Good Story Orgy Monday morning and Happy Autumn! Where the heck is 2012 going, eh?
A few announcements before we get back to Cody and Demetrius…
Em Woods’s story Choices, her hot male menage story, is now available at Breathless Press. Click HERE to hop on over and download your copy today!
Also from Em Woods, her story about the strength of love in difficult times, Holding On, is now available at all e-book retailers, including Total E-Bound books. Click HERE to jump over to Total E-Bound and get your copy today!
Lee Brazil‘s fifth book in his bestselling Truth or Dare series, Risking It All, is now available at Breathless Press. Click HERE to hop on over and download your copy today! His Naughty Nursery Rhyme story, It’s Simple, Simon, is now available at ARe and Amazon.
Havan Fellows‘s Geoff’s Teddy, the third book of her Synchronous Seductions series, is burning up the Romantic Comedy category at ARe. Click HERE to jump over and download a copy of your own if you haven’t already.
Keep an eye out for our next anthology, And the Prompt Is… Road Trip, which will be available soon. As always, the first 90 days of profits will go to a LGBTQ charity, and this time we’ve chosen The Point Foundation, which empowers promising LGBTQ students to achieve their full academic and leadership potential – despite the obstacles often put before them – to make a significant impact on society.
Wow, lots of publishing news! Lots of great stories from your Story Orgy authors, and we really appreciate all of our readers. Okay, you’ve been wonderfully patient, now on with the story! Let’s see how Demetrius and Cody are doing after their run in with the werewolf and the suspicion that Oliver (not him!) is said werewolf! The prompt for this week is: It was as far as he could go.
Parson’s Hollow Series, Book 1
by Hank Edwards
“They all tangled up in there?”
Demetrius pulled his head out of the dark, dusty overhang of the house and turned to look down at his Aunt Amelia. She had silver hair cut into a bob, generous bosoms and hips, and a wide, pale face that seemed to always have a smile.
Except for this moment.
“Yeah, they’re way back in the back,” Demetrius replied. “Kind of all grouped up and staring at me.”
“Oh, sugar maple,” Aunt Amelia said, and Demetrius had to grin. Instead of using traditional cuss words, Aunt Amelia relied on the names of trees to voice her displeasure. Demetrius had never figured out if there was a system between the type of tree and the level of Amelia’s vexation. “I don’t like possums. Those pointy noses and skinny tails.” She shuddered.
“Well, don’t worry, we’ll get them out,” Demetrius assured her as he climbed down the ladder. “Let me just go look for Cody.”
“All right,” Amelia said as she nervously eyed the gap in the siding of her house where the possums came and went.
Demetrius walked down the driveway to where he had parked the truck. They had invested in magnetic signs to affix to the door panels that read “Critter Catchers – Let us catch those unwanted critters for you!” with the phone number and URL. Cody stood at the back of the truck, just zipping up his coveralls.
“Hi,” Demetrius said as conversationally as he could manage. “You almost ready?”
Cody nodded but didn’t meet his gaze. “Almost.”
Demetrius paused a moment, tried to think of something to say, then just nodded back and headed up the driveway once again. Cody was still pissed at Demetrius for what he had said in the hospital after Oliver had walked away. Cody claimed he had “pussed out” by telling Lucinda, the sheriff’s deputy who had arrived not long after and stood looking at them with one raised eyebrow, that they had been chased by something large, but he just wasn’t sure what it had been. A bear or dog was possible.
Cody had, in usual Cody fashion, jumped right in with, “There’s a werewolf in Parson’s Hollow!”
After some heated back and forth, during which Lucinda had threatened to give them both breathalyzers and arrest them for public intoxication, Cody and Demetrius finally left the hospital. Lucinda had written up her report by saying that a wild animal of unknown species had pursued them.
That had been a week ago, and Cody had barely said three words to Demetrius. He had maybe looked him in the eye five times, three on accident.
Demetrius had never realized how much time he and Cody spent together talking until Cody fell silent. As the week wore on, Demetrius felt more and more sad, more and more hollow. He wondered how things could ever go back to the way they had been, before the scene in the hospital, before the supposed werewolf, before Oliver Berridge, handsome new reporter at the Parson’s Hollow Herald.
In the backyard, Demetrius talked with Amelia for several minutes about her plans to move her garden gnomes around for the new autumn season. Finally, Cody strutted up the driveway with his duty belt rattling and a big, cocky grin on his handsome face. For Aunt Amelia.
“Amelia!” Cody said and threw open his arms to give her a hug. He stepped back and looked her up and down. “You look great. You start doing Pilates or something?”
“Oh, Cody Bower,” Amelia said and turned away as she blushed. “How you talk. I probably worried the pounds off thinking about those possums living in my eaves.” She shook her head. “Bigtooth aspen.”
“Well, worry no longer, we’ll get them taken care of for you.” Cody tromped past Demetrius to the ladder and climbed up to stick his head into the dark space of the house’s overhang.
“This place is falling down around my ears, Demmy,” Amelia said as they stood side by side watching Cody. “I should just move to Parson’s Pines and be done with it.”
“Oh, Aunt Amelia, you’re not ready for Parson’s Pines,” Demetrius assured her. “That’s a nursing home, isn’t it? You just need a good handy man, that’s all.”
Amelia shook her head. “Things just seem to keep stacking up around here. And Parson’s Pines is all levels of assisted living, not just a nursing home. I’ve been hearing talk about it down at the senior center.”
Cody ducked his head out of the eave and looked at Amelia. “Yep. Those are possums. Five of them, I think.” He shifted his gaze to look Demetrius in the eye. “Ready to get to work?”
Demetrius narrowed his eyes as irritation prickled through him. “I’ve been at work. I was just waiting for you.”
Cody ignored the insult as he climbed down the ladder and moved it to the opposite end of the house, right below where the possums had gathered. He waved Demetrius over and using grunts and hand gestures and not explaining what he was about to do, had him get into position on the other side of the ladder. Cody climbed up, produced a battery powered drill from his duty belt, then set about loosening the screws holding the vented aluminum in place. Above the sound of the drill, Demetrius could hear the scratching and squeaking of the possums above him.
“Bombs away!” Cody called just as the last screw came out and the piece of vented siding tipped.
A furry, wriggling mass slid free and fell right on top of Demetrius. He let out a shout as the tiny clawed feet scratched at him and the long, scaly tails whipped around his head and dragged over his face. Demetrius ran around the yard, screaming and trying to pull possums off his head. Their feet got tangled in his hair and the tails wrapped tight around his wrists, one even slithered around his neck. He thought he heard Aunt Amelia shout, “Oh, birch trees!” in the background, but Demetrius was more focused on keeping the possums from scratching out his eyes or biting him.
Finally, Demetrius was able to get his hands on the group of furry, squirming bodies and he lifted them off his head en masse. Five tiny, pointed noses and five pairs of shiny black eyes peered at him. The young possums clutched his fingers with their tiny feet and had secured their tails around his wrists.
That was when he heard Cody’s laughter.
Demetrius glared across the yard to where Cody sat on the ground, both hands over his belly and his face bright red as he laughed. The suppressed anger Demetrius had been feeling all week at Cody’s silent treatment finally boiled over within him, and he stomped across the lawn to stand over his laughing friend.
“You think that was funny?” Demetrius demanded. “I could have been bitten! I could have gotten rabies!”
Cody wiped his eyes and looked up at him, trying for apologetic but failing miserably. “You looked like you were wearing a possum hat.” And he lost it again, falling over on his side and rolling back on forth on the grass.
“It was sort of funny,” Amelia admitted from where she stood on the driveway, a safe distance away from the possums Demetrius clutched tight. “It looked like you might be going to a Royal wedding or something. You know, the funny hats they wear?”
A tiny smile quirked up one corner of Demetrius’s mouth, he couldn’t help it. The animosity between him and Cody seemed to have evaporated, and for that he was grateful. He wasn’t too thrilled about the way his friend had gone about it, but he was glad they were back on speaking terms.
Cody managed to get his laughter under control and helped peel the possums from Demetrius’s hands and place them in cages. Then, while Demetrius shifted Aunt Amelia’s garden gnomes around for her, Cody secured both ends of the siding on the eaves, and soon they were driving off with foil wrapped pound cake on the seat between them as thanks.
Every now and then, Cody would chuckle from his place behind the wheel, then stop himself and glance at Demetrius from the corner of his eye. With a sigh, Demetrius finally shook his head and allowed himself to laugh.
“It must have looked pretty funny,” Demetrius said.
“Oh, my God,” Cody blurted happily, “it was the funniest fucking thing I’ve ever seen.”
“All right now,” Demetrius said. “I don’t think we need to go that far.”
“Well, it was pretty funny.”
Demetrius looked over at Cody’s profile. “Well, I’m just glad you’re speaking to me again. I’ve missed you this week.”
Cody looked over at him, his expression serious, and said, “I have to admit, Demmy, it hurt when you didn’t back up my story. But I understand why you did it.”
“It all happened so fast, Cody. And it was dark.”
“Full moon,” Cody reminded him.
“I know that, but… Could it have been a werewolf? I mean, an honest to God, straight from Transylvania werewolf?”
Cody was quiet a moment, focused on driving. “When you say it like that, I’m not so sure.”
“See? That’s where I was at! It’s not that I don’t support you, it’s just that I didn’t believe my own eyes!”
They were driving through the downtown area by then, and Cody eased the truck into an angled parking spot outside Parson’s Pharmacy. He put the truck in Park and looked over at Demetrius.
“I just don’t want any one else to die because of that thing,” Cody said. “You know?”
“Yeah, I know.” Demetrius looked out the window. “Why’d you stop?”
“You’ve got some scratches on your face from the possums,” Cody explained. “Thought you might want to stop in and grab some antibiotic ointment.”
“Oh shit, scratches?” Demetrius lowered the sun visor and peered into the vanity mirror. Sure enough, several shallow scratches marred his cheeks and forehead. “Dammit.”
“They’re not deep,” Cody assured him. “Just need some tending to. Go in and grab a tube and some bandages, and I’ll head over to Margie’s and grab us some lunch to go.”
They parted company and Demetrius stepped into the orderly shelves and cool fluorescent lights of Parson’s Pharmacy. He was very conscious of the scratches on his face and, with his gaze cast down, headed straight for the Band-Aids and Ointments aisle. It took only a few minutes for him to grab the items from the shelf, and when he turned to start toward the registers, he let out an involuntary gasp at the sight of Oliver Berridge rounding the corner of the aisle.
Werewolf or not, Oliver looked incredible. He wore a high school letterman’s jacket over a blue Oxford shirt that made his eyes look even more blue than usual. Faded jeans hugged the bulge of his package and thighs. Oliver raised his head, the lights overhead momentarily flashing off the lenses of his round glasses, and he caught sight of Demetrius. Surprise and discomfort crossed his face and he said, “Oh,” in a way that sent a little fissure through Demetrius’s heart.
Demetrius lifted a hand in a quick wave. “Hi there.”
“Hello.” Oliver looked around. “Not with your insane friend, are you?”
“No, he’s not here.” Demetrius took a breath, then stepped closer.
Oliver backed away a step. “That’s close enough.”
Demetrius nodded and held his hands up palms out. It was as far as he could go. “I’m not going to yell or shout or accuse you of anything crazy.”
“Okay,” Oliver said in a tone that made it clear he didn’t really believe Demetrius. “What happened to your face?”
“Oh. We cleared a family of possums out of the eaves of my Aunt Amelia’s house.”
“Looks like they won.”
“Yeah. I know.” Demetrius fell silent, considering what he wanted to say next. He had known, of course, that he would run into Oliver at some point. Parson’s Hollow was a small town and there would be no getting around that fact. During the past week, while Cody had been freezing him out, Demetrius had come to the decision that he needed to get to know Oliver better. If the man was a murderous, rampaging werewolf, it would be better to get close to him, learn his habits, know his favorite places, so when the full moon came around again, they would be ready.
And, in the sunny autumn days of the past week, when the idea of a werewolf seemed more ludicrous than possible, Demetrius thought it might be nice to just get to know Oliver better without any sort of agenda attached to it. “I wanted to apologize,” Demetrius said. “We had been through a pretty scary situation and were a little…”
“Drunk?” Oliver offered.
Demetrius blushed. “That, too.”
Oliver narrowed his eyes as he looked Demetrius over, considering his words. “Apology accepted.” He turned away, then whirled back and pointed at finger at him. “You’re lucky I didn’t write an editorial piece about it, you know?”
“I know. Thank you.”
“All right then. I’ll see you around.”
Oliver started to walk away and Demetrius took a breath, then blurted out, “Can we go out sometime?”
Oliver turned back, his surprise clear by the expression on his face. “Like on a date?”
Demetrius shrugged, suddenly bashful. “Or just two people getting to know one another better.”
There was a long moment of silence, and Demetrius was about to tell him to forget about it, when Oliver said, “All right. Why not?”
“Yeah. I thought you seemed interesting when I first met you. And your apology sounded sincere.”
Demetrius felt a sharp pang of guilt about that. He had been sincere about his apology, and he did want to spend more time with Oliver, but he had ulterior motives as well.
“You can call me at the Herald,” Oliver said. “Now go clean out those scratches before they get infected.”
Demetrius watched Oliver walk away and couldn’t help feeling a little surge of excitement within the cloud of suspicion. There were three weeks until the next full moon. Surely he could uncover some clues, and learn a bit more about Oliver Berridge, by then?
~~ * ~~
The mysteries and clues keep stacking up! Be sure to stop by next week and see what happens next with Demmy, Cody, and Oliver. For now, however, hop on over to the other Story Orgy blogs with me for more hot, smexy reads.
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