too hot for them up on the station, and they live in the main family home, which has 4 bedrooms and two bathrooms, so there is enough room for all four of you there, and there is a District Highschool in the nearby town of Northampton, which is 16 kms to the south” I began. “Sorry to interrupt for a moment. Boys, do you know if your grandparent’s education trust is still financing your education?” Davis asked. “I have no idea, why do you ask?’ Tim replied, “Because your mum, my dad and even I had all our private education expenses covered by the education trust. We will have to check that with the school, when we let them know that you four boys are changing schools” Davis replied. “Ok, that is one more thing that needs doing, at the moment, I am residing on the cattle station, which is 200 kms from the nearest main town, but I will have to make some changes, now that I have Toby and Isaac with me” I said. “Wow, that must be in the middle of nowhere” Marcus stated. “Yes, well in a way it is, as the major towns north and south are about the same distance from the station, but the station is on the coast, andthere is a small tourist community, called Coral Bay located 62 kms to the north, with basic supplies for the tourists” I replied.
  17. Excellent chapter com.
  18. It’s been a while since I was King... *snatch*
  19. ObicanDecko

    Chapter 14

    Another brilliant chapter! ❤️ Will did pretty good considering it was his first time. Luckily Oskar was there to help him. I still have a bad feeling that all of this will come back to bite him (or both of them) in the ass at some point.
  20. "GFD: We Are Many 2" I fixed myself up, drew on my 'C’ symbol with extra care, and got ready to go. I picked Sammy up at his apartment shortly after, and we drove out West to the outskirts of the city. I followed the directions that Gabriel had written out for me to a tee, but was amazed at how quickly the sparkling city skyline left us once we started traveling away from downtown Chicago. It was almost as if the city itself had forsaken us, offering us no further protection from its bright lights once we were outside of its public boundaries. The buildings got further and further apart, and once we passed the 'Harpo Studios' building...things began to get darker and darker, guiding us underneath elevated train tracks, designed to drop passengers off in small, dimly lit, neighborhoods that looked almost abandoned as we rolled past them. Sammy was especially quiet, looking at the landscape around us. He was visibly shaken. Still...we both went forward. When I finally started seeing streets that were mentioned on Gabriel's note, I found myself a bit more at ease, and the directions led us to what looked like an old warehouse. I parked the car on the street, and Sammy and I assured ourselves that we would both check out the second we felt anything going 'weird' in this place if one of us didn't like the vibe of it. Then we got out of the car and walked towards the old building. There was definitely music coming from inside, and Sammy and I walked to an alley entrance where a few other people were standing outside. Either waiting to get in, or just milling around, getting some air after being inside for so long. There was a large ice bucket full of bottled water by the door, and a clear plastic box for 'donations', but none were necessary. I dropped a five dollar bill in regardless. Might as well be a good guest, you know? There was a big guy at the door with a flashlight, and Sammy and I both showed him our hands. He smiled at us, and said, "Welcome to the party, boys. They've been expecting you." He stepped aside and let us in, and as soon as we walked in...we were amazed with what we saw. The warehouse was decorated with bright, blacklit, glow-in-the-dark graffiti, glow sticks and ropes, and there was a giant platform in the middle of the flat that had steps on either side, leading up to a rather 'overstocked' bar. There were speakers in every corner of the room, aggressively blasting music from every direction, and the place was full of what looked like 200 people or more. It was exactly as Gabriel had said it would be. There were people there from ages 13 to 30, from 30 to 50, from 50 to 80. Every shape, size, height, color, and culture. Some were dancing, some laughing, others quietly talking in small dark corners of the room, and others still...doing everything short of having a public orgy right there in front of everyone watching. I could see a variety of different 'C' symbol designs all around me, on every person in the room. Some on the back of their hands, some on their middle fingernail, some on the knuckle, or on the inside of the wrist, some discretely hidden behind the right or left ear, and others on the side of the neck. One boy even had contact lenses with the letter 'C' made into a glow-in-the-dark, bright green pupil, so it could be seen as long as his eyes were open. There were lasers shooting back and forth across the ceiling, a few strobe lights, some flashy designs...it was a party that literally had something for everybody. And once Sammy saw that it wasn't some creepy coven of website fanatics, he calmed down and offered to get me something from the bar. Looking around the room, I realized that Gabriel had told me another truth about this place. There were definitely a lot of cute boys there! I mean...they were HOT!!! And they had no trouble looking you in the eye if you spotted them from a distance. I don't think I ever got more smiles and nods in a club before than I did when I walked through that front door. Naturally, there were the usual party 'cliques' that could be easily spotted in certain places around the room. Like little hipster elitists, standing in tiny circles of five or six people, off to themselves, and not allowing anybody to penetrate their tight little community. But whatever. It's to be expected in any party atmosphere. And speaking of penetrating something tight..."JT! You came!" I saw Gabriel walking up from the corner of the room, and he gave me a big hug around the neck. I didn't expect such a familiar greeting from him but, wow...his body felt so soft to me. So slim and so sweet. Wrapping my arms around him made me feel tingly all over. "Well, I figured...what else have I got to do, right?" I told him. "Radical, man! Well, what do you think?" "This is...this is amazing! Honestly, I didn't know what to expect." "Probably some killer cult thing, huh?" He grinned, throwing an arm over my shoulder. "Don't sweat it, man. We get that a lot. Come on, I'll get you in good with everybody so you can make yourself at home." And that's exactly what he did. He took me from person to person, group to group, and showed me off like a prize winning pig at the fair. "Hey, JT...this is Sonia, and that's Serena. Over there you've got Paulo, and that's Marcus, and this is Stiles..." I was dizzy from being dragged through so many names at once. Not to mention that another day at work seemed to be catching up to me all over again, because my head was spinning even faster than ever. I REALLY need more sleep. This dizziness is getting worse by the day. Sammy finally found me, and handed me a drink. "Where have YOU been? I was looking all over for you." He asked me, and I tapped Gabriel on the shoulder to introduce him. The moment Gabriel turned around, he grinned and said, "You must be Sammy! Dude, so happy to have you with us tonight!" And he gave him a big hug around the neck like he did to me when I first walked in. Sammy tightened up a bit from the strangely warm greeting, but enjoyed the idea of it being from such a young cutie, and melted into the embrace rather quickly. "He's a cute one, JT. I'm sure some of our guests have their eye on him already." Gabriel said. We all shared a chuckle together, but something was bugging me. "Hey...uh...how did you know his name?" "What?" Gabriel asked with a smile. "Sammy. How did you know his name? I don't remember telling you." He gave me a strange look. "Yes you did. On the train, remember? You said you only expected to see 'two' symbols tops. And that included your friend, Sammy. Don’t you remember?" He asked me. "I just figured this had to be him. This IS Sammy, right?" "Ohhh...yeah. You're absolutely right. I did say that, didn't I?" I told him. "Hehehe, yes, you did. Or maybe...I'm just reading your thoughts. Oooooh!" He giggled, and made a big mystical deal out of whistling a spooky little tune in front of me. "Come on, chill out. Drink. Dance. Smoke. Whatever. There are a lot of good people here. Have fun, k? That's the only rule tonight. Everybody's family, so don't be afraid to mingle a bit." He told me, and then kissed Sammy on the cheek. "Good to meet you, Sammy." And he skipped off to become one with the party again. "Mmm! Good to meet YOU, hot stuff!" Sammy smiled. "Is THAT the boy from the train you told me about?" "Yep!" I happily confessed. "No WONDER you wanted to come out here tonight! I would have followed that boy into shark infested waters wearing a freakin' bloody pork chop around my neck if he promised me another one of those sexy hugs." "SEE? And you were worried!" I said, causing Sammy to give me a shove. "Dude, there is a virtual ARMY of 'boy model' guys here tonight! And I'm not leaving until I get at least FIVE phone numbers!" He said. "Have at it, man. I think...I think I might actually try talking to Gabriel a bit more." I said, and he grinned at me. "WHAT???" "Nothing. Nothing at all. You go chase your little blond chicken. I'm looking for someone a little more age appropriate, if you don't mind." "Psh! Please! Aren't YOU the one who seduced a 25 year old man when you were 16?" "That guy was weak in spirit and I was merely a willing participant in his molestation of me." He snickered. "Besides, that was different. He was a priest. He was way too hot to be a priest. He should have known better." "Oh my god...ok, dude...get away from me before you give me nightmares." I said, and he giggled happily as he practically dove into that crowd of cute guys, just waiting to be chatted up. I have to admit, there was an awful lot of 'playground' here for the two of us to tackle. But Gabriel seemed to have snatched my attention away from all others. And as I walked around the room with my drink, he was the one I kept an eye out for. I felt a bit of wetness splash up on my arm as I accidentally bumped into someone beside me. It was an extremely gorgeous guy, about the same age as Gabriel, but with long, shoulder length, dark hair that he tied up in a pony tail behind him. And eyes that were almost light blue. "Awww, man. I'm sorry." I said, hoping that I didn't waste too much of his drink. "Oh don't worry about it. There's more where that came from." He said, and extended his hand. "The name's Lucas. And yours?" "It's uh...it's JT." I said, and returned his greeting by extending my hand as well. At that moment, I heard some noise behind me, and I saw two guys from the party kind of thrashing about in one of the other corners of the room. There were people surrounding them, and seemed to be pushing them, quite helplessly, into one of the rooms in the back. It looked a little too rough to be playful, but Lucas grabbed my attention again. "Alcohol does strange things to some people." He said. "Are they gonna be alright?" "Of course they are. There aren't any incidents that we can't handle here. We're...'family'." He grinned. "Yeah. Right." I smiled, keeping an eye on the two of them until they were out of sight. "JT...you seem a bit tense to me. Coming straight from work, I assume?" "Yeah, I am. Geez, is it that obvious?" Lucas smiled at me. "It's not that hard to see the signs of someone who doesn't enjoy their job...or their life...as much as they should. It creates a chemical build up of emotional byproducts. It practically glows on the surface of the skin...begging for release." I gave him a raised eyebrow, and smiled. "That sounds pretty deep. Hehehe!" "Indeed, it does." He reached in his pocket, and pulled out a business card. It was just his name and what looked like a public pay phone number. "If you're ever looking to get away from the hustle and want to attack something more satisfying...give me a call. I might just have an offer that's more to your liking." He said, and then I saw him walk back into the crowd, several boys and girls turning to follow him back to their private little corner on another side of the room. Wow...so I've got business proposals being thrown my way now? All from meeting other people from this one website? Hehehe, sweet! This is better than a fraternity! After walking around and absorbing all that was going on, I kind of lost track of time. It's hard to say how long Sammy and I had been apart. An hour? Maybe two? But a third of the people there were really friendly to us, smiling and making introductions and just welcoming us to this...’family’ that they kept talking about. Another third...they seemed to be watching us closely from the sidelines, and appeared to be so different from everyone else in the room once you noticed them. But give them a nod, and they were quick to approach you with great interest. In fact, the youngest boys in the room seemed to be some of the most fascinating and intelligent in the crowd. It was astounding. It was literally like being inside an exact replica of the erotic website itself. With laughter and wild antics, wacky comments, and thoughtful discussions. I loved it. And then...there was another third of guests at the party...who appeared more standoffish. More isolated. Those same folks that remained in their little groups, giving an intimidating look to anyone who would dare to walk past them with an intent to engage in even the most harmless of conversations. And yet, this group seemed to be highly sexual, once they chose a random person to 'entertain' them. It was such a strange opposition to the vibe they put out there previous to accepting you into their circle. Very weird bunch, those kids in the groups. I walked around some more, the music pumping louder and louder by the minute. I guess when you're out in the middle of nowhere, you don't really have any neighbors to complain. So there couldn't be that many problems. However...I did see more people being hauled off to that back room, and was curious about what was going on back there. My guess would be some kind of drug use, as is the norm for parties this big. Most of the time I didn't notice the struggle until I heard a glass break, or a shout or grunt that seemed to rise above the pulsating music around me. But everyone kept smiling, kept drinking, and kept dancing. So if they didn't mind, I guess I didn't mind either. "JT...you having fun, or what?" I heard Gabriel's voice, and turned to see him behind me, bringing me another drink. "Dude, thank you SOOOO much for inviting me here! This place is spectacular!" "I'm glad you like it." He said, and then moved closer. "You know...the folks throwing this little festivity have got their eye on you. I think you might just be their favorite new guest this year." "Hehehe, well, thank you to our gracious hosts, then. Did they mention why?" I asked. With that, Gabriel smiled, and said.."All in due time. For now, why don't you take this drink and make sure that you don't stop until you're blitzed out of your mind." "Hahaha, no. I can't. Really. I've gotta drive home tonight..." "No, you don't. We've got plenty of room for you to crash in the apartment next door. It used to be a motel, but now it's all ours. And if push comes to shove, we've got an entire taxi company dedicated to making sure that everyone gets home safe. We take care of our own. So have a blast, k?" He said, brandishing his 'C’ symbol for me to see again. "You guys really have thought of everything, haven't you?" I asked him. "This little operation of ours wouldn't work if we didn't." He lifted the dink to my lips, and then gave me a kiss on the cheek before walking away to rejoin the party. What else could I do? I kept drinking, kept talking to random people, kept having fun. They all knew the website backwards and forwards. We already had a major shared passion of ours in common. We even had little games of trivia going, and I was loving every minute of it. I only wished I could have Sammy by side for it, as he knew the online stories even better than I did. Where was Sammy, anyway? I think I was entering my third hour without so much as catching sight of Sammy at the bar. In fact, any time we ever went to a club together, and we got separated, I always knew that all I had to do was go to the bar and wait about fifteen minutes. He'd show up eventually. But not this time. It got to the point where I got a little bit worried about him. I mean, a little bit of liquor and a bunch of horny strangers don't always make for the best mix. Not that I didn't trust him to make good judgements when he was out...but...we were kind of in a strange place where we didn't know anybody all that well. So when he didn't show up at the bar, I stood up and started looking around in different parts of the warehouse for him. The crowd seemed to be thinning out, little by little, two or three people at a time. And I didn't want to be caught without my main source of protection in this place. I walked around, nodding and smiling at the remaining party people around me. They seemed enchanted by my very presence, and I could see heads turn as I walked past them. Many of them cute, many of them seemingly 'available'...but my only concern for the moment was finding my friend. Luckily, that's when I ran into Gabriel again. "Gabriel! Thank God, I found you!" I said. "Heyyyy...what's poppin', buddy?" He said, and gave me another affectionate hug. "I hope you're still enjoying yourself." "Yeah...I am. But...have you seen Sammy?" "Sammy?" He asked. "Yeah. My friend, Sammy? It's been a while since I've seen or heard from him, and his cell phone is turned off. He seems to have vanished completely." "Ohhhh, right. The guy you came in with. Yeah, you know what? I think he went off to have a little 'ring-a-ding' with a cutie he met at the bar." Gabriel told me. "Really? So, he just...whisked himself away to some dark corner to get some nookie?" That little bastard! "Seems like it. Hey, you want some more to drink? I can get it for you. Everything is free." "No...no thanks." I said. "I just wanna find Sammy. He's been gone for a while. Even for something naughty." Gabriel stopped me as I started to walk away. "It hasn't really been all that long, has it? Relax. Enjoy the music. Why don't you go over to the candy table, get yourself some Jolly Ranchers, and find yourself a nice little corner to chill out in? It'll do you some good." "I don't want to chill out. I want to find..." But, before I could finish, a loud voice came on over the speakers, and I looked up to see an older man on the microphone, standing up on a small stage in front of a collection of blank monitors where everyone in the room could see him. "Attention! Attention! I have good word for all of us!" The people in the room all turned their eyes to him as he smiled down from above. "I wanted to let you all know...that because our urban scouts have gathered such a great number of candidates here this evening, we have been granted a special 'bonus' by the One!" He said, and the crowd began to cheer in unison. "I hold here...in my hands, two new printed scriptures from 'he' who supports our cause! He has granted us with two new chapters, and promises to have more of them in circulation by the end of the Summer!" Another loud cheer erupts from the crowd, and Gabriel seems overjoyed at the news. "Soon....our time will come! The great change has already begun! The chosen one walks among us...and soon, our freedom is guaranteed! 'He' has kept his word! Once the prophecy has been fulfilled...we shall walk in darkness no longer!" People applauded and roared with triumph throughout the crowd, and I wanted to get into the festivities, but didn't really understand what was going on or what the man was talking about. "Justin is TRUTH! Justin is LIGHT!" The whole crowd shouted back, "LONG LIVE THE VAMPIRE DAWN!!!" It was then, that I saw the boy I bumped into earlier, Lucas, approach from the side, and he gave Gabriel a tight hug as they celebrated this....'announcement' of theirs. I had to ask, "So....what is all of this about? I don’t get it. Did I miss a post on the website or something?" They both looked at me with a grin, and Gabriel said, "We now have two new original texts ready for circulation. New stories. A whole new audience to reach. As the new scriptures come to a close, and the legend of the chosen one is exposed, we anticipate a great shift in the public's opinion. The circle is almost complete." "Oh, you mean there are new chapters on the website? Awesome! Jesus! Its about time, am I right? Hehehe! What, is he giving out sneak previews tonight?" I asked. "Yes. Indeed he is." Lucas told me. "This is a very exciting time. For all of us." "What do you mean?" They both looked at one another again, and Gabriel was the first to speak. "The prophecy, JT. The 'change' is almost ready to begin." I was confused. "The....the change? What change?" They pulled me to the side with a smile. "I don't understand. What's going on?" "You...you didn't just think they were stories, did you?" Gabriel asked me, his smirk suddenly taking a wicked turn in the corners of his lips. "What...like the high school stuff?" "Hehehe, not quite." Lucas added. Gabriel said, "You must understand, I couldn't tell you ahead of time. I needed you to come here tonight. I needed you to follow." I don't know what it was, but the tension between us began to thicken in the air around us as I tried to make sense out of all of this. "You've been chosen, JT. To help the author document this moment in our history. Do you understand what I am telling you?" Confused, I just gave him a sideways look, and Gabriel told me, "We need your help. Your connections. Once the manuscript has been completed, we will need it to be presented to the rest of the world. You work for a publishing company, correct?" I took a step back from them, and wrinkled my forehead. "How is it that you know what I do for a living?" I asked. "As a matter of fact...now that I think about it...I don't even remember telling you my name. How do you know all of this stuff about me?" "I already 'told' you how I know." Gabriel grinned, pointing a finger to his temple. "You think it...I read it. It's just that simple." I thought back to the night in the subway. The dizziness I felt, the random surfacing of thoughts for no reason at all, the sudden fatigue. I thought about his approach as he followed me to the train car I was on. And when I was talking to him... "I believe this is your stop." How did HE know where I was getting off? What was happening here? "Listen, this has all been fun and all..." I said, taking a step backwards. "...But, I've gotta find Sammy. I think we're gonna call it a night." Lucas giggled to himself. "Your friend, Sammy, called it a night hours ago, my friend." "What? What are you saying?" Gabriel flashed me a sinister grin. "You won't find your friend, JT. Not 'much' of him anyway." WHAT THE HELL WAS HE SAYING??? I frantically looked around the room, whose population had thinned out considerably. On the right side of the room, beautiful young boys and a few elder gentlemen, all either drinking from black chalices, or sucking on the Jolly Rancher candies they found in the various bowls around the room. And on the left side of the room, all small groupings of boys and girls of different ages, hungrily gnawing on the tattered bones of a late night snack, each cluster centered around one main person who seemed to be the focus of their social orbit. I shivered as Gabriel's hands reached out to gently crawl over my shoulders. "We needed to find a community of people who knew our stories, and could help our collective species rise out of the fairy tales and folklore...and return to take our rightful place in the world again. Many of the humans here tonight were selected for their possibilities, but...well...as you can see...all of them didn't make the cut." I could hardly breathe, and froze up as I tried to speak. "Whatever kind of game you guys are playing...it's NOT funny. Ok? So...just tell me where my friend is...and we'll go." "Shhhhh..." Gabriel whispered softly as he moved his lips close to my ear. "...He's gone, JT. Let it go." I felt my bottom lip quivering as my horrified mind tried to accept the idea of what he was saying to me. "My kind gets the blood. That delicious liquid essence of life is ours for the taking." Then he added. "We leave the meat...for the 'wolves'." Lucas smiled at me, and his eyes began to glow with an ethereal light that shook me to my very core from the horror of it all. "This isn't happening. This isn't happening. This..." I chanted, but Gabriel walked back out in front of me to stand next to Lucas. "The time for change is upon us, JT. More and more new readers are signing on every day. And as the public becomes more infatuated with our stories, our numbers will grow. More will want to give themselves over to the eternal darkness. And we will embrace every last one of them. Guaranteed." Gabriel told me. Lucas spoke. "Your religious right suppresses your natural desires, your government suppresses your freedoms, your corporations hungrily rob you of choice. Gas prices are rising, cost of living is getting too hard to manage, resources are becoming scarce...the rich get richer, and the poor are left to die off like roaches in an empty household. And while the very stench of their heartless oppression chokes you all into a growing level of endless frustration...we offer a more efficient alternative. As your kind tires of the struggles of life...they all come to us eventually." "Or US." Gabriel continued, with a smile. "The human race is circling the drain, and they don't even know it yet. The passion and beauty of life everlasting lies in the gifts that only WE can provide them. And it is time that our message was heard." I felt my stomach turn upside down, feeling as though I was going to be sick. I looked over to one side of the room, as a young woman my age was gently dragged into one of the back rooms. Tears on her face, running black streaks of make-up down both of her cheeks. But over the music...I couldn't really hear her screams. This whole night...I doubt that I was even paying attention to what was really going on around me. "You smell pretty scared there, cutie pie." Lucas grinned, taking a whiff of the air. Gabriel guided me to sit on a nearby window sill while the enormous weight of the situation began to crush me under its power. "Breathe, JT. You'll be ok. I promise. We are going to take care of you. You're one of the chosen. You are needed. We're not going to hurt you." "The site...the site is..." "The website is what it is. The One...'he' who writes the scriptures...he has been in league with us from day one." "They were just supposed to be stories. It...IT WASN’T SUPPOSED TO BE REAL!!!" I shouted, feeling a few tears drip from my eyes as I thought about poor Sammy, calling out to me while I merged myself with the party crowd. But nobody heard my cries. They ignored my distress...the same way that I had been ignoring the distresses of everyone else in that warehouse tonight. "We needed him as well. The one who writes the scriptures. We tell him about our cultures, our societies, our beliefs...and he writes them down. He is spreading our message to those who need to hear it. He is preparing the world for our triumphant return to the rest of society. Just as it was centuries ago...when people still believed in the horrors held behind the dark curtains of their world." Gabriel said, still trying to comfort me with a friendly smile. "It's a GOOD thing, JT. Mankind is almost ready for our second coming. The website was instrumental in the first stage of that process. Now you and your publishing firm can be the second. You can take us to the next level. And that 'C’ symbol that you wear so proudly on the back of your hand can act as our big flare in the sky to alert the others to our presence. Our burning bush..." "How....?" I asked meekly. "How can you exist among us without anybody knowing about this...?" Lucas said, "The humans don't believe in what they can't see. What they can't touch. It's a threat to them to believe in us. It makes our existence SO much easier to know that they prefer the laziness of a social lie than the acknowledgement of the truth, staring them right in the face, each and every day that they draw breath. No more angry mobs. No more torches and pitchforks. Just unsuspecting victims, and the endless sustenance that they provide us when they wander the streets at night. It’s as easy as slaughtering the gullible herd of cattle on your average farm. Tasty." "Lucas..." Gabriel interrupted, moving to wipe away some of the panicked tears from my eyes. "...You'll frighten him!" Gabriel knelt down in front of me, and looked me in the eyes. "All we need, is for you to get these new texts, and all the ones before it...into the hands of your Mr. Renfield. Get them published. Once the stories are on the open market, and vampire kind is normalized in the eyes of the public...the message will be spread, and our stories will be heard. After that...the transformation between daylight and darkness will be effortless. And once we outnumber those who are against us, it will no longer matter who is in control. Nature will take its rightful place at the top of the food chain...and human evolution will run its course...as it always does." The thought crossed my mind that I could run. I could head for the door. My mind tried to deny it all. These people are sick in the head! Vampires? Werewolves? How 'stupid' do they think I am? I tried to struggle with it all, but I heard both Lucas and Gabriel sigh out loud as my thoughts and intentions were revealed to them. Lucas squinted his eyes slightly, and told me, flat out..."You know what happens...if you try to run out on us. Don't you, JT? There won't be any second chances given." Gabriel looked almost disappointed. "You don't wanna do that. Do you, JT? I mean, things can be better for you. Make the right choice. Don't be stupid." He said. "You won't be able to run. And even if you could, you wouldn't be able to hide. Both of our kinds are already positioned in every major city in the world. The revolution is coming. And SOON! There's nothing that you can do to stop it. So just...be smart, JT. Be a part of it. Join us...while we're still playing 'nice'." Gabriel then had the audacity to smile warmly at me, tenderly rubbing the back of my neck. I looked back up at Lucas, who was eagerly awaiting my reply. "And if I don't sell you my soul for the sake of getting a few 'fiction/non-fiction’ books published?" "Heh...then, my friend, you join a very long list of people who made the same decision..." He leaned a bit closer, "...And were never heard from again." He stepped aside, and waved his hand out to draw my attention to a giant series of computer screens that were being flashed against the wall behind the stage. On it...were names. Hundreds of names. All posts on the website forum, but none of them were ever accepted by the site moderators. Sightings of 'C' symbols all over the city, the state, the country, the WORLD!!! Excited posts from kids, from adults, from college campuses and workplaces, from gay clubs, high schools, texted in over cell phones...they were literally coming from everywhere. But without being posted to the rest of the public...it was like they never existed at all. None of us had proof. None of us could be accounted for. And every candidate on that list had been found, targeted, and invited to parties just like this one all over the globe. As my heart began to beat extra hard from the fear coursing through my veins, the realization that I was totally alone here without any possibility of being saved...I noticed a familiar subject title among the forum posts displayed in front of me. I saw my name attached to it, now highlighted in bold red text, while many others were crossed out. Rejected, and made to become food for the 'gods'. And with my unseen phantom post, brazenly displayed on the screens in front of me...I saw my own words staring back at me...ending with the, now sinister, looking quote attached... "We are many."
  21. LIMIT Les is making it tonight HOOCH
  22. drpaladin

    Chapter 23

    Now we get the back story of what happened in the blind spot. Desmond is clearly invested in this relationship. Desmond has read Gabriel like a book and waited to see what he would do. This is the old, calculating Desmond. We know what that Desmond would have been inclined to do, but that Desmond has been changed. i think at the most he would have simply left. i'm curious as to how he is going to work out the details. No matter how hot the fire, there will need to be a body to be found in the ashes. I'm sure this can be handled. The afterward is another question entirely. They can't risk staying in this area after pulling the act. They will need to disappear since desmond has decided not to kill Julian, at least for now.
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